May 14, 2020
Mike DeWine Ohio Coronavirus Briefing Transcript May 14
Governor Mike DeWine held a COVID-19 press conference on May 14. He announced the opening of many businesses in coming weeks, including child care centers. Read the full news briefing speech transcript.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Governor Mike DeWine: (00:04)
I want to thank all my fellow citizens in Ohio for what they’re doing, because it truly is a patriotic act. The individual things that people are doing, what people are doing to help their fellow citizens, what they’re doing to stay away from their fellow citizens, that truly is patriotic. Fran said, “When we have a crisis, 9/11, different things that have gone on through our history, Americans who put out their flight to really show unity, to show we’re not going to be pushed aside, we’re not going to be conquered. We’re going to be defiant. So I’m asking today all Ohioans to put their flag up. Fly that flag every single day. If you have an Ohio flag, fly that. But most people have an American flag. Fran tells me that she just put ours out on our front porch. Dr. Atkins says her husband just put their flag out. And so I ask all my fellow Ohio citizens to do that. We will get through this. Spring will come. All the joys of life, we will again be able to enjoy.
Karen Kasler: (02:44)
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of Governor Mike DeWine’s daily update on coronavirus in Ohio. I’m Karen Kasler, state house bureau chief for Ohio Public Radio and Television, in the studios of the Ohio Channel at the State House in Columbus. We’re back after a day off on the Ohio Channels Facebook Live feed or on public radio of public television stations.
Karen Kasler: (03:01)
Tomorrow is the day that hair salons, barbershops and many personal services can begin operations again, along with outdoor dining, three days after retail was allowed to reopen all under new rules. Governor Mike DeWine said earlier this week that he wasn’t ready to bring forward plans on reopening childcare facilities, but he could have something on that today. He could also talk about other businesses that are waiting to reopen and also about outdoor activities that might be resuming sometime this summer.
Karen Kasler: (03:27)
With me as my colleague, Andy Chow. Before you go to the press conference, you have some new numbers from the Ohio Department of Health.
Andy Chow: (03:31)
That’s right on coronavirus.ohio.gov, the Ohio Department of Health is now reporting 24,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Now that is through testing for COVID-19. Of the probable cases, there are now 1,557 reports of probable cases, bringing the total amount of cases to 26,357.
Andy Chow: (03:53)
There are now 4,718 hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic. The Ohio Hospital Association reported that yesterday there were about 950 people in the hospital being treated with COVID-19 in the state, that was yesterday. And of the confirmed deaths, 1,388 confirmed deaths, 146 deaths with probable cases, bringing that total to 1,534.
Karen Kasler: (04:19)
That’s an increase of 41 deaths over yesterday. Because even though there wasn’t a briefing yesterday, as always, there are new numbers that are released by the Ohio Department of Health every day at two o’clock. That’s 41 deaths increased from yesterday to today, at least the reporting is; 555 increased confirmed coronavirus cases. Once again, still keeping in the trend of going up, but the increases are very small.
Andy Chow: (04:42)
Yeah, and of course, what Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, has said is that Ohio is in this plateau phase. Now the question now might be, we’ve been in about a week or two of plateauing where the numbers have stayed fairly steady. Of course, they’re going to rise, but they’ve been rising at a small percentage increase. When will the state start to see a dip in the trends? That’s something to look forward to.
Andy Chow: (05:06)
I think part of the issue here is that the state is ramping up the amount of tests that they administer from day to day. If you’re going to ramp up the amount of testing, it is assumed that you will have more reported cases. It kind of goes back to, remember at the beginning of the pandemic when the state was handling its response, it was working on a limited amount of testing. And so there was an assumption there that there were many more people out there in the state experiencing mild symptoms who might’ve had COVID-19, but just were not able to get tested for it. Now, there is more testing.
Karen Kasler: (05:37)
All right, well, Governor Mike DeWine didn’t want to wait today. He didn’t want to give us an opportunity to talk too much longer. Here let’s turn it over to Governor Mike DeWine. Is he standing at the podium removing his mask? Let’s hear what he has to say today.
Governor Mike DeWine: (05:51)
Well, good afternoon everybody. Today, I’m wearing a tie from Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. Our nephew, Steven, graduated from there a few years ago. We congratulate him. His wife Jessica will be graduating from the law school in just a few days, so congratulations to Jessica. Michelle Gillcrest, who has worked for me in Cleveland for many, many years is also a Case Western Reserve law school graduate.
Governor Mike DeWine: (06:24)
This week is National Police Week, and we can honor police officers from across our country and across Ohio. And I’d like to begin today with a message for all of those of you who are in law enforcement. Thank you. Thank you very, very much for what you do each and every day. Thanks for your service. Thanks for your dedication. Thanks for your bravery as you face the unknown every day. As part of National Police Week, tomorrow, May 15th is recognized each year as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day, as proclaimed originally by President Kennedy in 1962. COVID-19 is forced the cancellation of many memorial events all over the country to honor these police officers, including the cancellation of the Ohio service that the Ohio attorney general holds each year for our fallen heroes. It was my honor to preside over that ceremony for eight years as the attorney general of the state of Ohio.
Governor Mike DeWine: (07:43)
And today, I think we should take a moment to remember those killed in the line of duty this past year. Officer Dale Woods of the Colerain Township Police Department, Detective William Brewer of the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, Detective George Del Rio of the Dayton Police Department, and Officer Kaia Grant of the Springdale Police Department. And so let’s pause for a moment of silence for these officers, for every officer who’s been killed in the line of duty in the past, and also to think about our officers who are out there every single day risking their lives. If you’ll join me for a moment of silence.
Governor Mike DeWine: (08:42)
Governor Mike DeWine: (08:46)
Yesterday, Fran and I traveled to Circleville to attend a funeral of our longtime friend, former sheriff, Dwight Radcliff. When he retired, he was the longest serving sheriff, not just in Ohio but in the entire country. Sheriff Radcliff really was a sheriff’s sheriff. He was someone who had great people skills, knew how to size people up, knew how to treat people the right way. Had the dogged determinedness of a law enforcement officer to follow the case wherever the evidence took it, and just had really the skills, all the skills, of a great, great sheriff. He was a personal friend of mine, personal friend of Fran’s.
Governor Mike DeWine: (09:42)
After he retired, I asked him to join the Attorney General’s Office, which he did as our liaison to local law enforcement agencies. And I know there’s many a sheriff and chief of police who enjoyed having him come around. Not to only talk about things that we were doing in our office, but maybe just give a little advice from a five-decade, veteran sheriff. We miss him very, very much. Fran and I continue to think about his wife, Betty, who is truly, truly his partner; his children, Sheriff Robert Radcliff, son Dwight, daughter Vicki, all of their families remain in our prayers. We also have learned of the unexpected death of former state representative, Andy Thompson of Marietta. Andy was a fierce advocate for Southeast Ohio, outspoken proponent of free markets as a champion of Ohio’s outdoor areas, and was the publisher of Birdwatcher’s Digest. Fran and I extend our condolences to his wife, Jade, and their three children. We’re so very, very sorry. Saturday is Armed Forces Day. Ohio has a long history of celebrating the service of our nation’s heroes with parades, breakfasts, luncheons, 5Ks, marathons and more. While this year will certainly look different from past years, it is important that we continue to show support for our military. This Saturday, May 16th, Fran and I will be flying our flag in particular honor on that date, a sign of appreciation for those military members serving us, our country, and for those who have served in the past. And we would invite everyone to join us and fly their flag then as well.
