Apr 14, 2020
Mike DeWine Ohio Coronavirus Briefing Transcript April 14
Governor Mike DeWine held a COVID-19 press conference on April 14, 2020. Read the full transcript with all his updates.
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Mike DeWine: (00:01)
… They’ve weighed prescription copays, removed in network and out-of-network pharmacy distinctions and relaxed prior authorization requirements for most procedures.
Mike DeWine: (00:13)
Today we are going another step. Our administration is submitting its first waiver application to the federal government which is known as 1135 or Appendix K application to provide needed flexibility to address this crisis. Among other things, this waiver will allow us to do the following: one, bolster telehealth and other technology to be used to do health assessments and care planning; second, waive signature requirements for a variety of providers to ensure safe distancing without compromising access to care; three, ease obstacles to access nursing home care; four, allow services to be provided at alternative locations and, five, removing staffing level requirements to get providers more flexibility to deliver the services.
Mike DeWine: (01:07)
Once we get federal approval of this waiver, which we hope we will, it will go back retroactively from March 1st, 2020. Removing restrictions like these during this pandemic will allow healthcare workers to focus on meeting the needs of their fellow Ohioans. Our director, when we get to questions, will be on the line. Marine Corcoran will be on the line if anyone has any specific questions about that waiver.
Mike DeWine: (01:50)
We’re very fortunate today to be joined by Mayor Andy Ginther. I don’t know whether Andy, you’re up there yet or not. Andy, how you doing? Mayor?
Andy Ginther: (02:00)
I’m doing great, Governor.
Mike DeWine: (02:02)
It’s good to see you.
Andy Ginther: (02:04)
It’s good to see you.
Mike DeWine: (02:05)
The mayor is in our call every day at 11:30, where we talk to many of the mayors of the state. I just want to thank Mayor Ginther, but also every other Mayor, big and small sized communities, because they’ve been very, very helpful as we go through this. They’ve been our eyes and ears out there and reporting what they’re seeing, what we can do better and what we’re not doing well. These conversations are really very, very helpful, I know to me, and I think they’re probably also sure helpful to the people of the State of Ohio in that we come up with better policies.
Mike DeWine: (02:48)
The Mayor and I first … We’ve worked together on a number of things over the years, but probably the most difficult thing we had to work on was the Arnold Classic. Mayor, that was not an easy decision for any of us and it was early on in this epidemic. We had to make the decision not to have spectators there, which was a very, very difficult decision.
Mike DeWine: (03:19)
The Mayor’s going to talk about anything he wants to today, but one of the things I know he’s going to talk about is the build out as we work to make sure that we have the hospital capacity in the state of Ohio.
Mike DeWine: (03:36)
Mayor, before you talk about what you’re doing, I just want to read through what some other communities are doing. In Cleveland, Case Western University’s health education campus is the place where that build out is occurring. The Duke Energy Convention Center is where it is in Hamilton County. Those two coupled with the greater Columbus Convention Center in Franklin County are seeing activity go on just to make sure that this epidemic does not flood our hospitals to the point where they no longer have space. Candidly, we hope we never have to use these. The good work that all the citizens of Ohio are doing is really, really making a difference.
Mike DeWine: (04:27)
The other locations that we talked about, we announced the location of three additional sites and we’re really holding these in reserve if they should be needed. This is Seagate Convention Center in Lucas County, the Dayton Convention Center in Montgomery County and Cavelli Convention Center in the Mahoney County as well. Healthcare regions in Southern Ohio and Southeast Ohio have determined the existing hospital facilities in their areas will, with additional equipment, be able to handle the surge and patients without going to an offsite location.
Mike DeWine: (05:04)
Mayor, we will turn it over to you. How are things going in that regard and anything else you want to share with with us today?
Andy Ginther: (05:15)
Well, thank you Governor for the chance to join you and share with you an update on the alternative care center. Here in Columbus, the president of our Franklin County Commission, John O’Grady, and I had the opportunity to tour the site yesterday and just an incredible example. We call it here in Columbus and central Ohio, the Columbus Way because we believe we do public/private partnerships better here than anywhere in the country.
Andy Ginther: (05:45)
To have four health systems, the three adult systems in consultation with our nationwide children’s hospital, to come together to help stand up in a two week period, 1000 bed alternative care center is pretty unprecedented. In fact, we’re getting calls from communities around the state and the country on how we’ve gone about this. It’s incredible leadership of Ohio Health and Ohio State, Caramel, and we are really proud of the work that’s been done here.
Andy Ginther: (06:18)
I’ve got to tell you, Lieutenant Colonel Buchanan has been outstanding. The National Guard in partnership with the city, the County and the State, have made a Herculean effort here. I think we’re well prepared. Based on the proposed number of cases being much lower than originally anticipated because of the bold, courageous decisions made by you and Dr. Acton with stay at home owners and social distancing, our greatest hope of all, probably our greatest victory as a community, is if we never had to open the alternative care center, but it is incumbent upon us as leaders to be prepared for that and we want to make sure that we’re protecting the health and safety of our residents here in central Ohio and the mayors working with you and your team to set these sites throughout the state.
Andy Ginther: (07:14)
One thing that we have been reminded of during this crisis is how that Columbus Way is still important, collaboration and focusing on the common good. You’ve talked at length about the incredible leadership of [Lu Bonther 00:07:29] and his colleagues at Patel with Mike Kaufman at Cardinal Health, Abbott labs, Ohio State.
Andy Ginther: (07:39)
Three companies here locally, IC, 3D and Rogue, that pivoted from their traditional manufacturing and production to helping to produce PPEs for our frontline healthcare workers to protect them. Middle West and Watershed moved from making spirits to hand sanitizer, again for our frontline workers, our police officers, our firefighters. We’re really, really proud of the way that central Ohioans, Buckeyes across this state, have really taken to heart their personal role and responsibility in helping us slow the spread and let our frontline workers do their jobs and help serve the people of this community.
Andy Ginther: (08:28)
Obviously cities, particularly our Metro economies throughout the state that helps drive the economy of the state, are looking forward to the future and the reopening of our city, but I have to echo the governor and Dr. Acton, and Dr. Roberts has said here locally, that we have to really be listening to our doctors, our medical experts, our public health leaders, to make sure that we open gradually and thoughtfully.
Andy Ginther: (09:02)
One of our greatest restaurateurs and native sons, Cameron Mitchell has said, and I heard this actually from businesses across the community, that they have the wherewithal and the capacity to reopen once. We must be very thoughtful and reflective and making sure we’re following the lead of our medical and public health experts to make sure that we do this, the right way to avoid a second surge or other things in the future. We’ve got to maintain our good hygiene practices and social distancing that has shown to be so effective thus far with slowing the spread.
Andy Ginther: (09:47)
I know it’s hard. It’s been hard on families throughout this state. We know many people in our community are suffering. We know that the disproportionate negative health impact on African Americans here in Columbus and across this state. These health disparities during a health crisis like this really come to light, continuing to focus on those disparities and knowing that there are people right now in our community and the communities around the state that are suffering.
