Governor DeWine reiterates commitment to Ohio’s public health as coronavirus spreads

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Governor Mike DeWine reiterates his commitment to Ohio’s public health as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the state.

As of Friday afternoon, there are 3,312 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, resulting in 91 deaths. The health department said of the 895 hospitalizations, 288 people are in the intensive care unit.

Governor DeWine announced during his news conference Friday afternoon that the state is trying to limit the number of people in the prison system.

He says the state is sending letters to county and local judges requesting they hold hearings to determine if it would be appropriate to grant early release for certain members of the prison population. This includes pregnant women, women who recently gave birth and prisoners over the age of 60 who have 60 days or less until their release.

All prisoners being considered for early release are non-violent offenders.

The National Guard is reminding Ohioans to practice good cyber hygiene. Officials say now that people are using internet networks more than ever, citizens should take precautionary steps, such as resetting passwords or updating anti-virus software, to protect their data.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted also shared that the state has worked with Ohio-based company Battelle to decontaminate personal protective equipment. Battelle will be sterilizing masks for hospitals for free for the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Governor DeWine reiterated that he is dedicated to Ohio’s public health and has been since he took office. He says he is committed to improving the public health system throughout the state and, while it will be hard over the next few months, he knows Ohioans will recover together.

“Public health is very important,” he said. “When I took office one of the things I focused on, and one of the reasons I was so careful in picking a health director, frankly is I felt we needed to improve public health in the state of Ohio. I felt that we needed to start moving forward and paying more attention to it.”

FOX 8 Live Blog:

  • Governor Mike DeWine says “help is on the way” and that hospitals who do not have testing capabilities should soon.
  • State is hoping to have quicker tests and more tests soon.
  • Ohio National Guard is building facilities to support healthcare systems. These will be used to serve less sick patients.
  • National Guard is accepting donations of PPE, as is the Governor’s Office.
  • National Guard encourages Ohioans to protect your networks — change passwords, update anti-virus software. He says during this time where we are heavily reliant on the internet, it is essential to practice good cyber hygiene.
  • No in-person visits to prisons. All prison employees and contractors are screened daily. No one with coronavirus symptoms is admitted to the prison.
  • 23 women in prison are either pregnant or just gave birth. Judges will be receiving letters and holding hearings to determine if it would be appropriate for these women to be released early.
  • There is also a group of prisoners over the age of 60 that are 60 days or lease from release. Local courts are asked to consider them for early release.
  • None of the early release candidates are violent offenders.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted held a virtual town hall with Columbus, Dayton mayors and small businesses to get their feedback on how this situation has impacted them.
  • 21,000 job openings posted on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.
  • Election Day is set for April 28. Absentee ballots only. Must be postmarked by April 27.
  • ODH will be adding more information to their website. In talks about publishing zip code data in a way that doesn’t reveal personal information.
  • Dr. Amy Acton encourages Ohioans to keep the creativity flowing because it makes a difference.
  • Governor DeWine is committed to public health. He says times will be tough for the next six to twelve months, but he is committed to improving Ohio’s public health system.

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