Thursday Update: More PPE on the Way, DeWine Proud of Where Ohio Currently Stands

COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Once again, Governor Mike DeWine along with other state leaders and health officials spoke in Columbus this afternoon, providing updates on COVID-19 in Ohio. Here is an outline on everything that was discussed.

Update on Cases

The Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) latest update shows that Ohio now has 5,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state has 213 deaths. 40 counties have at least one fatality. 1,612 Ohioans have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, 497 have been admitted into the intensive care unit.

Over 55,000 coronavirus tests have been given so far in the Buckeye State. Stark County is up to 128 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 28 of those cases have resulted in hospitalization. The county’s death total remains at eight.

More Personal Protective Equipment Coming to Ohio

Governor DeWine says Ohio still faces the challenge of not enough PPE for healthcare workers.

“It’s our obligation to protect our protectors,” DeWine said. “If we can’t buy it, we’ll figure out how to re-work our manufacturing supply chain to make it.”

However, the Governor happily reported that through The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, 19 manufacturers have partnered with three hospital groups to begin large scale production of face shields for Ohio. With the specifications from our hospital partners, MAGNET developed the prototype.

“We’re particularly excited our team is making the kind of face shield that can be sterilized at the hospitals and reused,” said the Governor. “They have moved from prototype-to-production in just two weeks.”

The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association identified the supply chain partners from the companies that registered on the website the state announced last week. DeWine says they found die cutters, injection molders, elastic band cutters, plastic suppliers, and assemblers to help this come together.

These are companies that normally make products ranging from toys to engine parts. The state’s partners at JobsOhio helped secure the raw materials needed.

“These are true partnerships,” said DeWine. “Ohioans coming together to find the solution!”

They’re going to make between 750,000 to 1 million face shields over the next five weeks. Once assembled, they will be delivered to the Ohio Department of Health stockpile, inventoried, and then distributed across the state.

Ohio Hits a “Homerun”

After weeks of delivering difficult news, the Governor provided Ohioans with some high praise this afternoon, saying their social distancing efforts and compliance with state measures have led to better results than health officials originally hoped for.

“Overall, things are turning out, so far, better for Ohio,” said DeWine. “The reason the models are changing is because of each and every one of you. It’s what you have done. You’ve made a huge difference. I’ve said before, it’s not about the orders we issue. It’s about what you do and don’t do. You’ve all been doing a bang-up job. The initial modelers – they didn’t think Ohio was going to do as good a job as we did. We did a lot better. That’s one reason why the model has changed so much.”

As he has said before, DeWine says this orginal success does not mean Ohioans can let up.

“We’ve hit a home run. We’ve done a great job, but it is not time to celebrate. The game is not over. The optimistic scenarios are based on a belief that we will continue Social Distancing at the same level.”

Planning for the Next Step

Similar to Lt. Governor Husted’s message from yesterday, Governor DeWine said that Ohio is still a far time away before things return back to the way they were before COVID-19 arrived. However, DeWine announced this afternoon that the state has began to plan its next step in the process.

“Lt. Governor Husted, Dr. Amy Acton and our team who you never see, we’re all working day and night,” said DeWine. “We’re all working very, very hard to set a path out about how we come out of this and get back to work. How we get back to living our lives.”

DeWine says the state is working on a very sophisticated plan. He explained that the plan would not be laid out today because it is still a work in progress. However, he says it is coming along and will be outlined for citizens soon.

“We are working just as hard on how we come back from this as we were when we focused on the Stay Home Ohio order. The only way we are going to be able to move forward is if we all continue to do what we’re doing.”

Plasma Protocol Approved

Lt. Governor Jon Husted said he received a call on Tuesday from a doctor at Lindner Research in Cincinnati about a plasma protocol for treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma.

This allows physicians to identify those COVID-19 patients at greatest risk for dying, earlier in their course, at a time when they might gain the greatest benefit of plasma treatment.

Husted says the state has been able to get this in front of the US Food and Drug Administration and we got word Lindner Research now have approval for this plasma protocol to go statewide.

Dr AJ Seth will join Pam Cook at 8:20 AM tomorrow on Canton’s Morning News to provide a greater explanation on this Plasma Protocol. Be sure to tune in on 1480 AM or at

Unemployment Update

Lt. Governor Husted says $132 million dollars in unemployment benefits have gone to 207,000 Ohioans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Husted acknowledged the continued reports he has received about Ohioans having trouble with registering for employment benefits. He says the state is working harder each day to help meet the state’s large need for assistance.

Economic resources the state offers for individuals and families can be found here.

The state’s COVID-19 job search portal can be found here. 

Protesters in Columbus

Throughout the press conference, voices could be heard from outside the building where the Governor, Lt. Governor and Dr. Acton were speaking. Dr. Acton acknowledged that the noise was coming from protesters who were upset about being out of work, due to the Stay at Home Order.

DeWine said first amendment rights, such as the right to protest, were not be taken away through the Stay at Home Order, thus the protest outside was not in violation of any social distancing guidelines.

“We are big believers in the first amendment,” said DeWine. “The folks out there have every right to say what they want to say.”

When asked about the protesters, Governor DeWine said he understood their frustration.

“We’re Ohioans. We’re tough. We’ve got to hang in there,” said DeWine. “If we don’t, we’ll pay the price and it’s a heavy, heavy toll. Stay home Ohio and please continue social distancing.”