Andy Ginther: (10:20)
With this recovery, we have in mindful that isn’t just the public health crisis. There’s going to also be a human service crisis and then a recovery. Knowing that there’s not an even tidy start and stop to those, all three things may very well be happening at the same time, but if we don’t handle the health crisis, the other two really cannot be addressed.
Andy Ginther: (10:48)
I just want to thank the Governor, Dr. Acton, Dr. Mashika Roberts here at our local level, continuing to make sure that we’re doing everything in our power to slow the spread, listen and follow our medical experts, the leaders of our health systems and understanding that the best way to reopen the economy and to bring back a recovery throughout the state is to make sure that we deal this health crisis that stabilizes.
Mike DeWine: (11:21)
Well Mayor, thank you very much. That is inspirational and hopeful, but it’s also, I think you laid out very well really what our charge is and the challenges that we face. I personally look forward to continuing to work with you and the other mayors around the state in that partnership. It’s been a great partnership and so far so good in the sense that we’ve been able to slow this, put this curve down, and now we’re planning to how we start back up. I look forward to working with the Mayor.
Andy Ginther: (11:59)
Mike DeWine: (12:01)
Congratulations to you and your team for putting that together in two weeks. That’s quite amazing. As you say, let’s hope we don’t have to use it.
Andy Ginther: (12:10)
Mike DeWine: (12:11)
Thanks, Mayor. We appreciate it.
Andy Ginther: (12:12)
Mike DeWine: (12:14)
Lieutenant Governor: (12:17)
Thank you very much, Governor. It’s great to have the Mayor with us. We’ve really appreciate the support that we’ve had from all the local officials across the state as we try to confront the issues that are affecting all of our constituents across our communities.
Lieutenant Governor: (12:32)
One of the things that I wanted to do today is give a report on some of the tools that we’ve implemented over the course of the last few weeks to help you know how well they’re working and what the results of those efforts are.
Lieutenant Governor: (12:46)
Let me start with the Dispute Resolution Commission. You recall that under the stay at home order, there was a provision that called for the operation of essential businesses that are operating under sets of practices that they need to operate under. These are enforced at the local level by the health departments, but on occasion there will be a business that operates, or a similar type of business, that operates in one community and another community and the health departments have different conclusions about whether those are essential or not.
Lieutenant Governor: (13:19)
We established the Dispute Resolution Commission to try to address those issues. So far, they have had 194 inquiries, 142 of those did not meet the criteria for the commission so that those were best addressed at the local level. The commission allowed the local rulings to stand uninterrupted. There are currently 27 of these under review, so 194 overall 142 didn’t meet the criteria 27 under review, 15 that there was a conflict, but it ultimately got resolved at the local level, so the commission didn’t need to make a ruling. Then there were 10 that were investigated where the commission did rule and examples of those were a CBD establishment, pet grooming and car washes. Those fit the bill for what the commission ruled.
Lieutenant Governor: (14:19)
All of that information is available on the website with the minutes and the rulings from the commission so that it’s transparent and you know how that process is working. If you have questions and want to make an inquiry about the Dispute Resolution Commission, that’s available at coronavirus.ohio.gov and it’s under the resources tab there. You can find more information about it at that location.
Lieutenant Governor: (14:48)
An additional resource that was created, the Office of Small Business Relief. As you know, the state has done a number of things, everything from moratoriums on foreclosures to insurance grace periods to BWC rebates. The small business administration has disaster relief loans and payment protection program loans that are available. Many of those loans, by the way as a reminder, are forgivable under the PPP Plan. It’s something worth looking into. I encourage you to do that through your local financial institution that you have already have a relationship with.
Lieutenant Governor: (15:25)
The Small Business Relief Assistance Office has helped 1300 businesses so far. If you would like to find more information, it’s coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp. Most of the information you’ll need, you won’t need to talk to anybody. It will be right there at that website address, frequently asked questions and the answers to those should be there for you. But if not, if you go all the way to the bottom, you will see that there’s a place where you can email or call there at the Office of Small Business Relief. Those two things are functioning, serving people, and we encourage you to use them.
Lieutenant Governor: (16:10)
Additionally, one of the things that we are getting lots of calls on, I listened in on the economic advisory phone call this morning to hear what businesses who are involved with that were saying. We understand. We want to make sure you understand that we are taking the advice of businesses too. We want to hear what they have to say. There are many people who care about this, not just from a business point of view, but when we get through this, you want to know that you have a place to come back to work to and that that will be safe and that the customers will be safe when they go there.
Lieutenant Governor: (16:47)
We’re talking to large and small businesses, diverse geographically, every everywhere from what West central Ohio up to the lake all around the state. We’re hearing, in some cases from a variety of industry groups; restaurants, manufacturers, retail, recreation, people who are seeking more certainty about their future.
Lieutenant Governor: (17:07)
We’re listening, taking advice and trying to put a plan together to help give you the answers that you need. We know because we get this question a lot: When? I always get that question. When is this going to be over? Don’t we all wish we knew the answer to that? We do wish we knew the answer to that. There are a lot of factors that go into that and the Governor, I know, will be covering them in the coming days.
Lieutenant Governor: (17:34)
But the more important question that often gets discussed on these business calls is how, not the when but the how. How do we prepare ourselves to go forward? As it’s been said many times at this news conference, it’s not going to be a light switch. It’s going to be a slower process or an incremental rollback. But these are the things that the businesses are sharing. I say this so that other businesses who are out there who maybe aren’t essential right now as it’s deemed under the order, that you will know what businesses who are successfully operating, not just in Ohio under that essential business operation, but also some of our corporations who have operated globally in places like China and Italy and have done it successfully.
Lieutenant Governor: (18:22)
We have evidence of how this can be done successfully and the businesses are putting these protocols together, these best practices, to not only share with us but to share with each other so that when you return, when you have that opportunity, that we want to get the economy moving down the runway towards takeoff, that employees will know … Because these are important. Building confidence is incredibly important. We want the employees to know that the businesses that they go back to are practicing safe business practices so you can feel confident as a member of that workforce to be able to do that and that it’s safe. We also want this for their customers. That’s what businesses want. They want their customers to feel safe. That’s another reason that they see this as so important for them to do. Remember, think about this as a business out there. You need to plan for that future.
Lieutenant Governor: (19:16)
There are a number of things that you will need to source from cloth masks to disinfectant, to making sure that you have the structure within your organization where someone’s in charge of making sure that these protocols are followed. You may need to reconfigure your business in some way so that it is designed to create the spacing that you need between employees to make it a safe workplace to operate in. Then you have to have the strategy to implement it. Those are the important factors to consider.
Lieutenant Governor: (19:51)
We were in this call today with many of those essential employers, and I will remind, I will use this as an occasion to remind folks that from hospitals to nursing homes to food, the food services industry to that supply chain, to manufacturing, everybody, there are still a lot of businesses that are out there operating to try to serve us in. They’re all using these safe practices that were outlined in the order that the Governor put together and Dr. Acton signed.
