Apr 3, 2020

Gov Mike DeWine Ohio COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 3

Mike DeWine June 2
RevBlogTranscriptsPress Conference TranscriptsGov Mike DeWine Ohio COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 3

Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio held a April 3 press conference on coronavirus. Read the full transcript here.

 

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Mike Dewine: (00:01)
Today, we want to start off by thanking our teachers, our administrators, the parents, and everyone who is helping the young people get through this period of time. We are really in unfamiliar territory in distance learning, and it’s in full effect across the state.

Mike Dewine: (00:21)
Thanks to social media, we can see the new and creative ways teachers and school administrators are keeping students engaged in learning, involved in their school communities, and feeling connected to a more normal routine. From parades of teachers through neighborhoods, fun read alouds, personal notes, Zoom meetings, unique classroom projects, teachers are helping students understand that we all are in this together, and we’ll get through it. So to Ohio’s teachers, administrators, thank you very, very much. We know this is a difficult time. Thanks to the students. Thanks to the parents. We will get through this.

Mike Dewine: (01:08)
Let me talk for a moment about that remote learning a little more. The Ohio… has listened to teachers and administrators around the state and has really sought out the best practices, taking some of your creative ideas, and put them in a book. And this is a mock up of course of this Remote Learning Resource Guide. And this is something that teachers can take a look at, parents can take a look at, administrators, but kind of some of the best practices and best things that are being utilized. This Remote Learning Resource Guide, again, you can see that at coronavirus.ohio.gov, coronavirus. ohio.gov. It really tells you where to find information, some resources, and how to use that information. And as I said, contains best practices.

Mike Dewine: (02:16)
We’ve talked a lot about, excuse me, about testing and the fact that we do not have the capacity to do today as many tests as we want to do. And that’s a situation that most states, frankly, find themselves in. But I want to talk a little bit today about Ohio ingenuity and what we’re doing to try to deal with this.

Mike Dewine: (02:47)
We need more testing and we need results quicker. And so what Dr. Acton ordered several days ago is really now starting to take place as far as the quicker results. We’re seeing now hospitals shifting over instead of going to outside vendors, outside labs that were taking five and six days to get back, they’ve now switched over, not completely, but it’s certainly moving very quickly in that direction, and we thank them for that because this is important for patients. It’s important for all of us that would get the results back quick. Again, the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, UH, and Ohio State University, all four of those hospitals are now open to do testing from other hospitals around the state. We have several more hospitals we’re talking to, and I would encourage them to, if they can make a decision, to open up so that you can allow testing at your hospital. That will make it more convenient for some of the other smaller hospitals around the state. So again, that’s movement in that direction.

Mike Dewine: (04:02)
The second thing though, to improve more testing. We have today, because of testing at the Ohio Department of Health and the four hospitals that I just read, Cleveland Clinic, UH, Ohio State, as well as MetroHealth. The capacity to test is actually gone out, and it’s a fairly significant capacity today, and it will get bigger. But even though they have that capacity, some things are missing for people who want to take the tests, who want to do the swabs for local hospitals who do not have it. So they can have the swabs so they can do the test and then send it in. So what’s happened is Ohio State and the Health Department have gotten together, and they are focused on filling a couple critical holes that we have so that testing can actually take place and can expand.

Mike Dewine: (05:08)
Hole number one is the swabs, the tube to put the swab in, and the liquid that’s in the test tube. The swab, the tube, and the liquid. And so there’s a shortage of these, and so what Ohio State and the Health Department has done is they have gone together to actually make sure that these are produced right here in Ohio. What we’re finding is we run into a problem with the supply chain and some days there’s not the liquid. Some days there’s not the tube. Some days there’s not the swab, and frankly, we got tired of that and Ohio State is coming together with the Health Department. They’re ready to, and they’re going to start producing these and making these available. So, for the hospitals around the state who are lacking these and have not been able to do tests, help is on the way it is coming in the next few days. They will be able to start getting these out to you and you’re going to be able to take the swab and get that sample from the patient and then send it in. So that is one bucket is being filled.

Mike Dewine: (06:28)
The other hole is in the machines themselves, and I’m told that sometimes there’s a shortage of the chemicals to go in the machines. Again, we have a group that is working on dealing with that and making sure that those are in fact available. So, testing is a little more complex than I might think, and we have to do a number of different things to ramp up this testing. So, we want testing quicker, and we want more tests. That will start moving forward. It’s not going to move forward overnight. We’re not going to be where we need to be overnight, but we’re making progress in that area, and I wanted to share with everyone what is happening. I find it to be very exciting and I think it will be of great benefit to us.

Mike Dewine: (07:16)
I’m going to move right now to General Harris. General Harris, who heads up our national guard, as you’ll recall., I gave him a new assignment, a different assignment, an additional assignment I guess I would say, and that is to work with Dr. Acton, to work with the Health Department, and to work with local hospitals, working with each of the regions of the state to make sure that we have the capacity built out by the time the surge of the Coronavirus really comes on strong and hits us. So we have to increase the capacity. Our goal is to double the capacity as far as our beds and our hospitals and General Harris has been directly involved in this and his team. He has a great team. They’ve been on the ground, they’ve been out in many of the many of your communities doing assessments, and I want him to give a report on how they’re doing. General.

General Harris: (08:11)
Thank you, Governor. As you said, Sir, we’re dialed in with a laser focus on this build out to make sure that when we hit the peak of infections here in Ohio for the COVID-19 cases that we give the front line warriors, those healthcare providers the best chance possible to ensure that no patient who needs healthcare goes without the appropriate level of healthcare due to shortage of beds or bed space or equipment. So, we’re working tirelessly at that. We have two great advantages working in our favor right now.

General Harris: (08:41)
One, is the fact that we have a three or four week look at what we have coming. We know what other states have experienced. We know with other countries have experienced, and we’re applying those lessons that we’ve learned from doing that to make sure that we provide the best care for folks here in Ohio.

General Harris: (08:57)
The second advantage, is the fact that Dr. Acton and the governor sometime ago strategized this regional approach so that the major health systems, the hospitals, the nursing homes within regions, all the health providers come together and work together to optimize the resources that they have. What that means is that we know under this structure that the sickest patients have the opportunity to land in a hospital. They’re going to be in the acute care facilities, in the rooms that are set up to provide the care for those sickest patients. Other states have not had that advantage, so that’s very important because that means that the facilities that we’re looking at building out are going to be for the less sick patients. That means that the requirements are going to be at a lower level so that we can build those facilities out more quickly and provide the support that the healthcare systems need.

General Harris: (09:53)
So, what you may see in the communities, may not look like what you’ve seen in other states. You may not see trucks full of construction equipment and builders building things because that’s not the approach that most of the regions are taking. Most of the regions are taking the approach that we’re going to go into a larger facility and build out that facility for care of those lesser sick patients. So, while you won’t see Guardsman, Corp of Engineers necessarily building things, what you will see are maybe assembling partitions for those facilities or the transportation of bets. So, those are the sorts of things that we’re looking as we talk about building out facilities. And it’s important to point out that it’s going to be different for every region because the hospitals in those regions are different, the approaches are different, but again, the strategy is to make sure that the sickest patients land in the most critical care rooms so that they get the level of care that they need.

