Coronavirus: Widespread testing to start at state prisons with virus

Ohio will start widespread testing at certain state prisons already facing coronavirus cases.

In the Miami Valley, the virus has been confirmed at two prisons in Dayton. In both cases, only one staff member tested positive at those facilities.

>> Eight Ohio prisons under quarantine due to coronavirus

Gov. Mike DeWine discussed new coronavirus reporting guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new system includes cases confirmed by quick tests and those with clinical evidence of coronavirus and no other likely diagnosis.

The new system includes cases confirmed by quick tests and those with clinical evidence of coronavirus and no other likely diagnosis.

Previously the only cases reported in Ohio had been confirmed by a laboratory test.

Ohio is including confirmed and probable cases in their reporting to provide as much clarity as possible, DeWine said.

The Ohio Department of Health is reporting 227 deaths and 5,836 cases of coronavirus in the state.

There have been 1,612 hospitalizations with 548 ICU admissions.

There are an additional 42 probable cases in the state and four probable deaths from the virus.

>> Public Health to start tallying probable coronavirus cases

Probable cases are people believed to have the virus, but who do not qualify for testing.

Due to limited testing in the state, health department Director Amy Acton said the the numbers only represent the “tip of the iceberg” of cases.

Ohio is working on getting access to coronavirus quick test, tests where a person’s finger is pricked to get a blood sample.

>> Coronavirus: Complete Coverage

With the test, the state hopes that it will be determine people who have had the virus and since recovered. That knowledge could help determine if people can return to work and lead to the state loosening some restrictions.

Acton also clarified a previous order halting all non-essential medical procedures in the state.

If a patient’s condition is worsening or they are in pain, they need to be reevaluated, Acton said.

Medicaid is relaxing restrictions to help people get the care they need during the coroanvirus pandemic.

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Changes include pharmacy benefits regardless of in- or out-of-network status, relaxing thresholds on certain prescriptions, reimbursing pharmacies who offer emergency refills without a prescription.

The Ohio Department of Transportation created a free permit for food trucks and vendors to sell food to truck drivers and other essential workers at rest stops in Ohio, DeWine said.

The governor said that while the rest stops are not as busy as they typically are, it’s still important to have warm meals available for essential workers.


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