Governor Mike DeWine: (11:50)
During our press conference on Monday, I talked about childcare and talked about the concerns we have to make sure that we get this right, to make sure that we have as much information and data as possible to confidently reopen our childcare centers. And so for the past few weeks, we’ve been working with numerous experts, pediatricians, children’s hospital folks, childcare professionals, parents, caregivers, infectious disease experts. These conversations have helped inform our plan, rooting it in the best science and practices that we could find.
Governor Mike DeWine: (12:34)
I will say that we do not have really any great data in regard to childcare and COVID-19. While there is information, certainly best practices, in regard to any spread of virus in childcare, studies have been done on that. But as far as COVID- 19, there is not a whole lot of information out there. I’ll talk about this in a moment, but we intend to rectify that.
Governor Mike DeWine: (13:09)
Our goal is very simple, and that is to do everything we can to protect the children in childcare, the workers and all the families. We want to have the safest childcare system in the nation, one that nurtures the health and continued growth and the development of our young people, and one that protects the health and safety of our childcare workers and teachers.
Governor Mike DeWine: (13:38)
Moving forward, childcare is going to look different for children, parents, and teachers as long as this COVID-19 is around. But we must get this right or we run the risk of exposing more individuals to COVID-19. And so, as I’ve said, we have based the reopening of childcare and the protocols on the best science that we can find, and we’ve consulted with a number of experts in the field and with people who do this every single day, those who take care of the children.
Governor Mike DeWine: (14:14)
On May 31st, childcare providers in Ohio will be able to reopen. They will reopen with reduced numbers of children in each classroom, intensified cleaning and hand washing practices, and many other changes. To explain in more detail how childcare will look different, I’ve invited Joni Close, president of the Sisters of Charity of Canton and who is the chair of our Early Childhood Advisory Council. And I want to thank her for her work and the rest of our folks that we drew from across the state of Ohio to really provide their expertise and their counsel to us as we make these very, very important decisions. Joni, thanks for joining us. We appreciate it.
Joni Close: (15:05)
Thank you, Governor. I appreciate you and all the thoughtfulness that you’ve put into this. There will be changes at childcare centers for families and for children. Starting right when the children are dropped off, you’ll likely see your childcare provider with a mask on. The caretakers will maybe ask the parents to wear masks as well. Daily temperature taking will be routine, and anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will be sent home. And as children enter their centers, they’ll need to wash their hands and they may be escorted to their classrooms by someone other than their mom or dad, another adult.
Joni Close: (15:48)
Classroom group sizes will be smaller, as you mentioned. For preschool and school age children, there will be a maximum number of nine children in a classroom. For infants and toddlers, there’ll be a maximum of six per classroom. And of course, summertime, we always look forward to field trips. Unfortunately, those won’t be able to be held this year. There will be playground and outdoor activities. But again, a lot of sanitizing in between each group.
Joni Close: (16:18)
Cleaning is the word of the day. Childcare providers will be cleaning toys after each use, wiping down surfaces and any common areas, and centers of course will have to undergo rigorous cleaning at the end of each day. Children and teachers will wash their hands a lot. Everyone will need to wash their hands between activities, after meals, after play and many more times. And so parents can help by getting their little ones used to doing that at home.
Joni Close: (16:50)
And then at pickup, again, children will wash their hands before they leave. And again, the providers might ask that the parents wear a face mask at pickup as well. And we know that these changes will be unusual and maybe a little uncomfortable for some families and children, but we’re doing our best to be confident that these measures will keep everyone safe.
Joni Close: (17:12)
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that the Sisters of Charity Foundation that I work for, we’ve been supporting early childhood for a long time, and research has shown the clear benefits of providing children with high-quality early education and care. And now more than ever, I want to express my thanks and recognition to the childcare providers, the teachers, and the administrators for their care of our children and for their supportive families, and for the important place that they hold in getting our economy back.
Joni Close: (17:50)
I am grateful to Ohio for your investment in quality early childhood, future and past. And I’m confident that our childcare providers are up to the task, and that they’ll do everything they can protect and serve the children and families that they serve. Thank you, Governor, so much.
Governor Mike DeWine: (18:09)
Joni, thank you, and the rest of your group for, for doing this. We’re very, very grateful. Thank you for reminding-
Joni Close: (18:15)
You’re welcome. Thank you so much.
Governor Mike DeWine: (18:18)
We are taking a cautious approach. We want to continue to inform that approach with additional data. The reopening of childcare, just like so many other things that we’re doing, we’re really doing for the first time. There’s really no playbook out there for this. There’s no playbook for conducting childcare, such an essential thing. So very, very important, but there’s no playbook for conducting it really during a pandemic such as we have today.
Governor Mike DeWine: (18:58)
We will be continuing to monitor how things are going. We will learn as we go forward. We may make changes as we go forward. We are starting this off, we think, on the right foot. We think we have the right protocols, but there is additional information that I’m sure we’re going to continue to see and continue to learn, and so there will be changes made as we move forward.
Governor Mike DeWine: (19:28)
We will be conducting a research project to study best practices for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in childcare settings. This study will make Ohio, I think, a leader in reopening childcare and how we conduct childcare. As we gather more and more data from the study, it will continue to inform our decisions and there will be things that we learn as we move forward.
Governor Mike DeWine: (19:59)
As I’ve talked about before, we’re still learning things about this virus. There are a lot of things that we do not know. That information will also continue to inform what we do. We know that Ohio’s childcare providers will need assistance as they’re reopened. We have more difficult standards to meet. The cleaning, et cetera, will certainly involve a cost. The shrinkage of the classroom size, as far as the students, certainly that does not come without costs.
Governor Mike DeWine: (20:46)
To take care of that, Ohio is going to utilize more than $60 million of federal CARES Act funding to pay Ohio childcare providers, family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly funded and private providers to help fund the safety measures and reduced class sizes. More information will be posted on the Department of Jobs and Family Services website soon.
