COLUMBUS, Ohio -- About 2,000 child-care centers have been approved so far under a special Ohio “pandemic” license, while lawmakers are rushing to pass legislation to address the widespread effect of the novel coronavirus. A look at virus-related developments Wednesday:
Ohio has more than 560 cases and eight deaths across 49 counties. A handful of long-term care centers are being called hot spots for cases, accounting for 25 of the 62 intensive-care patients in Ohio.
The state is limiting testing to those who are hospitalized and to health-care workers. The Ohio Department of Health said people with suspected symptoms should call a medical provider first, but seek immediate help if symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
Mandatory state testing for schools would be ditched this year and the deadline for filing state income taxes would be extended until July 15 under wide-ranging legislation that could be approved Wednesday by lawmakers to address the effect of the novel coronavirus.
Ohio's two U.S. attorneys and Attorney General Dave Yost promised swift action including criminal charges against doctors found to have improperly prescribing the drugs chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 for patients who don't have a positive test.
As questions continue about what jobs are considered essential, the state said several trades are on that list, including building and construction tradespeople, plumbers, electricians and exterminators, among several others.
Ohio medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can telephone orders to dispensaries during the outbreak under revised Board of Pharmacy rules. Orders must be placed during dispensaries’ normal hours, and patients must go there to pick up products.
THE NEW NORMAL
About 2,000 child-care centers have been approved to date under a special license to care for the children of first responders, health care workers, children service workers and other workers deemed essential. All others must close Thursday.
In Dayton, plans are on hold to rebuild homes damaged in last year's Memorial Day weekend tornado outbreak as volunteer groups are canceling planned trips to the area.
Mark Gillispie of the Associated Press in Cleveland contributed to this report.