Coronavirus in Ohio update: 14,694 cases, 656 deaths

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine will hold his regularly scheduled update on the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the state at 2pm, Thursday, with Lt. Governor Jon Husted, but Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is not scheduled to appear.  

As of Thursday, a total of 14,694 cases were reported, leading to 2,960 hospitalizations and 656 deaths. A total of 900 hospitalizations were ICU admissions.

Gov. DeWine started Thursday’s by saying Dr. Acton wasn’t there because he wanted to give her the day off.  

He then began clarifiying some points he made Wednesday in regards to the state’s end to elective surgery ban. He stated that health care providers should reach out to patients who had a procedure postponed and reassess if it’s something they should do now. 

Dr. Mark H. Weir with Ohio State University joined DeWine Thursday, via video, to talk about the science behind the spread of COVID-19, how quickly it spreads and what Ohio needs to do in order to reopen safely.  

DeWine also stated that he expects to provide more information Monday on the plan to reopen businesses in Ohio.

“When we talk about reopening, what we’re talking about, is starting down a pathway that we can get people back to work,” said DeWine. “We’re going to start in areas where there is the least risk, so we can get more people working, with less risk.” 

Lt. Gov. Husted added that a month’s worth of data from businesses that have remained open have helped with outlining some guidelines that will be elaborated on Monday. 

“That’s a really important element of this, many of these businesses, both globally and in Ohio have done this successfully, which is a confidence builder,” said Husted. 

DeWine announced an end to the state’s elective surgery ban, Wednesday. He said the biggest concern is for those who had surgeries postponed and have been waiting. The governor is urging outpatient centers and hospitals to reach out to patients that previously had something scheduled and re-assess.

The process of opening dentist and other medical offices will begin soon, but DeWine said the elective surgery order is a good start to the process.

Dr. Amy Acton Tuesday discussed a 5-part plan for living with coronavirus over the next 18 months.

“We don’t want to just flatten this curve. We want to stay ahead of the curve,” said Dr. Acton.

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