General Harris: (10:52)
And so we are in support of the healthcare system, but it’s important to emphasize that this is a consolidated approach. So it involves community leaders, it involves the healthcare providers in those communities, it involves the emergency managers, and when the governor talks about our teams that on the ground, our teams are there not only to coordinate that effort and to interface with our healthcare systems, but we have other teams of engineers that’ll be moving around the community doing the assessments of those facilities. So, it’s exciting to watch this develop because the approach is working out. We know that the approach is working and the key is to make sure that we get the right resources, right surge capacity for the place where it’s needed the most at the right time. And again, when I talk about surge capacity, it’s not just a facilities.

General Harris: (11:40)
We have lots of folks inside the Department of Health that are working to build staffing capacity, surge capability. So that when those healthcare workers, those frontline healthcare workers, run out of capacity out there in the hospitals, we may be able to surge doctors, nurses and other professionals to help assist with that. Those capabilities are limited. So, it’s important that we prioritize and we get those resources to where they’re needed at the right times. And this is all occurring while the Guard’s continuing it’s other missions, the food pantries. We’re working at 12 food pantries around the state, and we expect that that footprint to grow. The Guard’s helping run PPE warehouses for the Department of Health, and of course our Ohio Military Reserve is running a donation warehouse at our Sullivan Avenue Armory. So, we are open for business to take donations of PPE at Sullivan Avenue, and you can find that address online.

General Harris: (12:37)
And before I leave, Sir, I’d like to talk about one other topic that I think is important. It’s a slightly different topic, but it’s equally important. And that’s cyber hygiene. Quite frankly, right now our networks, our computer networks we know our systems are probably running at a higher capacity than the most have run probably ever. More people working from home, more e-commerce being done, more telework by our workforce. And so it’s important that we protect the network. So I advise you, use this time. Use this time wisely at home to protect yourself and your family. Change those passwords. If you’re like me, every one of your kid’s friends who has ever come through your house with a device has your wifi passwords. It’s probably a good time to change those, change those passwords on your routers. Now is a good time to make sure that your kids are practicing good cyber hygiene. Take the time to do that. It’s, it’s cumbersome. Update your antivirus softwares. Every, node that we protect helps us protect that network, and protecting that network certainly protects commerce.

General Harris: (13:41)
You’re in Ohio. So thank you for doing that and thank you for what you’ve done is Ohioans to help flatten the curve. Every one of your individual efforts contributes to how tough the fight is going to be for those those first line providers, those healthcare workers that are going to be slugging it out during the peak of this, during the peak of this surge. Every one of your individual efforts will help determine how tough that fight will be for them. And right now we’re in a great place, and just like our flagship football team, the Buckeyes, we always find a way to win and for this one we don’t have to worry about officials stealing it from us in the important game. So thank you. Thanks for continuing with your tactical patience. As I said before, we will be better as a state and as a community and make sure your family comes out of this better for this experience.

Mike Dewine: (14:34)
Thanks General. General, thank you, and thank the women and the men of the National Guard who do such a great job and are out there serving us today so very, very well. Let me move to another topic and that is our prisons.

Mike Dewine: (14:54)
Whenever we have a gathering of people there in this Coronavirus crisis, we worry about it. And so prisons are, by their nature, a gathering of a number of people. Our director, Annette Chambers-Smith has done a phenomenal job, as has her team. They put steps in place some time ago. They’d planned this out. Steps were in place a number of weeks ago. No visits. No visits except virtual visiting, but no in-person visiting into our prisons. All employees are screened every day when when they come in. All contractors are screened as well when they come in. The normal flow is from our jails into our state prison, and we’re very, very careful to accept no one in who is evidencing any signs that they might have the virus, and all these individuals are checked as well. No one with a symptom is admitted.

Mike Dewine: (16:10)
Director also has a five week period when someone [inaudible 00:16:18] stay in the reception center, actually three separate reception centers and they stay in one of those and then eventually they move into the general prison population. So these are all steps that are taken, but there’s no system that is perfect. We’ve seen the problems that are occurring in other states, and so we know this can occur in ours. We’ve seen some of our guards who have come down with this, and appropriate action has been taken by the director, but I felt it was important that we take a look at our prison population.

Mike Dewine: (17:03)
Director tells me prison population today is 48,991, so almost 49,000 prisoners. And so we’ve started to look at different prisoners that it might make sense to let out early. We are sending today letters to judges around the state and suggesting that they may want to look at these prisoners. 38 separate prisoners who might be released early. And let me break these down for all of you.

Mike Dewine: (17:44)
First of all, these are not violent offenders. These are not people who are violent. It’s probably a better way of saying it. These are not people who are sex offenders. These are not domestic abusers. They’re not murders. So we screened out in the process a lot of different people, but we do have 23 women in our prison who are either pregnant, are in prison with the child, the child has been born in prison, and so we have looked at these, as I say 23 separate individuals. I think some of them recently had a child or they’re pregnant now, and so we will be sending letters out to the appropriate judge of the County that sentenced that individual and where they came from and the judge will follow the normal procedure. We’ll hold a hearing and we’ll make a determination whether these individuals are appropriate, these women appropriate to be released early.

Mike Dewine: (19:08)
We have a second group, and this is a group of what we’re calling group number two, and this has 15 people. 15 prisoners who are over the age of 60 and they are within 60 days of release. In other words, they’re down to 60 days before they would normally be released, and they are 60 years of age or over. Again, we’ve gone through a pretty elaborate screening process for all of these. Not violent offenders, not murderers, not sex offenders, not domestic abusers. Also, we checked to see that none of them had any major infractions in prison, nor any that had outstanding warrants in other states.

Mike Dewine: (20:02)
So those individuals, we are sending letters out today to the judges. Judges will take whatever action they deem appropriate, but these are individuals that we thought certainly are eligible to be considered and should be considered by the local court where that crime was actually committed. The normal notification to victims and normal notification to prosecutors and all the things that normally happen will occur in regard to those hearings that the judges will conduct in the next few days.

Mike Dewine: (20:37)
Lieutenant Governor.

Jon Husted: (20:40)
Thank you very much, Governor. Good afternoon. I wanted to talk about a couple of things today. We’ll first start with small business. Actually, just a couple of hours ago, Columbus Mayor Ginther and Dayton Mayor Whaley and I joined a virtual town hall with small businesses from across Ohio-

Jon Husted: (21:03)
… to get their perspective on how things are going for them, what ways we can assist them, some of the struggles and the innovations that they’re going through. I was frankly just amazed at the creativeness and the ingenuity of how they’ve pivoted during this time to try to supply new things that are needed in the economy. Because we were on the… With Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther. It reminded me of a phone call that I had with the governor 31 days ago today where he said that he had just gotten off the phone with mayor Ginther and they were talking about banning spectators from the Arnold sports festival. I remember at the time how difficult of a decision that felt like. Today it seems like it should have been an easy one because clearly we didn’t want to have people from 80 countries, 100,000 visitors to Columbus.