Lieutenant Governor: (20:23)
There are 667 employers out there in that critical area with 41,367 job openings right now. They have created safe workplaces for you, safe environments for their customers and we need you, if you can answer the call to go to work with one of those companies because those services are critical to being able to deliver all that we need and consume during this difficult time.
Lieutenant Governor: (20:54)
We appreciate all of the feedback that we’re getting on these issues. One of the things that the Governor always prides our team on is that we listen, we’re good listeners. We try to …
Lieutenant Governor: (21:03)
… to seek input from everywhere we can, to make good sound decisions, and that’s the approach that we are taking as this moves forward, so. Thank you Governor.
Mike DeWine: (21:14)
Lieutenant Governor, thank you. Dr. Acton?
Dr. Amy Acton: (21:18)
Thank you Governor, Lieutenant Governor. Good afternoon everyone, and it’s good to see you here again. I know we are living that Groundhogs Day, and I want to say that I do feel a little bit, myself even, of some of the frustrations at times, the not knowing, the tolerance for ambiguity we have talked about. We know that we’re in that sort of flat spot right now, at the top of our peak, our first peak, hopefully the biggest thing we’ll face, but I know it’s hard to keep doing what you’re doing, and I want to talk a little bit about that. But first of all, let’s take a look at the numbers.
Dr. Amy Acton: (21:59)
Today, we do now have 7,280 cases in Ohio, and a total in Ohio of 324 deaths. We did see, I believe approximately 50 deaths just in the last day. We have cases now in 86 of our counties of 88, and I realize this is tough, because as we are really relieved that we have peaked at a really steady, low level that’s not overtaxing our hospitals, and all really in due part to you and the work you’re doing, and the resiliency are showing in holding out and continuing to do the social distancing. We do know that there are a lot of losses and there’s a lot of sickness going on, and so I just want to acknowledge that these are still really tough times for many out there. Next slide.
Dr. Amy Acton: (23:02)
Okay. Again, we’ve done 67,000 tests over that in Ohio, and our stats are pretty much holding the same in terms of age ranges and the distribution of who’s getting sick. Obviously, we continue to see, next slide, are trends pretty steady with the exception, and we’re going to have these spikes, we’re going to have bad days and good days, and we’re really looking for trends. We’re looking for directional trends. We really need to move forward and make the next set of decisions we need to make. We’re really needing to see those trends stay down and stay steady, for a sustained amount of time. Next slide, please.
Dr. Amy Acton: (23:47)
I just wanted to remind everybody about high-risk categories, and of course, we’ve talked a little bit about vulnerable populations, the homeless, folks that are living in congregate settings, but also, I just want to talk about the risk factors for each of you. Now, remember that anyone can really have, even a healthy person, a difficult time fighting off this virus, but certain folks are more at risk. Again, chronic lung disease, that’s people with COPD, asthma. People who smoke or are exposed to higher levels of pollution, we’re now seeing that that is a risk factor. Asthma, heart conditions, people who are immunocompromised for a variety of diseases, or on cancer treating drugs. Obesity itself is a risk factor. Diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease. This is what we know so far from the science. Obviously, aging, more at risk for any disease you’re fighting off. So, we know that there’s prevalence, if not for us, for those we love, and so we’re doing a lot to keep those folks safe as well. Next slide.
Dr. Amy Acton: (24:58)
Okay. So I want to talk about a new order that has been issued, and again, in partnership with our mayors and listening to the needs at the local level, as well as with our frontline responders, we know how central it is to protect our EMS, our firefighters, the folks who are first on the scene. I want to add in the state highway patrol, they’re a new group that’s particularly near and dear to my heart, and it’s really important with the lack of PPE we have, the protective gear, that we’re protecting those frontline workers who are often responding when someone is not doing well. Part of this order is that we are sharing more widely, but in a very confidential way, the address is of folks who are cases, and this order protects that as confidential information for our dispatchers to make sure that folks are properly protected when they’re transporting someone who may have COVID- 19. I do want to add though, and this is very important, so for our frontline responders, remember that anyone might be carrying the disease, even someone who has recovered can still be potentially shedding the disease.
Dr. Amy Acton: (26:16)
It’s so important, and as we move forward, we’re going to be talking about universal masking, but you have to assume, even as a frontline responder, I want to know that you have at least this. I know you’re gearing up extra for certain circumstances and you’re trying to save and conserve that gear, but everybody should have this, and for those of us who are at home, making them, finding one, even a simple bandana or a scarf. There’s lots on our website, but we really have to protect each other, and I’ll be sharing more in days to come how I want to make sure that every Ohioan has this kind of mask available to them, that no one’s left behind. So there an EMS order that was issued today. I want to talk, we’re going to be talking a lot more, but I know in the media, there’s much discussion about the plans. We’re making a plan here in Ohio, we’ve been working on it for weeks, not just on the recovery phase, but we’ve also built out, as Mayor Ginther talked about, and the Governor as well, just an unprecedented level of partnership between our hospitals, our nursing homes, and others in our community, especially our local health departments, and how we respond to what we expect to be ongoing hotspots and flare-ups throughout our state. I talked to Johns Hopkins, a colleague there who helped write one of the suggested plan sort of elements. We’ve been studying every possible plan and guidance out there and he said, “Ohio should the tremendously proud.” We really, really have been a leader, and we’ve won the first battle in a war. We’ve won the first battle.
Dr. Amy Acton: (28:05)
I think one of the things that’s hardest for me, and I know it’s hard for you out there, is that this is a war. We’ve won the first battle, but we can’t stop there. This is a longer road, and there are other battles yet to fight. So we continue to build just like the Convention center, but other spaces, we have to have our capacity ready in our hospitals, because we’re hearing now from the scientists that we could see ongoing spikes until we have a vaccine. We are building out our emergency command to deal with those spikes, and come alongside locals to help in any way we can. But most of all, we continue to look to you. As we talk about the very slow, gradual, responsible walk to opening up some parts of what we do, doing that very responsibly, and you’ll hear more about that, the same things we’ve been doing matter more than ever.
Dr. Amy Acton: (29:05)
My old boss, Doug Kreidler from the Columbus Foundation wrote a column in The Dispatch, and he used the words, you know how we’ve been saying it’s not really social distancing, it’s physical distancing, but he talked about social yearning in a time of physical distancing, and he talked about the arts and the way they can help sooth us. I can tell you that I myself, over Easter weekend, had my first time standing outside, and I came home to my house during all of this, and found four of my close friends wearing masked, very socially distance, planting some pansies in my yard. And I talked to them at a distance, and it was the first conversation with them I’d had in months. And I realized over the holiday and when the holiday ended, that I was feeling all the same Groundhog Day feelings again, the anger, the frustration, the despair. Why don’t we know more? Why do we still have to learn so much more to have the answers we want to give you? How much more do we have to tolerate of this?
