COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)-- Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said the state could see as many as 8,000 new cases of coronavirus a day.
Acton presented a graph of Ohio's projections during Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's news conference on Thursday. The Cleveland Clinic and Ohio State University aided in the models.
"I need you to know, it’s not if, but when we will surge. At peak surge, we may be as high as 6,000 to 8,000 new cases a day. We are bending that off as long as possible. Hospitals are gearing up more capacity," Acton said. She repeated those numbers later in the news conference, adding in New York, the cases double every three days.
She said the projected peak for Ohio is the beginning of May, based on the current data available. Most of these will be presumptive cases because of the lack of testing, Acton said.
Acton used those to numbers to emphasize staying at home to "flatten the curve." Acton and DeWine said delaying the surge of the virus helps the health care system prepare for an increase in patients.
"Ohio, what you are doing, absolutely is saving lives," Acton said. “Anytime we let up on these measures right now, we can actually see surges again so it’s very, very important to follow those directions."
The state is working to turn hospitals into expanded intensive care units and conserve personal protective equipment. Acton said the moves we take now help maximize masks, gloves and gowns, but we're going to need millions more of the N95 masks.
More than 17,000 Ohioans have been tested for COVID-19 with 867 confirmed cases. There are 15 confirmed deaths from the virus in the state.