Jon Husted: (22:02)
Had we gone forward with that, the consequences would have been devastating. But I know we all knew at the time that these decisions were going to affect small businesses and business in general in our economy. The coronavirus is not just a health virus, it is an economic virus on us all. The fight to help get us through it on all those fronts is constantly on our minds. We have taken many steps including the forgiveness of BWC payments through June. The insurance grace periods on a variety of insurance products. The regulatory relief that will help compliance and sustainability for many businesses. The actions that we took on evictions and mortgage relief. All of those are helpful, but I got a call really as the sun was coming up this morning from a couple of different banks who said, “Hey, we finally got the guidance from the small business administration for the loans that are called the payment protection program.”

Jon Husted: (23:16)
This was passed in the care act by Congress and signed by the president recently. The banks who will be administering these loans have the guidance on how you can apply and many of them are doing that today. Some do not have the capacity today, we’ll be doing it next week. But in talking with the businesses on this virtual town hall, many of them talked about how easy it was. I had one business owner say that he had applied for the disaster relief loan program and the PPP loan program and that it took him 10 minutes with each application. So no guarantees that what the experience will be for you, but as they described it’s gone very well so far. It’s important that you contact your banker or lender that you have a relationship with credit union, whoever that might be, to initiate that process.

Jon Husted: (24:11)
It’s focused on employers with 500 employees or fewer and you can get a loan that may be forgivable. This is the key piece of this. You may say, “I can’t handle more debt during this time.” But the loan can be forgivable for things like payroll, interest on mortgage, rent, and utilities. So a big boost there, I know for many businesses that are struggling. So we encourage you to take to look into this, to see if it works for you. No collateral and no personal guarantees, no fees involved. So they’ve tried to make this a product that can work for you. It’s not just an empty promise, it really has some force behind it. In terms of being relevant, I will say that you can call your bank, but you can also go to coronavirus. ohio.gov/businesshelp to find more information on this and a variety of other services that we are providing for business.

Jon Husted: (25:10)
So some good news that some of this stuff that happened in the Care Act is starting to get enacted and relief can get into the marketplace as soon as… Well, hopefully as soon as you get that filled out and it gets processed. Yesterday we announced the job search website. Many employers, well, we have a lot of people who are out of work. We also have many employers in these critical areas in health care and the food supply system, pharmacy. Even in manufacturing or they’re making a lot of these important products that the governor has been pushing to get developed. Yesterday we said you could post your jobs at coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch or you could search there. We had 11,000 as of yesterday. Today there are 21,000 jobs on there. Just that turnaround in a 24 hour period. I want to focus, if I could just for a moment on one of those special places of need that I know that everybody will care about.

Jon Husted: (26:16)
We have the Ohio veterans homes in Sandusky and Georgetown. They provide care for 700 veterans and they are in desperate need of nursing assistance and LPN to serve the veterans that are in those locations. There are a lot of important things, but this is one that I know is important to all of us. So if you can help, please go on that website and apply for one of those jobs. Another thing that was brought to my attention is that a lot of times, particularly now these veterans or anybody can get lonely. These folks would love to get a letter from you. This may be an opportunity to bring our education system and our humanity together by having your child write a letter to the veterans in these homes. You might give them a little bit of a project to learn about all the wars and all these points in history and all the things that these men and women did to serve their country.

Jon Husted: (27:15)
So it’s an opportunity for you to serve the people who served us. We really encourage you to do that. Let me remind you that election day is set for April the 28th. Please, if you want to vote, go to voteohio.gov and get your absentee ballot application. Or you can call your local board of elections. Don’t wait, because they have to send you an application, you have to send that back and then they have to send your ballot and you’ve got to get that turned in. So we want to get that turned around as quickly as possible.

Jon Husted: (27:51)
Finally, a little piece of good news to end on. I know that I heard the governor on one of our early calls this morning talk about how every night before he goes to bed and every time he wakes up in the morning. The thing that is on his heart the most is making sure that we have the PPE and all the equipment that we need for our healthcare warriors and first responders and everybody who’s part of that system. You know how we work to fight to give Battell the opportunity to decontaminate the masks for hospitals and nursing homes and first responders and thanks to the help of jobs Ohio and a partnership with Battell.

Jon Husted: (28:30)
They are going to make the sterilization process for all of those hospitals, nursing homes, first responders free. For all of their masks for the next two weeks. We want you to get those in there. We need to get the supply chain going on this. It’s going to really help populate our critical care situation with decontaminated masks. Even if you can get them right now, they’re between four and $6 and that’s a very big if, if you can get them and so this is going to really help. Particularly we know that a lot of the providers are struggling right now with the finances involved with this. This is just one more way that people are just all in it together. They’re coming together to try to solve the problem and we encourage the hospitals to go to the Battelle website and make sure you let them know what you want when you’re coming and we’ll help return more PPE to the people who need it most. Governor.

Mike Dewine: (29:27)
Lieutenant governor that’s exciting. Again, the appeal to every hospital out there, this is your opportunity to get more mass because you can basically recycle these. So gather those up and go into Battell on the webpage. Again, this is something that we’re working on every single day. We have new ones coming in, but if we can recycle these, that’s certainly adds to what our depth is and what our ability is. Dr Acton. You’re up.

Dr. Acton: (30:01)
All right. Good afternoon.

Mike Dewine: (30:03)
Dr. Acton we’re in Youngstown.

Dr. Acton: (30:05)
Oh, I am. I’m wearing a bit of bling today for Youngstown State, my Alma mater. Thank you coach Tressel for this gift. The governor’s wearing a Youngstown State ties as well. Really shout out to everyone there. I also want to thank Battell and Jobs Ohio. Again, every day we are out there maximizing every possibility on behalf of the state of Ohio and every day again just the generosity is shown. So thank you for helping us do this. I will start off with our numbers. Today we are reporting 3,312 cases in Ohio and the age range is now less than one to 101 years of age. With a median age of 54 we are still equal, about 51% females, close to 49% males. Still high percentage because of our testing right now is aiming at the most vulnerable and sick is still 27% hospitalized.

Dr. Acton: (31:22)
9% of our cases are ending up needing ICU at some point in their course. It’s still almost 20% healthcare workers, 4% of longterm care facilities. I have a wonderful team led by doctors and director Maureen Corcoran has been working tirelessly along with Mary Applegate, a physician at Medicaid. Dr. Hurst, CSG, our state epidemiologist, and numerous other folks on that team. I always hate to say names, but I just want to say thank you. Really trying to work alongside our nursing home partners when they do end up having a case or someone infected. Those folks are doing a wonderful, wonderful job. Yeah, so you’ll find a lot more of this on our website as always. coronavirus.ohio.gov for all sorts of tips, information resources and we’ll keep putting even the Battelle link. We’ll try to get everything on our website so you can have a one stop shop and don’t forget about our call center. 1-833- 4ASKODH. It’s the number often behind us.

Dr. Acton: (32:37)
These are wonderful folks who are working tirelessly to answer your calls. Do remember, I know a lot of us are getting stressed during this. I mentioned it earlier in the week, but these are really good people on the other side of the phone and they’re really trying to help. So remember that there’s a person on the other end of that call when you call. I know there’s a lot of questions you have and frustrations and they’ll try to help point you in the right direction. I do want to share some other information today. We will be talking about putting more and more data on our website. One of the things that we’ve had a lot of questions about is zip code data. Could we do our cases by zip code. Already in Ohio some of the larger metropolitan areas have been able to share zip code level data.

