Apr 2, 2020
Ohio Gov Mike DeWine COVID-19 Briefing Transcript April 2: Extends Stay-at-Home Order Until May 1
Mike DeWine: (01:55)
This is World Autism Day, and so I have a a blue tie on here to recognize our fellow Ohioans with autism. Just a shout-out to all of you out there who might be watching and their families. We wish you all the best. We’re all in this together, and we appreciate you very much.
Mike DeWine: (02:28)
Yesterday, we talked about the need for personal protection equipment. We talked a little bit about the group that we have together trying to get this, find it where it’s already been manufactured, but we also reached out to our manufacturing folks in Ohio. We put together the Manufacturing Alliance website, and we ask people, businesses who might be interested in supplying some of these things, to go online. As of this morning, we had over 600 businesses that went online to see if they could be of help. We continue to encourage people to go online. We’re excited about the number that went online. This is repurposingproject. com. Repurposingproject.com is the way you can reach that. Again, you click on, and you see all the different things that we need that we need to protect our first responders to our nurses, our doctors, everybody medical personnel. You can then see, go from there, and you can create the contact, and so we can be in contact with you, but you can take a look at what is there, and you can see whether or not you can manufacture that.
Mike DeWine: (04:05)
Today, I’m announcing the creation of our Economic Advisory Board. Throughout this crisis, I’ve relied on medical experts, I’ve relied on people in the field, people who understand pandemics. We put together a group of 14 doctors, and Dr. Acton and I have been talking with them, listening to them. Dr. Acton has also been reaching out to other experts around the country. Just as we have looked to experts to help us move through this crisis, we’re also looking to experts as we move forward and as we will come out of this and as we focus on our economic recovery. We know this is a tough time. We know that very, very difficult, but we also know we will come out of this. The sun will come out. Actually, sun’s out today, at least in central Ohio, but we will have the opportunity to move to forward. Advising John Houston and myself and our administration will be this Economic Advisory group. We’ve asked Frank Sullivan, CEO of RPM, to head this up, and the names will be posted on our coronavirus website, the regular website, and you can see who is on that advisory group.
Mike DeWine: (05:40)
I’ve received texts, calls from people who are concerned about they might have a child who is working in retail, they might be working in retail, and one of the questions is whether or not they can wear a mask if they want to. I want to just use this opportunity … I know Dr. Acton may talk about it as well, but to say that that is just fine and we would encourage employers to allow your employees to wear that mask. Now, we are very short, as you know, on the N95 masks.
Mike DeWine: (06:21)
These are the masks that health professionals need to be wearing, but the other mask that, as Dr. Acton has explained to me, really protect other people as much as they do us. In other words, when words might spit something out, stops that from going out. They’re masks like these, and I know many people are making these. This one that you’ll see here has been made by Angela Harris, who is General Harris’ wife. Fran gave me these two this morning that she has made. I know a lot of people, I’m sure people watching out there, are making these. There’s still discussion going on about whether everyone should be wearing these or not. I’m not going to get into that, but I think people who are in retail, who want to wear these, certainly should be able to wear these. I talked to a CEO of a major grocery company in Ohio today, and he said that their employees have the permission to wear these. I would encourage anybody in retail, if your employees want to wear one of these, I think that is a good thing, and I know many of you are making those.
Mike DeWine: (07:49)
Speaking of the N95 masks, the other mask, not these, as I shared with all of you over the weekend and then Monday, as well, we had great success in getting approval for Battelle to sterilize these. They have the ability to sterilize 160,000 of these a day, the other mask. I would just say to all our hospitals in Ohio, this is a great opportunity. Please contact Battelle. You can reuse these. This is going to expand our capacity to be able to protect our hospital employees or medical folks, and this is a great opportunity. They have the capacity, they have room for you, please contact them. This is something that each hospital, we would encourage you to do.
Mike DeWine: (08:54)
I want to really talk directly to all Ohioans, first of all, to say thank you. Thank you for what you have been doing. Thank you for the sacrifices that you’ve been making. You’re making financial sacrifices, you’re making personal sacrifices, your life has changed, you’re making family sacrifices, you’re not getting to see kids, grandkids. Fran and I have had the same experience. We cannot see our grandkids now. I told you we do walk over to our daughter, Alice’s house, with her four children, and we get back a ways, and then we do talk at a distance with them, and then sometimes just go and look in the window and wave to them, but this is different. It’s not particularly easy for anyone. I know many of you are now unemployed. I know many of you who run small businesses are worried about that small business. Are you going to be able to get it started back up? I fully understand that, but we have to stay in this. We cannot let what we’ve accomplished … We have accomplished a lot. We are in a decent position, a lot better than we would have been.