Governor Mike DeWine: (21:14)
Now for some additional openings is the Lieutenant governor who will have some other announcements to make.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (21:23)
Thank you very much, Governor. I did want to echo one thing that the governor said about a mutual friend of ours, Andy Thompson, former state representative who passed away unexpectedly. Andy was a passionate advocate for his community and a strong advocate as of late for the shale Crescent, making sure that we created jobs and opportunities down in Southeast Ohio. I just wanted to send my condolences and prayers to his family and those who loved Andy.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (21:56)
The governor mentioned reopening updates. We have several of them today for you. I’ve mentioned that May is sort of a moving month. We’re opening a next chapter in our response and reopening phase. We always, in everything we do, are trying to seek that balance between the health concerns that exist and also the economic and societal realities that we all confront several months into this pandemic. What we are announcing today is based on the feedback from our advisory groups that we had. They worked very diligently to look at all aspects of these reopenings.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (22:41)
I want to emphasize a couple of things. This means that in these announcements that they may open. It doesn’t mean that they will open. You need to consult your local health departments or governments and know that they may have different takes on, on adding or extending regulations as it relates to this and timeframe for opening or not opening at all. But they cannot shorten this timeframe or they cannot lessen the standards.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (23:08)
The governor mentioned daycares, and right along with daycares are day camps. We know that day camps are an important part of the childcare conversation as well. Families want to plan for summer work and summer activities, and day camps will open the same day as daycare on May the 31st. The protocols and ratios for this will be released by the end of the day tomorrow. Those will be forthcoming. But I know in talking with a variety of working and local government officials, that that was an important one to give guidance on when we’re opening and it’s going to be May the 31st.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (23:54)
Additionally, I mentioned BMVs before I’ll mention them again. BMVs will open across the state-
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (24:03)
BMVs will open across the State on the 26th, May the 26th. I want to talk about certain services that are already available at the BMV, because we want you to use the online services that are available. We’ve worked very diligently to get every service we can online. And we want you to use those when you can. There are services for online use for things like vehicle registration, vehicle plate replacement, scheduling a driving test, updating your address, paying license reinstatement fees, active duty, and deployed military members and their dependent families can apply for driver’s licenses and ID cards, and request duplicate licenses online. There are a variety of things like that that are available online. So go to the online services at BMV and see if they can serve you. But all other services will be open, that you must go into a BMV for on May the 26th.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (25:12)
Remember also that under House Bill 197, there are extensions on licenses and registrations that are still, will still be in effect that you will not go in and need to immediately renew these things. And frankly, we don’t want you to, unless you have to. We know that there are certain circumstances where you may have lost a license, you need something like that to begin another phase of your life, a job, something along those lines, and that service will be available, but don’t come in unless it’s necessary. Use the online service as you can. Remember, the website is oplates.com, is the website that you can use to access those online services.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (26:02)
Another thing that we’ll be opening, campgrounds. Many of them are already open in a limited fashion throughout the state, but they will be opening up completely on May the 21st. They will have to meet certain requirements. That guidance is up on the website now, so that campgrounds and campers can start making plans as we go forward. So that date is May the 21st. That information is available on what those protocols are, cleaning the commonly used areas at those sites. I know that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz also has a number of things that will be happening in our State parks regarding openings and protocols that will be available on the website as well.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (26:52)
Next group that we’ve worked with have to do with gyms and fitness centers, recreation centers, dance studios, tennis clubs, as examples. And as it relates to that, we also have guidance on limited or non-contact sports leagues and pools. And let me go through each of these. For gyms fitness centers, they will be able to reopen on May the 26th. Guidance will be on the website at some point today on the protocols that you must meet. We know that athletic facilities, working out, provides both mental and physical benefits to people, but we also know that it’s important, very important that we keep these surfaces, these places clean, that we follow the protocols so that we don’t create any unnecessary contact or spread through the reopening of these facilities. And the guidance will be available today.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (27:59)
We also have guidance on sports leagues, which fit right into this on non-contact or limited contact sports like golf, softball, baseball, tennis, paddle sports, of the like, those can also reopen, be reestablished on May the 26th. Guidance on all of those things will be available later today. We are emphasizing that these are very low contact or non contact sports. We have work groups that are working on the higher contact sports, as it relates to lacrosse, hockey, field hockey, soccer, basketball, and others. We know that there are some other things like volleyball, gymnastics that present their own special challenges. The work group still is functioning to provide future guidance on those types of sports. But what we’re announcing today are those limited contact situations that we want to make sure that there are guidance around.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (29:05)
Additionally, we know that there are other leagues, things ranging from Frisbee to cornhole, to bocce, things like that. There’s going to be general guidance on there for those non-contact activities regarding social distancing, sanitizing equipment, and wearing face coverings, et cetera when practical. These protocols are designed, these openings are designed to allow us to do the things we love while also keeping our loved ones safe. And it’s important that for successful, as everything we do for successful reopenings follow the protocols that we know work if followed to minimize our health risks.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (29:48)
Additionally, with pools. Pools can reopen on May the 26th as well. I want to read directly from the CDC guidance on this. There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tub, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance, including disinfection with chlorine and bromine of these facilities should inactivate the virus and water. What we’re talking about here, I want to be clear, we’re only talking about pools that are regulated by local health departments. These could be public pools or clubs. What we’re not talking about are water parks and amusement parks. Those will not be allowed to open under this guidance, those are regulated differently, and those are being addressed through our travel and tourism work group. So they’re not forgotten, but they’re not on this list for opening.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (30:49)
We remind in these situations that individuals should continue to protect themselves, practicing social distancing, and good hygiene, and additionally ensuring water safety quality for the owners and operators and community pools. It is important that you follow these guidelines that are being put in place, and always the interim guidance for businesses, employers on safe workplace environments. That guidance on pools will be made available later today on the Coronavirus website under reopening.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (31:29)
Then finally horseracing can resume on May the 22nd, guidance for those activities have been improved by the racing commission. They worked through the racing commission to make sure that these activities can take place, but spectators will be prohibited. No spectators. I want to stress that this does not mean that casinos or racinos themselves can open up, we’re only talking about the agricultural aspect of this with horse racing, no spectators. This I know is an important priority in the agricultural community, and the racing commission has provided guidance that will be added to the website.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (32:14)
Emphasizing again, these things may open on the dates describe, it does not mean that they will open and does not mean that local governments or others might not add additional guidance on this. And all of this guidance will be up on our coronavirus. ohio.gov website by the end of the day tomorrow. Much of it will be up today, all of it will be up by the end of the day tomorrow. Governor, thank you.
Governor Mike DeWine: (32:39)
Lieutenant Governor thank you very much. Dr. Acton.
Dr. Amy Acton: (32:43)
Thank you governor. Hello everyone, good afternoon. I’d like to start with sharing some numbers and then we’re going to talk a little bit more about childcare. So first of we do know now that we have 26,357 reported cases in the State of Ohio. Overall in the U.S. we actually have 1.4 million cases. And unfortunately our deaths increased in the last 24 hours by 51 to be a total of 1,534. Deaths in the U.S. right now are 84,000.
Dr. Amy Acton: (33:26)
Next slide, not a lot new here in terms of our demographics on this, on total tested in Ohio 231,000 and above. Still seeing this disparity a little bit more toward cases being diagnosed as male. Next slide. Our trends are fairly plateaued, still nothing that is standing out to me other than we did see an increase of a hundred of our hospitalizations in the last 24 hours. And again, our testing numbers continuing to go up. We have, I’ve been working quite a bit over the last two days with our testing team, our team of governors, and really impressed by the work that this group is doing. We’ll be having more and more to share, but we’re working a lot on not only our supply chain side, but actually how we implement that testing and the broadest way possible in our State, making sure that we get out into our communities where it’s most needed using our zone structure and really effective ways. So I see a lot of exciting work going on there.
Dr. Amy Acton: (34:39)
So I do want to take a moment to talk a little bit about our opening of childcare. And I want to say, I know this is an issue like everything we’re doing, including what the Lieutenant Governor just shared, we really are digging deep on the policy on these issues, and this is an issue that’s particularly near and dear to the Governor’s heart. Not only we talk a lot about children and the spread of infectious disease there, but the Governor is very passionate about the workers and childcare. This has been something he has ride on throughout his administration. I want to say in terms of this policy, and again, I’ve spent a lot of time… I’m one person I’ve always said, this is a tip of an iceberg of hundreds and thousands of employees, and then volunteers from the community are helping us set these policies. I’ve been so impressed.
Dr. Amy Acton: (35:31)
I want to just shout out Director of Children’s Initiatives, LeeAnn Cornyn, and also with her Kara Wente, who’s the deputy director at JFS our family and children’s services area, who works for director Kim Hall. I also want to think director Stephanie McLeod from Bureau of Workman’s Compensation, because she’s really helped enable us to be able to do what the Governor has asked us, which is to be a leader in how childcare works moving forward. We talk a lot about, here, about the cases, we talk a lot about deaths, but there’s so much more we’re trying to learn about the spread of this disease. So we are very lucky, and today I was lucky to be a part of a conversation with Dr. Walter Gilliam. He is a lead researcher, over 25 years of working in the area of childcare at Yale University. He’s leading a nationwide study, and has agreed to help Ohio dig a little deeper in our childcare system.
