Coronavirus: Ohio below the curve, but has ‘a couple hard weeks ahead,’ Acton says

If the state lets up on restrictions there will be an increase in cases that could overwhelm hospitals, she said.

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Acton warned that Ohio has “a couple hard weeks” ahead and asked that people continue to limit travel outside the home.

Modeling still predicts that the state will hit its peak mid-April to early May. However, the state will continue to see hotspots and flares in cases.

During the peak, Ohio could see anywhere between 2,000 to 10,000 new cases a day.

More than 50,800 people have been tested for coronavirus, with 4,782 cases confirmed, said Acton. 

Health care workers make up 20% of cases with 976 reported.

Deaths increased to 167. 

There have been 1,354 hospitalizations with 417 ICU admissions.

Gov. Mike DeWine recommended 167 inmates for early release to minimize the spread of coronavirus in the state’s prisons. 

Of the 167 inmates, 141 inmates qualify for emergency release under Ohio’s Overcrowding Emergency statute, according to DeWine.

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Those inmates are all within 90 days of being released and have not been convicted of sex offenses, homicide-related offenses, domestic violence and other offenses, he said.

“Prisons pose a unique challenge during this pandemic,” the governor said. “Social distancing in prison is difficult.”

The other 26 inmates are 60 or older and have one or more health conditions that put them at high-risk.

DeWine asked that protectors and judges in those cases waive the required 60-day notice so that the cases can go directly to the parole board for consideration.

In the 26 inmates’ cases, any victims will be notified and have the chance for their voices to be heard, the governor said.

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Last week DeWine asked that judges consider 38 prisoners for early release. Twenty-three were pregnant or recently had given birth. The other 15 are 60 or older and within 120 days of their release.

“We must do all that we can to protect prison staff,” he said. “We have a responsibility to protect the inmates that are in our custody. We also must protect the public from those may cause them harm.”

SNAP recipients in Ohio will get additional support to help them get through the coronavirus pandemic, said DeWine.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced Tuesday that those who did not already receive the maximum amount each month for their household size in Marc will get an additional payment starting this week.

SNAP recipients are also able to pick up pre-packaged box of food at their local foodbank.

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Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the creation of the Office of Small Business Relief to help find ways to give support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Details are available at https://businesshelp.ohio.gov/.

Tuesday marks the first day under Ohio’s extended stay-at-home order. New provisions in the order require stores to limit the number of people inside a business at one time to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

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