COVID-19 OHIO | 4,782 confirmed cases

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) - The Ohio Department of Health reported 4,782 cases of coronavirus Tuesday.

Of those patients, 1,354 are in the hospital and 417 have been admitted to the ICU.

The State of Ohio is now reporting 167 virus-related deaths.

Gov. Mike DeWine also announced that a total of 141 inmates are under consideration for release.

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Annette Chambers-Smith Wednesday recommended to the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee that certain inmates scheduled to be released in the next 90 days be released sooner to allow for increased social distancing between prison staff and inmates.

"We're not looking to release every inmate scheduled to be released in the next 90 days, rather we're talking about specific cases that fit very specific criteria," said Governor DeWine. "We will not be sending murderers, sex offenders, and the like home early."

In determining which inmates may qualify for early release, inmates were disqualified if they:

  • Were convicted of serious charges such as sex offenses, homicide-related offenses, kidnapping, abduction, ethnic intimidation, making terroristic threats, or domestic violence
  • Had been denied judicial release in the past
  • Have a prior incarceration in Ohio
  • Are an inter-state offender
  • Have active warrants or detainers
  • Have had a serious prison rule violation in the last 5 years

    The final decision on whether to authorize the emergency release rests with Governor DeWine.

    An additional 26 inmates who are over the age of 60 and suffering from one or more chronic health conditions are also under consideration for release. These inmates have served more than half of their sentences and meet similar criteria to the list above.

    The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services also announced Wednesday that those who did not already receive the maximum monthly allotment for their household size from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in March will be issued an additional payment beginning this week.

    All SNAP-eligible households will also soon be able to pick up a pre-packaged box of food at their local food bank.

    The Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule to allow establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity.

    All drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport as per the open container law cited in ORC 4301.01(B)(6). Drinks cannot contain more than two ounces of spirituous liquor per container.

    This rule will remain in effect for up to 120 days unless rescinded by the Liquor Control Commission, whichever occurs first.

    A new office has been developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency to better coordinate Ohio's efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses.
    The Office of Small Business Relief will:

  • Serve as the state’s designated agency for administrating federal recovery funds awarded to Ohio for small business support and recovery;
  • Work with federal, state, and local partners to evaluate and determine possible regulatory reforms that encourage employment and job creation; and
  • Coordinate efforts of Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.