Dr. Amy Acton: (36:33)
So we’re actually going to not only work with him on his national study, but do some extra work here in Ohio. And we’ll be looking at a couple of areas. We’re going to look at sort of the families, the children, the workers, and the spread of disease, we’re also going to try to understand better, what are some of these best practices? We’re implementing these new best practices. We’re trying to be a leader in the country, but we want to find out which of these practices works best. So again, we’re all learning in this together. I see Ohio as being a leader in the country. This is a way that we’re taking a really difficult situation and trying to make it better.
Dr. Amy Acton: (37:13)
And one last thing I really want to talk about the workers. Not only are we very interested in learning about them, any preexisting conditions they have as well, but how do they go home? How do we all go from these places we come together, but go home and look into for a worker, what does that mean for the people at home in their lives? So this is a fascinating area of research. I’m really proud Governor that we can be a part of that. We want to do our due diligence on all these things, but we also want to learn as much as we can for our country, for our world, and certainly our childcare is something that’s near and dear to our hearts. So, very excited about that work Governor. Thank you.
Governor Mike DeWine: (38:00)
Dr. Acton thank you very much. As Dr. Acton said, we’re excited about the opportunity to do this study, and we’re looking forward to the results that we will get back, and we think that will help inform us as we move forward in regard to a childcare. Ready for questions.
Adrian Robbins: (38:20)
Adrienne Robbins, NBC4. And my questions for Dr. Acton. With childcare now reopening, and at the same time, we’re seeing the new condition out of New York, Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in children, that they believe is related to COVID-19. Are we gambling on Ohio’s children here when we know so little about this virus?
Dr. Amy Acton: (38:55)
Hi, thank you for that question. So we don’t want to gamble, gamble’s a harsh word, on anyone in Ohio. There’s nothing that we care about more than getting our citizens safely through what we’re all facing, just a terrible virus. And that means we’re all trying to learn how to live with it over the next year or two. And so we know that part of opening in any way we do make childcare an absolutely essential piece of this. And we’re very concerned about just the safety of kids overall, that kids have somebody who are watching them, that they’re skilled and the most highly trained people possible. That a parent is not having to make a difficult decision about having to go back to work and support their family, and not knowing what to do with their kids. And so we’re really trying to do so many things at one time.
Dr. Amy Acton: (39:59)
And we are watching this disease. As I said before, this is a pediatric inflammatory disease. I had the opportunity to be on a national call the other night, and hear from Dr. Howard Zucker, who is my colleague in my position, in the State of New York who really first brought on this to the forefront. They have over a hundred cases of this that they’re looking at now, very detailed work. They’re working with cardiologists, rheumatologists, not just around this country in our best children’s hospitals, but all over the world. So we’re all trying to learn about this disease. We’re learning more and more about COVID all the time. And I know we’ve heard of a case, university hospitals here in Ohio, and our team, our infectious disease team, our clinical team, we’re working with all our children’s hospitals to keep an eye out for this, and add once again to this body of knowledge as we learn.
Dr. Amy Acton: (40:54)
What this is, again, just for people at home, we see that COVID has this very exaggerated effect on our immune response. And that normally happens in all of us when we fight off infections, but we’re seeing the effects of this inflammatory response on our body in all ages, not just children, we’re seeing it in strokes, and heart disease, and kidney disease, but we’re trying to learn more alongside all of us in the country about the impact on children. So this will be something we are keeping a very close eye on. Thank you.
Adrian Robbins: (41:29)
Ben Schwartz: (41:34)
Hello, Ben Schwartz with WCPO. Governor DeWine, we got a question sent in from a public school teacher in Ohio, who is very concerned that our kids aren’t receiving the education that they were when they had school in the building, especially with the modified grading scale, it may look like students are doing well on paper when in reality they’re doing far from well. So if things are still uncertain in the fall, what can we expect school to look like and what will we be doing to ensure that kids are getting a proper education?
Governor Mike DeWine: (42:13)
Well, I think we all have that concern since physical school has been out, but kids are still learning and teachers are still teaching, but not in the physical space that they were before. There is a concern, I have a concern about what these kids are getting. Teachers are doing a great job, they’ve been very innovative, but we do have the fact that some kids do not have internet. We’ve got the fact that we have a million Ohioans who really don’t have adequate access. So that is a concern. It’s a concern about if you’re trying to do distance learning, and we have some kids who aren’t able to get that, that is a big problem.
Governor Mike DeWine: (43:02)
Look, the goal is that we go back to school in the fall. But the one thing that we’ve learned about this virus is there’s a lot we don’t know. And every day all you have to do is turn TV on, radio, read the paper, and you see how much we don’t know about it. So the department of education has working groups made up of educators who are looking at different things, different possibilities. I know every school was assessing how it would go back to school in the fall and deal with the COVID virus. How they would come up with the best spacing, how they would maybe stagger lunch even more than it might be staggered now, how they would do different things.
Governor Mike DeWine: (43:59)
So every school is looking at that, but there’s no way for us to predict where we’re going to be with this virus by mid August when these decisions are being made. So we all hope for school. We all hope for school in a traditional setting. Whatever happens, we have an obligation to do everything we can do to educate our kids, and we’re going to do everything that we can to do that.
Ben Schwartz: (44:27)
Andy Chow: (44:31)
Hi Governor, Andy Chow with Ohio Public Radio, Television, Statehouse News Bureau. On the issue of childcare class sizes, the reduced sizes, it would be assumed that childcare centers might have to turn families away that usually to those childcare centers, in order to reduce their class sizes. Does the State have any guidance on how childcare centers should do that? Do you expect to see facilities having to turn families away?
Governor Mike DeWine: (45:01)
Well, Andy, I don’t think anyone knows exactly how the market is going to play out. We have provided, as I announced, additional funds for the first three months, two and a half to three months, 20 million or so a month, this is from the care’s money from the Federal Government earmarked for childcare. We’ve elected to use those dollars to help reduce the class size and to give these childcare providers the resources that they need in order to be able to do this. We’re going to see exactly how this works, that’s why I was very careful to say that this is a work in progress.
Governor Mike DeWine: (45:45)
No one’s ever tried to do this during a pandemic, and we’re doing what other States are trying to do. And so we’re trying to figure this thing out, we want to have the best care possible. We want to lessen the odds of the spread of COVID-19 as much as we can to childcare, but it is a work in progress, we’re going to continue to learn. And the study that we’re talking about, we will be getting information from that as it moves forward, and we will be adjusting based on that information.
Andy Chow: (46:16)
But if a class usually has 12 kids, and now they have to have nine kids, that means that some kids who usually go to that class might not be able to go.
Governor Mike DeWine: (46:27)
Well, not necessarily. What it certainly could mean is that they might have to have more people teaching, if you look at that ratio. So it does not necessarily mean that, what we don’t know, Andy, is how many of the childcare providers will come back. As you know many, many of them have been closed. Now they’re going to have to assess this, and assess, do they in fact reopen, we expect a number of them to reopen, but this is something we’re going to have to see. And we’re going to have to see exactly where we are, but we felt that it was important to do everything we could to assure parents, and those who are the caregivers, those people who work there, that we did everything we can to reduce the chance of the spread of COVID-19. And to do that, we had to reduce the size. That’s one of the things that we had to do. And again, more data will be coming, and we’re going to make sure there is more information to come to continue to make these decisions.
Andy Chow: (47:42)
Thank you, governor.
