OHIO – Dewine Announced today for plans of increased testing for COVID-19
Dewine said that he had two very essential components that help build the foundation for our ability to carefully begin to re-open Ohio:
Testing: Ohio, like other parts of the country, has experienced two problems with our ability to test:
1⃣A lack of the necessary testing reagent
2⃣A shortage of testing swabs
Reagent: Governor Celeste and Governor Taft working with our team this weak had a major breakthrough working with Thermo Fisher that will substantially expand our testing capacity in Ohio.
After their work, I talked directly with Thermo Fisher CEO Marc Casper, and we now have an agreement with them. This is an exciting, new partnership, and we look forward to working with the Thermo Fisher team and its 1,500 employees working in Ohio.
Swabs: As a result of collaborative efforts through the OhioMFG to Fight COVID19, Roe Dental Lab in Cleveland will manufacture up to 1 million swabs to support our testing efforts.
Roe Dental Lab usually produces dental restorations, such as crowns, dentures, and dental surgical guides. The OhioMFG helped secure the specifications to manufacture swabs from Form Labs, a 3D printing company in Toledo.
Form Labs the original production partner of OSU and Battelle for swabs. However, given our significant demand, more swabs are needed. That’s where Roe Dental Lab comes in.
They are the newest partner with the OhioMFG to help us meet our need. Roe Dental Lab has invested in more will bring nearly 100 employees back to work to produce swabs around the clock, while practicing safe social distancing.
Beginning this coming Wednesday, our capability will be at least 7,200 tests per day, and that number will go to15,000 by May 6th; 18,800 by May 13th; and 22,000 by May 27th.
This will dramatically increase our ability to test, particularly in our priority areas. For example:
➡We will have a greater ability test in nursing homes and see where there are problems;
➡We can better identify other hot spots and go in more aggressively
➡We can focus on congregate living settings, such as homeless shelters, treatment centers, developmental disability homes;
➡We will be better able to make sure food/grocery workers and employees in essential manufacturing facilities are healthy & not spreading the disease
➡ And finally, it is going to enable us to stand up a very robust contact exposure tracing ability.
Contact exposure tracing is one of the strongest weapons we help keep our families, our friends, and ourselves healthy – all done in a voluntary way, where we can take some control back over this disease.
By stopping that spread, we are protecting others. Contact tracing is one more tool. It works along with our other efforts to test, socially distance, and wear masks.