Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton said Tuesday the next couple of weeks will be tough for Ohioans as the state braces for its projected coronavirus peak.
Despite this grave warning, Acton used a graph without any numerical labels on it to explain Ohio’s coronavirus status.
“We are this blue line in Ohio. Please Ohioans, we got a couple of hard weeks ahead of us,” she said.
After discussing the blue line, Acton said – while pointing at the unlabeled yellow line – that if Ohio relaxes its stay-at-home restrictions, the state will change its trajectory and look like the original yellow curve. (Shown below).
The unlabeled slide is the newest version of the “Flattening the Curve” slide that has shown what would happen if Ohio did not implement social distancing measures.
Next, Acton told Ohioans that they are “winning the war to protect our scarce resources” to keep hospitals in a position to be able to deal coronavirus patients.
However, she urged people not to let up now.
“The second we let our foot off the gas, the second we are no longer ‘category three hurricane,’ it can pick up wind again and we can be a ‘category five,’” the health director said.
Acton said Ohio still projects the Chinese virus peak will hit the state in mid-to-late April or early May. She added that the ODH is not sure how many cases the state will have at its peak, but the number could range from 2,000 to 10,000 new cases daily. Previously, the ODH estimated the number of new cases at the state’s peak could be between 8,000 to 10,000 per day.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio has been off on its projections. For example, on Monday the ODH’s projection was off by 850 cases.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which is cited by the White House, projects Ohio’s peak will be Wednesday.
In reacting to the coronavirus cases, Gov. Mike DeWine has been one of the most aggressive governors in the country. Since March, DeWine has closed schools, ordered two “stay-at-home” measures and closed non-essential businesses.
These closures have had a profound effect on the Ohio economy as the state saw 468,414 people file for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks.
As of Tuesday, Ohio has 4,782 cases and 167 deaths, according to ODH numbers.
Watch the full press briefing:
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