Dr. Amy Acton: (30:17)
And I just want to acknowledge that all of us are feeling this. It’s such an unprecedented time, that is asking sort of a marathon of response from us. So we’re going to have good days and bad days. We’re going to have anger, we’re going to want to give up and just hope that it could go back to the old way it was, and we know that we’re moving into a new world, it isn’t the old way. But we’re moving forward, and we’re going to move forward together, and we’re going to move forward smartly in this state. But I want to share with you that there is a song out there, it was on the Colbert first show, he first revealed it, by Michael Stipe of REM, wrote a song called, There’s No Time for Love Like Now, and it was one of those bittersweet songs that remind me that I have to dig deep over and over, again and again, to feel that love. And so, I hope you’ll take a look at that song, it’s something that’s helping me stay connected during this time. Thank you.
Mike DeWine: (31:24)
Dr. Acton, thank you very much. We will take some questions. Again, for those of you who are at home, what we’re looking at is a TV screen, and I see Jim Otte coming up here. Everybody in the press corps it looks like, media has a mask of some sort on. Mr. Otte has his. Is that homemade, Mr. Otte?
Jim Otte: (31:46)
Yes sir. That’s my bandana, sir.
Mike DeWine: (31:48)
All right, very good. You get the first question.
Jim Otte: (31:51)
Jim Otte from WHIO-TV. Thank you, Governor. For those people that are still waiting for their unemployment checks to come, perhaps this is a question for the Lieutenant Governor. I speak on behalf of the people at Bill’s Donut in Centerville, Ohio, 50 people applied for unemployment after being laid off, although at this point, only four have received anything. I wanted to know if you can, whether this situation or any others, discuss the disparity here about the timing of when their checks might come?
Mike DeWine: (32:23)
Jim Otte: (32:25)
Mike DeWine: (32:26)
I’ve had Bill’s Donuts a number of times, and we look forward to having them again. Look, we apologize to those 46 folks there. The Lieutenant Governor and I were talking about this literally before we walked in, and we’re going to be continuing to talk with our team about it at our five o’clock call today. So I’ll refer it to the Lieutenant Governor, but let me just say, this is something that is very concerning, is very upsetting to me, and we can go through all the reasons why that is happening, but the bottom line for those of you who are not getting your check or you weren’t able to get into the system, I don’t think you want to hear anything. I think what you want us to do is fix it, and I hear you, and Lieutenant Governor hears you, and we’re going to do everything we can to fix it.
Lieutenant Governor: (33:25)
First of all, everything the Governor said, absolutely right. Every time I hear a story about this, I just get even more frustrated, because it’s not acceptable, and it’s not acceptable on a number of levels, because we understand that people are struggling and this is a difficult time, and we feel the responsibility to serve them, and when they’re not getting served, I’m not satisfied. I will have a fuller answer to this question tomorrow, because I wanted to have it today, but I didn’t feel like I got sufficient answers, and so I couldn’t answer it today. When I get into a situation like this, I always think about a quote from my college football coach where he used to say, “Don’t tell me how rough the sea is, just bring the ship in,” and that’s how I feel about it. I know there are reasons, I don’t want excuses, I just want us to double down our efforts to innovate, to get tough, to dig down, and remember that we’re getting this fixed, we can serve people. And until that happens, we’re not going to be satisfied.
Jim Otte: (34:40)
Mike DeWine: (34:40)
Molly Martinez: (34:44)
Hi, this is Molly Martinez with Spectrum News. My question is for Dr. Acton. Dr. Acton, we talk a lot about the long haul and how we’re all sort of in this marathon, but for children, time feels a lot longer, just because they’ve had less of it. What would you say to the kids who are sort of stuck at home and don’t really understand what’s going on, and how long this is going to last?
Dr. Amy Acton: (35:09)
I’ve been thinking a lot about that. I have a grandson, he’s not quite old enough yet to understand, but I’ve been thinking about even when I’m talking to my older children, with young children, a friend of mine yesterday sent me some pictures. The mom is in an essential business and is working extraordinary hours, and dad is at home trying to become a school teacher, become an explainer, and their life is upended, and she was drawing artwork that showed, she said, “Daddy, we can do this.” And he was just so sad, and I mean, it’s just, these are such trying times, and I can tell you that I don’t yet know. And I will talk to some of my friends who are in the business of trying to help young people understand the words to explain this time. I think their lives are going to be marked by this, and I know at home, we’re all trying to do it in a way that creates a new normal and routines, and doesn’t cause fear. But of course, kids are very perceptive and they pick up on our emotions and fear.
Dr. Amy Acton: (36:21)
So that’s really a tremendous challenge for all of us, and all the while, we don’t know exactly ourselves what we’re going through. This is an unprecedented experience, and every scientist and every person in the world, every economist, every leader is trying to find the right next steps, but we can learn from the past, we can learn from what was it like in 1918. And it’s not a quick road, we know it’s a long road, but we really don’t 100% know this journey yet. And so, we, as the grownups, are experiencing unprecedented amounts of disruption and unsettlingness, and then we’re going through our job losses, and then we have kids who we know are at home, that they don’t have the stability that they used to get from school, in hard circumstances.
Dr. Amy Acton: (37:23)
So Molly, I don’t have a pat answer for that yet, but that’s something I’m going to dig deeper on. When I saw my friend’s drawing yesterday, Matt sent me, I found myself going, what more can we do? So I’ll talk more to this as I explore it, and I hope the media will help me explore it. But I just want to say to you at home, we will share with you everything we know as we know it, and in this week, we’re going to be sharing with you the best we can understand about the road ahead. It’s not something I could look up in a book and there’s a right answer, it’s something that the best minds in the world are trying to solve, but we will keep sharing it with you as we ourselves come to understand it.
Dr. Amy Acton: (38:13)
And what we do know is that this infection will be out there and it hasn’t spread to most of the population, and a vaccine that is widely available will be sort of the end of this chapter, and we do know that the things we have done have worked tremendously to save lives, and that we’ve given our hospitals the time to start to gear up. We do know that we still have a shortage of PPE, and so we have to be conserving and be careful about our choices, so that is available to the people on the front lines. We do know that we are still far short of testing, that testing is essential for our ability to start to acknowledge cases when they happen, do contact tracing, and slow the spread. And those are all things that are still evolving and are trying to acquire, that will get us to a place where we could be a lot more free.
Dr. Amy Acton: (39:12)
And we do know that a new world will be with these new social distancing, but it might include a functional social distancing, and it will include probably a slow trickle back to work, using the kinds of precautions the Governor, and other teams, and businesses all over this world are trying to put in place, and it will include these masks, and it will include us all having to be honest when we’re sick, and stay home, and tell our doctor. And it’ll have to have safeguards for people who need to stay home and be sick but not lose their job. And some people who are very vulnerable, like the categories I mentioned, will really have to stay more like the way we are, than maybe healthy folks. Those are some of the principles that we know right now, and we’re going to lay this out and guide you through it. I just want you to know that best minds possible collaborating, but I do want to acknowledge just how absolutely hard this is for you, and it’s hard for all of us, but we’re going to stick with you on it. Thank you.
Molly Martinez: (40:17)
Thank you so much.
