COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton are holding a news conference to discuss the status of the state’s coronavirus response and plans to reopen Ohio’s economy.
As of Tuesday, there are 13,725 cases reported in Ohio, leading to 2,779 hospitalizations and 557 deaths. A total of 838 of those hospitalized were in critical care.
The governor has long pointed to a lack of testing in Ohio limiting our ability to reopen the economy. A shortage of test reagent has contributed to those testing issues.
Governor DeWine said he received a call from the FDA Tuesday saying that they have approved a new testing reagent developed by Thermo Fisher.
DeWine announced the formation of a testing ‘strike team,’ led by former Ohio governors Dick Celeste and Bob Taft. They will work with businesses on getting critical testing items to make sure the state is maximizing capability.
The governor said that fair season is fast approaching. While we don’t know what’s going to happen this year, DeWine said costs will continue for local fair boards.
This year, the Ohio Department of Agriculture will no longer require matching funds be provided locally for fair boards receiving a $50,000 state grant.
Dr. Amy Acton said the health department is still seeing death in about 4% of cases.
Dr. Acton also laid out a five part plan for living with COVID-19 over the next 18 months.
During Monday’s news conference, DeWine announced that K-12 school buildings in Ohio would remain closed through the end of the school year. DeWine said no decision has been made yet regarding the start of the next school year.