Mike DeWine: (10:15)
What you have done is saved a number of lives, but we are still in this. This is not over with yet. We don’t know when we’re going to hit the peak. Dr. Acton has consistently advised me that somewhere between April 15th and May 15th. If you can talk a little bit about that, what specific date it is that she thinks, but, again, this changes based upon the information that we have, based upon what experts as they as they model this, but we know that the peak is coming. We know that the surge is coming. What you have been doing is saving lives, but what you have been doing also is protecting the first responders, protecting our hospital personnel, our doctors, our nurses, everyone who is caring and will be caring in the future for someone who has the coronavirus.
Mike DeWine: (11:14)
We’ve all seen what I would describe as the horror stories on TV every night coming out of New York. We’ve seen it coming out of Italy. We’ve seen it from other places, as well. What you’re doing is buying time for our healthcare system to get the equipment it needs, to build out the hospital space, and to do the things necessary so that we are not overrun and that we don’t see what we’re seeing on TV, which is hospital personnel who are just in a horrible, horrible, horrible situation. We still don’t know if we can avoid that, candidly. We have a group of people from the private sector, the public sector, that are working every single day, and we’ve talked about this to find the equipment, to find the N95 masks, to find the ventilators. We have people in the manufacturing sector who are trying to get up to speed quickly so that they can make component parts of some of these things or make the ventilators. All of this is going on as we continue this.
Mike DeWine: (12:32)
Dr Acton, again, tells me we’re looking at a range of dates before we even hit the peak, and that’s just the peak. It’s clear. I think we’ve been signaling to everyone that we’re not going to be able to go back to normal. If that peak does not come for another month, which is certainly very possible, we will continue to have to stay at home. We’re going to continue to have to do what we have to do.
Mike DeWine: (13:08)
You’ll hear in the numbers from Dr. Acton, 81 of our fellow Ohioans have died. The number may be higher. There may be people who died, and, frankly, we did not know it was from coronavirus, but the number has jumped from, I think, 65 it was yesterday. It’s now 81. We’re going to continue to see these numbers go up no matter what we do, but we can keep the numbers down, and we can continue to save lives. Over 2,900 of our fellow Ohioans, we know now have, in fact, been infected. Again, one of the more dangerous things about this is people can become infected, they can be spreaders, and don’t even show yet the symptoms.
Mike DeWine: (13:55)
We are in a race. What we do each day impacts our defenders. Our defenders are the people in the frontline, the nurses, the doctors, hospital personnel, people who work in nursing homes. These are the people who are really … They’re heroes. In the weeks ahead, we’re going to see them do what they have to do, and we just are very, very grateful.
Mike DeWine: (14:23)
Today, again, this is nothing any of us wants to see, but Dr. Acton will be issuing an additional order. The current order that we’re operating under, I believe, expires Monday night at midnight. This new order will kick in right then, so will kick in Monday night. This is a stay at home order, essential business order, and it will extend till May 1st. This coincides with what we have done in regard to our schools. [inaudible 00:14:53] the same theory. We’re pretty sure there’s no way we’re going to be out of this by then, and I just say, if there’s some reason we do get out of it and we have the ability to let up, then we certainly can do that. We can put a new order on, but this is our best estimate that things are certainly not going to be ready to go prior to May 1st.
Mike DeWine: (15:19)
The order we put out is very similar to the current order. I want to red flag or flag for everyone a few of the changes, and the changes have come about, frankly, because of what we’ve heard from mayors, from county commissioners, from local officials, from police, from sheriffs, but also from you, from private citizens, and we’ve tried to make the order more fair. We’ve also tried to fill the gaps, frankly, where we’re seeing hotspots in the sense that we’re seeing a lot of activity, people coming together in spite of the order. We tried to deal with that in this new order. Let me go-
Mike DeWine: (16:03)
Try to deal with that in this new order. So let me go through, and this will all be online, but let me go through some of the changes or some of the additions that you will see in this order. Again, this does not go into effect until Monday night. We created a dispute resolution panel. This will be in cases where similar, very similar, businesses are being treated differently in different counties or under different health districts. 113 health departments in the state of Ohio. So if we have a business that is similar to another business and one County treats it one way, another County treats it another, we have created a dispute resolution group, a panel. Sherry Maxfield from Commerce, Lydia Mihalik, DSA and Sam Randazzo, the PUCO. These people will judge it, take a look at it and will make a decision.
