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Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says Ohioans are successfully flattening the curve

Dr. Amy Acton flattening the curve
Posted at 4:20 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 21:42:19-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Health Department director Dr. Amy Acton said that thanks to the collective actions of Ohioans, the state is successfully “flattening the curve”—reducing the spike of COVID-19 illnesses that if not prepared for, would overwhelm our hospital systems.

Acton said models have shown that because of the actions of state leaders—including Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Acton herself—along with the cooperation of residents of Ohio, the curve is smoothing out, giving hospitals time to prepare for a surge when cases peak in April to mid-May.

The health director used a hurricane as a metaphor for the work Ohioans are doing to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"Our curves would have been much steeper had we not acted and starting a couple of weeks ago. So every action you’re taking at home is actually, in the case of a hurricane, changing how hard that storm will hit," Acton said.

The initial models were like the weather forecast of a hurricane, Acton said. At first, models can show an estimate of how strong the hurricane might get and where the hurricane might land, but it isn’t certain.

As the days go on, the accuracy of the prediction gets better as the factors that change a hurricane take effect, much like the factors that change the spread of COVID-19 take effect, such as the stay at home order and practicing of social distancing.

Acton said the actions of Ohioans have already helped reduce the “hurricane” to a Category 2 or 3, rather than a Category 4 or 5.

While the peak has yet to come and numbers are still expected to rise, Acton is confident the impact of Ohioans’ cooperation during this pandemic will drastically reduce how bad it ends up here. That's why continuing social distancing and following DeWine's stay at home order is still so important.

“We know the wave is coming. We know it’s getting smaller every day in Ohio because of what you’re doing,” Acton said.

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