‘The flattening is happening in Ohio, but how much we flatten will depend on all of us,’ says DeWine

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OHIO (WJW) — As of Saturday, there are 1,406 cases of coronavirus and 25 resulting deaths in the state of Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health released its newest numbers ahead of a press conference where Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted spoke at a press conference that took a more positive tone than in recent days.

DeWine said the Cleveland Clinic research says the state “will start getting hit very hard” in about two weeks with a peak in May.

But both he and Dr. Amy Acton said thanks to the state’s early response, including the stay-at-home order and social distancing, “we are flattening the curve in Ohio.”

“Even though the 8,000 to 10,000 cases a day number seems high, we are flattening the curve,” he said. “These numbers would have been much, much higher had we not taken action when we did.”

Acton said the curve would have been much steeper had residents not heeded their directives.

“What we do…is really changing the strength of this hurricane,” she said. “We know the wave is coming, but we know it’s getting smaller every day because of what you’re doing.”

As the state prepares to handle that peak, DeWine announced several developments when it comes to medical equipment and hospital strategy.

He said Ohio-based Battelle has made a “real breakthrough” when it comes to the sterilization of surgical masks. The company has developed a method that will make it possible to sterilize around 160,000 masks per day and is awaiting approval by the FDA.

“Please, please give us the approval to use these,” DeWine appealed. “This truly is a matter of life and death.”

He also appealed to Ohio-based testing facilities LabCorp and Quest, asking for as many tests and results as quickly as possible.

He said all hospitals in the state have been divided into eight regions, which issued reports Saturday morning on how they plan to work together and proceed as the peak approaches and the state will need to double or triple the capacity of its hospital beds.

He also released a list of most wanted medical supplies to aid in the coronavirus battle.

“Keep your chin up, we’re fighting through this,” said DeWine. “We’re going to get through this. By our actions, we can all be part of the solution.”

MORE FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE:

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown is speaking on ways Ohioans will receive financial assistance.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine: A person who works with Capitol Square from was admitted into the hospital with pneumonia symptoms, so press conferences will now be bare-bones people-wise…
  • DeWine: Sign language interpreters are not with them for press conferences now
  • DeWine: Ohioans with Disabilities Facebook Page will provide an interpretation with interpreters
  • DeWine: The person tested negative
  • DeWine: Battelle in Ohio have had a “real breakthrough.” They will be able to sterilize 80,000 surgical masks per day per machine. Should have two machines ready to go in Ohio. So when it is authorized by FDA, Ohio will have the ability to turn around 160,000 per day.
  • DeWine makes an appeal: “Please, please give us the approval to use these…This truly is a matter of life and death.”
  • DeWine to Ohio’s Lab Corps, Ques which are also doing testing: “We urgently need your tests. We urgently need your results. This is again a matter of life and death.”
  • DeWine issued an order last night that every state contractor with a contract they are fulfilling must abide by best practices. State team will now inspect to make sure they are abiding by the rules. “Most of them are, but we simply cannot take any chances.”
  • DeWine: As weather gets better, people want to go outside, but still emphasizes the importance of social distancing. “It’s absolutely imperative everyone keep that social distancing.”
  • DeWine on status of hospitals: Cleveland Clinic believes in two weeks we will “start getting hit very hard” and peak in mid-May. Same report indicated we may have to double or triple the capacity of hospital beds. Have been working with hospitals in 8 regions of the state — they all issued reports this morning on how to proceed. Those reports are now being reviewed.
  • DeWine: “We cannot get through this by each hospital doing its own thing. The only way we can get through this is by hospitals in each region coming together, having one plan, speaking in one voice and having a commitment to work closely together as we move forward.”
  • DeWine: Thanks churches for going online and on Facebook to protect people
  • DeWine on PPE equipment: Masks, goggles, gloves, gowns, face shields, other essentials. If you are a manufacturer and can make any of it: We need to hear from you right away.
  • DeWine: Contact together@governor.ohio.gov
  • DeWine: If anyone has any of these, we need them: Surgical gowns, masks, gloves, n95 masks, isolation gowns, face shields, thermometers, foot coverings, tie back coveralls, ventilator tubing.
  • Dr. Amy Acton: Now 1,406 cases of coronavirus. 24 percent of cases hospitalized, 9 percent in ICU. Have 25 deaths in state of Ohio. Also know there are cases in 66 counties.
  • Acton: Emphasizes importance to Quest and LabCorp of quickly testing, releasing results
  • Acton: “We are flattening the curve in Ohio.” Our curve would have been much steeper had we not started with the social distancing, stay-at-home rules a couple of weeks ago.
  • Acton showing the original curve chart of what we could have faced had we not taken action early. “What we do…is really changing the strength of this hurricane. We know the wave is coming, but we know it’s getting smaller every day because of what you’re doing.”
  • Acton: Asking people to think about the elderly in their neighborhoods and help them avoid having to leave home.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: Ohio Public Television Stations tomorrow will begin providing educational programming from pre-k to high school.
  • DeWine: Being asked about complaints that businesses are not following the rules. Inspectors are going out and will shut down businesses not following the rules.
  • DeWine: Asked all chiefs of police to give the state a report about compliance in their areas.
  • DeWine says there will not be a briefing tomorrow unless there is a breaking development.

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