Mike DeWine: (17:09)
One of the complaints that we constantly hear about every single day is overcrowding in stores. And again, the rules about crowding apply in stores as they do every place else. And again, we have to go back to what’s the underlying, what are we trying to do? We’re trying to keep people apart and we’re trying to keep this from spreading. And so the new order requires retail businesses to establish a number of people that should be in that business at one time. We’re not telling them what number to set, because every business is configured differently, the aisles are different, the total square feet is certainly different. But we want each of these businesses to set a number, post a number. Everybody in the store knows the number and then if they fill up to that number, then they stop people from coming in.
Mike DeWine: (18:08)
And I know businesses, there are some retail establishments, they’re already doing this. They let people in when they think it is safe enough and it does not shove people together. Again, we want people to be able to buy their groceries, we want them to be able to go the hardware and do these things, but we also need for them to be safe and we also need for that to be that safe, safe environment. The other thing we talk about here is entering the store itself. Again, many companies, many businesses are already establishing a six foot strip where they just put tape and keep people that far apart. Again, that is one way to do it, as people are actually queuing up or lining to go into an establishment.
Mike DeWine: (19:04)
People traveling to Ohio. Anyone who is traveling to Ohio, coming into our state, we ask them to quarantine for 14 days, stay home wherever they’re going. If they’re coming back here and they’ve been out of state. Now we obviously make an exception. If someone is working along the border, if someone’s working, someone lives in Cincinnati and they’re working in Northern Kentucky or someone is in Northwest Ohio and they’re going into Fort Wayne to work, they are certainly not covered. But we’re talking about people who are coming in from out of state or have been out of state and coming in. Again, this is for their safety. It’s for everyone’s safety.
Mike DeWine: (19:46)
We’ve received a lot of questions about weddings. Look, we are not going to regulate weddings. We’re not going to regulate funerals. We just leave it up to people’s good judgment and what I have seen, people are using good judgment. One complaint we’ve had is that there are some people who are going ahead and having the full blown reception, so we’re not going to in any way interfere with the wedding itself, but the reception has to follow the same rules. Not more than 10 people coming together. And just because it’s associated with a wedding, does not mean it’s accepted out from that requirement.
Mike DeWine: (20:34)
We’re into a different time of year. Camp grounds are closed. There’s a few exceptions, but basically closed. Our swimming pools are closed unless it’s a single family residence, it’s their own pool right there. Day camps, residential camps obviously will be closed. We had a question about garden centers. Garden centers are not closed. Garden centers will follow the same rules as any other retail business. Organized sports. Again, adult organized sports, youth organized sports, those are going to be, are in fact prohibited. Again, it goes back to people coming together. We’ve just got to keep this separation.
Mike DeWine: (21:21)
We’ve received questions about fishing. People can fish. Most fishermen don’t want to get close to somebody else. I fished all my life and people I think generally try to stay away from other people when they’re fishing. But they’re again, they would be subject to the same rules, stay far apart. I talked to Mary Mertz, who heads up the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, last night. The parks are open, we are not closing state parks. But if the Director feels and her people feel that we have a state park that has too many people in it or that we have a state park that is configured in such a way with the trails that what they’re seeing out there as people are coming in contact with each other, are getting very close to each other and they really can’t be separated then the Director certainly has the option to take whatever action she needs to take in regard to that.
Mike DeWine: (22:24)
We all need to get out, we all want places to go, so we don’t to close our state parks. But again, she always has the right as she always has to take whatever action she needs. And in this case to take whatever action is needed to enforce the Director’s order about that. Let me again thank everybody who’s enforcing this order. Look, this is not easy. I understand if you’re a sheriff’s deputy or if you’re police, if you’re mayor, nobody wants to harass their fellow citizens. And I think that what I have seen from law enforcement, what I’ve seen from local health departments is they’re trying their best. They’re trying to deal with if there’s a hotspot where there’s a problem, they try to tell people, you can’t do this. If there’s a business that should not be open, they’re dealing with that.
