Coronavirus in Ohio

As COVID-19 spreads, Ohio's healthcare workers and hospitals are being overwhelmed. Masks are critical, but they are in short supply. Gov. Mike DeWine, pictured above, is working to get more masks and sanitze existing ones.

Photo courtesy of: Vivien McClain Photography/ Wikimedia Commons

As COVID-19 spreads, Ohio's healthcare workers and hospitals are being overwhelmed. Masks are critical, but they are in short supply. Gov. Mike DeWine, pictured above, is working to get more masks and sanitze existing ones.

As of April 13, there were 6,881 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 268 confirmed deaths in Ohio. Hospitals and healthcare workers are being overwhelmed, with the Ohio Department of Health reporting 2,033 hospitalizations in Ohio. More than 1,300 of those have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as protective masks, is in short supply. Gov. Mike DeWine has made a plea to healthcare workers with N95 respirators, disposable masks that keep out airborne particles, to send the masks to Battelle, a global research and development organization. According to a news release on Gov. Dewine’s website, Battelle “can serialize up to 160,000 masks each day, making them reusable up to 20 times.”

“I want to make a public plea to everyone using these masks – every mask is precious, please don’t throw them away,” Gov. DeWine said, “We are trying to get more N95 masks in Ohio, but we still don’t have enough. When you throw a mask away you are depriving someone else of having a mask because we only have so many.”

However, amid this time of crisis people are doing what they can to stop the spread of COVID-19, help each other and help hospital workers. 

Many distilleries in Ohio, aiming to help with the lack of hand-sanitizer, are now producing their own in mass quantities. JobsOhio has bought more than 3,100 cases of this distillery made hand-sanitizer and will donate it to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. 

In response to the shortage of PPE, inmates at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s prisons have begun making some of the much needed healthcare supplies. 

According to a news release that was published on March 30 on Gov. Dewine’s website, inmates, at that time, had made 500 hospital gowns and would make 44,000 more when they got additional fabric. The news release reported that prisoners would begin making cough masks, as well as hand sanitizer and face shields, and will be able to make 5,000 a day until they reach a total of 2 million.

“Each prison with its own workshop will also make masks for the people in those prisons,” the news release stated.

Just like a virus is contagious, our moods are contagious”

— Dr. Amy Acton

Ohio manufacturing companies have now also joined the effort to help produce face shields for medical workers. According to the Ohio’s COVID-19 Manufacturing Alliance, 19 manufacturing companies have joined forces to make between 750,000 and 1 million plastic face shields. 

Just as other medical supplies are in short supply, there is also a massive lack of N95 masks. To help with this, Apple CEO Tim Cook has donated 100,000 masks for Ohio frontline healthcare workers.

With tension and stress rising over the concerns about COVID-19, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, has reminded residents of Ohio to be kind. 

“Just like a virus is contagious, our moods are contagious,” Acton said.