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Ohio coronavirus update: 5,512 confirmed cases, 213 deaths; Gov. DeWine teases return from pandemic plan

Protesters could be heard from outside the Ohio Statehouse during Thursday's briefing.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton provided an update on the state's coronavirus response Thursday afternoon in Columbus.

The Ohio Department of Health reports there are now 5,512 confirmed coronavirus cases, 1,612 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 497 ICU admissions and 213 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of the state's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has taken several measures to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order that is currently in place until at least May 1. 

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As Ohio's outlook for the coronavirus (COVID-19) improves, the next question is when will the state be able to return to its daily life? While DeWine said that it's too soon for the state to deviate from its stay-at-home order and physical distancing measures, he did reveal that Ohio is working on a "fairly sophisticated plan" for a return from the pandemic. The plan will be revealed sometime next week.

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As DeWine, Husted, and Acton spoke on Thursday, chants from protesters outside of the Ohio Statehouse could be heard. 

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Asked about the protesters, DeWine said that he has always supported the first amendment and understands that people are frustrated. Acton, who is Director of Ohio's Department of Health, also acknowledged the protesters and assured viewers that the state is working on its plan to get back to everyday life after the pandemic.

"We are working just as vigorously on the recovery from this," Acton said. "We have been determined to protect Ohioans from the very beginning. The steps we've taken and you are continuing to take are saving lives. We have to be re-determined on responsibly recovering."

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