Mike DeWine: (23:25)
But these are difficult, difficult jobs for them. And I just thank you all for doing that. And again, to all of you, I thank you for what you’re doing. We are in this together. This is not easy for any of us. Certainly not easy for people of Ohio dealing with this every single day, particularly the people who have lost a job, particularly the people who have a small business and are worried about that small business. But the action we’re taking today is action that I know will save lives. We look forward to the day when we can be back open and enjoy the great outdoors and enjoy our life and go see our friends again and go see our family again. Lieutenant Governor.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (24:16)
Thank you very much Governor. Good afternoon everyone and I do want to drill down a little bit into the stay at home order and emphasize a couple of other things that I know I’ve had questions about, will get questions about is probably more appropriate. First of all, we’re reiterating something the Governor said. Thanks to all the public officials out there, all the businesses that helped us, advised us on trying to get this right. Your counsel has been extremely helpful. Governor emphasized enforcement. Enforcement is really a fundamental fairness issue because the many, most people, most businesses have been following this and we are seeing good results of that in Ohio. But for the few who aren’t, it’s just out of fairness that we owe it to those who are following the rules to enforce these orders to make sure that we treat people fairly across the state.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (25:19)
Couple of additional items that were added for clarification. We know that there’s been some revised guidance from Homeland Security under the CSA description of essential businesses. The addendum, the amendment to that really covers e-commerce. So if you’re in that area, if you’re a business, I encourage you to look at the addendum that will be attached to the order. I know a lot of you called about the fundamental fairness regarding the travel, the self quarantine under the travel order. It’s very important that that was in there. We know that most of you have done it the right way, so people who are coming in from other States, it’s important that you not add to Ohio’s problem. That you have to follow the rules.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (26:08)
Also, when we wrote the first order, it was a little cooler. We know it’s now getting a little warmer. We had questions about lawn mowing and lawn mowing services. We’ve addressed that. We know that some people, particularly if you’re elderly, you may not be able to mow your yard or take care of the things that you need to. There’s a provision under section two about a single person being able to come and perform those kinds of tasks for you, that they would be covered under that. An important point, Governor mentioned, this doesn’t go into effect until Monday. So the dispute resolution component, more information will be coming to you, excuse me, on how that will be enforced and how if you have an issue that you will be able to engage in that process.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (26:59)
Next I want to do a clarification from yesterday. We had a lot of questions regarding the executive order regarding foreclosures on commercial mortgages and properties. I ask you to read the order, I say that about all of this, whether it’s the new order that just came out under the stay at home or the order that came out under foreclosures on commercial properties. It did not say you do not have to pay your rent. It did not say you do not have to pay your mortgage. Okay, let’s be clear about that. What it really says is that we’re hitting a 90 day pause on foreclosures. And that if you find yourself due to COVID-19, Coronavirus, that you cannot pay your mortgage or pay your rent, then you need to work that out. The terms of that, you need to work that out with the financial institution or your landlord.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (27:58)
It is not a license to not comply with the terms of those arrangements. You need to make new arrangements. The unemployment numbers, I know that the national numbers came out this morning. They were very startling to people. To put in perspective, we added 272,117 people through for the week ending in March 28th. In the last two weeks, we’ve added 468, 414 people to the unemployment rolls as a result of Coronavirus. To put that in perspective, all of 2019 we had 364,603 people apply for unemployment, so we had more than a hundred thousand people in the last two weeks apply than we did in all of 2019. And that has put a huge burden on Director Kim Hall and her team at ODJFS. Director and I talk every day. She’s added 300 new employees as of today to the call center to help with that system and just told me right before I came in here that they expect to add a thousand by the end of next week.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (29:21)
So they are bringing this online as fast as they can, but we know it’s still for some of you, not enough. It continues to improve. We’re adding also tech capacity to the 16 year old system that we have. Trying to make sure that this gets done right. Remember the number is (877) 644-6562 if you want to use the phone line or unemployment.ohio.gov. Expanded hours. We know that it’s been seven to seven on weekdays. We’ve expanded on Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Sunday from 9:00 to 1:00. So you will be served during those time periods as well. And that we know that many workers, this is a helpful tip for you, workers who lost their job related to Coronavirus may use a mass layoff number on their applications. That number is 2000180. That’s 200180. If you add that to your application, that will help expedite it through the process and if you’ve already filed though no need to go back and put that number in there, this number just helps with the expediting of the process through the system.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (30:42)
Now having touched on some of the disappointment that certainly lies within those numbers on a human level and on a larger scale. We know that there are also employers out there who are trying to serve people who can’t find enough employees. It’s literally a huge problem in those critical parts of our economy where businesses have been overwhelmed by the nature of how things have shifted in the demand that’s out there in the economy. We’ve created an essential employers website to post and find jobs. It’s coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch. It’s on that Coronavirus webpage. Coronavirus. ohio.gov/jobsearch. You can search by your city or region or statewide if you’d like.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted: (31:39)
Already, we just launched this, there are already 11,903 jobs that are on there, posted on there already. We’re working. These employers are the ones who need it the most. They’re people who are producing PPE or medical devices or supplies for the healthcare industry, grocery stores, pharmacies, nursing homes, hospitals, tech companies.
