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.
Federal News: To address the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 6, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law an $8 billion emergency funding measure for government entities such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health, the Indian Health Service, and the Food and Drug Administration. This measure is intended to develop and purchase vaccines, medical supplies and products, as well as provide state and local governments with preparedness grants, training and other forms of assistance. On March 13, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced an agreement on a second bill entitled the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (HR 6021). This legislation would provide free testing, paid emergency leave to qualified employees, increased Medicaid funding and expanded unemployment insurance, nutritional assistance and small business loans.