Dr. Acton: (33:29)
It’s helpful and it’s not helpful. So I’d like to explain to everyone at home why. Also, to my friends in the media, we’ve been doing a really good job of trying to put context around some of these numbers and so I ask for your help as well. Because zip code tells you somethings, but it doesn’t tell you everything. I can look like you have a hotspot, but remember what we’re telling you are cases of folks who happen to get tested. We’ve had tons and tons of the majority of Ohioans are being told… Even when they’re told by their physician that they have COVID-19, they’re not being tested. So a hotspot might not be a hotspot. It might just be a reflection of the amount of testing in a given area. So we have to be very careful how we interpret this.

Dr. Acton: (34:22)
On a given street, my street, we know that a lot of people might be asymptomatic but actually have the disease or be about to show the symptoms of the disease and using these case numbers doesn’t tell you who’s now better. So we have to be very, very careful as we interpret zip code and we’re working very closely with our local health departments. Remember we have 113 amazing local health departments. They are independent, they are boards of health and they’ve been working to try to decide in some of our areas a zip code could have less than a 100 people in it. So we’re trying always to balance people’s individual and private information with trying to share with you everything we know as we know it. So please know that we’re in conversations. We’ll be sharing more and more layers of zip code. We’re still in debate about saying if it’s below a certain population do we not perhaps give that particular zip code. Because it would just be too much of an invasion of someone’s individual privacy.

Dr. Acton: (35:27)
As we have more numbers and as there’s more widespread testing of course we can give all that information in ways that doesn’t de-identify someone. So I appreciate everyone’s patience as we try to get that data out to you. A special appreciation to our local health departments for all they are doing. Really it’s a good time for me to talk about stigma again. Remember someone is sick on your street, in your neighborhood, we needn’t fear each other. We really, really need to use all the guidance we’ve had. As governor have shared with you about how we protect ourselves, how we help someone who is ill, how do we help each other when we’re down. That is really… If you knew about people being sick in your neighborhood. The first question should be, how can we help? Finally, I do want to follow in the theme of teachers.

Dr. Acton: (36:21)
My husband is a 35 year teacher. Many of our children are teachers, one at the university level, two who are also teachers in Columbus, Carl and Kevin in middle school. I started to say something the other day, I didn’t finish my thought, but I’ll just go ahead with it. I was going to make a joke about my husband’s principal, Mr. Jason Caudill who is doing these amazing videos that I thought I almost have to order us back to school just to save those students from some of his humor. But they’re amazing and they’re another testament to how creative we’re becoming, each and every one of us. I say this to students too, he is making these videos that had me rolling when I watched one of them today, but they were incredibly educational.

Dr. Acton: (37:07)
I learned something in a sort of a Khan Academy with his unique sense of humor. But students and teachers everywhere, I know you’re doing things like making a project, something that could actually impact people’s lives. The students who are collecting cookies that would be given out on the turnpike so that a random act of kindness for a stranger coming through that tall might be a delivery of a plate of cookies from a young person they never met. I think almost everything we’re doing in our online world can be turned into something. Just like a Job’s Ohio or Battelle. [inaudible 00:37:49] So keep that creativity going. It’s making a world of difference and in light of the fact that… I had the sadness of waking up to 91 Ohioans having passed from this and many, many more ill. There are the ways you are being kind. There are the ways you are using humor during this time to lift all of us up. So thank you.

Mike Dewine: (38:13)
Dr. Acton thank you very much. We’ll take questions.

Jim Provance: (38:17)
Hello governor Jim Provance with the Toledo Blade. Could you tell us whether or not these people that are going to be released for prison, potentially released from prison will be released into the parole system? If so, you have expressed some concern recently about the ability of that system to track people after they’ve been released from prison. How does that dovetail with this decision?

Mike Dewine: (38:50)
That’s going to… What happens with these individuals is going to be up to the judge and the conditions that, that judge might set. I would again say that we’re talking with two select groups of people. One are women with children and women who are pregnant or women who have just recently had children. The other group is people that are very close to becoming out. So these are individuals that you know would be out within 60 days any way. But with the coronavirus and the added danger that we have in our prisons, it just made sense to start looking through. The director’s team and my team have been very careful as they go through there. So within 100… I know what I said, but it’s 120 days of release, those individuals. That one group, the other group or the women that are in that situation.

Mike Dewine: (40:01)
So it’s two very defined groups. We will continue to look, frankly at other individuals. We’re not going to release anybody who’s a sex offender. We’re not going to release anybody who’s a murderer. We’re not going to release a long list of different crimes. But these individuals seem to make sense. But ultimately this is going to be up to the judge and the judge that either heard the case or the judge that occupies a seat of the judge who heard the case. So what we wanted to instill here is a local control and a local input. Prosecutor has the right to have input. Victim has the right to have input. Just seem to be a process that made sense in a very, very difficult time for everyone.

Jim Provance: (40:54)
Will you supply us with the list of all 38 individuals?

Mike Dewine: (40:56)
Yes, absolutely. Yeah, we’ll make that available to you.

Jim Provance: (41:00)
Thank you very much.

Mike Dewine: (41:01)
Yeah, absolutely.

Danny Eldredge: (41:08)
This Danny Eldredge Hannah News Service. Can you talk a little bit about how much of a difference releasing 38 prisoners will make and how many more could possibly be released? How many are you looking at?

Mike Dewine: (41:20)
Well, I think we start with the understanding that each of the individuals who is there has been convicted. Most of them found guilty by a jury, if not by a jury, by a judge. They’ve been sentenced under Ohio law. So, you start off with that and there has to be… It seems to me the executive, the governor has to have respect for how that person got there. What we’re looking at is a coronavirus that we’re trying to keep out of our prison. But we also know it is a group of people coming together. For example, pregnant women are…

Mike Dewine: (42:02)
… in general population. So, they come in contact, the director could tell you how many, but they could come in contact with a number of other people. So, I have a concern about the unborn child. I have a concern, we have a few women, because of when the child was born, who actually have the child in prison. So, I worry about those children in prison.

Mike Dewine: (42:32)
So, each one of these cases is unique. So, no one is saying that taking this many people out of prison is going to open up a lot of space in our prisons. We’re not not saying that, but what we’re doing is trying to be very careful, very respectful of the local courts, very respectful of the local victims, very respectful of public safety and that’s why we set a very strict criteria about who we would even think about or who we would even consider. Will we look at additional? Yes. We certainly could look at additional ones, but we want to take this very carefully, very methodically and with due respect to public safety.

Speaker 3: (43:18)
So, why not use your commutation power or pardon power to do this? Why do it the way you’re doing it?

Mike Dewine: (43:23)
We certainly could have done that. I felt that in these cases that we wanted local input. We needed that local input. We want to allow the local community to have input through that common police judge. So the final decision goes with that judge, but obviously, out of 48,991 this is a small number of people that we’re sending back to the courts and I think the courts will look at that and say, look, they pick these individuals out, but ultimately that court has the final say. We want that court to have the final say in these cases.