Jim Provance: (47:47)
Hello Governor. Jim Provance with the Toledo blade. This is a question for you and for Dr. Acton. Early on in the crisis, you had said that you’d wanted to seek consistent declines in new infections, deaths, and hospitalizations before reopening the economy. Now, as we are reopening the economy.
Speaker 2: (48:03)
… reopening the economy. Now as we are reopening the economy, we keep talking about plateaus. Can you talk about how you’ve had to adjust your measurement of what success is in this crisis?
Governor Mike DeWine: (48:15)
Well, I think we’ve had success in flattening the curve, but as you point out, what we had hoped to see is not a plateau. We had hoped to see that start to go down. So we’ve plateaued, pretty much, for over three weeks in regard to hospitalizations and number of cases, as well. So not exactly where we wanted to be, but we did not have that huge surge that we were worried about either.
Governor Mike DeWine: (48:49)
We are ramping up the testing. Numbers I looked at yesterday, I think it was 8,000 tests that actually took place. We’re working really to do two things. One is to increase the capacity, but at the same time increase the number of tests that are actually done. That discrepancy between those two is really based on a supply chain, a network an infrastructure around Ohio, that we’re building as we go. And we’re going to continue to build that in conjunction with the hospital. My point is you’re going to see the testing continue to go up, which is a very significant tool. At the same time, we’re standing up a significant group of people around Ohio to do the tracing. So the testing and the tracing, the testing and the tracing, is vitally important to keeping this virus down.
Governor Mike DeWine: (49:45)
It’s also very important that each and every one of us continue to do what we’ve been doing. I get every day, I see the traffic, literally, the traffic in Ohio. And you can go up online and look at other indicators that are out in the public about movements, as people move around the state. And it’s pretty much what we expect. People are moving around the state more. And so it is even more important now, as we open Ohio up and as people move around the state more, that they follow the best protocols in regard to staying at least six feet away from someone else, wearing a mask, doing all the things that need to be done.
Governor Mike DeWine: (50:31)
So a lot of things coming together. One of the numbers, and I’m going to ask Dr. Acton, I know she always refers to it and I always get the name wrong, but it’s basically is what’s replication rate. In other words, one person, how many people do they infect. As I looked at the curve the other day, we have slightly dropped below one. So that’s a good thing. We’d like to, obviously, get it lower. Dr. Acton, let you add to that.
Dr. Acton: (51:03)
Thank you, governor. I think if we haven’t yet put on our website, we can certainly start adding it here as well. The governor just referred to the R0 or RT, which is that reproductive rate. And I’ll talk about it again. I think I’d like to do more educating on some of what our data means going forward, but this is about our spread.
Dr. Acton: (51:22)
With everything we’ve done that spread has gone from it being 2.5 about, one person giving it to 2.5 other people. Now it’s about one. And as we open up, we’re going to really follow that closely. Again, a lot of these are lagging indicators. So we see it about three weeks later.
Dr. Acton: (51:42)
I just want to acknowledge, again, and I have to say, I feel this myself. I don’t think there’s anyone in this room that doesn’t feel the heavy weight of our moving forward and how we live with this. And for Ohioans, I feel their concern and worry. I think these are difficult decisions we’re all making. And I think we have to make them carefully. I ask those of you at home to really look at your situation. I realize there are 1000 difficult decisions you’re making. You might have a child who has asthma at home, and you’re worried about going to work and whether you’ll bring something home. I think we all need to really do this, move cautiously and move together.
Dr. Acton: (52:23)
Employers, employees are trying to be as flexible as possible. We all want to admit when we’re sick and stay home and get help with that. I think we want to, once again, I say it over and over, this will help us so much. It’s these extra barriers. It’s not doing just one of them. It’s not just being distant. It’s not just coughing this way. It’s not just taking our temperatures. It’s not just staying home. It’s this, too, is such a functional, effective barrier to stop the spread of disease. And I think we’re all moving forward together, cautiously. I want to acknowledge, because I feel what people are feeling at home as they make these decisions. Really think about your own personal history as well. Thank you.
Governor Mike DeWine: (53:10)
Jen, the bottom line, I think, is this, and is even more important today than it was two weeks ago or three weeks ago that we keep the distance and that we do all the things that the 11.7 million Ohioans can control themselves. This is a time when we’ve got to really, really continue to do that. Even as people move around more, they’ve got to even… excuse me, even be more cautious.
Speaker 2: (53:40)
Jessie Balmert: (53:40)
Hi, this is Jessie Balmert with the Enquirer. My question’s probably for Dr. Acton, because given what we’re learning about from antibody testing that we might’ve had cases as early as January, how do we know that there wasn’t a surge earlier? Or how are Ohioans supposed to understand that information?
Dr. Acton: (54:03)
Thank you. We’re going to learn more and more about the past and it’s going to be years of learning. I remember saying that very early on in one of these press conferences. We’re doing everything we possibly can. We’re all learning as we go. And I think hindsight will be 2020, as it always is, when we look back at the history of this.
Dr. Acton: (54:27)
I think what it does tell us, I’ve heard from several Ohioans who are absolutely convinced that they had something that really felt a lot like COVID back in February and January. My own sister-in-law was very, very sick and hospitalized with what looked like a flu like syndrome. I’ll be very, very curious to see if we ever learn more about what she had because she tested negative for everything. So I think a lot of us are wondering that, and I don’t have all the answers on it.
Dr. Acton: (54:58)
This antibody testing is another window into that period. As I said, it’s we do know now, the case history that people are talking about their symptoms and their onset. That’s how we know epidemiologically that they had it. But it’s complicated because we also know that antibody testing can cross react with other corona viruses. So sometimes there’s false positives. Someone also could have had symptoms back in January, but it could have been something else. And then maybe they had COVID a little later, but were asymptomatic. So it’s not an exact indicator for sure, but it does, when you start to see a bunch of them, you start to say, “It does look like some people, with their symptoms, and with this testing that they had it in their antibodies, likely did show.” The things that will be more illustrative are some of the coroner reports that we’re seeing that can actually show the testing.
Dr. Acton: (55:56)
We’ll continue to learn more about this. And I think we’ll learn from other sources as we learn from other countries and learn more about what actually happened in China. We still don’t know a lot.
Jessie Balmert: (56:08)
Randy Ludlow: (56:14)
Good afternoon, governor. Randy Ludlow with the Columbus Dispatch. Perhaps this is a question best suited for the lieutenant governor. We hear from Ohioans every day who want to poise questions to you through us. Among the most prevalent and heartbreaking I receive are people still frustrated with unemployment system, their inability to be paid in any timely manner. They can’t contact people to check on their claims either through the phone system or any other way. I know there’s been improvements made, but what could still be done at this point, lieutenant governor, to help Ohioans deal with that system?
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (57:00)
Randy, I think that you’ve probably hit on the topic that’s been the most frustrating through this process for all of us. And I certainly empathize with somebody who is in a difficult financial situation, can’t get through on a phone call, can’t get an answer and doesn’t know where their claim may be in the process. It’s incredibly frustrating. We’ve made a ton of enhancements. Director Kim Hall and her team has put, I think there’s over 1600 people working now on the call center. The website has been built out. They had to build an entirely new system to process those eligible for the 1099 CARES assistance.
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (57:51)
I know, I look at the data every day, they paid out over $2 billion in claims, I think the number I saw this morning was 597,000 people have been served with money that’s gone out the door to them. Others are either in process, but I know that there are at least 100,000 people who don’t have answers, that have qualified where they haven’t received money yet. And I still know that there are people out there whose calls have not been heard. And to them, I tell you that we are building what we can with the technology we have and the resources we have. It’s not an excuse. It’s just the explanation. It’s the reason. And it’s not going to be acceptable until everybody can get in contact at an acceptable level, in an acceptable timeframe.
