(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.
CRITICAL HOSPITALIZATION LEVELS
As of today, there are 3,829 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ohio, with 943 of those individuals in the ICU. These are the highest patient counts Ohio has had during the pandemic and more than double the hospitalizations recorded during previous peaks.
While statewide testing has increased by 43 percent, positive cases have increased by nearly 300 percent in the past month.
New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health revealed today that Franklin County has reached a Level 4 Purple Public Emergency with severe exposure and spread. All 88 counties remain at "high incidence" as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, no counties are rated below Level 2.
"Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way as Franklin County, but make no mistake - almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue," said Governor DeWine.
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.
SENATE BILL 311
Governor DeWine today announced his intention to veto Senate Bill 311 if passed by the Ohio General Assembly. The bill, which is currently under consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives, would severely limit the ability of the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases now and in the future.
"Imagine if a country hostile to the United States smuggles a biological agent into our state and unleashes it in Ohio - our state would need to respond quickly to quarantine the area to stop its spread. This bill would make Ohio slow to respond in a crisis and would put our citizens in severe danger," said Governor DeWine. "I've always listened to the advice of experts, and the experts are telling me this is a dangerous idea. Doctors, nurses, and scientists have all advised me that this bill would do great harm if it became law."
Two new COVID-19 dashboards tracking the number of cases at Ohio child care centers are now available.
The first dashboard tracks the number of children and staff cases in individual centers. Because of the small size of home-based providers, many of which serve six or fewer children, positive COVID cases from children and adults in those facilities will be tracked by county on a separate dashboard.
RETAIL COMPLIANCE UPDATE
Ohio's Retail Compliance Unit has visited more than 50 percent of Ohio counties in its first three days. Agents have observed over 90 percent compliance in social distancing and mask-wearing in retail establishments, a noticeable improvement.
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 326,615 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,890 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 23 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,22 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.