Jim Provance: (40:22)
Jim Provance with The Blade, also a question for Dr. Acton. You’ve talked about directional trends, and in the past, you’ve mentioned 14 days as kind of a period that you’re looking at, but you’ve also mentioned that China waited until it had zero until it reopened.
Dr. Amy Acton: (40:37)
Jim Provance: (40:37)
Could you give us an idea of what you’re looking for? Is there a magic number?
Dr. Amy Acton: (40:41)
Right, so we’re all looking for magic numbers. How much PPE do you need to have? How many tests would you need to have? So if you watch the media right now, everyone is guessing and the scientists are still trying to guess some of these numbers. What we know we need to see what’s agreed upon, each scientist says it a little differently, is that you really want to see a sustained decrease. Ideally, we would get down to the point where we could contact trace everyone. I mean, if we don’t have PPE and we don’t have testing, then if we could get to a number where when we do diagnose those cases, we could at least respond, that’s one end of the spectrum.
Dr. Amy Acton: (41:21)
Some have said a month with each measure staying steady, and I’ve seen a short as 14 days. We know we won’t get to absolute zero, because we know this infection is out there and if you open in any way, and as you’re now seeing in China, when you get good accurate numbers, you’ll start to see an uptick. What I am building right now is the ability to have the best numbers possible, and it’s been very hard. We still do not know the prevalence of this disease in Ohio or around this country. We don’t have that serologic testing, and we don’t have expansive enough testing, but one of the things we’ll be sharing this week in more detail, our scientists are-
Dr. Amy Acton: (42:03)
… leading us through a study using as few as a thousand tests done randomly and assorted that will start to give us some numbers. And each day you see our data gets better and people are like, “Why aren’t you giving us this?” Some of the data was never owned by the Department of Health. So little by little we’re gathering all the best data we can, and each day we’re going to keep loading up on more numbers we can follow.
Dr. Amy Acton: (42:28)
And we’re actually, in our emergency control center, we have people with their ear to the ground in each of the three zones in Ohio that will be constantly watching dashboards of numbers. And we’ll be talking in days to come about watching almost like TSA, higher risk and lower risk situations occur and we want to pick up the second there’s a flare somewhere, whether it’s a nursing home or a prison or in a neighborhood or in a workplace, and we want to be able to respond and put all our resources in the right place at the right time.
Dr. Amy Acton: (43:02)
So this is a system that did not really exist in this country and we’ve been building it in two to three weeks. So it’s miraculous in scope, but it’s still being built, and that’s why I’m saying this is. We are working, working, working to build this out because we’re going to need this infrastructure until we’ve tamed this virus.
Dr. Amy Acton: (43:24)
So we are going to be in this hyper vigilant monitoring stage just like 9/11 until we get to a new world where we can truly be safe again and get people’s confidence in that. And so I want people to feel confident that we here in Ohio are at the cutting edge of every one of these discussions and we won’t let up. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (43:48)
Kevin Landers: (43:53)
Kevin Landers, WBNS-10TV. My question is both for the governor and for Dr. Acton. Boston university today just announced it may postpone fall term until January. Governor, I’d like to know where your head is about colleges opening up here in the state and for Dr. Acton, how, if they do open, would college students be able to practice social distancing if they’re in the dorms, cafeteria’s, sharing bathrooms? How does that look to you? Thank you.
Mike DeWine: (44:20)
Well, I’ll start off. I think it’s much too early to be making any decisions about fall. I don’t think we know enough. I don’t think we know where we’re going to be. I don’t think we know how many tests that we will have.
Mike DeWine: (44:39)
But what I think we do know is that whether it’s a business, whether it is a college, whether it is K through 12, whenever they do open again, it’s going to be different. And I think that’s the thing that I want to get across to people based on everything that I know. And this is the hardest thing for me to accept, and so I suspect it’s hard for other people to accept, but until there is a vaccine, this monster, as I’ve referred to it, is going to be the lurking around us. And so when we start businesses back up, when we start schools back up, when we start colleges back up, it’s going to be different.
Mike DeWine: (45:35)
And what everybody needs to be thinking about, and this is to every business out there that is chomping at the bit to reopen, it’s to every university, every college, every superintendent, you need to be thinking, “How am I going to open? What am I going to do every single day to keep my employees safe, my customers safe, my students safe, my faculty safe, my teachers safe?” And we’re going to work with you on that. But that’s something that you should be thinking about right now because the when is one question but how is the bigger question because you’re going to open up with a situation that is not ideal. That is far, far from ideal. Coronavirus is still, as far as we can tell, still going to be very much here, is still going to be, for some people who get it, deadly.
Mike DeWine: (46:47)
It is odd that we look at, for the last week, and we think there’s good news and it is good news in a sense that the hospital admissions are sort of flat. Up until today, the deaths had been not going up much. But the truth is, we lost 50 people in the last 24 hours. 50 of our citizens died. So this is a very, very dangerous situation. I still have people who send me emails who say this is like the flu. I wish it was. It’s not. And so we all work on this and we’re working on it every day, businesses working on it every day.
Mike DeWine: (47:34)
But the real question is, what are you going to do different? What are we going to do different? Dr Acton talked about the masks. Businesses are going to be having their employees wear these. It’s going to be different. I can’t imagine a business that’s going to open up without employees all wearing one of these. Many, many other changes.
Mike DeWine: (48:02)
I talked to someone I know, Eastern part of the state of Ohio late yesterday afternoon. I talked to him for a while, called him up, see how he’s doing, how’s his business. His is an essential business, a manufacturing company. And he told me, I said, “Well, how you doing?” And he went through and told me every safety precaution that they had taken. It was quite expansive. I was kind of blown away by all that he had done. So it’s that type of drilling down and trying to be as safe as we can that everyone is going to have to do. Whatever your business is, you’re going to have to figure that out.
Mike DeWine: (48:45)
And so long answer, and I apologize for the long answer, but that’s what universities are going to have to think about whenever they open. That’s what K through 12 is going to have to think about. How do you do that? These are difficult questions. They’re not easy.
Kevin Landers: (49:04)
Spenser Hickey: (49:10)
Spenser Hickey with Hannah News Service. Could you talk about, you said state agencies should prepare for budget cuts. Can you talk more about how that’s going to be and what determinations you want the agencies to consider? And would that include ODH for instance, given their role in handling the crisis right now?
Mike DeWine: (49:32)
Sure. We’re not going to make that announcement today. We’re going to be consulting with members of the general assembly as we have been talking with them, but we will in the next few days have announced what we’re going to do. As far as what is essential, as far as what’s needed to fight the coronavirus, that’ll obviously is going to be a very, very high high on the list of priorities. You have to take care of business. You have to take care of that. So we’ll have some announcements in the next few days.
Andy Chow: (50:16)
Hi governor. Andy Chow with Ohio Public Radio and Television State House News Bureau. A question for you and maybe for the Lieutenant Governor as well. When it does come to the idea of reopening businesses and the call for employers to really be thinking about how to keep a safe and clean workspace, what kind of efforts is the state making to make sure that the supplies are there? Right now if you go online, if you go to a store and try to find disinfectant wipes and thermometers, it’s all wiped out. So how can companies stock up on that now? Is there a plan for the state to help out with that?
