Earlier this week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the formation of a Testing Strike Team to expand the state's coronavirus testing.
It didn't take long for the team -- led by former Ohio Governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft -- to show results.
On Friday, DeWine announced that the state has reached an agreement with Thermo Fisher to increase the state's access to testing reagents. Additionally, DeWine announced that through a collaborative effort with the Ohio Manufacturers Association, the Roe Dental Lab in Cleveland will help manufacture up to one million swabs to aid the state's testing efforts.
Per DeWine, Roe Dental has invested in bringing 100 employees back to work to produce swabs around the clock.
As a result of its efforts, DeWine said Ohio will increase its testing capacity from 7,200 tests per day this coming Wednesday to 15,000 by May 6th; 18,800 by May 13th; and 22,000 by May 27th. By increasing its testing, DeWine said Ohio will be able to:
- Have a greater ability to test in nursing homes and see where there are problems.
- Better identify other hot spots and react more aggressively.
- Focus on congregate living settings, including homeless shelters, treatment centers, developmental disability homes.
- Create a very robust contact exposure tracing ability.
As of Friday, Ohio has had 15,169 positive coronavirus cases, including 3,053 hospitalizations, 920 ICU admissions and 690 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of Ohio's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has put a number of measures in place to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order since March 23. Last week, DeWine announced that the state is preparing to begin the process of reopening its economy when the current stay-at-home order expires on May 1.