Speaker 3: (44:11)
Thank you.

Molly Martinez: (44:15)
Hi Governor, this is Molly Martinez with Spectrum News. Are there plans for Ohio to increase the eligibility of children and adults who qualify for state Medicaid programs and also does Ohio have any plan to submit the 1135 waiver?

Mike Dewine: (44:32)
Okay, I’m not sure what the 1135 waiver is? Maybe John does. He can bail me out here.

Molly Martinez: (44:37)
It’s for medicare and medical services and it bolsters the states ability-

Mike Dewine: (44:42)
Medicaid, what happens when you have economy going down, which obviously, we do, is two things happen. Costs go up for state government and we would expect to see Medicaid costs and roles go up dramatically. At the same time, tax revenues goes down because people are not making as much money. The obvious one where I’ve added some numbers on, I think are gasoline consumption is down 30 to 40%. That’s a lot less money going into the local townships and the villages and the cities as well as to the state to build roads and to fix roads. So, that’s the situation we are in. And so, that’s what we have to balance as we move forward. So, we’re into some very… As public has difficult times with people unemployed, obviously, those of us who run state government, the speaker of the Senate President, the minority leaders of this house, the Senate, are going to have to make some very, very tough decisions in that respect as well about frankly what to cut and where to cut. John, you want to add anything?

Jon Husted: (46:00)
No, I think just the little that I can say is that there are a lot of issues surrounding the costs and the benefits that in terms of what the cost crunches on hospitals and nursing homes in the Medicaid system and all of those, all of those have budgetary impacts and we are in the process of trying to understand where our revenues are, where our expenditure opportunities are and trying to figure that out in terms of what we’re going to be able to continue to offer or what new we could offer. And so, it’s an elaborate conversation with a cost benefit analysis of all of these things and we’re just working through it right now. We don’t have answers on those questions yet.

Molly Martinez: (46:52)
Thank you.

Ben Schwartz: (46:56)
Good afternoon. I’m Ben Schwartz from WCPO in Cincinnati. Governor DeWine, I want to ask you if you’re aware that some clinics inside grocery stores are allowing sick people in and with Ohio’s largest healthcare systems opting for drive through testing instead, I’m wondering if you think sick people should not be allowed to go into those types of clinics?

Mike Dewine: (47:26)
Well, I hadn’t thought about that, but obviously, that is now that you point out, that is true and that is occurring. Look, that’s something we can look at. I guess I would defer to again, the doctors and the medical experts in regard to that, but that certainly is a consideration. I think it is a reason why, people who work there may certainly want to consider wearing a mask. That doesn’t give them complete protection, but it is something. It’s why I think you’re going to start seeing in Ohio and other states more and more people who are just out wearing some type of protection. Again, understanding it’s not a complete protection, but I think we’re going to see more and more of that and I think more and more of our fellow Ohioans who decide to go out, when they go out to get groceries, when they go out to go to the pharmacy. I think you’re going to start seeing a lot more protection on. And I think that’s probably a good thing.

Ben Schwartz: (48:30)
Thank you.

Mike Dewine: (48:31)
Dr. Acton you got anything you want to?

Dr. Acton: (48:34)
That is a fascinating question and I’ve heard concerns along that line. We have to remember that for some folks this is their primary care, but I have seen that some of the in-house pharmacies and clinics are actually putting out guidance to the patients about being able to do it through telemedicine and through a drive up curb experience or come in at a very distinct time and they’re starting to construct barriers. So, I think that’s a work in progress to try to, as we’re doing all of this, we also have to be so careful to not create a barrier to access to care, especially for folks who have nothing else. So, thank you though. It’s a great point.

Ben Schwartz: (49:21)
Thank you both.

Mike Dewine: (49:21)
Thank you.

Kevin Landers: (49:24)
Kevin Landers, WBNS 10 TV. My question is for Dr. Acton.

Dr. Acton: (49:29)
Hi, Kevin.

Kevin Landers: (49:29)
Happy Friday. Initially during this epidemic and to this day, there are people who are getting false negative test results and those results may have given people a false sense that they didn’t have COVID-19 and they went about their business possibly infecting others. What percentage of false negatives has the Department of Health received and how much do you think that contributed to the result of the spread in our state?

Dr. Acton: (49:53)
So, I don’t believe that we are able to collect false negatives though I’ll double check on that. I think a lot of that would go back to the provider straight up and in as not being reported as another patient came back again and the next time they were positive. So, the problem with the test is it depends where you are in your course of illness and that’s another reason why I keep saying, I think we should all assume we might have it at any given time.

Dr. Acton: (50:21)
There’s also not perfect science on when people stop shedding the virus. So, it’s tricky. And so if you’re early in your course of illness, you might not produce enough of a viral load basically that you’ll be detected. And similarly, we are now using clinical guidance more than testing because we don’t have it available to tell people when to stop when they have recovered. The CDC has put out guidance on three days post fever, seven days post infection, but these are imperfect things and so even if you test negative and you were a person who was tested one time, it doesn’t mean that you won’t test positive later in the course of your illness. So, keep talking to your provider, keep sharing your clinical symptoms and we’ll have to work with you through that.

Kevin Landers: (51:12)
Thank you.

Dr. Acton: (51:13)
Thank you.

Laura Bishop: (51:17)
Oh, hi. It’s Laura Bishop, Dayton Daily News. I guess this is a question for both Dr. Acton and Governor DeWine. Both of you have said that public health funding should be beefed up and that there has kind of been a long neglect of enough funding for public health. How do you plan on sustaining the investment you’ve made and maybe building on it after this pandemic given that tax revenues are about to crater?

Mike Dewine: (51:44)
Well, I think it’s a longterm goal. I think when you have longterm goals, you can achieve them. Are we going to be able to achieve a ramping up as far as dollars in the next six months? Probably not. We’re not going to see increase in spending in hardly anything except the things that absolutely have to go up. But I do believe that one of the really positive things that’s going to come out of this horrible tragedy is a public awareness of, yes, in Ohio there’s 113 health departments. Yes, those health departments are important. We don’t hear from them most of the time. We don’t pay any attention to them most of the time, but they’re out there working every single day to keep us safe. One of the statistics that Dr. Acton always cites is if you look at the increase in the longevity of Americans in the last 50 years or a hundred years, most of us come from public health issues more than something dramatic or a discovery of a new drug or something. So, public health is very important.

Mike Dewine: (52:58)
When I took office, one of the things that I focused on and one of the reasons that I was so careful in picking a health director frankly, is I felt we needed to improve public health in the state of Ohio. I felt that we needed to start moving forward and paying more attention to it. So, my commitment will be to do that. Are we going to be able to do that overnight? No, we’re not. It’s going to be a tough, tough time for the next six months, next year. As far as anything having to do with anything that costs money. Dr. Acton.

Dr. Acton: (53:39)
Well, public health has been with us since John Snow and cholera way back in the 1700s and the 1800s, this field goes a long way and it’s always been a battle of letting people know how very much this collective population-based health really impacts their wellbeing. So, the Governor has been an amazing leader on the health and wellbeing of all Ohioans. It’s been clear to me from the very beginning that that has been at the top of his agenda. We were already hard at work even through my last budget cycle working with the legislature already making some moves, but on modernizing Ohio’s public health system and we will continue that in every way possible. Some of it is a money thing, but it’s more than that. Some of it is creating new systems and structures that better fit the needs of the era we live in.