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (58:52)
I can promise you that the director and everybody at the department of job and family services has been helpful, or I mean is aware of this. They’re working every day to make it better, but it’s not unique to Ohio. Everybody in every state’s facing this, but our system is a very old one and it is hard to update while this is all going on. I can promise all of them, I don’t know anything that through this process has frustrated us collectively more than this, including the people that work there. Because they get it too. I think that’s important that everyone know that. The people who work there, they get it. They get the uncertainty. They get the frustration. They’re trying to process all of the claims as fast as they can, to take the calls. Because they have to follow laws and rules to do this for folks, to make sure that every claim, because there are a lot of people who apply who are not eligible, who are making fraudulent claims and they have to police those as well.
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (01:00:04)
And so they’re working through them and they’re getting better, but it’s still not where it needs to be. The reassurance that I can provide is that everybody, if you’re eligible for a benefit, you’re going to get paid for that. Even if it takes longer than is acceptable, you will receive the benefit that you’re eligible for.
Randy Ludlow: (01:00:26)
A quick follow.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:00:27)
Just to add, I feel exactly the same way John does. We’re very, very sorry. We have some understanding of what people are going through. I get calls, messages from people who describe what they’re going through. That’s how we can understand that. We also have people who don’t know that they’re not eligible and they find out they’re not eligible and that’s difficult, I’m sure, for them as well.
Randy Ludlow: (01:01:02)
Noah Blundo: (01:01:08)
Good afternoon. Noah Blundo with Hannah News Service. Governor, hearing that the office of budget and management is starting to contact agencies about their fiscal year ’21 budgets. What kind of targets will you be providing to the state agencies to plan, in terms of the reductions that they’ll face?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:01:31)
What kind of what? What was the word?
Noah Blundo: (01:01:33)
reductions, target, reduction targets for FY 21 for state agencies?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:01:41)
We continue to evaluate this. We continue to talk to the general assembly about that. I think you got a pretty good idea with what we did and what we had to do in this year, the last two months of this year that we’re in. We’ve taken some very, very tough cuts and we’re going to continue to evaluate it. So no specifics today on that. But if you look at the dollars that are coming in, if you look at what the projections are, not just ours or anybody else’s, we are in a very difficult time.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:02:23)
And when you have such a downturn like this, two things happen. Costs go up and the revenue goes dramatically down. So we’re asking every agency, everybody, to take a hard look, see where they can cut. See where they can obtain some additional dollars to deal with this deficit.
Noah Blundo: (01:02:44)
Do you know when you’ll put out that number of what kind of general-
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:02:46)
We’re charged with balancing the budget. We’re going to do that. We have to do that. We want to do that. And so these are tough, tough decisions.
Noah Blundo: (01:02:54)
Luis Gil: (01:02:59)
Hello, governor. This is Luis Gil with Ohio Latino TV. Governor, I know that opening the daycares have been one of the most difficult decisions you have made because affects so many families. Do you have an idea how many families could be affected? Like Andy said, some families will be left out if the rooms are not big enough or the amount of kids could be taking. Have you thought of that perhaps-
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:03:29)
It’s certainly not our goal to have any families left out. We also have an obligation to make it as safe as we can. So we’re going to be doing surveys, right now, in the next few days, trying to get an indication of how many of the providers are going to come back. Many of them have been closed as you know, and we’re going to get a better idea as the days go on in regard to exactly where we are. So we’re going to adjust. We’re going to do whatever we have to do, but the goal is certainly not to leave any families out.
Luis Gil: (01:04:07)
Do you see more daycares being opening and the licensing rules could be more flexible or perhaps have you thought about opening the school facilities for daycares?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:04:20)
I think we shouldn’t make a judgment until we see what the facts are. We’re going to see where we are as we move forward. As I said, this is all new. We’re trying to make the best decisions as we go. We also recognize that sometimes the decisions may have to be adjusted in some way. And we’re very open to do that, as we get different facts as we get more information. So the idea is not to leave anybody out. Idea is to take care of everyone, but we’ll see as we move forward.
Luis Gil: (01:04:54)
Thank you, governor.
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (01:04:57)
A little piece on that, that could be helpful too, to consider is that with a million people, basically, who have applied for unemployment benefits, not everybody is going to be in need of childcare like they did in the past. And many of these childcare facilities would also have financial problems in making the numbers work if the kids had dropped out, if the parents didn’t have work that weren’t going there. So there’s some economic virtue as well in the approach that the governor is taking on this, to help support those childcare facilities during this difficult time so that they will be there when the economy comes back. And those are also important things to consider when we’re talking about smaller class sizes, support and all the things that go along with it.
Karin Johnson: (01:05:52)
Good afternoon. Karin Johnson, WLWT in Cincinnati. I have a question from a viewer about youth sports. Sports, they can only resume if school facilities are open. So are you going to remove Dr. Acton’s order, which closed school’s facilities through the end of June?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:06:13)
That’s a very good question. In fact, the lieutenant governor and I were talking about last night, I think. And we’re certainly going to look at that. We know that some sports depends on access to school grounds. So we’re looking at that and we will be back in touch and we’ll be talking about that in the future, but it’s a very good point.
Karin Johnson: (01:06:39)
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (01:06:43)
Governor, you want me to add a little point to that? If you look at the order, they closed buildings, the grounds were not technically closed in the order, but much of this will be open to the local community’s decision. We are not forcing them to open anything in this. We are allowing them to do so. So just wanted to be clear about that.
Lieutenant Governor Husted: (01:07:09)
And as the governor mentioned, like with all of this, we do our best to put the protocols and the standards in place to account for what we know. But one of the things we’ve learned through this is that there’s always going to be something we haven’t thought of that we will hear in the coming days, and we will work through those things with the feedback that we get from local community schools and organizers of these events to make sure that they’re accounted for before we get to that date of May the 26th.
Hi, governor. Lacey from 10TV. Will you keep the safer at home order in place and the 14 day self quarantine, if someone actually leaves this state? Wisconsin Supreme court struck down their stay at home order yesterday. Are you concerned about an impending legal battle?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:08:02)
I’ve been sued a lot. I was sued a lot when I was attorney general, I get sued a lot as governor. So that doesn’t concern me. It’s clear that as we have been issuing additional orders and opening things up, that we need to rewrite the language of what was originally called a stay at home order. So in fact, we’re talking about that this morning, something I intend to work on. I talked with Senate President, Larry Obhof, about this yesterday. That language, making that language more conform to exactly where we are today, is coming up. And so I’m going to be working on that. Again, as we open up and as we see more activity, it is incumbent upon all of us to be even more careful because what we don’t want, frankly, is what we have seen in some of the stories that were out yesterday in Europe, where they shut down. Then they opened up and now they’re having to retrench and start pulling back again. So that is what we do not want to see and as we move forward, so much of this, we’re going to do what we can with with the tracing. We’re going to do what we can with the testing. Those are very significant tools, but again, so much comes back to what each and every one of us does or does not do every single day and how careful we are as we open things back up.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:09:55)
But if we do that in a cautious manner. If we do that keeping the distance. If we have consideration for others and wear a mask. These things are going to determine, in three weeks or four weeks, what these numbers look like. And so this is the crucial, crucial, crucial time. So very, very important that we get this right. We do not want to be like what I was seeing yesterday and reading yesterday online and seeing on the news about countries that are starting to retrench, pull back, close things up again. That’s not what we want. So this is a very critical, critical time.
