Ohio update: Governor urges approval of company’s mask sterilizing system

Andrew Welsh-HugginsAssociated Press d

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state reported more than 1,400 coronavirus cases including 25 deaths, while Gov. Mike DeWine presented manufacturers with a top 10 list of desperately needed medical equipment to be produced. A look at virus-related developments in Ohio on Saturday:


DeWine urged the Federal Food and Drug Administration to approve a new system developed by Columbus-based private research lab Battelle that would allow it to sterilize up to 160,000 surgical masks a day.

DeWine also presented manufacturers with a “ten most wanted” list of desperately needed equipment to be produced, including gowns, masks, face shields, gloves, respirators and thermometers. “If you are a manufacturer and you can make any of this stuff, we need to hear from you right away,” the governor said.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said that upon request early in the crisis, Ohio’s health plans agreed not to deny coverage to patients seeking coronavirus care at hospitals.


The Columbus mayor said the city’s public health department began investigating complaints of businesses not complying with the governor’s order to provide proper sanitation and space for employees. Businesses in violation will receive a warning that could be followed by citations and then possible criminal charges.

DeWine said the state is examining all contractors with an essential state contract to be sure they’re following proper sanitation and spacing directives.


Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor issued an order delaying a variety of legal deadlines, from filing appeals to appointing lawyers in death penalty cases, until the crisis passes.


More than 1,400 cases are confirmed, with 25 deaths as of Saturday and more than 340 people hospitalized, according to the state. The overall number falls well short of all of the cases in Ohio because the state is limiting testing to those who are hospitalized and to health care workers.

In Columbus, Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber, a nursing home and assisted-living facility, quarantined 19 patients and residents after a “contract medical professional” was confirmed to have coronavirus, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The Cincinnati police department said on Twitter its first officer had tested positive for COVID-19. To reduce the risk of exposure, Columbus police announced a program allowing officers to stay at home one day each week but able to respond to emergencies immediately if needed. The division also said one of its non-patrol officers tested positive, though the person had self-quarantined early and other employees weren’t affected, Columbus police chief Tom Quinlan said Saturday.

For most people, COVID-19 displays 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 be more severe, causing pneumonia or death.


DeWine asked churches to continue to discourage in-person services and to use technology instead.

The Who rescheduled their April and May concerts, including an April 23 show set for the BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky University, which was to have been the band’s first return to the Cincinnati area since a December 1979 concert in which 11 fans died in a pre-show stampede.

In Dayton, a plumber said stockpiling of toilet paper is causing problems as people without the product flush inappropriate items such as baby wipes, the Dayton Daily News reported. The state emergency management and environmental protection agencies urged Ohioans not to flush wipes, cat litter, paper towels, hygiene products, and medication.

Ohio State University extended the renewal period for football season-ticket holders until April 30, past the original deadline on Friday.