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COVID-19 Update: Case Increases in Children and in Southwest Ohio, PPE Readiness Stockpile, Good Cause, OhioMeansJobs, Resuming Sports Phase IIFree Access

June 18: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

SOUTHWEST OHIO CASE INCREASE:

Governor DeWine announced today that although Ohio is seeing an overall declining number of COVID-19 cases, there is currently an uptick in cases in Southwest Ohio. 

Increases are being seen in Montgomery County, Greene County, Clark County, Warren County, and Hamilton County. Case counts in these counties by zip code can be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov

In response to this increase in cases, Governor DeWine announced that pop-up testing sites will surge into the zip codes with the highest number of cases. Testing at pop-up sites is free, and citizens are not required to live in the community where the pop-up site is located to receive a test. 

New pop-up testing sites will also be scheduled in other locations to ensure testing accessibility throughout the state. A list of sites currently scheduled in Ohio is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov on the COVID-19 Minority Health Testing page. 

INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES IN CHILDREN:

Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease doctor and associate medical director for infection control at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, today provided information on an increase in the percentage of children testing positive for COVID-19 at Rainbow Babies. 

“What we’ve really been seeing recently is an increase of the percent of tests that are coming back positive, particularly in symptomatic children – meaning that for kids who have symptoms of a respiratory viral disease, a larger percent of them are coronavirus than earlier in the pandemic,” Dr. Edwards said. “It’s to be expected as the state opens that we’re going to start to see more positive kids, but that rate has been going up, and it is something we’re keeping our eye on. It hasn’t gone up dramatically, about 5 – 6 percent or so, but it has been a steady increase, and it has not stopped increasing as of yet.”

Dr. Edwards said that hospital admissions for COVID-19 in children at Rainbow Babies have also increased. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 in kids are similar to symptoms in adults. If your child seems to be having trouble breathing or is not eating or drinking, Dr. Edwards recommends calling your pediatrician to get your child tested. 

In addition, Dr. Edwards reported that cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children have also increased at Rainbow Babies. Symptoms include high fever, rash, red eyes, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains. More information on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is available at uhhospitals.org

HOSPITAL PPE READINESS STOCKPILE:

Governor DeWine announced the creation of a new Hospital PPE Readiness Stockpile, which will be compiled and stored by Ohio hospitals throughout the state. Items in the PPE stockpile will be distributed to residents and staff at long-term care facilities should there be an increase in COVID-19 cases.    

“Having a stockpile like this is incredibly important, especially for long-term care facilities like nursing homes,” said Governor DeWine. “With the recent changes to visitation rules, we must continue to recognize that these Ohioans are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and that spikes may occur in congregate living facilities.”

Hospitals have begun to build a 30-day reserve of PPE based on several calculations, including the state’s surge models, the number of residents and staff at Ohio nursing homes, as well as recent FEMA PPE allocations to each Ohio nursing home. Each hospital will have a different amount of stockpile that is calculated specifically for the region. 

The stockpile is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Hospital Association, hospitals throughout the state, and several state agencies, including the departments of Health, Medicaid, and Public Safety. 

GOOD CAUSE EXECUTIVE ORDER: 

For the seventh straight week, renewals of unemployment claims have declined. Last week, more than a quarter a million fewer people filed for continued unemployment insurance than they did during the COVID-19 unemployment peak.  

Governor DeWine signed an executive order that expands the definition of good cause throughout the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Good Cause now includes the following situations:

  • A medical professional recommends that an individual not return to work because that person falls into a category that is considered high-risk for catching COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their employee cannot offer teleworking options.
  • The employee is 65 years of age or older.
  • There is tangible evidence of a health and safety violation by the employer that does not allow the employee to practice social distancing, hygiene, and wearing personal protective equipment.
  • The individual has been potentially exposed to COVID-19 and subject to a quarantine period as prescribed by a medical or health professional.
  • The individual must stay home to care for a family member who is suffering from COVID-19 or subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional.

OHIO MEANS JOBS: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that because most of Ohio’s economy is now open, the coronavirus.ohio.gov/JobSearch website will transition back to Ohio’s regular job-search website, OhioMeansJobs.com

OhioMeansJobs.com currently has over 120,000 job postings, with almost half paying over $50,000. Approximately 76,000 jobs require less than a bachelor’s degree, while 36,000 require either a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree. Approximately 77 percent of the job openings are considered in-demand. 

RESUMING SPORTS ACTIVITIES: 

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that Phase II of the Responsible RestartOhio plan for sports activities will allow contact practice for all sports to resume on Monday, June 22. 

“This means football, lacrosse, and other contact sports can resume scrimmages and full training regiments as long as safety protocols are observed,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Although June 22 is the day contact practice may begin, it will ultimately be up to local sports organizers and high school leaders on when is the best time to proceed.”

Training guidance is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The Ohio High School Athletic Association and the summer league work group worked together with the Ohio Department of Health on this plan.-Posted 6.19, 8:30 am