DeWine urges Congress to pass relief package as Ohio nears 500,000 Covid-19 cases

Ohio – The State of Ohio reported 9,273 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, with 336 new hospitalizations including 40 new ICU admissions. The total number of reported deaths related to COVID-19 is now 7,022.

The state reports a total of 484,297 cases since the pandemic began.

At a Monday afternoon briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine reported that most Ohio students are attending school remotely — with 29 percent going to school in-person.

DeWine cautioned Ohioans that Tuesday’s statistics from the state will show a spike in new cases, explaining, “The CDC changed their case definition in August, allowing antigen tests to be included in case counts without additional verification. However, here in Ohio, we continued to manually verify those exposures and symptoms before counting these tests as positive.”

“We currently have nearly 12,600 positive antigen tests in our pending queue. To address those cases in our pending queue, we will apply this updated case definition to positive antigen tests dating back to November 1st.”

Because of this, DeWine said, “Tomorrow [Tuesday], we will clear those backlogged antigen tests, and they will be added to our reported case counts. That will result in a one-day spike in reported cases tomorrow. These cases will be assigned to their appropriate onset date.

“To be clear, all of these backlogged tests will not translate into new cases. They’ll be checked/duplicate records will be removed. We’ll also add these test results to our positivity calculation in the coming weeks. We will let you know when that change will be made.”

DeWine also issued a statement on Monday urging the U.S. Congress “to pass a much-needed bipartisan COVID-19 relief package before leaving Washington for the holiday recess.”

He wrote that, “Many vital CARES Act programs have already run out, and more are set to expire before the end of the year. Ohio’s workers, families, small businesses and industries, healthcare professionals, schools and children are struggling, Additional substantial aid is essential.”

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