Mike DeWine: (50:54)
Very, very important. Companies are doing some of that themselves where they can. We are doing what we can. We have a team that is focused on the personal protection equipment, for example, which is so essential to our first responders, so essential to people in nursing homes who are working, people in hospitals. And so we kind of break that down to the different things that we are trying to get into Ohio, the ventilators and the other things that we hear about on the news and every state is trying to do. Sometimes that’s frustrating. Sometimes that is, you think you’ve got something bought and you don’t have it bought and it doesn’t show up.
Mike DeWine: (51:40)
So these are very difficult times. We have really turned to Ohio companies and Ohio manufacturers. They have stepped up. They’re doing absolutely some amazing work. I’ll let Jon talk a little bit about… He’s been working with some of these companies in regard to what they are doing.
Mike DeWine: (52:04)
But Andy, it’s the right question, and part of coming back and being able to have businesses reopen is they got to have whatever safety protection that they need. I mean, we’re working on this, but I envision, as Dr. Acton indicated, that everybody in this state will have a couple of these masks that when you go out into public, you can use those. Certainly people in businesses. So this is something that I know the private sector is working on. We are working on as well. Jon, you want to add anything?
Lieutenant Governor: (52:45)
Sure, governor. And Andy, as governor mentioned, that’s the right question. That’s why we keep talking about it so that we can prepare business for what they’re going to need to do to be at the forefront of the restart, so to speak when that time comes. The businesses of Ohio are really, they’re talking to one another. They’re talking about what those protocols should be. They’re talking about how to source it, how to create the workspace in your cafeterias and other things that you’re going to need to do this. They’re talking about how to implement it, how to organize to have a person in charge who’s doing these things.
Lieutenant Governor: (53:31)
But sourcing it is a challenge right now and it is part of the delay in being able to determine when that rollback can occur because you have to make sure that adequate supplies are available, particularly for the most vulnerable workplace settings, before you can begin to expand. That is a incredibly important part of this discussion and we are pushing through our manufacturers and our supply chains that we can all touch. And we have some amazing companies in this state who are globally connected to be able to do these things, and they are working every day to help source and strategize on how businesses can be prepared.
Andy Chow: (54:17)
Can I ask a follow up just to clarify something? So governor, from what I heard, you’re saying that the big priorities are the PPE right now and the state working on building up PPE. But when the need for that maybe decreases, then the state might be looking into prioritizing other things like the cleaning supplies then?
Mike DeWine: (54:38)
Well, my experience in life is the private sector usually can do things better than the public sector. And so a lot of this is going to be driven by what the private sector can do both in sourcing it, finding it, but also in producing it. But we’re certainly encouraging. We’re trying to help manufacturers who are producing essential things in the state of Ohio.
Mike DeWine: (55:06)
So, it’s both the private sector and the public sector trying to work together in public-private partnership as my old friend George [Bornavus 00:55:15] used to say. And when those work well, they can work exceedingly well. But I mean, every company’s got to figure out what do I need, but there are common things that we know have to be there, kind of basic things, the masks that certainly can and are being produced, and the hand sanitizer. Some of the other things are unique to that particular business.
Mike DeWine: (55:41)
Now over all, in regard to that, we know we’re going to be safer if we, as we open back up, if we have the ability to do a lot more testing. And so that’s something that is within, we have some control over. Our great hospitals in Ohio, who are doing phenomenal job, they’re leading the way in this testing. So more we can help them, the more robust our testing can be, the more safer the workplaces can be, the better that we can trace when… If there’s an outbreak somewhere, it’d be able to trace that and to quarantine and do all the things that we know that have to be done. And the government certainly plays a significant role in that, particularly in regard to the 113 health departments around the state. They’re certainly involved in that.
Andy Chow: (56:35)
Adrienne Robbins: (56:40)
Adrienne Robbins, NBC4, and my question’s for Dr. Acton.
Dr. Amy Acton: (56:45)
Adrienne Robbins: (56:46)
Hi Dr. Acton. We’re getting reports of people with family members in nursing homes who are waiting days for test results. Are you aware of a backlog happening, and what would you recommend to a family member who’s maybe waiting for either their loved one or another resident in that nursing home for a test result for days?
Dr. Amy Acton: (57:05)
Oh, well, the governor’s taken pretty aggressive action to get the word out that there is better testing available if they go through certain hospitals and our labs. So if you can get that information to us, I have a team, a strike force that’s only job is coming alongside nursing homes and trying to get to the bottom of things like this. So I’d love to hear the details on that and we’ll help out.
Mike DeWine: (57:35)
We have the capacity today in Ohio to get tests returned quickly. If somebody is not getting it returned quickly, there is a problem that we need to fix. We have capacity. We have six different [inaudible 00:57:55] hospitals that have the ability to test and test rapidly. So if that sample is taken and it’s not getting back quickly, there’s something wrong, and we would love to know about it and try to run that down and figure out what’s wrong.
Dr. Amy Acton: (58:15)
Adrienne Robbins: (58:19)
We can certainly forward that along. Should families be doing the same thing if it’s them waiting for their loved one’s test?
Mike DeWine: (58:23)
Adrienne Robbins: (58:23)
Send that to you?
Mike DeWine: (58:24)
Yeah. I mean, look. If it’s a day, that’s one thing. It was five days, that’s something else, and that’s not helpful to anybody if there’s that delay.
Adrienne Robbins: (58:35)
Thank you. [crosstalk 00:16:35].
Dr. Amy Acton: (58:38)
Hmm. [inaudible 00:58:39]
Ben Schwartz: (58:40)
Good afternoon. Ben Schwartz with WCPO in Cincinnati. Governor DeWine, I want to direct this question to you, but if Dr. Acton wants to add something, I’d love to hear it as well. This is a question sent in from a viewer and they’re wondering as we come out of the other side of our statewide shelter in place and curve flattening measure, how will we guard against and ensure that the virus is not brought back into the state of Ohio’s communities by way of social and business interactions with those coming in from outside of the state?
Mike DeWine: (59:12)
Well Ben, once again, you’ve hit the tough question, but a very, very good question. I think that we all need to understand, and this is so hard to accept, Ohioans, Americans, we’re used to going in and winning and then leaving and, “We did it. And so let’s move on to life.” But as Dr. Acton said, we’ve won a battle, but we’ve not won the war. And so, this monster is still going to be with us at least until we get a vaccine.
Mike DeWine: (59:48)
So I think the answer to the question is people have to be very, very careful. If you’re 80 years old and you have asthma, you’re probably not going to go see the Reds play until we get a vaccine. I mean, you can, but you got to weigh benefit versus risk. And of course, that’s my example: baseball. So that’s what I want to get back to.
Mike DeWine: (01:00:17)
So I think that everybody’s going to have to make their own calculations. I think what we have to do is to make sure we’re doing certain things: people wearing a mask when they go out, trying to if you have a job, that company doing everything they can to do not only the social distancing, but doing all the other things that are necessary to make that person’s job safer.