Laura Hancock: (01:10:42)
This is Laura Hancock from cleveland.com. As we’ve talked about here, COVID has disproportionately affected African-American Ohioans. On April 20, you assembled a minority health task force. It’s being led by two members of your administration, two people who work for you. They haven’t yet come up with recommendations, even though other people on that group are waiting, they want recommendations. They’re frustrated that restaurants and other groups have come out with their recommendations over a weekend or a matter of a few days and then this minority health strike force, they haven’t come out with anything. What’s going on?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:11:32)
I intend to talk about that early next week, in one of our sessions. Either Monday or Tuesday, I will be talking about that. What this virus has done is pull back the covers on something, or pull back the curtain, whatever you want to say, to disclose to something that we really knew. And that is that we have…
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:12:02)
… and that is that we have health access challenges in the African community, not just in the African American community, but certainly in the African American community. With the state legislature’s help, we put a lot more emphasis on infant mortality, mortality of the mother, where we’re seeing some real, huge, huge discrepancies, African American community. So I suppose it should not have shocked us when we see the death rate and the number of African Americans who are dying of COVID-19 be at much higher rate than it should be based upon the population.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:12:54)
So we have discrepancies in society, in the state. We have an obligation to do everything we can to change those underlying discrepancies, starting with access to primary care, starting with access to good health and good care. This is something that I will be talking about in much more detail next week, and there are things that we have already started to do that I’ll be talking about. And we’ll talk about some other things that we will in fact be doing. So there are tangible things that we can do, tangible things that we have started to do, and I’ll be talking about that next week.
Speaker 3: (01:13:37)
Jack WIndsor: (01:13:42)
Good afternoon, Jack Windsor, WMFD TV, Mansfield. My question today is for Dr. Acton. Dr. Acton, one of our viewers asked why we’re not hearing more about treatment, and the comment was that 80% plus of Ohioans won’t need treatment. But for those who may, why are we not talking about things like interferon treatment as highlighted by the Stanford medical test, as well as therapeutic drugs like hydroxychloroquine, zinc, azithromycin, and intravenously administered vitamin C? And are we to assume that normal life remains under arrest until a vaccine?
Dr. Acton: (01:14:27)
Hi, Jack. First of all, appreciate your question. We talked quite a bit about … Hi. He’s waving at me. We talked a lot about treatment early on, but I’d love to share more about that, and our treatments are evolving. Just this week, we received our first shipments of remdesivir, which is an antiviral therapy. A lot like Tamiflu, it doesn’t keep you from getting it. It’s used actually right now in the sickest of patients who are in the ICU, and some preliminary studies have shown, it can shorten the course. You have probably followed the hydroxychloroquine, or the anti-malarial drugs we take when we travel abroad. That, unfortunately, the evidence still is not coming through on, although again, I say all these things with, we could learn something new from this studies any day now. So there’s a lot of treatment that does go on in hospitals, and it’s treatment for the symptoms.
Dr. Acton: (01:15:27)
So using now convalescent plasma or serum is something, and again, I’ll say this to people who recovered, we do have information on our website. People can actually donate their plasma, and that is, again, convalescent serum is one of our greatest weapons right now. It’s using somebody’s antibodies who fought off the disease in a patient who is now fighting the disease, and that can be life lifesaving. Stopping this inflammatory response are dozens of drugs that are used by physicians to try to tamp down the cytokine over-inflammatory response. We’ve seen that used successfully around the world. I get just dozens of journal articles every day. People are fighting tooth and nail to try to find if there is an actual treatment cure, but in the meantime, we have to treat the symptoms. Depending on where someone’s course takes them, whether it’s hypertension, or kidney disease and dialysis, we’re seeing a lot of patients on dialysis. Those are all treatments that are being employed.
Dr. Acton: (01:16:36)
So it’s important. We’ve got to fight it, and for people at home with it, they’re miserable and sick and using over the counter things, sometimes are all they have. I do want to say to people, the thing that worries me the most with this disease, honestly, the one that has startled a lot of researchers, is the low oxygen levels, that we can have people walking around that normally would be passed out and intubated. But we’re seeing people walk in emergency rooms who are talking just like we are, who have pulse ox readings in the 50% oxygenation. So that is an interesting caveat to this disease. So I always tell people if you are at home and you really see a worsening of your symptoms, do not stop. Go to your emergency room right away. Thank you.
Jack WIndsor: (01:17:22)
So are remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine both being prescribed in the state of Ohio?
Dr. Acton: (01:17:31)
Remdesivir is going to be prescribed here in the state of Ohio. We just are receiving and distributing today. We’ve also received word that we’re going to get additional shipments. Unfortunately, the first shipment was 20 cases. A case can treat on average five people. There are two courses of therapy, one that is a five day course, and one that is a 10 day course, but we’re hoping to receive more of that, and we’re getting it out throughout the state to our sickest folks.
Tom Bosco: (01:18:03)
Sorry for the camera whiplash, but this is a question for Dr. Acton, as well. Tom Bosco from ABC 6 here. We’ve certainly heard from the folks who are advocating that Ohio reopen, but a lot of polling has shown a lot of support for the orders that you have instituted and for the measures that have been taken. How do you reassure those people who support those orders that the moves being taken today are indeed safe? There are a lot of categories that were covered today, and a lot of people that could be flooding back into society.
Jack WIndsor: (01:18:43)
So I think it’s really important, again, as the governor often says, we are trying to learn to live with this virus, and the orders we did originally, if we go back to my initial meeting everyone at home, we had just not seen a pandemic like this, and now we’re seeing, in a hundred years. And so the tools in our tool chest at the time, really when we knew every day mattered, I still think everyday matters. I want to say that. Every day and everything we do makes all the difference. But going back to that time, we were using the playbook that came out of George Bush’s White House, 2004, 2005, post 9/11, and using those tools of social distancing, those layers of Swiss cheese, really flatten the curve, stop that overwhelm of our hospitals, and allowed us to buy time to build up some of the structures that we are building every single day and won’t stop, and we know we have a long haul.
Jack WIndsor: (01:19:51)
But those kinds of things have cascading consequences. I remember talking about that even back then, that there are effects of doing this, and not just to our economy, but on people’s health and wellbeing. And so what you see around the world is all of us trying to figure out and learn together how we learn to live with this virus. But when we say stay safe at home, and an order, again, was more a toolkit of helping people know how to do best practices. It really is going to be up to each of us to go about this together and cautiously. Stopping the spread of the disease is what we’re after. Testing doesn’t stop the disease. It helps us know if you have it. It gives us a clue so we can go out and stop the spread with our contact tracing.
Jack WIndsor: (01:20:38)
But the biggest thing that will stop the spread of disease, quite honestly, will be how we live and choose to live going forward. And I really want to say that each and every one of us should be judicious in what we do now. We have choices to make, but how we make them is going to greatly impact us and the ones we love and everyone else in our society, and people who are much more vulnerable than some of us are. So I beg of Ohioans, really help support these actions, help support these businesses to succeed by going about these things very, very carefully, thoughtfully, with this. And no one has to do anything that they’re not ready to do. So I think all of us have to read coronavirus. ohio.gov, learn everything we can, we’ll learn from this together, and we’ll keep you informed so you can make the best decisions. But I’m thinking of you out there, Ohio, because I know how hard this is for you, and people are saying they want to be careful together. And so, Ohio, let’s do this while together, and I’ll be with you through it.
