We encourage all Loveland Area residents to visit the website, www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. This site provides regular updates, answers to frequently asked questions, tips for preventing infectious disease, a household checklist, and informational videos.

A call center is also open to answer questions from the public regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

The call center will be open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 8 PM and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH announced late Saturday afternoon the state’s protocol for maximizing coronavirus (COVID-19) testing resources now that in-state testing is available.

“As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the Ohio Department of Health, working in conjunction with hospitals, primary care providers, and other health care experts, has a plan to maximize our testing resources. We are prioritizing the patients who are the most vulnerable to be tested in the Department of Health’s State Laboratory, while ensuring those that need COVID-19 testing will be able to be tested,” said Governor DeWine.

“We want to reassure Ohioans so there is no confusion. Information is critical to managing an outbreak of any infectious disease, and testing at our state lab offers the greatest ability for all of us to make the best decisions to protect the health of the greatest number of people. We will now be able to turn around results in an estimated 24-48 hours,” said Dr. Acton.

Since the press release did not say how many samples could be tested, Loveland Magazine followed up with this announcement and placed a phone call through a number provided to the media. What we found out is that the ODH has 2 test kits at their lab in Columbus with the capability to test 300-400 samples and they have requested, “a couple more” kits.

Ohio Hospitals are being instructed to send samples to ODH in Columbus. All other health care providers, such as primary care physicians have to send samples to one of the two private labs in Ohio that have the capability and certification to test for COVID-19. The spokesperson provided no information on how many tests the private labs can perform.

For those who are hospitalized and meet the following criteria, samples will be sent to the ODH state lab:

  • Have a fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness, (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) and have had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset.
  • Have a fever and signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness, and a history of travel from affected geographic areas with widespread or sustained community transmission within 14 days of symptom onset.
  • Have a fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness and lack of alternative diagnosis (e.g., negative respiratory viral panel, negative rapid flu).

For individuals who are not hospitalized but meet the above criteria, calling a physician or other healthcare provider is appropriate. If that healthcare provider determines a COVID-19 test is necessary, those samples are sent to private labs who now have the capability to test.

ODH will continue to confirm all positive tests, regardless of where testing took place. In addition, ODH in partnership with local health departments will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 in Ohio.

ODH will now also share updates on confirmed cases and Persons Under Investigation (PUIs) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) every day on the ODH website by 2 p.m. That now includes weekends.

The ODH call center is open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. to answer questions regarding COVID-19.

The call center can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). For COVID-19 information and resources visit http://coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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