COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine held his daily briefing at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to provide an update on the state's response to COVID-19.
The Ohio Department of Health announced that there were 867 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. 15 people have died and 223 are hospitalized, including 91 in ICU.
With cases and deaths trending upward -- and not projected to peak until late April or early May -- DeWine stated on Thursday that it's not a matter of "if" but "when" the state will need more space for patients.
"We are working on hospital capacity," DeWine said."We are working on a big expansion of beds and getting the infrastructure ready."
DeWine was joined by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. For weeks, Ohioans have heard her use the phrase "flatten the curve" in regards to helping delay the spread of the coronavirus.
On Thursday, Acton showed the progress the state is making in doing just that.
In showing Ohio's first projected coronavirus curve -- which is based on still limited data -- Acton revealed that the state's peak is currently slated to reach as many as 6,000-8,000 new cases per day in late April. While jarring, those numbers are preferable to the projections for the state had it not put social distancing measures in place, as that model shows Ohio would currently be peaking with as many as 40,000 new cases a day, a number that would have overwhelmed the state's health resources.
DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted also addressed unemployment claims in Ohio, which jumped more than 180,000 last week, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
ODJFS said it received 187,780 jobless claims the week ending with March 21. That is an increase from 7,042 the week prior.
The U.S. death toll from coronavirus passed 1,000 Wednesday night, according to Johns Hopkins University. Approximately 25% of those are in New York City
The number of worldwide coronavirus cases is nearing 500,000.
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