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Ohio coronavirus update: Over 15,000 cases, 690 deaths; State enters into agreements to increase testing

Gov. DeWine plans to reveal the state's plan for reopening the economy on Monday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted held a press conference on Friday with the latest updates on the state's COVID-19 situation. 

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 15,169 confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus in the state. 690 people have died and another 3,053 are hospitalized. 

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DeWine had several announcements that he termed as 'good news' in the state's fight against the pandemic on Friday. The state 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.

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announces plans to drastically expand coronavirus testing

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.

Also, DeWine announced the state will continue to cover the costs for youth in foster care who are turning 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the governor, more than 200 people will “age out” of Ohio’s foster care system in the next three months.

RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine: Ohio will cover costs of youth 'aging out' of foster care until end of pandemic

For the second day in a row, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton was not a part of the news conference. 

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