Tom Bosco: (01:21:51)
Laura Bishoff: (01:21:57)
Good afternoon, Governor. It’s Laura Bishoff, Dayton Daily News. Bars are going to be opening their patios tomorrow, probably including in the Oregon district in Dayton, but patrons there may also be thinking about August 4th in the Oregon district when in 30 seconds a shooter took down nine people and wounded dozens of others. Could you give us an update on your plans to deliver on your promise to bring effective constitutional gun reform to Ohio?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:22:25)
Well, the things we laid out at that time are things that we should do. And while the Coronavirus has sidelined a lot of different things, that included, we’re going to continue to make sure that we do the things that do in fact save lives. So this is will be a continuing discussion with the members of the legislature.
Laura Bishoff: (01:22:52)
Andrew Wells: (01:22:52)
Hi, Governor. It’s Andrew Wells [inaudible 01:22:59] with the Associated Press. This is a nursing home question. We did see a fairly big increase in the most recent numbers. I received an email from someone whose parent is in an assisted living facility where there were some very recently diagnosed cases, and the report from this person was that there were only five tests that were made available for symptomatic residents. Testing for the staff, the option was basically go to a private lab at a Walmart by appointment. And this particular facility didn’t know anything about the hospital partnerships or these rapid response teams until they heard it this past Tuesday. Can you or Dr. Acton address this apparent disconnect with the on the ground experience that this facility has and with what Director Corcoran said is supposed to be happening?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:23:54)
I would say that’s not what should have happened. There is a protocol in place. Every nursing home is supposed to be lined up with a hospital. That’s a work in progress. It’s not something hospitals have ever done before. Is it possible that there could have been a disconnect? I certainly believe what you told me. You said there was a disconnect there, so that should not be taking place. We certainly hope it will not take place as we move in the future. Under the protocol that we now have, now that we have more testing, we have a situation where if in a nursing home, if someone who is suspected of being positive, we should be able to move in there and be able to do the testing on anyone who had contact with that particular individual.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:24:48)
That person needs to be tested, and if that person is positive, then you would go out and test anybody else at that person had contact with. That’s not how it should have happened. I don’t know the place or when, but we now have a lot more testing. We don’t have enough, but we have a lot more than we did. We changed the protocol. We’re now able to become more aggressive in regard to our nursing homes. Dr. Acton, I don’t know if you want to add anything to that. I know we’re running out of time. I see Eric is telling me, but anyway, go ahead.
Dr. Acton: (01:25:21)
No, it’s essential. And I know there’ve been extensive trainings and things made available, and I’ll take that story back with me and share it with Dr. Corcoran. And we’re not done with nursing homes. I think you’re going to be hearing a lot more. My team and I, we do a lot of technical assistance, but we’re really looking at how we can do more, so stay tuned on that. It’s a conversation I’m going to be a part of all weekend. Thank you.
Andrew Wells: (01:25:52)
Jim Otti: (01:25:55)
Governor, Jim Otti from WHIO TV. I’ve been notified I’m the last question. I want to go back to very beginning. Are we getting close now to having the ability for people to have their surgeries done at their local hospital and be able to stay overnight, those more detailed, more serious surgeries? Are we to that point yet where that can start?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:26:20)
Yeah, Jim. As you know, it’s been in the last week or so that we basically changed the orders. Dr. Acton changed the orders in regard to what procedures could take place, but we’ve got to monitor, see where we are. We’ve got to continue to see where our capacity is, but our numbers should be changing fairly significantly due to the opening up of these procedures. As far as overnight. that would be the next step. Obviously, someone can stay overnight if it’s something that they have to have done. So we’re getting there. We’re getting there.
Jim Otti: (01:26:59)
Thank you, Governor.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:27:05)
Well, let me conclude. Since we talked about childcare today, thank all the childcare folks who work to take care of the kids. There’s nothing more important in our lives than our children, so thank you very, very much for what you do. Those of you who will be coming back to work, thank you for doing that. Those who have continued to work, thank you as well. It seems appropriate that today when we honor fallen police officers, Representative Thompson, members of our military, as well as my friend, Dwight Radcliffe, that we play a video of the combined Pinkerton North and Pinkerton Central High School marching bands in a virtual performance of their traditional music warmup. So let’s listen to their rendition of Amazing Grace.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:29:00)
Oh, that’s great. Unless there’s some breaking news or some reason that we have to communicate tomorrow, we will not be here tomorrow. We will be back Monday. We’ll see you Monday at two o’clock. Thank you very much.
Karen Kasler: (01:29:19)
And that’s governor Mike Dewine’s daily update on coronavirus in Ohio. Ending the week with that apparently. The plan is not to be back here for a coronavirus update tomorrow, and then also probably not for the weekend, but my colleague Andy Chow here, obviously that’s subject to change depending on what might happen. Today was a big day, though. A lot of announcements made today.
Andy Chow: (01:29:37)
A lot of announcement made. The big headliner here is that childcares are going to be opened up again May 31st, along with that, day camps. I think it’s going to be interesting to see. So we have a couple of weeks that May 31st reopening date to learn more about the impact that this will have. I think something that’s really important to note is that $60 million in financial assistance coming from the federal CARES Act to sort of help offset any sort of issues that daycare centers might have in trying to implement the new standards.
Andy Chow: (01:30:09)
Lower class sizes could mean less kids coming in, so less revenue coming in, and especially spending more money on cleaning supplies. So you have a lot of questions up in the air. We have a few weeks until that May 31st reopening date to learn more about that.
Karen Kasler: (01:30:22)
And the state has been operating, well, has licensed these pandemic childcare centers, about 2,400 of them around the state, that have been serving kids of first responders and healthcare workers. That was a limit of six kids per room. Now there are limits here for, I think … Go ahead. You tell me.
Andy Chow: (01:30:40)
So for infants and toddlers, the limit is six kids per classroom, and then anybody older, for the preschool aged kids, that’s nine people per classroom. So that’s a reduction of about three kids per classroom for each category there. And then you also have campgrounds opening May 21st. Gyms and fitness centers, that’s been a big question for a lot of people, opening on May 26. And it was interesting to see Lieutenant Governor John Houston really emphasize that local governments and the local public health departments might have more say into these reopenings to try to carry out the guidelines that are set forth.
Karen Kasler: (01:31:11)
So in other words, those things could open, but then local governments could step in, but perhaps if they don’t feel that those are ready yet. There were a couple other ones that he announced today?
Andy Chow: (01:31:19)
Yeah. Non-contact sport leagues, such as golf, softball, baseball, I think cornhole tournaments, those will reopen on May 26, and then pools can open on May 26.
Karen Kasler: (01:31:28)
But not amusement parks.
Andy Chow: (01:31:29)
Karen Kasler: (01:31:29)
Great. All right, Andy, I will see you back here on Monday, barring any change. So let’s go over some final numbers before we conclude here, 1,388 confirmed deaths from coronavirus in Ohio, 41 new from yesterday, 24,800 confirmed cases. That’s 555 new. That’s a 27% increase over yesterday, however, a 7% decrease in deaths from yesterday. So we will be back here most likely on Monday. That concludes our live coverage of Governor Mike Dewine’s daily update on coronavirus in Ohio. For more information, tune into Ohio’s public radio stations and television stations, and go to our website at statenews.org. My thanks to my colleague, Andy Chow, and the crew at Ohio Government Telecommunications. I’m Karen Kasler. Thanks for tuning in, and have a good weekend.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:32:12)
Hello, I’m Ohio governor Mike Dewine. We need all Ohioans to help us slow the spread of the coronavirus. For the most up to date information, please visit our website coronavirus.ohio.gov, or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH, seven-