John Husted: (32:03)
Stores, pharmacies, nursing homes, hospitals, tech companies that are providing the support for the tech system that we all rely on right now. The food supply chain, distribution, delivery. So if you’re an employer who is essential in those areas, you’re essential part of what we’re doing. And I would even add critical part of what we’re doing. You can go online and post your jobs there, and if you are in a position to work, we encourage you to go online and get one of these jobs, even if it’s just part time. They really, really need you to help out in this time of need. It is just critical that the few who can work step in and do so for the many who need you.
John Husted: (32:49)
And in closing, I know the governor and I were supposed to be in Williams County and Sandusky County this week to celebrate bicentennials. I mentioned this because I grew up in Williams County. We were supposed to be there to celebrate bicentennials but we’re not. We miss you, we know that there will be a time for celebration in the future, and we’ll be back to see you. And I also want to know we get these things every once in a while. Had some folks in St. Mary’s, Ohio, send us these shirts, the Ohio Strong t-shirt. We really appreciate how everybody is just pulling together during this difficult time. We are Ohio strong. We will get through this, thanks to all of you who are making a difference during this battle. Governor?
Mike DeWine: (33:38)
Lieutenant Governor, thank you very much. Doctor Acton?
Doctor Acton: (33:40)
Thank you. Good afternoon, everyone. I just appreciate everything you’re doing. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor have announced the extension of our order, and I’ll talk a little more about that in a minute. But I do want to just emphasize the numbers again, that the governor shared. We are at 2,902 cases as of early this morning, and the number that’s still striking me is of course we’re testing our sickest, but hospitalizations are 28% of those cases right now. And of those, of all the cases, 9% of those in addition are in the ICU at this point. 75 of our counties have at least one person who has tested positive [inaudible 00:34:38] by this point. And unfortunately, we have reached 81 deaths in Ohio, and our sincerest condolences to everyone out there. We know that these aren’t just numbers, these are the people we love and care about. And so we say that with sadness when we share that number.
Doctor Acton: (35:02)
I want to tell you that we are boosting our staffing, and for those of you who are workers in any of our boarded specialties in Ohio, you will be receiving a survey, and I hope you’ll take the time to fill that out. We’re going through all our licensing boards, looking for people who are currently licensed or retired. Perhaps if you’re a health care or behavioral health worker, maybe you were in an elective part of healthcare, but you can be redeployed, we would love to know that. So board of pharmacy, chemical dependency counselors, social workers, dental board, medical nursing, psychology, the state board of emergency medical, fire, transportation, veterinary, vision, and more. So you will all be receiving a survey, and really appreciate that you would take the time to fill that out, so we have a better understanding of folks who could pitch in and help out.
Doctor Acton: (36:00)
If by chance you’re here in a different circumstance, maybe you’re not a part of those boards. You can always go to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep that all on our coronavirus website that you always see beside me. Just so that you can maybe tell us what you can contribute to this staffing as well. We know our med students, nursing students, a lot of others, we’re reaching out to you in different ways, so stay tuned more on that, because we have a lot of ideas about how you can help us, and help this effort as well. Next slide please.
Doctor Acton: (36:40)
We will have a new dashboard, a little new way it looks on our website as well. These are some of the other numbers that I’ve been mentioning. I saw some of you at, I believe cleveland.com are doing some graphing and things, and someone had noted the male-female ratio. I have to say at this point, it’s pretty split. There really isn’t anything that our data is telling us that I could really say there’s a difference between women and men getting this disease. We do know, however that… Next slide please. Young people are being affected by this, and as the weather is getting better, we’ve talked a lot about young people taking the time to take this very seriously. And I do need to let you know that young people are being hospitalized. Young people are dying from this, and I do want you to take care. I know we all feel invincible at different times, and it’s been humbling to see just that everyone in every age range can really be affected by this disease.
Doctor Acton: (37:47)
Again, another question that had come up yesterday quite a bit was the length of time this is going to be, and I didn’t mean to ruin all of summer for folks when I said, I can’t give you a complete hope about summer, but I do want you to have a realistic sense that if we are anticipating a peak somewhere between the end of April, mid-May, that is the peak. We are, thanks to all of your efforts, looking more all the time like this blue curve. But as you can see, that peak stretches out at that time. It won’t be one day and then it just falls away. It will be day after day of a lot of hospitalizations, and so the time going out of it, as you can see, this curve takes a while and it’s spreading out.
Doctor Acton: (38:34)
So that takes us well into the time of June. And we will be looking for signs that we can come out of this just as soon as possible. But I don’t want… We’re not saying all of summer is lost to us. It certainly isn’t. And I hope you’re getting out there and enjoying this beautiful weather in the ways that are safe that we talk about.
