Tuesday Update: 50 New Deaths in Ohio, State Aims to Protect First Responders

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 all things COVID-19 in Ohio. Here is an outline on everything that was discussed.

Update on Cases

The Ohio Department of Health’s latest report shows that the state now has 324 deaths and 7,280 total cases of COVID-19. 2,156 Ohioans have been hospitalized so far from the virus; 654 have been admitted into the intensive care unit.

More than 67,000 people in the Buckeye State have been tested for the coronavirus. Ohio has a positive test rate of around 10.7%.

Five more Dead in Stark County

The state’s latest figures show five new deaths in Stark County, compared to yesterday’s report. Stark County’s death total is now up to 17. There are 171 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stark County. 44 people are hospitalized in the county due to the virus.

Medicaid Waivers

Today, Governor DeWine announced that his administration is submitting its first waiver application to the federal government, known as 1135 or Appendix K, to provide the needed flexibility to address what he called a “medicaid crisis.”

Among other things, this waiver will allow Ohio to:

  • Ease obstacles to access nursing home care
  • Allow services to be provided at alternative locations
  • Remove staffing level requirements to give providers more flexibility

Once the state gets federal approval of this waiver, it will be retroactively applied from March 1, 2020. The Governor says removing restrictions like these during this pandemic will allow health care workers to focus on meeting the needs of Ohioans.

Small Business Relief

Lt. Governor Jon Husted says the Ohio Office of Small Business Relief has helped 1,300 businesses so far. Small Businesses in the Buckeye State can learn more about this by visiting the Small Business Relief website.

Husted also mentioned that there are 667 critical employers with 31,000 job openings in Ohio right now.

“These employers have created safe environments for their employees,” Husted said. “We need you if you can answer the call.”

You can view Ohio’s COVID-19 job portal right here.

Order to Protect First Responders

With the lack of PPE, Dr. Amy Acton with the Ohio Department of Health stressed the importance of  protecting the state’s first responders.

In order to help first remain safe while doing their jobs, the state is issuing a new order to share positive COVID-19 name and address information with dispatchers.

Acton says this will help ensure first responders are properly protected when responding to an emergency. This information will be kept confidential.