Governor Mike DeWine announced today in his daily press conference that Ohio is taking action to gather a statewide inventory of ventilators and other machines and devices that provide breathing assistance.
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued an order requiring weekly online reporting of these devices by any entity in the supply chain, from creation through end-use. Examples are manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, transporters, distributors, retailers, physicians, clinics, hospitals and medical facilities.
"This will allow for the identification and re-distribution of machines from healthcare providers who are no longer performing elective procedures," DeWine said. "It also will help our regional hospital collaboratives by giving them information on the availability of these machines in their regions."
Along with mechanical ventilators, other devices to be reported are CPAP and BiPAP machines, anesthetic machines, various treatment masks and tubing.
Inventory is to be reported online every Wednesday by 5:00 p.m. with the first report due April 1, 2020. Innovate Ohio assisted in creating the web-based reporting form. Hospitals must also continue to report daily ventilator data through the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) reporting tool.
This directive comes as Ohio reported 2,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 55 deaths. A total of 585 people have been hospitalized, including 198 admissions to intensive care units.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an order today to maintain public water service during the COVID-19 state of emergency. This order prevents a water system from shutting off a resident's water service due to non-payment during the declared state of emergency. The order also requires water systems to reconnect water to anyone whose water was shut off dating back to Jan. 1 to help Ohio assure that as many people as possible have safe water during the state of emergency. Those who qualify for reconnection must call their water utility company to request the reinstatement. The reconnection will happen without any fees, but customers will be required to pay their water bill moving forward.
DeWine also announced he is extending the directive that state of Ohio employees work remotely to the greatest extent possible. The current teleworking order resulted in almost 18,000 employees working remotely. Teleworking for state employees will continue through at least May 1, 2020.
DeWine also asked state agencies to find additional remote work opportunities to the extent possible and to collaborate to share resources and information during this time.
The governor also directed JobsOhio to begin collaborating on how to help the economy once the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to fade. JobsOhio announced it has provided a $2 million growth fund loan to Appalachian Growth Capital (AGC) as part of a new strategic initiative to provide more economic development funds to areas of Ohio hardest hit by the economy. AGC provides small business financing in the 32 Appalachian counties in Ohio. It works with local and regional banks, as well as secondary lenders to support businesses in the region.
The JobsOhio investment is a long-term, low-interest loan that will boost AGC’s ability to provide low-interest funding to businesses in the Appalachian community. The lending support is intended to sustain small Southeast Ohio businesses during this COVID-19 outbreak and to create sustainable growth for the region beyond the crisis.