Doctor Acton: (38:53)
So lastly, I’d like to talk a little bit about this order, and I want you to know that it is something that we talk about with so much awareness of the impact it is having, and the sacrifices this means for all of us. I heard a quote today about the importance of timing, and we know now all the evidence is showing that this social distancing is really making a difference. And a quote I read in the New York Times was, it spreads quickly, but it makes itself known slowly.
Doctor Acton: (39:33)
And if you remember, we talked about being Chicken Little on the front end of this, and sometimes the moves we make, even the moves we’re making with our hospitals right now, we’re making sure that those beds are empty, and it almost feels like you’re waiting. There’s nothing you can see. But everything about this lags a couple of weeks behind, and you have to make the moves early. A new study that was done by Oxford, Jennifer Beam Dowd, really took a look again deeper into Italy, as I was saying, looking at Lodi and Bergamo, which is two different cities in Italy, two weeks made all the difference. And making these sort of hard moves about social distancing and staying at home, two weeks, very similar to over a hundred years ago, looking at St. Louis and Philadelphia. So Ohio, you’re making a difference. You’re being strong, you’re making tremendous sacrifices and you’re saving lives.
Doctor Acton: (40:33)
People keep asking me, “How are you doing? Are you sleeping? What’s worrying you?” And I think with the good weather, even myself, I hope to take a long walk and maybe a hike in the woods soon, but my biggest worry is that in the quiet before the storm, we forget how important every one of our choices is, and how many lives we’re impacting by what we’re doing. So please, please stay with us on this. Exercise some control on those errands. The governor talked a lot about what big box stores could be doing to help us do that safely. But we can also do our part by stacking, doing a lot of errand at one time, moving quickly, being conscious of where we’re at in a store, and giving distance to the shoppers and people around us.
Doctor Acton: (41:24)
We can do our best to save our trips for those emergencies, or once a week, or doing it for others all at once. I know I haven’t been out, but my daughter’s been running that errand for a bunch of us, and then dropping it off at our house. And then you can still be out exercising, because it’s so important that we do. I’m going to sign the order now, and this might be the one time in my entire life that I do this. Some people laugh that I used my routine pen to sign an order yesterday, and the governor has availed me of the great honor of signing an order maybe the way he does. And so with that, this order I’m signing, and to think about you and the sacrifices you are all making. Thank you, on behalf of all of us, for all you’re doing and the sacrifices you are making. Thank you.
Mike DeWine: (42:46)
Dr. Acton, thank you very much. We’ll be happy to take questions.
Jim Otte: (42:52)
Governor, thank you. Jim Otte from WHIO TV in Dayton. A question we’re getting from a lot of families, not just in the Miami Valley but around the state now. A week or two, that’s one thing. The remainder of this month, that’s different. How are people supposed to pay their bills when they can’t go to work? How do you address that? Can the state help?
Mike DeWine: (43:16)
Jim, look, I think we all understand what’s going on out there. I talk to people, I get text messages. This is tough. This is a very, very, very tough time. The Congress has come forward with a very comprehensive bill. That doesn’t mean it puts people back where they were. It doesn’t mean it makes it okay. But it is helpful. And one of the things that I would ask people to do is to take a look at that bill and utilize anything they can in that bill itself. Both Senator Brown and Senator Portman’s offices, and your congressman’s office, they all will be happy to help you with that bill, and to understand if there’s something in there that is going to be a direct help to you. So I would say one of the things that people should do is really take a look at that, see how that can help them.
Mike DeWine: (44:15)
But we understand that this is very difficult. We would not make these decisions, I would not make this decision if it wasn’t a matter of life and death, if it didn’t mean that I’m convinced that what we’re doing is saving lives. I know it’s saving lives. All the evidence shows that it’s saving lives. We’re doing well, but we got to keep this monster down. He’s not dead. He’s very much alive, and we’re seeing our fellow citizens who die every day. So if we can keep our distance apart, if we can continue to do things, we’re going to mitigate this damage, we’ll lower this damage. Read a study the other day, some economists said that in 1918 and other times, that the communities that kept it down, that did these tough, tough things, not only saved a lot of lives, a lot of lives, but in the end, months and months later, a year later, they were better off economically than the communities that just were not careful, let it spread, let more people die and let their whole healthcare system be overwhelmed.
John Husted: (45:37)
Yeah, I could add to that, Governor, that if you look at what’s in the federal care act, there’s a lot of federal money in there to help the unemployed, to help the 1099 workers, and so forth. The big challenge to your question, Jim, is getting that to people. There will be additional bonus payments of $600 to some folks, there will be… There’s a lot of benefits in there, but it’s a bill that’s passed with in many cases not a mechanism to deliver those.
