Here are the latest details about the state and region’s issues with the COVID-19 pandemic:
• There are now 867 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, up from 704 on Wednesday. There are 15 deaths, up from Wednesday’s 10. There are 223 hospitalizations, including 91 in intensive care units.
• The range of people affected is less than 1 year old to 94, with a median age of 51. Of those who tested positive, 53 percent were males, and 47 percent were females.
• An expanded COVID-19 data dashboard has been designed by the InnovateOhio Platform and is now available online.
The dashboard displays the most recent preliminary data reported to the Ohio Department of Health about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Ohio by selected demographics and county of residence.
There are 867 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 15 deaths. A total of 223 people have been hospitalized, including 91 admissions to intensive care units.
In-depth data on the new dashboard can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
• Lima schools will now be placing food distributions into vehicles to minimize contact. The next distribution will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday at all buildings. Beginning April 6, if school is not back in session, distributions will be at Freedom, Heritage, Independence and Unity elementary schools, Liberty Arts Magnet, North Middle School and Lima Senior High School.
• Weekly blood drives have been added each Tuesday from March 31 to April 28 at the American Red Cross Lima Chapter Office. See more at www.limaohio.com/calendar.
• Mercy Health announced it won’t send patient statements and billing for anyone dealing with COVID-19-related issues. The goal is to eliminate financial barriers to accessing care and treatment. No upfront payments will be required. Mercy Health will bill insurance but not send patient statements until it finalizes details with insurance companies, lab partners and state and federal governments.
• Community Health Services is now offering TeleHealth medical and behavioral health appointments, so people can access services without leaving their home. New patients are welcome. For information or to schedule an appointment, call 419-334-3869 or visit CHSOhio.com.
• The FBI announced it has seen a number of fraud schemes related to COVID-19. People should look out for fake emails from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emails asking you to verify information for an economic stimulus check or to provide personally identifiable information for other reasons. Don’t open attachments or click on links from unfamiliar senders. Don’t provide information such as your username, password, birth date, Social Security number or any other kind of financial or personal information. Double-check the web address of legitimate websites, avoiding misspellings or wrong domains (such as .gov addresses ended in .com instead). If you believe you are the victim of an internet scam or cyber crime, visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov.
• Sixteen inmates in the state penal system have been tested for the COVID-19 virus and 12 of those tests have returned negative results, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Thursday. The results of four tests are still pending. There have been no confirmed positive tests.
• Emergency Roadside Assistance is an essential business under Gov. DeWine’s Stay at Home Order. This enables AAA to continue offering 24/7 Emergency Road Service to all members.
To help those on the front line of the virus, AAA is also now providing free emergency road service for healthcare workers and first responders. AAA will work with the motorist to help arrange alternative transportation. The AAA technician will remain with the motorist until transportation arrives.
• State Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) voted Wednesday in support of House Bill 197, to enact several emergency measures in response to the recent COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio. The bill passed unanimously out of both the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate.
House Bill 197, introduced by Representatives Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) and Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) last year to make technical corrections to Ohio’s tax laws, was amended to include several provisions addressing various issues which have arisen in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Among the provisions amended into House Bill 197 is an extension of the absentee voting period for the March 17 primary election. In-person polling locations were ordered closed by the Ohio Department of Health on March 16 due to the ongoing public health emergency. House Bill 197 will now extend the window for registered voters to mail in their absentee ballots to April 28. All absentee ballots postmarked by that date will be counted in the final tally of the March 17 primary results.
• Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, continue to remind Ohioans of the oncoming shortage of personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles, gloves, gowns and face shields for healthcare workers and first responders.
Taking care of a patient who is in intensive care for a 24-hour shift requires: 36 pairs of gloves, 14 gowns, three pairs of goggles and 13 N-95 face masks.
The state of Ohio is asking residents and businesses who can donate PPE, or any other essential service or resource, to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff will receive these emails and coordinate how these resources can best be used to benefit all Ohioans.
Share your information at email@example.com.