Dr. Acton: (54:36)
Obviously, things like the pandemic that we are experiencing now, but there are new threats to our health in Ohio. Things like drug addiction, suicide, some of these are solved differently and our laws are a bit antiquated. They’re mostly sanitary laws from almost a century ago. So, we are fully committed to the long haul in this and fully committed to giving Ohioans the health and wellbeing that they deserve and a chance. You know what? My definition, my mission statement is creating the conditions in which all Ohioans can lead flourishing lives and contribute to their full potential and that is a vast undertaking in partnership with the health system and nonprofits in all segments, including business to create those conditions. So, thank you.

Mike Dewine: (55:29)
And Laura, I might add one more thing.

Dr. Acton: (55:33)
Sure.

Mike Dewine: (55:33)
Not everything connected with public health comes out of the health department. If you look at what we’ve tried to do in the last year with more home visits for pregnant women who are in difficult circumstances because of poverty or drug addiction, that’s public health. What we’re doing in our schools in regard to young people to more social emotional learning so they are better armed to protect themselves from addiction in the future, that’s public health. And we could go on and on. So, we’ve had a real focus on it, not just in the health department, but public health. One thing we’ve found is public health permeates almost everything that we do. And so, that’s a focus that will continue and we will continue to work to build up the health department, but also work to continue to do everything we can with the other departments in state government and the local ones really that have something to do with public health.

Laura Bishop: (56:36)
Thanks.

Lucia Walinchus: (56:41)
Hi, my name’s Lucia Walinchus. I’m from Eye on Ohio. I just have a couple of quick questions for Dr. Acton please. Hi. Sorry, I’m looking here. So, every day you’re looking at bed and ventilator counts. Correct?

Dr. Acton: (57:02)
Can you continue with your question? I’m sorry.

Lucia Walinchus: (57:04)
Oh, sorry. Every day you’re looking at bed and ventilator counts. Correct?

Dr. Acton: (57:09)
We’re trying to get an assessment of what the resources are in Ohio, it’s a moving target. There’s no one place that you get those answers. For example, one thing we’re working very hard on right now is doing an assessment of all the outlying ventilators that maybe are in ambulatory surgical facilities that were used for elective surgeries. We’ve looked to places you wouldn’t suspect like zoos that have ventilators that are used for large animals. So, we’re doing an inventory right now of our entire state.

Lucia Walinchus: (57:45)
Okay, great. And once you have that inventory collected, I don’t know if Florida does it, for example, they have a data where they break it down by hospital and I want to thank you so much for working so hard on your site because it offers a lot of great data resources for journalists. Do you plan to use that and to put that on your site as well?

Dr. Acton: (58:08)
As much data as we can get that we can think is actually accurate, we are sharing and some of it is in partnership with the Ohio Hospital Association. Some of this data is we’re looking at everything from PPE, to bed counts, to trying to get a sense of what equipment in terms of masks are out there, et cetera. One of the troubles we have is that system doesn’t actually use nursing homes or first responders, so some of that is being gathered through the EMA site and it changes. One of the hard things we’re seeing is we’re trying, I know the Governor is trying so hard to get a sense of when we can buy or when we can find resources, how much do you actually need? And that’s very complicated as well. It has to do with burn rates. What does a hospital typically use in a day? And it’s not like you can look in folks’ closets to see, so what somebody might be using, what beds might be available at 1:00 PM might be different at 3:00 PM, but just like with zip code data, whatever we can get our hands on, I promise you we will share it. Thank you.

Lucia Walinchus: (59:20)
Great. Thank you so much.

Dr. Acton: (59:20)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sean Cudahy: (59:25)
Sean Cudahy with WHIO. Another data question, I guess, for Dr. Acton about the curve, we’ve been looking at some of the data from Ohio state and by our count, I think we’re at five straight days now with fewer new cases than what they had projected. Is that along the lines of what you’re seeing and should we be looking at this as a good sign that Ohioans have been successful in slowing the curve?

Dr. Acton: (59:50)
Well, a lot of our data once again, is limited by the testing we’re doing. So, it could be very complicated. We never look at one day, we look for trends, but I see you using five days. So, my hope, I’ve asked the modelers, they are going to be demonstrating a new demo for us taking into account the data. My sincerest hope is they will continue to share what they have been sharing, which is that every move Ohioans are making is making a dent. That’s why sometimes you see the date for the peak pushing out further.

Dr. Acton: (01:00:25)
I don’t know if we could pull up our curve here, but that the farther away it gets, as frustrating as having another day of doing all of this is, would be a blessing for Ohio because every day that we’re doing this great social distancing and we’re slowing the spread of infection or slowing the doubling time and spread, is another day General Harris and all the hospitals and all the providers are getting ready. It’s another day to try to find more equipment for the front lines. It’s another day that we don’t overwhelm our hospital system in some of the ways we’re seeing on the nightly news right now.

Dr. Acton: (01:01:03)
So, our modelers are going to keep sharing the best data they can as we get a more robust system. But I just want to put this caveat, there’s a lot of talk about modeling right now and it is a rough gauge. It gives you, go North by Northeast, it’s similar, as I keep saying, to the forecasts of hurricanes. It gets more refined with time, but it’s based on assumptions that are incomplete by the nature of the fact that we have a disease that we don’t know that much about yet. As much as we’re learning, there’s still so much more to learn. Deaths and illness follow weeks and months behind the actual spread of infection in the first cases. So, our death counts and things like that are not that robust of information that you put into modeling yet. And the fact that at any time something might happen that gives us another tool in this.

Dr. Acton: (01:02:01)
So, our modelers, I’m very, very proud of the work that the Infectious Disease Institute and others are doing in Ohio. I think we have some of the most sound data out there and I look forward to sharing more of that in the days to come. And this is our famous curves. So, I just asked if you would pull it up, but I think we were originally forecasting somewhere here in late April to mid May. We already know that number’s starting to stretch with data in the last few days. And what we really want is that we pull it, it’s almost like pulling it out further. We want to keep flattening it by extending the date of that peak and making that peak over several days more shallow. Hope that makes sense. But yeah, the modelers, they’re heroes? Again, you put yourself out there when you’re a scientist, putting your information out there. And I call them the force because they are one.

Dr. Acton: (01:03:01)
Thank you.

Speaker 4: (01:03:01)
Thank you.

Laura Hancock: (01:03:05)
This is Laura Hancock with cleveland.com, and I have a question for Dr. Acton about local health departments. Thank you for working with them on the zip code issue. The lack of information does go further than that. Sometimes we don’t know the gender, we don’t know the age of a person who’s died in Mahoning County, which leads the state per capita in deaths. We don’t know if it’s in Youngstown City limits or somewhere else. We’re being asked to collectively make sacrifices to our freedoms, movement and commerce, so transparency would make the situation more real. Are you planning to provide more guidance to the health departments in what they release?

