On Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PHASE 1B VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine discussed the vaccine distribution for Phase 1B, which began this week for those ages 80 and up. Governor DeWine was joined by several Ohioans who received a vaccination.
Beginning next week, vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up. Vaccinations will also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, and who have a developmental or intellectual disability.
A representative from the local county developmental disabilities board will reach out to help coordinate receipt of the vaccination for Ohioans with severe congenital, developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as a developmental or intellectual disability.
Governor DeWine announced that the state is purchasing 2 million at-home, rapid COVID-19 test using telehealth services where the results are delivered in minutes without the need to send the test to a lab for processing. Developed by Abbott, BinaxNOW is an easy-to-use antigen test that detects the virus when people are most infectious.
To facilitate the delivery of the BinaxNOW test to the home and the guided collection and testing process, Abbott has partnered with digital health solutions provider eMed™, who will deliver people their results through Abbott’s complementary NAVICA™app in a matter of minutes. eMed™ will report the rapid test results in the electronic lab reporting system.
“Abbott has been a valued partner throughout this pandemic and this new partnership will help us continue aggressive testing at colleges and universities, and pursue access to rapid testing in every county in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine. “These tests combined with the telehealth solutions provided by eMed™ will provide equitable access to testing for those who may not be able to access traditional testing because of their working hours, have mobility or transportation issues, or have caregiving responsibilities.”
“The partnership with the State of Ohio is proof of our ability to get millions of tests in the hands of people who need them,” said Dr. Patrice Harris, eMed CEO. “We are proud of this joint accomplishment which fortifies our belief that serial testing, when deployed in accordance with public health best practices, CDC and FDA guidance, plays a critical role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and getting our society and economy on the right track.”
This partnership will provide at least 2 million of the BinaxNow tests for Ohioans as, Abbot, eMed™, and the Ohio Department of Health pursue innovative efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Additional details will be forthcoming.
The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.
OHIO COUNTY COVID DATA
A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.
All 88 counties have a level of spread that is at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence.
“As we have seen recently, our number of new cases seem to be flattening,” said Governor DeWine. “We are still much higher than where we want to be, and still much higher than where we’ve been most of this pandemic.”
Governor DeWine also discussed key measurements regarding incidence cases per 100,000 residents over two weeks, as well as regional COVID-19 ICU utilization.
“Out of any 200 Ohioans, at least 1 has tested positive for COVID during the past 2 weeks,” said Governor DeWine. “Additionally, we still have more than 1 out of 4 patients who are COVID positive in our ICUs, which means our hospitals are still spending a lot of time and effort to treat these patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.”
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD
Unfortunately, identity theft is a nationwide problem and no state is immune. Many who did not apply for unemployment benefits, may receive a 1099 form from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, indicating that they are likely a victim of identity theft and their personal information was used to file a fraudulent claim.
Here is what they can do:
Lt. Governor Husted thanked the many businesses and organizations that have donated supplies and equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) since the start of the pandemic.
The latest donation, 250,000 disposable masks from the Home Depot, adds to the millions of masks, gowns, gloves, face shields and sanitizer donated by organizations ranging from large national companies and foundations to small Ohio businesses. The donated supplies are added to the State’s stockpile and distributed around the state as needed.
INNOVATEOHIO, OBM DUPLICATE PAYMENT TOOL
The Lt. Governor also provided an update on InnovateOhio’s Duplicate Payment tool, which is a project developed with the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) that identifies duplicate payments in the state government accounting system. Today, an additional 72 duplicate payments were identified, totaling $168,277 in savings, using the InnovateOhio Duplicate Payment Tool.
Since the project’s launch, it has identified $1.37 million in savings. Today’s update brings the total number of confirmed duplicate payments to 258 since January 2019, across 33 different agencies, boards and commissions.
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 849,704 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 10,518 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 44,315 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 6,465 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. -Posted 1.22, 8:45 am