State reviewing pandemic alcohol orders
Mahoning sees rise of 41 cases; Trumbull adds 25
Pandemic protocol for bars and restaurants is under review and mandates are in routine evaluation, Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday.
“We’re looking at it, and we’ll be talking about it in a short period of time,” DeWine said. He did not specify when the topic would be addressed in the near future.
Explaining the practices in place were suggested by people who run establishments, DeWine said those same people voiced they “don’t want a limit” in terms of capacity. Instead, the governor said those in the industry said they would abide by the 6-foot social-distancing guideline.
Bars are mandated to close at 10 p.m. and have alcohol off tables by 11 p.m., which DeWine said “is difficult.”
Also during the first of his two weekly news conferences, earlier detection of the virus was discussed.
Wastewater testing for gene fragments of the virus is underway around the state to try to predict hot spots, Rebecca Fugitt with the Ohio Department of Health said.
Research suggests an increase of cases four to seven days prior to an outbreak, Fugitt said.
The information can help health and community officials prepare for and support an area where an outbreak is projected, Fugitt said.
Thirty-six cities are being monitored, and 25 more will be added in the next month.
Also Tuesday, DeWine announced Medicaid changes after officials gathered feedback from patients, health care providers and doctors across the state.
Ohio Rise is the first major Medicaid overhaul in 15 years. DeWine said in the coming days, the Department of Medicaid will roll out a series of requests for applications for managed care plans.
The new program will focus on improving care for kids with complex needs, emphasize personalized care of patients, improve wellness and health outcomes and increase transparency and accountability by helping patients understand what their benefits are, DeWine said.
Plans will assist businesses in developing health-conscious efforts such as using primary care physicians regularly — as opposed to visiting an emergency room — and providing vaccines and prenatal care, DeWine said.
Beginning today, businesses interested in applying may do so, DeWine said.
Another opportunity later this fall will be available for children with complex needs.
DeWine said Tuesday the average number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio has increased.
One reason, he said, is because numbers tend to go on a downward trend over the weekends — only to rise again at the beginning of the new week.
Out of the last four days, DeWine said the average was fewer than 1,000 daily cases, as opposed to Tuesday’s 1,105 new cases.
“We certainly want to keep that number down,” he said.
The state reported the 1,105 cases Tuesday bring the new total to 152,907.
Locally, Mahoning County saw the sharpest increase of 41 cases, for a total of 3,114 on Tuesday.
Trumbull County reported 1,921 cases, an increase of 25 from the day prior, while Columbiana County had 1,951 cases, up 19 from the day before.
Mahoning County saw an increase of one COVID-19 death, bringing the new total to 282 Tuesday.
Trumbull County remained at 132 and Columbiana County stayed at 80.
A presumed 131,708 people have recovered in Ohio from COVID-19.
Data on the state health department’s website shows one student and two new staff cases are on record at Potential Development, a nonprofit organization operating as a charter school in Youngstown.