During their briefing Tuesday on the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted encouraged Ohioans to cooperate if contacted by a contact tracer.

Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by notifying people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, and advising them to monitor their health for signs and symptoms. Contact tracers helping those who may have been exposed to the coronavirus to get tested, they ask people to self-isolate or self-quarantine if appropriate and help people identify the resources they need to safely stay at home.

Contact tracers maintain anonymity and do not publicly disclose a person’s identity to their contacts. However, those who test positive will be encouraged to notify those they’ve been in contact with so that these individuals also respond to contract tracers and begin to isolate.

DEMOGRAPHIC DASHBOARD

DeWine on Tuesday unveiled a new COVID-19 case demographics dashboard that is now available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

The new dashboard gives citizens access to COVID-19 case data by race or ethnicity. The data can be broken down by age and county and compared to the overall Ohio population.

“Improving data collection and reporting, as well as creating a publicly-available dashboard, were recommendations from the COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force,” DeWine said. “This dashboard will help better track health inequities and disparities, and we believe this data will also help put critical decisions into context for policymakers.”

FACE MASK

DONATION

Lt. Governor Husted announced that Ford Motor Company is donating 2 million medical grade face masks to the state of Ohio for healthcare providers, first responders, underserved populations and senior living communities. The donation is part of the Ford Fund’s commitment to donate 100 million medical-grade face masks through 2021.

The company, currently manufacturing 2.5 million medical-grade masks a week for its employees and at-risk communities, is growing the number of mask-making machines by mid- to late-October to increase production and deliver on its goal. Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services and Development Services Agency have partnered with JobsOhio to work with the Ford Government Relations Team, as well as many others, to secure lifesaving personal protective equipment since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally, on Monday, ALG Health announced it is opening a new respirator mask making facility in Bryan that eventually could bring as many as 400 new jobs to Williams County.

The company is moving into 520 W. Mulberry St., a 400,000-square-foot industrial building formerly occupied until this past August by another medical equipment company, Gendron Inc.

Initial plans are to use about 100,000 square feet of the building space and begin production in November with 10 machines and about 100 workers, gradually expanding to as many as 60 production machines and 400 employees.

“The N95 will be our speciality (in Bryan),” ALG Health owner and president Adam Harmon told The Bryan Times, with N95 respirator masks comprising about 90% of production and surgical masks about 10%.

OHIO BENEFITS

On Monday, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services sent voter registration forms to 59,000 individuals who previously requested these forms through the Ohio Benefits system but had not yet received them due to a system error.

Ohio Benefits provides online services for Ohioans who receive benefits through programs within Ohio Medicaid and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Pursuant to legal requirements, Ohio Benefits offers users an opportunity to receive a voter registration form at their request.

Of the 59,000 Ohioans affected by the error, a review determined that approximately 18,900 were already registered to vote, 7,500 received voter registration forms from Ohio Benefits through other transactions, and 32,400 had not yet received a form at the time of the review.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 5, 2020. Citizens can register online at VoteOhio.gov.

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Montpelier native Husted also recognized National Small Business Week, which celebrates America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Ohio is home to more than 965,000 small businesses that account for 99.6 percent of the businesses in the state. Together they employ 2.2 million people, which is 45% of Ohio’s total employees. Additionally, small businesses created more than 44,000 jobs in 2019.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 145,850 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,635 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,899 people have been hospitalized, including 3,210 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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