Governor DeWine is expected to announce his plans for re-opening the state today, a delay of several days compared to the initial release date of April 23. Ohio’s legislative leaders have released their plans for re-opening the state. The Ohio House of Representatives plan, Open Ohio Responsibly Framework, shows signatures from 23 state legislators on the plan’s release. The Ohio Senate’s Minority Caucus outlined their priorities for re-opening in letter to Gov. DeWine which was signed by that chamber’s Democratic leadership team. In addition, Senator Matt Huffman, a Lima Republican and next in line to be President of the Ohio Senate, has been calling on DeWine to remove business restrictions in rural areas of the state.
Friday afternoon, Governor DeWine announced positive developments addressing the shortage of testing swabs and reagent. Ohio has lagged in testing volume due to these shortages. Governor DeWine along with former Governors Celeste and Taft worked with a company developing a new reagent, Thermo Fisher. The FDA approved the new reagent earlier this week.
President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion relief package Friday April 24 to provide further aid to employers, hospitals and health organizations conducting testing for COVID-19.
Stimulus 3.5 – Congress is hoping to pass by this Wednesday April 22 a fourth stimulus package some have dubbed “Stimulus 3.5.” It will purportedly include an additional $300 billion to replenish the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program that ran out of funds in less than two weeks; $50 billion for the Small Business Administration’s disaster relief fund, $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for testing.
Current Statistics: As of April 20, Ohio had 12,516 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 403 probable cases for a total of 12,919. 2,653 Ohioans were hospitalized, with 798 in ICU. 87 counties have confirmed cases, with Vinton County being the only county with no confirmed cases. There have been 491 confirmed deaths from the virus and 18 probable deaths, for a total of 509.