COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held his coronavirus news conference at 2 p.m. on Monday. He was joined by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
As of Monday, there were 4,450 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state resulting in 142 deaths. The Ohio Department of Health said of the 1,214 people hospitalized with the virus, 371 were in the intensive care unit. The ages of the confirmed cases range from infant to 101 years old with a median age of 54.
“This is going to be a hard week and we have a couple hard weeks ahead,” Acton said.
She said the social distancing has made a difference and it needs to continue to give hospitals enough time to prepare for the peak.
“The second we let up, it unravels and we will need significantly more hospital capacity.”
DeWine said the following locations have been selected to house patients: SeaGate Convention Centre, Case Western Reserve University Health Education Campus, Dayton Convention Center, Covelli Centre, Duke Energy Convention Center and Greater Columbus Convention Center. The southern and southeastern region determined those hospitals will be able to handle the influx of patients once they have additional equipment, DeWine said.
These sites are for the mildly ill, while the sickest will be cared for at traditional hospitals. DeWine said health care systems, state and local authorities, and the Ohio National Guard chose the sites, based on distance to existing hospitals and spaces to meet the expected needs. Scouting at additional locations will continue, as needed.
DeWine addressed concerns at the Federal Correctional Institution Elkton in Columbiana County. He said seven inmates have tested positive, dozens more have showed symptoms and three have died. He emphasized this is a federal, not state, facility and he does not have the authorities to release inmates. DeWine is authorizing the Ohio National Guard to go to Elkton on a strictly medical mission.
The governor had a message to snow birds coming back to Ohio: You need to quarantine for 14 days.
COVID-19 fatalities by Ohio county: