Here are your Coronavirus Pandemic Talking Points for Saturday, March 21. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is shutting down day services for developmentally disabled adults, and waiving weight limits for truckers to fight COVID-19. Here’s what was announced today.
Pandemic Point 1: Ohio hotspots
There are currently 247 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Ohio in 33 counties. There are three confirmed deaths. Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health said there are hotspots in n Dayton, Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas County. She said it’s a myth that the Midwest won’t be hit hard. “We are a state of 11.7 million people. Everything points to the fact that we had a seeding early on.” She explained Ohio was one of the last states to be able to test for the Coronavirus Pandemic. There are 58 Ohioans hospitalized. Many in ICUs.
Pandemic Point 2: Adult day services will be shut down
Governor DeWine has decided to close day services for developmentally disabled adults. He said it was a difficult decision. “This a very critical time. What we do now. What we do not do now, will ultimately determine how many Ohioans die. We determine how far, how fast this will spread.”
The Governor said the order did not apply to situations that served 10 people or less. “Small groups and services in a person’s home can continue while following proper precautions. We have been working with providers to assure that there’s a place for each person to go.”
DeWine said personal behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic is more important than anything the government does. “What we do now will determine how many of us die. It’s as simple as that. We must act as if we have been invaded by an enemy. We must not do anything to help the enemy. It cannot move forward without our help. We must do everything we can to defeat it.”
Pandemic Point 3: Shortage of tests
Dr. Acton says there is a shortage of tests in the state. “We’re conserving all of our available testing for frontline workers.” She said that researchers in Ohio are working hard to come up with a way to make more tests available. She said it was more important than ever to practice social distancing and other precautions to slow the pandemic. “Everyone matters. Every day matters. You absolutely have to take the Governor’s advice to heart.”
Pandemic Point 4: Weight limits waived
Ohio is waiving weight limits for trucks carrying essential goods like food and medical supplies. ODOT will waive fees for the permits.
Pandemic Point 5: BWC payments waived
Lt. Governor Jon Husted said he did not take the effect of the shutdown of businesses lightly and was working to help businesses. Employers will be allowed to defer Workers Compensation Insurance payments for March, April, and May until June 1. At that time, the state will revisit the issue to see if further delay is needed.
Pandemic Point 6: Elective surgery and abortion
Dr. Acton and Governor DeWine declined to elaborate on whether abortions were included under Ohio’s elective surgery ban. Dr. Acton said the elective surgery ban was designed to conserve medical supplies during the pandemic and that it would be a shame to allow politics to affect Ohio’s response to Coronavirus. Governor DeWine referred a reporter to the Attorney General.
Under the order surgeries are postponed unless:
Surgeries or procedures will be delayed unless there is a:
- Threat to the patient’s life if surgery or procedure is not performed;
- Threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system;
- Risk of metastasis or progression of staging;
- Risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.