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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review for the week ending Aug. 14, 2020

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On Tuesday, Governor DeWine continued to stress the importance of
masks, social distancing, and proper hygiene as Ohio’s school students
approach the start of the upcoming school year.

“I have every
confidence that Ohio’s schools will do everything they can to keep
children safe, but any spread happening in the broader community will,
without a doubt, be reflected in Ohio’s classrooms,” said Governor
DeWine. “If we want our kids to go to school in person, to play sports,
to be in extracurricular activities – it’s up to all of us to cut down
the spread in our communities.”

Currently, Ohio has left the decision to individual school districts on how to approach the new school year.

According
to information gathered by the Ohio Department of Education, 325 public
school districts in Ohio are planning to return to school full-time
which equates to approximately 590,000 students. A total of 55 districts
representing approximately 398,000 public school students will begin
the school year remotely. Approximately 380,000 students in 154 public
school districts will start the school year with a hybrid of online and
in-person learning. Information on 78 public school distracts was not
readily available.

Education Model Planned for Start of SY21

Dr.
John Barnard from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Dr. Patty
Manning from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Adam Mezoff from
Dayton Children’s Hospital also participated in Tuesday’s press
conference. They discussed the prevalence of COVID-19 among children;
how to prevent spread in schools by wearing masks, practicing social
distancing, maintaining good hand hygiene, keeping surfaces clean, and
ensuring good ventilation; and what schools can do if a student or staff
member tests positive.

Increase in cases in younger populations

Governor
DeWine shared updated data on the percentage of cases in Ohio by age
group. The data shows a significant increase in positive cases among
younger adults over the summer, particularly in the age range of 20-29.

On
Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that new public health data has led
the Ohio Department of Health to designate 12 counties as being in a
Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency as defined by the Ohio Public Health
Advisory System.

Health Advisory System

Increase to Level 3: Continue at Level 3: Decrease to Level 2: Decrease to Level 1:

Brown

Clermont

Muskingum

Cuyahoga

Erie

Fairfield

Franklin

Licking

Lucas

Marion

Mercer

Montgomery

Allen

Medina

Adams

Defiance

Fulton

Henry

Knox

Lake

Paulding

Williams

Detailed
information for all of Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio
Public Health Advisory System’s website. The system was developed to
provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with
data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the
counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with
specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data
gathered on seven public health indicators.

Improving minority health

Governor DeWine released the final Minority Health Strike Force report and the state’s executive response.

The
Minority Health Strike Force was formed in April to examine the
disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on minority communities, as
well as broader health disparities and racial injustices. Currently,
African Americans represent 14 percent of Ohio’s population but are 24
percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 32 percent of COVID-19
hospitalizations, and 19 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio. Similarly,
at least 6 percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in
Ohio are Latino, despite only representing 3.9 percent of Ohio’s
population.

The COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint
lists 34 recommendations on dismantling racism, removing public health
obstacles, improving the social/economic and physical environments, and
strengthening data collection to better track disparities.

In
response to the Strike Force’s report, Governor DeWine issued Ohio’s
Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity. The action plan
outlines efforts to reinforce the DeWine Administration’s commitment to
advancing health equity and establishing Ohio as a model for justice,
equity, opportunity, and resilience.

As part of his commitment to
equity, Governor DeWine also announced the creation of the new Ohio
Governor’s Equity Advisory Board.

The Board will work to improve
Ohio’s work to dismantle racism and promote health equity. Board members
will draw on the expertise within Ohio’s communities of color and will
represent diverse viewpoints from sectors like education, healthcare,
public and private business, community organizations, and members of the
criminal justice community.

“We are committed to solutions,
because as I have stated before, racism is a public health crisis. Each
of us has a responsibility to be mindful of and work to counteract
racial and other disparities that hold Ohioans back from reaching their
full God-given potential,” said Governor DeWine. “I will not shy away
from addressing these long-entrenched inequalities among our fellow Ohio
citizens. Fortunately, we have many great partners in this mission, and
we are grateful to the individuals and organizations that provided
feedback to the strike force and who have worked with my administration
on this issue.”

“Being a person of color should not dictate your
health outcomes. As the Health Commissioner for the City of Cincinnati
and member of the COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force, I am proud of
the work of my fellow strike force members to address these health
inequities. The interim report and blueprint address short term and long
term recommendations, as we need sustainable efforts to address these
multi-faceted issues. The Governor’s response to the blueprint is
action-oriented and his formation of the Governor’s Equity Impact Board
shows that he is serious about the plan being implemented and committed
to all Ohioans,” Dr. Melba R. Moore, Cincinnati Health Department Health
Commissioner.

“The COVID-19 Ohio Minority Health Strike Force
Blueprint sets a foundation that promotes sustained long-term and
lifetime wellness and focuses on individuals and communities of color
who disproportionately are afflicted with health disparities and chronic
disease conditions. We understand that improvements to healthcare
access and social and economic factors and determinants of health are
critical to addressing disparities and improving health outcomes for all
Ohioans. I commend Governor DeWine for taking the blueprint and quickly
working with his administration to outline concrete next steps to
improve the health and wellbeing of all Ohioans and advance equity
across the state of Ohio,” Dr. Charles Modlin, MD, Executive Director
Minority Health, Founder / Director Minority Men’s Health Center &
Urologist, Cleveland Clinic.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

 

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