Mike DeWine: (01:00:49)
But it’s not going away. I mean, that’s the sad news. Most things in life, we think we can deal with, but it’s not going away until we get a vaccines. So we’re 12 to 18 months away from this going away. We’re going to have to live with it, but we’re going to have to, everybody’s either both collectively as a state, 11.7 million people in state government plus individuals, we’re all going to have to make rational decisions and rational choices and not think that this thing is over with. Because when we open things more up, people are still going to be exceedingly, exceedingly careful.
Ben Schwartz: (01:01:32)
Tom Bosco: (01:01:37)
Tom Bosco with ABC6 here in Columbus. There are some Republican lawmakers who are asking that businesses be reopened. We are starting to see some frustration out there. We’ve seen protesters here at the state house the last few days. Governor, you and Dr. Acton really have some goodwill built up with Ohioans, but how worried are you that there is a growing backlash and there will be a limit it as to what you can ask Ohioans to do?
Mike DeWine: (01:02:05)
Well, I’m frustrated just like every Ohioan is, and I understand that frustration. We have an obligation to get to a point where we can start doing some things, opening up in regard to business. But I would say this, that if I stood up here right now and said, People let’s go do whatever you want to do,” if people are still afraid, they’re not going to go to restaurants. If people are afraid, they’re not going to go to bars. Oh, some will, but the vast majority of people will not. And so what we have to do, if we want our economy to pick back up, if we…
Mike DeWine: (01:03:03)
… want people to be able to be employed, we have to be as deliberate, and careful, and thoughtful about getting out of this as we were when we had to make the decisions to close things down. This part of it is frankly much more difficult, but that’s what we owe the people, I owe as governor, the people of the state of Ohio, is a thoughtful response in how we do that. I also owe them the truth and one things is I’ve been saying today is it will not be like it was. It will not be like it was until we get a vaccine. What we have to do is do the best we can.
Mike DeWine: (01:03:55)
We’ve seen some progress, even though 50 people died, 50 of our fellow citizens died within the last 24 hours. We have flattened this thing out it looks like. We’ve got in about a week, and we’ll see if this trend continues, and then what we hope is at some point we start going down and the number of people hospitalized go down eventually. The number of people who die is going down. It’s going down like that. I share their frustration. I share their anger, I get it, but it’s not going to do businesses any good. It’s not going to do employees any good if we get it wrong. If we get it wrong, we’re going to have a medical mess, at the same time, we’re going to continue to have a mess in the economy.
Mike DeWine: (01:04:54)
The best thing we can do is get this right layout, what our steps are. I’ve talked about some of the things today that every business has got to figure out, and we’ll help them. Our health department will help them, but figuring out all the things that you can do that make it safer for your employees. Because the truth is if employees don’t feel safe, they won’t want to come to work either. Everyone’s got to feel safe and we’ve got to work our way through this. I get it. We’re going to have to do what we think is right and we’re going to have to do it the right way.
Hello, this is Laura from cleveland.com. I just want to follow up, governor DeWine, on what you were just talking about in terms of the numbers and the data. As you’ve said, 50 people died yesterday. That’s higher than in recent days, if you go back a few days. Is there anything you can share about the reasons behind this increase? Furthermore, will we see more and more every day until Sunday?
Mike DeWine: (01:06:06)
Well, we hope not. Look, we know that, as they were saying, the stock market, this is deaths tragically are lagging. They lag. Your hospital admissions lags obviously from where the person got infected. But the hospital admissions are earlier in the process, and they’re probably a better indicator of what’s happening. We saw it go back up on deaths. I think the thing to focus on is your hospital admissions. See how those go.
Mike DeWine: (01:06:45)
Understanding that people are staying longer in hospital from COVID-19 than they are normally. It doesn’t mean your hospital capacity stays the same, that continues to change, but if you keep the same numbers, you’re going to have more people in there. But we’re seeing a flattening of that curve in regard to hospitalizations, which is a good thing. It’s like any data, it’s like looking at the stock market, or anything else you know, don’t look at one day. What you want to look at is a five day average or seven day average and just see, and that’s what we look at every day. We compare that. You’ll see one of the graphs up there, Dr. Acton has it tells you the data for that day, but then it’s got the last five days. That gives you the trend and that’s what we really think is the most important thing.
Jackie Borchert: (01:07:35)
Good afternoon, this is Jackie Borchert from the Cincinnati Inquirer. A real quick follow up. You said 50 people have died in the last 24 hours. The coronavirus website dashboard is showing revised numbers for the past few days that would indicate that there were only … there are far fewer than that. About five over the previous day. I’m assuming this is because the data you’re getting, it’s 50 more than reported yesterday, but you’re applying it to the days that they died? I’m looking for some clarification on that.
Mike DeWine: (01:08:06)
Okay. Dr Actton you have that one?
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:08:09)
No, and I don’t have my cellphone here, but I think someone is sending you a correction so I’ll correct it, but I think it might be a reporting lag, not a … I’ll find out. I’ll find out, Jackie.
Mike DeWine: (01:08:22)
I will tell you, I get numbers, we get numbers late at night when I get the full numbers in, but those numbers actually switch at 11:00 AM, is that the reporting time? 11:00 AM. Sometimes I’ve come in here actually and been looking at yesterday’s number. I’m not saying that’s where this time, but I was looking … one time, I know I came in here and I was looking at the numbers I had that morning, but didn’t have the update as far as 11:00 AM. I don’t know how to explain this and we’ll figure it out for you.
Jackie Borchert: (01:08:56)
Given the data that we do have, it’s been far under the projection models, both Ohio State and University of Washington. The last time an OSU model was made public was over a week ago. Can you talk a little bit about what kind of modeling you’re looking at and whether you still believe we’re going to peak this weekend?
Mike DeWine: (01:09:15)
Well, I’ll start on that. First of all, thank God the numbers are better than the modeling. That’s number one. Number two, modeling is what it is. It is an attempt at some prediction based on the information that they have at that time. If you look at some of the earlier models that had the highest numbers and the scariest numbers, it certainly scared me. The early ones were based on virtually no social distancing, basically doing nothing.
Mike DeWine: (01:09:53)
Every other model, when you drill down on it, they have to project what they think the social distancing cut will be. Is at 20% down? 40%? 60%? Wherever they set that, I’m not a modeler, but it does impact what the results are. At this point, what you look at is the real data day to day. That’s what I’m looking at every day. I’m looking at a five day average. I’m trying to see where it’s going. That’s what I’m dealing with.
Jackie Borchert: (01:10:31)
Governor, I just want to add that I received a note here that numbers are being updated at 2:00 PM, and we basically have flattened a curve and what we’re seeing is almost an imperceptible peak, meaning we picture a peak being a point, and what we’re seeing in our numbers of actual cases. Our reality is looking like it’s flat over along. I think we’re going to stay flat for a while is what I’m predicting, and we’ll slowly hopefully start to slope our way down.
