An order to close adult day services facilities across Ohio went into effect Saturday Gov. Mike DeWine said that those who need assistance through the facilities will continue to receive care through in-home services.
There are 247 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio as of Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health reported. There have been three deaths reported due to coronavirus. The deaths were in Cuyahoga, Erie and Lucas Counties.
Director of Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said that this is a “snapshot of history,” and everyone should take advice from DeWine to heart.
>> Coronavirus: Complete coverage
“I sometimes feel that I am in a war zone,” she said. “These are hard choices, these are the best tools we have and we must use them now.”
“This is the time to batten down the hatches, this is the time to stay at home in place,” Dr. Acton said.
DeWine said that Ohio is at a critical time in the pandemic.
“What we do now, what we do not do now will really determine how many Ohioans die. This is an absolutely critical time,” he said. “We must act if we have been invaded by an enemy. Because in truth, we really have been. We must not do anything to help the enemy.”
DeWine encouraged people to ask themselves to do anything within their power to protect themselves and those around them.
>> Coronavirus: List of business closures, changes because of virus concerns
“Each night when I go to bed, I ask myself ‘did I do everything I could?’” He said.“I would ask you to ask yourselves the same thing. We can control this, we can control our own destiny.”
Director of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Lori Criss discussed mental health throughout the pandemic and new social norms. She advised that mental health is part of healthcare and should be taken seriously.
“The most important thing to know is you are not alone,” Criss said. “This is temporary, you are resilient, Ohio is resilient.”
Criss discussed tips for taking care of children at home during the pandemic. She encouraged parents to speak to their children and inform them of the current situation at a level they can understand.
She encouraged people to use the phrase “HALT,” which stands for “hungry, angry, lonely or tired” to keep an eye on their mental health.
Lt. Governor John Husted said that the Ohio Bureau of workers compensation will allow businesses to forgo payments for March, April, and May. Payments will be deferred until June 1. This decision will leave $200 million in the economy.
>> Coronavirus timeline: A look at the orders changing life in Ohio
Counties with confirmed cases include Ashland, Ashtabula, Belmont, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Franklin, Gallia, Geauga, Hamilton, Huron, Lake, Licking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Miami. Montgomery, Richland, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscawaras, Union and Warren Counties.
DeWine encouraged people to fly American flags during the pandemic to show their patriotism in the war against the coronavirus.
The Ohio Channel is streaming the conference on their Facebook page.
>>> Watch the conference live HERE <<<<<
We will update this story with more information as it becomes available.