Dr. Acton: (01:03:50)
Yeah. Thank you, Laura. We’re working so closely with our local health departments and it really is situation dependent and it is about the investigation time. So some of what we’re seeing unfold. Again, I’m wearing my Youngstown, which is Trumbull and Mahoning as you know. Penn for a reason today because I know they’re being very hard hit there, but those investigations are still ongoing. So I know it’s hard to be patient. I think as we have more data, certainly families and others are choosing to maybe share their story. And that’s very different than having your loved one when you haven’t even had a funeral yet, not that knowledge being out there. And you really have to ask, Laura, is that useful to the rest of us, that person’s information?

Dr. Acton: (01:04:45)
So as it’s an aggregate form, as we can do it in ways that isn’t about… We’ve had people that have been willing to come forth and share their personal story, but we really need to allow the time for all of that to take place. And we will share again, lots more demographics about who dies and who doesn’t, who’s sick and who doesn’t. The only information, I read the New York Times article just earlier today on what the CDC has or hasn’t released in terms of sex, and I think it’s so early in this to tell sometimes what that data actually means. It’s going to be layers upon layers of science to help elucidate that. But we will again, anything that I can do in a way that doesn’t jeopardize very private healthcare information, I think it is an unusual time and we’re sharing certainly far more [inaudible 01:05:42] that I promise.

Laura Hancock: (01:05:47)
Thank you.

Andrew Welsh Huggins: (01:05:53)
Hello, it’s Andrew Welsh Huggins with the Associated Press. I think this would be for a Governor Dewine. Governor, as you’re probably aware, the Ohio Association of Food Banks today put out an emergency request for $25 million in the state funding. They painted a pretty dire picture of that perfect storm of being overwhelmed because of the economic situation. The grocery stores, some of their usual sources for food have their own problems in terms of tightened supplies. I think they’re also frustrated like we all are with people perhaps not being able to get on snap benefits quickly enough. So specific question would be, have you thought about that request for the 25 million and then more generally, what could the state do to help with this specific problem the food banks are facing with such overwhelming need?

Mike Dewine: (01:06:46)
Well, it’s very concerning. We’re looking at it and we’ll have something shortly about that. But it’s something that we can’t allow to happen. We have to make sure that the food banks have the food that they need. So it certainly is a priority.

Andrew Welsh Huggins: (01:07:07)
Thank you.

Ben Garbic: (01:07:12)
Hello Governor, [Ben Garbic 01:07:13] with ABC 6 and Fox 20. I have a question about testing. We’ve gotten some feedback from a lot of viewers that they don’t believe there is necessarily a shortage of tests because they’re hearing a different narrative coming from President Trump and people in the Federal Government about the availability of tests. Can you give us a sense for why is there a disconnect between what we’re hearing from the Federal Government and what we’re hearing from many governors like yourself? And if there were more tests, what would the state potentially be able to do differently?

Mike Dewine: (01:07:39)
Well, I’m going to let Dr. Acton answer the last part. I’ll take the first part. We look at testing every single day and we look at what we can do to expand testing. From the beginning, there’s been a shortage. But when you drill down to it, there’s a lot of different moving parts, a lot of variables, and I went through that today and when I talked about… I’m looking at my little chart that I’ve made for myself here, but when we look at testing, it’s not only does a hospital have the capacity to test? I mean, for example, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, UH, OSU, collectively, they have a pretty broad depth of ability to test in a day. What we’ve seen is that they’re not getting enough [inaudible 01:08:36]. Two reasons.

Mike Dewine: (01:08:39)
One, some of the tests have been going to the private labs and that’s okay except it’s been taking five or six days. We had to stop that. We said, look, these need to go into the places, either the state lab or these four hospitals that clearly can crank this stuff out. But it gets more complex than that. What we’re seeing is smaller hospitals aren’t able to do the testing and we’re not seeing the testing be able to be done. Why? They don’t have a swab. There might not be the tube, there might not be the liquid that goes in the tube. So what we’re trying to do is to put all this together and try to make sure that we can surge in and take care care of that. So what we hope with this new arrangement between Ohio State and our health department, we’re going to try to get this stuff out to them so they can take the swab and they can put it in the tube, they can get it to Ohio State or Cleveland Clinic.

Mike Dewine: (01:09:44)
And so it’s a lot more complex than it looks like. Bottom line is we have not had enough testing. Now I’m going to go to Dr. Acton to tell you about the importance of testing, but it’s important, we’re doing everything that we can and we’re really, really, really focused on it.

Dr. Acton: (01:10:03)
Hi Ben.

Ben Garbic: (01:10:04)
Hello.

Dr. Acton: (01:10:04)
So there is a shortage of just about anything you can imagine right now. We’re now hearing about shortages even of medicine. I don’t know that all of it is… people are looking for folks to blame and intentional. When they look back at the history of this, they’re going to see so many confounding, interrelated things that affected testing and PPE and everything. But one of the things we’ve found is in the beginning, it was a different set of reasons. It was a lack of the actual reagents to run the test in our labs. Then it was the components, swabs, and media. And as soon as possible, as soon as they knew that you could use a variety of swabs and that was made known, we can now use actually saline instead of the viral transport media. But it’s still better to have the media in terms of preserving the specimen.

Dr. Acton: (01:11:03)
So there are a lot of missing parts. And then there’s no one person out there whose job it is to go find the random swab in some one doctor’s office covered and go find a tube wherever it’s made somewhere in a chem lab at OSU. And so it’s just all the parts and pieces are in short supply. In addition, some of the testing that has gone to market and you often hear about it from a corporation, for instance, there was the high throughput [inaudible 01:11:32] testing and then there was something through Roche. But those machines can’t be found. And as soon as there was a test, every machine disappeared from the marketplace. So companies that actually make the components can’t build them fast enough to scale.

Dr. Acton: (01:11:50)
So it might be announced that it’s out there, but in Ohio we can’t get our hands on a single machine. And these machines sometimes cost millions of dollars. So in those companies, they’re trying their best. We are on a phone call with Abbott Labs and they’re amazing and they have some new testing that we’d love to have, but there’s just a limited amount in their production line so far of the actual kits. So we’re going to get some machines here in Ohio, but they’re having to be fair and they’re having to distribute their supplies equitably across the states. And so we take orders, we ask for 1,000 and we get 100 because they’ve had to divide scarce resources across many states.

Dr. Acton: (01:12:36)
So it’s very complicated. But we’re maximizing that. We have whole teams of people who are constantly on the phone calling, seeing what’s out there. And we’re not alone, every state is facing this. So testing in the end allows us to quickly identify who is infectious and then go out with that great contact tracing and get to everyone around them and tell them they have been exposed. You immediately isolate the ill, quarantine the exposed, and when you can do that in a really population-based way across our whole state, we will be able to really focus on the people who are really ill and we won’t have to worry as much about just all of us having to take actions. So in the end it’ll be part of our exit strategy and there’ll be blood testing as well to see if you ever had it in the past.

Dr. Acton: (01:13:26)
So complicated, the testing thing, I can just tell you that Ohio, on every one of these short supply issues, we are… I looked at the governor because he’s constantly saying, “What more can we do? What more can we do? What more can we find? What more can we make?” And we promise to maximize the scarce resources we have.

