DeWine requests release of 38 prisoners, expands efforts in testing for COVID-19 in Ohio

After the first inmate in Ohio's prison system died from the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine has decided to make some adjustments.

DeWine requests release of 38 prisoners, expands efforts in testing for COVID-19 in Ohio

In his daily press conference, DeWine announced letters that will go to local judges asking for the release of 38 prisoners. 23 of them are non-violent offenders and are women who are pregnant or recently gave birth. 15 of them are people over 60-years-old with 60 days or less to serve. DeWine also said a push to expand testing is underway. Ohio State and the Department of Health have partnered to produce Ohio's own testing products instead of waiting on supply chains.

DeWine requests release of 38 prisoners, expands efforts in testing for COVID-19 in Ohio

"It's not going to move forward overnight," DeWine said. "We're not going to be where we need to be overnight, but we're making progress in that area and I wanted to share with everyone what is happening. I find it to be very exciting and I think it will be of great benefit to us."

DeWine said the Department of Health and four major hospitals have the capacity to test. Supplies for the test kits will be sent out in the next few days.

Media release from Gov. Mike DeWine's office 4/3/2020: (COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided an update on the status of Ohio's response to COVID-19. 

TESTING SUPPLIES:

Governor DeWine announced today that The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is now partnering with the Ohio Department of Health to help increase the availability of testing supplies needed for testing citizens for COVID-19. 

"Because of supply chain problems, we can’t always get the swabs and tubes and transport liquid, and there is also a shortage in the chemicals or reagents necessary to run the tests," said Governor DeWine. "Through this new partnership, we are working to get these resources and provide them to those conducting the testing." 

N95 MASK SANITIZING: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced today that Battelle and JobsOhio have partnered to provide free N95 mask sanitizing for hospitals for the next two weeks.

Last week, after urging from Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of new Battelle technology to sanitize these masks for reuse. 

Ohio still faces a critical shortage of PPE. Anyone with items to donate should email together@governor.ohio.gov. Manufacturers that may be able to temporarily repurpose to create PPE are asked to visit repurposingproject.com.

EARLY PRISON RELEASE: 

Governor DeWine announced today that he will recommend the early release of 38 prison inmates.

The inmates fall into two categories: 

  • Pregnant inmates and those who are recently postpartum.
  • Inmates who are vulnerable to COVID-19 at 60 years old or older and have 120 days or less remaining on their sentence. 

Governor DeWine will send a letter to the judges who presided over these cases and encourage them to grant early release. These cases do not involve any individuals convicted of serious violent crimes such as, but not limited to, murder, sexual assault, and domestic violence. 

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) will work with the courts to hold these hearings remotely. If a victim was involved in the case, they will be notified and given the opportunity to provide a statement. 

NEW EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE: 

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) today released a special guide to help schools, educators, students, parents, and caregivers as they navigate remote learning. 

The new Remote Learning Resource Guide will support the ability of each child to carry on learning during this time of social distancing.

ODE consulted with educators across Ohio as they compiled the remote learning guide and incorporated their best advice for finding remote-learning information and how to use it.

The guide includes online learning resources, as well as several less technical resources.

The guide is available on the Ohio Department of Education's website and on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 3,312 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 91 deaths. A total of 895 people have been hospitalized, including 288 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

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

 

Multimedia Video Journalist

Cleveland born and raised but has called Lima home for more than a year now. Eran is an avid sports fan and loves hearing live music. To keep up on all the top stories in western Ohio you can find Eran on Facebook or Twitter @EranHamiTV.