Jackie Borchert: (01:11:08)
I did just receive a note that the numbers updated too. Those were the numbers I was given walking in, but I’ll find out if that is … I also want to say too that I don’t think people should be surprised. Deaths are going to lag these infections, and so I think some low level of this is what we’re going to expect at that steady level. Thank you.
Speaker 3: (01:11:32)
I can add just a little bit to that. They are on the Coronavirus.ohio.gov website under key indicators. It’s under that tab where you can see those updated numbers, I believe. That has last 24 hour deaths change 50 on that. Believe that’s the source.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:11:52)
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. I don’t have my technology with me.
Laura Bischoff: (01:11:57)
Good afternoon. It’s Laura Bischoff of Dayton Daily News. You all have been describing how a slow reopening might look and how it’s going to be different. Governor or Dr. Acton, can you tell us if we’ll see minor league and major league baseball games being played in crowded stadiums this summer? And do you think the Buckeyes will be playing in the shoe before 100,000 fans this fall?
Mike DeWine: (01:12:21)
I don’t know either one. I think I’ve said this before. I told our son Brian who runs a minor league baseball team in Asheville, North Carolina. I told him a month ago, I said if we’re playing ball in July, we’ll be lucky. But I don’t know. I don’t think anybody knows. I think baseball is going to … major league baseball is making decisions. I’ve read in the Dayton Daily News and other papers, your paper, Laura, about different proposals major league was having about playing in Arizona. Or playing in Florida, and trying to seal everybody off. All I know in regard to that as is what I read. I would say that as you look at any kind of coming back, that large gatherings of people are going to be the last thing that you check off the box and say, “Okay, we should be doing that.”
Mike DeWine: (01:13:25)
Again, I think that it’s not going to be what the States do only, it’s going to be what fans think is safe. What do restaurant customers think is safe? What do people go to bars think is safe? You go to a Reds game, you think that’s safe? That is our challenge, and the state’s challenge is to do everything we can possible to make people feel safe, and it be true that it be safer in regard to whatever activity they’re engaged in, whether that’s a business activity or whether that is, in going to a sporting event. I wish I knew the answer to your question. I don’t.
Laura Bischoff: (01:14:14)
Randy Ludlow: (01:14:14)
Good afternoon governor, Randy Ludlow with the Columbus Dispatch and I get to ask the final queries. A quick question to Dr acton. Dr, you have yet to sign the order regarding notification of the residents and family members of nursing home patients where COVID cases occur and to report that information online. When will that occur?
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:14:39)
I think I have not signed that order yet. I’m thinking because I’ve signed several in the last day, so I’m assuming that the final work is being done on that.
Mike DeWine: (01:14:50)
Lawyers have to be involved. I’m sorry to say, Randy.
Randy Ludlow: (01:14:55)
I’m sorry. I didn’t quite hear that.
Mike DeWine: (01:14:56)
Lawyers have to be involved unfortunately. We love lawyers. I am one.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:15:00)
I found myself going back through the orders. I think yesterday was the alcohol sales.
Randy Ludlow: (01:15:08)
Okay. But it’s fine to say you hope that will be soon, I assume?
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:15:11)
Mike DeWine: (01:15:11)
We’ve also indicated that this is what people should be doing, and we fully expect they’re going to do it. Yes, that will be signed.
Randy Ludlow: (01:15:23)
Okay. Governor, to what extent have you worked with the governor’s surrounding States on a regional reopening plan, if it were?
Mike DeWine: (01:15:30)
Well, we don’t have any formal plan, nor do we have any formal coalition. I have talked a lot to the governors of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan. Talked some to the governor of Pennsylvania, West Virginia. The States around us, we have a lot in common, and it just make sense for us to share information. It’s interesting you asked that because this morning the first thing I did on my conference call this morning was tell our team, make sure we’re reaching out to these different teams the governors have.
Mike DeWine: (01:16:16)
Dr Acton, is in touch with the health departments of those different States. I told my chief of staff, Laurel Dawson, I said, “Let’s make sure that we’re really … you guys at your level are doing it. We’re doing it the governor’s level, and we do it quite frequently.” I was on a call last night with Republican governors. I was on a call with the vice president with all the governors. Last Friday night I had a call with the governor of Kentucky and Indiana, the three of us got together on the phone. We’re doing that once a week. We’re always looking for good ideas and we’re always looking at how to share information.
Dr. Amy Acton: (01:17:02)
I could add to that, governor, that the state health directors, I know Lieutenant governor talks to his peers, but we’re part of something called Region Five. We have colleagues. We get together, all 54 of us, including the territory’s, but we’ve helped each other throughout this. Really learning from each other because it’s unprecedented. A lot of times, somebody finds something that works and they share it across. I think that’s very, very important, because as you know, we are an interconnected United States of America and people, we really aren’t interconnected world when you’re dealing with something like a pandemic. It’s so important that we’re constantly watching what’s happening everywhere around us, as well as in our state. Thank you.
Randy Ludlow: (01:17:49)
Mike DeWine: (01:17:51)
Well, as we close, just a comment. Last summer I had the opportunity to attend the special Olympics. Jesse Owens, a stadium at Ohio State University. It was great to see the athletes. It was just a very, very inspiring time that I had there. Obviously, because of what we’re going through this year, unfortunately there will not be a summer games.
Mike DeWine: (01:18:18)
However, Special Olympics, Ohio has launched a virtual program that includes content such as fitness routines, resources for both physical and mental health, and nutrition information for the athletes. Lieutenant governor and I and Dr Acton received a special message from one of their athletes. I’d like to share it with you. This is from Jessica. Jessica, I’m going to butcher your last name, but it’s K-O-M-J-A-T-I. Jessica, thank you very, very much, and we’re going to share your message with everybody in Ohio.
Jessica Komjati: (01:18:57)
Hi, I’m Jessica Komjati, and I am an athlete from Special Olympics, Ohio and Gahanna. First, I want to thank you, governor DeWine, for working so hard to keep people in Ohio safe and healthy. I know that this can’t be easy and I appreciate everything that you and Lieutenant Governor Houston are doing.
Jessica Komjati: (01:19:20)
I also want to thank you, Dr Acton, for all of your hard work. I know that you are spending long hours away from your loved ones to make sure that Ohioans climb the curve. While this isn’t easy for any of us. I understand why it’s so important that we say home, practice social distancing, and doing other things to stop the spread of Coronavirus. For me and more than 20,000 athletes, Special Olympics, Ohio thank you.
Mike DeWine: (01:19:56)
Jessica, thank you very much and we look forward to seeing you compete next summer, and all the other special Olympics athletes. We’ll see you all at two o’clock tomorrow. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (01:20:13)
That’s the end of governor Mike DeWine’s daily update on Coronavirus in Ohio. We heard a couple of bits of information about nursing homes and some other things. We’ll get more details on those things tomorrow. Just to wrap up today, 309 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in 46 Ohio counties. 324 total deaths with 15 probable new deaths. 7,153 Corona virus cases confirmed in 86 of 88 counties, bringing a total of 7,280 with the expanded case definition, and …