© 2022 WYSO
Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

DeWine Orders Cuts In State Spending In Advance Of Hit From Coronavirus

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at his daily press conference on coronavirus on March 22, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at his daily press conference on coronavirus on March 22, 2020.

The number of deaths from COVID-19 doubled from yesterday - going from three deaths announced Sunday to six today. And Gov. Mike DeWine has issued several orders to state government as it fights coronavirus, saying that he expects state revenues to go to go down dramatically.

DeWine said he's ordering an immediate hiring freeze in state government, except for those directly involved in coronavirus fight. And he's asked all members of his cabinet to immediately look for spending and budget cuts they can make of up to 20%, though he said not all agencies will be able to make those cuts.

DeWine also said he wants a freeze on new contract services, and that a freeze on state travel issued early in the coronavirus fight will continue.

DeWine's "stay at home" order issued yesterday takes effect tonight. But DeWine stressed people can still go to food, to pick up prescriptions or keep medical appointments, and other important activities. But he said the goal is to keep a distance from other people, to slow down the spread of the virus and to give the health care system time to build capacity to treat sick people.

DeWine ordered all daycares in Ohio to be operating under pandemic child care license by Thursday.  And he said slots in those daycares will be reserved for parents and families who are first responders and health care workers, and if other slots remain, other families could apply.

The Ohio Department of Health reports six deaths from COVID-19 – two in Franklin and one each in Cuyahoga, Erie, Lucas and Stark Counties. There are 442 confirmed coronavirus cases in 46 counties - that's a 26% increase over Sunday's numbers, and there have been cases now confirmed in more than half of Ohio's 88 counties. The youngest case is under a year old, while the oldest is 93.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said what she called the "lockdown" – the stay at home order – is crucial. "There will be phases to this. We have got to stay home." Acton said that herd immunity will build and people will get back to work, but that's the next stage.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

DeWine Orders Cuts In State Spending In Advance Of Hit From Coronavirus

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.