(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS
Governor DeWine today released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that six counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread: Butler, Mercer, Montgomery, Preble, Putnam, and Summit.
A total of 68 counties stayed at the same level as last week, and two counties, Lucas and Wayne, dropped from Level 3 to Level 2.
In addition to the six Level 3 counties listed above, four additional counties meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of high incidence: Clark, Hamilton, Miami, and Wood. Although these counties do not meet enough indicators to trigger a Red Level 3 Public Emergency, these counties have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks which could lead to rapid virus transmission if steps are not taken to slow the spread.
Data calculations conducted by the Ohio Department of Health also show the continued increase in cases among younger adults in the age groups of 0-19 and 20-29.
A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.
With flu season approaching, Governor DeWine today reminded Ohioans of the importance of getting a flu shot this year. The Governor, along with First Lady Fran DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, all received their flu shots this afternoon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu shot, with rare exception.The recommendation includes flu shots for pregnant women, whose vaccinations can protect their babies after birth.
"While the flu can be deadly on its own, we also are concerned that Ohioans who get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could become severely, if not fatally, ill," said Governor DeWine. "Our youngest and oldest Ohioans, those who are pregnant, those in long-term care facilities, and those with chronic health conditions may be especially susceptible to severe illness or complications from the flu."
Those who are elderly and need help getting to their physician's office can contact their local Area Agency on Aging at 866-243-5678 to access transportation resources and other services.
Anyone without a primary healthcare provider can visit vaccinefinder.org to find nearby pharmacies and other healthcare locations offering the flu vaccine.
NEW OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DIRECTOR
Governor DeWine today named Joan Duwve, M.D., MPH, the director of the Ohio Department of Health.
“This unprecedented time calls for true leadership to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives,” said Governor DeWine. “We welcome Dr. Duwve to our team. Her clinical experience and leadership to strengthen public health infrastructure will help guide Ohio as we navigate through this pandemic and modernize Ohio’s public health system.”
“I am thrilled to return to Ohio, where I grew up,” said Dr. Duwve. “Through forging strong partnerships across the state, I firmly believe that together, we can build healthier communities that in turn create greater opportunities for all Ohioans to thrive.”
A graduate of North Olmsted High School, Dr. Duwve attended undergraduate school at The Ohio State University. She received a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and her Medical Doctor Degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Most recently, Dr. Duwve served as the Director of Public Health at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control under South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R). Prior to her time in South Carolina, she served as an Associate Dean of Practice for the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and developed and directed the ECHO Center to train providers in rural communities to treat patients with complex conditions. Dr. Duwve also served Indiana Governors Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Eric Holcomb, as the Chief Medical Officer with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Medical Director for the Department’s Division of Public Health and Preparedness. Before transitioning into her role improving public health, Dr. Duwve practiced family medicine.
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY
On World Suicide Prevention Day, Governor DeWine reminded citizens that resources are available for anyone who needs support due to stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or other concerns.
Ohioans can reach the Ohio Careline by calling 1-800-720-9616. Residents can also be connected to a trained crisis counselor via the Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4hope” to 741 741.
MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER PSA CAMPAIGN
In an effort to promote mental health, Governor DeWine's RecoveryOhio team partnered with the Ohio Department of Insurance to launch a series of television, radio, and digital ads to help Ohioans who have questions about their health insurance coverage when seeking treatment. The PSAs will begin airing next week in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.
Ohioans with questions about mental health and substance use disorder benefits can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526.
Lt. Governor Husted reminded Ohioans that the deadline to complete the 2020 Census is quickly approaching. As of this morning, Ohio’s self response rate was 69.5 percent, which is above the national rate of 65.5 percent but one percentage point behind Michigan. The census, which only takes about 10 minutes to complete, impacts the state for the next 10 years, including how federal, state and local funding is distributed and determines congressional representation.
Ohioans can complete their census by either going to 2020Census.gov or calling 1-844-330-2020.
CURRENT COVID-19 DATA
There are 134,086 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,354 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,164 people have been hospitalized, including 3,070 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.