By Noah Hiles (3-18-20 – 3:04 PM)
Update on Cases in Ohio
The Ohio Department of Health reported a sizable increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are now 88 confirmed cases in the state, which is 21 more than yesterday. 19 different counties have at least confirmed case. 26 people have been hospitalized so far.
Governor DeWine says testing for COVID-19 is limited and it is likely to remain that way. However, DeWine says this should not be viewed as an issue.
“Please, do not fixate on testing,” DeWine said. “The vast majority of Ohioans who have symptoms do not need to be tested for the virus. If you are feeling symptoms, you should act like you have it.”
DeWine says if you are feeling symptoms of COVID-19, the most responsible thing you can do is stay home. Additionally, your family or those you live with should also stay home. If your symptoms worsen – especially if you have difficultly breathing – you should go to the ER.
The state’s goal is to reserve the testing for those who are the sickest and the most at risk.
BMV Offices Closed
The State of Ohio will be closing 181 Bureau of Motor Vehicle registrar locations. Five will remain open because they are essential to issue/renew commercial drivers’ licenses so that our transportation system can keep moving.
The Governor has instructed the Ohio State Highway Patrol and all other law enforcement to not issue tickets for someone who has an expired license due to the fact that they can no longer get a renewal.
Other Businesses to Close
Barber shops, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and spas have been ordered to close indefinitely at the end of the day. Small businesses that can seek assistance for the time they are closed by heading to the Small Business Administration’s website.
“We don’t close businesses without talking with those involved,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “For example, closing salons and spas – we talked with them and in many cases they asked us to make these decisions.”
Additionally, the Governor asks businesses that remain open to immediately begin to take the temperature of every single employee every day before they come to work.
“We’re asking them to be aggressive in regard to cleaning surfaces and having soap/hand sanitizer available,” said DeWine. “Send employees home who are sick.”
National Guard Rumors
The Governor addressed rumors that the National Guard will be coming to Ohio to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“When the National Guard is going to be doing something, you’re going to know about it,” said DeWine. “The way the National Guard is used in the US is to help us – like in floods or to be of help in tornadoes, they have transport and lift capacity. They can do wonderful things.”
School Closing Update
Governor DeWine says it is possible that kids will not be back in school during this school year. The state is working with schools to help them keep education going so that all kids eligible to graduate are able to graduate.