John Husted: (46:07)
So we know that there’s going to be a tough run here. That’s why we took the actions that we did on foreclosures, to make sure that people at the both the mortgage level for houses and for commercial businesses, so that we could avoid the foreclosures. That’s why we stood up the website with the other job opportunities. That’s why we’re adding people to the unemployment system, so that we can get those payments processed quickly. It is not in any way lost on us the suffering that’s going on out there, and we are trying to pull in every resource and asset we can to solve the health challenges and also the economic ones.
Molly Martinez: (46:53)
Hi, this is Molly Martinez with Spectrum News. This question is for the Governor. We speak a lot about first responders and those on the front line, but I’m wondering about last responders, people like coroners, transport, people that do end of life services. Do we have enough manpower for that aspect of this crisis?
Mike DeWine: (47:16)
Well, we worry about them as well. We worry about people in nursing homes. We worry about any kind of health care worker. The truth is that we do not have enough M-95 masks, for example. We do not have enough of the personal, what’s called personal protection equipment. But we are very aggressively seeking that. We’re getting it. We’ll get a shipment in tomorrow, for example. It’s due in tomorrow, so we’re starting to see those things come in. Are they coming in fast enough? No, they’re not coming in fast enough. Again, we have to continue to buy time to get this coming in. Some of it’s coming from China, and they’re making stuff and it’s coming.
Mike Dewine: (48:02)
… they’re making stuff and it’s coming. Some of it we hope will be coming from Ohio manufacturers who are retooling, regrouping and starting to make some of this. But, no, we do not have enough. That’s something, you want to talk about what worries me every day, that’s something that worries me. But we have people working on it. We brought in people from the private sector who know how to source items, know how to go find items and we’ve really appealed to the manufacturing community to help us there. But there’s a great need out there. There’s absolutely no doubt about it.
Laura Bishoff: (48:39)
Mike Dewine: (48:41)
The need will go up and the need will continue to go up.
Laura Bishoff: (48:47)
Good afternoon. It’s Laura Bishoff of Dayton Daily News. My questions for Dr. Acton. Of the 2,900 cases that we have, do we have a estimate on how many of them have actually recovered and what’s your current estimate of the population that has the corona virus or has been infected? I think on March 12th, you estimated or guesstimated that 1% of the population had it and that it doubled every five to six days, so that might be as much as 8% now?
Dr. Acton: (49:16)
Yeah, so Laura, let’s start with your first part. The recovered, we are going to do our best to track that. We know that most people who have COVID-19, just heard someone I know this morning, the doctor does not have a test. They hear the symptoms and they’re telling them to stay home. We will be able to start having data about people, for instance, that were hospitalized and you could assume that they ran a 14-day course and are recovering. But our real understanding of this is going to fall very short for a while, but we can at least have some of those cases that we have dates on begin to generate some idea about recovery for them. But for the general population because of the lack of testing, that will be near nearly impossible for some time to come unless we can do serologic testing.
Dr. Acton: (50:13)
Now, the amount of the population that has this, we don’t really know that at this point and until we really, really have that testing, again, it will be hard. If you remember the numbers I was sharing before, had to do a lot with what is now evident and even this Oxford study I mentioned today, which is a couple of things.
Dr. Acton: (50:36)
What has been so pernicious about this virus? First of all, I think it was here before anyone knew it was here. I’ve talked about the fact that we had a very strict case definition for one set of travelers, but I do feel that has spread prior to really our awareness of it. It goes back to the quote I said it’s very slow in being recognized because we now know it is, for sure we didn’t know then, but I began to realize from some of the case studies in China that they were seeing a symptomatic spread. We knew that there were a large amount of people who could be ill with the illness but not showing signs.
Dr. Acton: (51:16)
So by my thought about the 1%, remember, comes back from the 40 to 70% in the year, which was the best known data then and knowing that there was some population once we saw community spread in Ohio, that meant it wasn’t in one place or it wasn’t the one case I could test that I could prove community spread, but that with the travel we have and the other aspects I’ve described before, it was most likely already spreading throughout Ohio and that is what the Oxford study is, as well as many other studies are, starting to show.
Dr. Acton: (51:52)
Laura Bishoff: (51:54)
Jim Province: (51:58)
This question is for the governor from Jim Province with The Blade. the dispute resolution panel that you’re putting together, will that have the force of law? Will the decisions be binding, and will there be an appeal mechanism involved?
Mike Dewine: (52:12)
There will not be an appeal. We have to get resolution I think quickly for people. It will have the force of law.
