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Governor DeWine’s Weekly Press Conference Updates

Apr 17, 2020

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton. Today’s press conference is scheduled for 2:00 PM.  You can watch this on the Ohio Channel, Ohio Public TV (PBS stations), and other Columbus-based outlets.

Here’s the news from yesterday:

  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 8,239 confirmed cases
    • 175 probable cases
    • 8,414 total cases
    • 2,331 hospitalizations
    • 373 confirmed deaths
    • 16 probable deaths
    • 389 total deaths
    • 707 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
  • Beginning May 1, 2020, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy.  The plan will be fact-driven over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees, and their customers. In consultation with Dr. Acton, Lt. Governor Jon Husted will lead the governor’s board of economic advisors to identify best practices, similar to the current requirements on essential business operations to ensure Ohioans health and safety as businesses begin the process of reopening. Attached is a letter of support from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
  • Governor DeWine also announced he will work closely with the Governors of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky to reopen the region’s economy in a coordinated way. The states will review four factors as they reopen their economies: the number of cases in the state and the number of hospital admissions, the amount of hospital capacity, the ability to test and trace cases of COVID-19, and best practices for social distancing in businesses.
  • Governor DeWine signed an order to waive the requirement for commercial vehicles to file an application for a single trip permit if they are transporting COVID-19 emergency relief supplies while traveling into or throughout Ohio. A copy of the order is attached.
  • The FDA issued two new emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for serology tests to detect for the presence of coronavirus antibodies. As a reminder, Governor DeWine cautions companies in Ohio that are purchasing rapid antibody tests to ensure that they are purchasing tests that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Without the FDA Emergency Use Authorization approval, there is no way to know if the tests are valid.
  • For the week ending April 11, 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 158,678 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor. The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last four weeks stands at 855,197. Over these last four weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $237 million in unemployment compensation payments to more than 282,000 claimants. Pursuant to an order from the U.S.  Department of Labor order, Ohio will release unemployment numbers on a weekly basis as soon as the national report is released on Thursday.
  • Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email

As always, Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov and the Department of Health hotline, 1-833-4-ASK-ODH are great resources for those who have questions.