Coronavirus in Ohio Tuesday update: 4,782 cases reported, 167 deaths

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton held a briefing Tuesday to discuss the latest efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus in Ohio.

As of Tuesday, there are 4,782 cases reported in Ohio, leading to 1,354 hospitalizations and 167 deaths.

Tuesday, the state’s revised stay-home order went into effect, lasting through May 1. The order also imposes capacity restrictions on essential businesses that remain open.

Governor DeWine announced those who receive SNAP benefits will now receive the maximum allotment for their household. They will also be able to pick up a package of food at their local food bank.

The governor also announced restaurants who have a liquor license will now be able to serve up to two pre-packaged drinks per carryout order.

During Monday’s press conference, Governor DeWine addressed coronavirus issues at state prisons, where 10 inmates at two prisons have tested positive for the virus. Tuesday, DeWine said the virus entering the prisons was to be expected, despite being cautious.

Last week, DeWine announced a plan to release 38 specific inmates to prevent them from contracting the virus and to free up some space. Twenty-three of those women are pregnant or post-partum.

DeWine said the state prison system has 49,000 people in it, and all of them are there for a reason. Identifying inmates to release is challenging.

The governor said they started with a list of people who are scheduled to be released in the next 90 days. The screened out people convicted of certain crimes, have been to prison before, those with serious prison rules violations, those with warrants and other criteria. That left them with 141 inmates who could be released early.

Another group of inmates was identified, age 60 and over who have a chronic health condition and have served more than half their sentence. This group was screened using similar criteria to the first group. A total of 26 inmates met this criteria.

DeWine is asking judges and prosecutors to waive their 60-day notice of sentence commutation so that the parole board can consider their cases. DeWine said he will make a quick decision on any case that reaches him. The parole board can set conditions as part of commutation, and those who violate can be sent back to prison.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced an Office of Small Business Relief that will collaborate with businesses to identify ways to provide support to small businesses in Ohio.

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