Jim Province: (52:20)
Will the deliberations take place in public in a way that would still qualify under this order?
Mike Dewine: (52:26)
Sure. I mean we’re going to follow the law. I think it’s important for the public to know and the participants to know or the participant to know why a decision was made, what the underlying rationale was. Jon you want to add something?
Jon Husted: (52:43)
Yeah, it is Item 23 in the order, the decision of the dispute resolution commission shall be final and we would expect that that would be in writing and you could see the rationale and the ruling in the case so that people would have that. Obviously, this will not meet in person cause we just don’t have people meeting in person these days. But it is Item 23 and the decision of the commission is final. Thank you.
Kevin Landers: (53:17)
Kevin Landers, WBNS-10 TV, Columbus. My question is for Dr. Acton.
Dr. Acton: (53:24)
Kevin Landers: (53:25)
Hi. How are you?
Dr. Acton: (53:28)
I know, I miss seeing all of you in person. Yeah.
Kevin Landers: (53:29)
My question is about social distancing. Some people have argued that six feet may not be far enough and as we approach the peak in the surge, do you expect those distances to increase, especially as the weather increases and people are now doing these tailgate parties outside where they’re meeting in the back of their trucks and parking lots? I wanted to know what your thoughts are about that.
Dr. Acton: (53:51)
Well, I think still the science is evolving and I myself went down a rabbit hole this morning of reading about airborne versus droplet and what the spread is. I think it’ll be very hard to say exactly the answer to that, but I think six feet is a really reasonable, a reasonable number to stick with and that is a number that science has borne out in terms of traditional respiratory droplet spread.
Dr. Acton: (54:25)
Now, I want you to use your judgment and obviously don’t forget the basics. Washing your hands makes a tremendous difference, you should be doing it multiple times a day and you should be using this when you are out and about. I think the other things of if you’re sick, we’ve talked a lot about not being around people when you’re sneezing or coughing. You could wear one of these homemade masks or a bandana. Also, don’t forget this. All of us have to do those things that we know work. I don’t think folks need to be afraid that if they’re out of doors and even if you’re going with a walk with someone you love, just walk a little bit distant from them. It’s also a length of exposure phenomenon as well, so in passing someone quickly that you come close to. I don’t want people being that afraid, but I think we are all now obsessing about those distances and so use your good judgment with the basics that we’ve taught. Thank you.
Kevin Landers: (55:30)
Thank you. Thank you.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins: (55:35)
Hello, Andrew Welsh-Huggins with the Associated Press. This question’s for the lieutenant governor. On the website or the portal for helping to fill these many jobs out there, we have heard from some people, say laid off restaurant workers, who have been reluctant to take jobs with some of the retailers, grocery stores for example, for two reasons. One, they say they can actually do better financially on unemployment based on the wages being offered and they also have concerns about safety going to work for these places. I guess my question is what conversations have you had with these companies on those two topics, wages and safety for this huge influx of new workers coming in?
Jon Husted: (56:24)
Well, first of all, I think that one of the things that the governor mentioned earlier today about feeling safe at work, that we encourage people if they are in a workplace and they don’t feel safe that they can wear a mask. The governor used some examples there of the kinds of masks that are available. Most of these employers that we’ve talked to encourage that and want their employers to feel comfortable and do that and want a safe environment for them to work in.
Jon Husted: (56:54)
We also recognize that the wage scale of the jobs that are being posted here and the skill level vary greatly. I saw in one article today, I can’t remember which company was doing it, one of them was offering a 30% bonus essentially to come to work for them in the most in demand, in need jobs. I think that these employers are adjusting to the pressures of the marketplace, albeit government-created pressure through the nature of how the unemployment system and what the federal government is putting in this.
Jon Husted: (57:31)
Look, this is a tough one because we want people who are out of work to have the resources that they need to get through this dip that we’re going to be in economically and when we also have these employers out there who need people and so we’re hopeful that enough, for example, you may not have had a job, you may have been a college student that was planning on being enrolled in college this year. Your plans have changed. We ask people who are in those circumstances, please look at these job opportunities even if it’s only part-time, try to be part of the solution.
Jon Husted: (58:10)
I always say we’re going through this. Everybody is either part of the solution or part of the problem and we just encourage people to make decisions that help us get through this. We recognize that there are some economic conflicts in the way that the benefit system is set up. Particularly with the new care act, which is a good thing, in the sense that people are getting benefits, but we also know that that’s going to force these employers to pay more. Many of them are stepping up and doing that.
Mike Dewine: (58:40)
Let me just add one thing. Again, we would encourage companies to allow these to be worn. We would also, I know-
Mike Dewine: (58:49)