Ben Garbic: (01:13:50)
Thank you both.

Dr. Acton: (01:13:50)
Thank you.

Adrian Robbins: (01:13:54)
Adrian Robbins, NBC 4. And Dr. Acton, my question may be for you, it may be for the Governor, but I was wondering if you could expand on how exactly OSU and ODH are going to make sure that these products are produced in Ohio. Were they produced previously and we just weren’t ordering from Ohio or is this part of the manufacturing association of businesses coming forward and saying, “We can fill that gap?”

Mike Dewine: (01:14:18)
First of all, it’s a new collaboration. They’ve come together because of a need and they see the need and they think they can fill it and they know they can fill it. So I asked them on our call this morning, ” When can we do this?” [inaudible 01:14:31] says, “We’re doing it. We’re rolling.” I said, “When can you start getting it out to hospitals?” And they said, “In the next several days.” So I think we’re rolling.

Adrian Robbins: (01:14:40)
Thank you.

Andy Chow: (01:14:47)
Hi everyone. Andy Chow with Ohio Public Radio and Television, State House News Bureau. Question for Dr. Acton. Doctor, a few days ago, you warned people to try to minimize their essential trips and try to really strategize. Does that also go for carry out people who are maybe wanting to go to a restaurant to pick up food and what are some of the do’s and don’ts that people should really keep in mind as they do go to carry out?

Dr. Acton: (01:15:11)
First of all, I just want to say thank you. Many businesses are continuing to carry out. I forget, the Lieutenant Governor might know, but some 50% of what we eat comes through getting meals on carry out in this day and age. So if you think about that, many, many people rely on that for their food and so it’s really important that we still have that lifeline to the things we need. But some of the simple precautions folks can take, wiping off packaging that it comes in is certainly one of the things you can do. And obviously, we’re really relying on the great hygiene of the folks making the food. And I know that’s something that businesses take very, very seriously.

Dr. Acton: (01:15:54)
It’s something that they… Another factor is health departments do food inspections and these businesses are often approved for their good hygiene. So that’s important in the making of the food. But certainly outside packages has been some advice that the CDC has loosely given as a way to wipe that off on the outside before you open it. But I do think a lot of these same businesses are… and I’ve spoken to a few who are getting food, workers in some of these high essential businesses, thanks to Donatos, who put out pizza to a lot of our frontline workers. And they’re also helping work with a lot of… we’ve talked a lot about the food pantry, so there’s a lot of synergies going on where some of these very same businesses are helping be part of the solution. Thank you.

Andy Chow: (01:16:45)
Thank you.

Jackie Borchardt: (01:16:48)
This is Jackie Borchardt from the Cincinnati Enquirer. My question is for Governor Dewine. Governor Dewine, there are nearly 90,000 medical marijuana patients in this state. I’ve heard from a number of them who are concerned that they still have to leave their homes and go into a medical marijuana dispensary to pick up their medicine. Would you consider allowing delivery or curbside pickup for these patients? Many of them are over aged 60 or have a underlying health condition that puts them at risk. Other states have allowed such services.

Mike Dewine: (01:17:22)
Well, I certainly wouldn’t rule that out. That’s something I would ask our team to look at and to look at what the situation is for these individuals.

Jackie Borchardt: (01:17:33)
Do you have plans to allow curbside delivery or pickup?

Mike Dewine: (01:17:36)
I don’t have any plans because I hadn’t really thought about, but because of your question, we will look at that.

Speaker 5: (01:17:49)
I have one update to the question that Molly Martinez from Spectrum asked earlier. The 1135 waiver. CMS gave a blanket waiver, they issued on Monday night, that does not take care of everything surrounding this issue. But the remainder of those things that were not waived by CMS are under consideration as we go through the budget process.

Speaker 6: (01:18:18)
Good afternoon. [inaudible 01:18:20], The Columbus Dispatch. I’m informed by the last questioner and I would like to pose a question to the governor. Good afternoon, Governor.

Mike Dewine: (01:18:29)
Afternoon.

Speaker 6: (01:18:30)
Under your new dispute resolution process involving what is an essential business, what is not and rendering a ruling in any dispute, what authority in law gives either you or the director of health the authority to institute such process?

Mike Dewine: (01:18:53)
Well, it’s a delegated authority. I’m not going to play lawyer here any, but the local health departments have the ability to interpret or order, and actually Dr. Acton’s order. And so we have the authority to interpret that. If they have that authority and there’s a conflict, there seems to be some way, needs to be a way to resolve that and this is a logical way to resolve that.

Speaker 6: (01:19:22)
Okay. As a lawyer for most of your life, a prosecutor, attorney general, are you comfortable with a process that has no appeal process?

Mike Dewine: (01:19:33)
Well, the normal process, first of all, there’s rules that we think are understandable, but occasionally you’re going to have reasonable people who interpret a rule differently and there needs to be a process by which this can be resolved that seems to be a logical way. John wanted to add something, then I will come back if you want to add something.

Speaker 5: (01:19:57)
I think it might be helpful if we could provide the genesis for why we put that in there. Frankly, it’s because the health departments ask us to. In many cases they feel in conflict, a lot of the elected officials who are involved with those health departments have felt in conflict. And so we were frankly just trying to respond to what we heard from the field about providing greater clarification. So it wasn’t that we were trying to intervene, nudge ourselves into the process. We were frankly feeling like we had the responsibility to help sort some of those issues out. And that’s why the Dispute Commission was created.

Speaker 6: (01:20:38)
Thank you.

Mike Dewine: (01:20:40)
Well, before we close, an announcement, we will be back tomorrow, but our goal is not to be here on Sunday. We’ve tried this a couple other Sundays, it’s never worked. So we’ll see how that works, but for our news media friends who have to come in and cover this, the goal will be not to be here on Sunday. We will see how it works out. We’re going to close with two videos. One from Katie Smith, native of Logan, Ohio. A great, great basketball player. And also we’re going to hear from Cleveland Indians’ third baseman, Jose Ramirez. We look forward to these videos and we wish you all a good day on what looks like it’s been a beautiful day, at least in central Ohio.

Katie Smith: (01:21:34)
Hi everyone. It’s Katie Smith. I know it’s some really tough times and some uncertain times that we’re living through right now. To all the health workers and all the fields that are putting themselves out there to help our communities at Ohio, just thank you, and everybody else behind the scenes that’s making the best effort so that we all can stay safe. I just hope everybody is doing their part. I hope everybody is trying to be patient. There are a lot of unknowns, but one thing I know is I am proud to be an Ohioan. I know we are doing our part. We are strong. We care about the people in our communities, in our state. No matter your age, everybody needs to take this thing serious and make sure that we’re staying at home and that we’re doing our part that we can stop the spread of COVID-19.

Katie Smith: (01:22:29)
One person does and can make a difference. And Ohio, we are in this together Ohio always. Wishing you all to stay well, stay safe. And we’re thinking of you all.

Jose Ramirez: (01:22:44)
[foreign language 01:22:44].

Mike Dewine: (01:23:26)
We’re in this together. We’ll see you all tomorrow at 2:15. Thank you.