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With more testing on the way, don't panic if you see more positive COVID-19 cases in Ohio

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Posted at 4:46 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 16:48:49-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — During Thursday’s press conference, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton discussed the daily numbers and said that over the next few weeks the numbers across Ohio may continue to increase, but that it is not a cause for panic.

With an expansion of people being tested for COVID-19, positive cases may become more common, as the state was previously only testing the sickest and most vulnerable. As testing is expanded to those with more mild symptoms and people who have gotten better from illness that wasn’t confirmed to be COVID-19, the case numbers will grow as a result, Acton said.

“You know, we’ve even seen this in our prisons as we did more testing or people are asymptomatic who really weren’t showing symptoms at all. So, so as we expand that and as we grow in our understanding we’ll probably see more,” Acton said.

Acton said that as the test results come in it will not only provide answers to how widespread the virus has been in Ohio but will also help understand the science behind it including how much immunity having the virus gives a person.

As the test results come in, the way the virus is handled will continue to change in order to provide the most efficient and logical response at the state level.

“We know that answers can change. We’ve seen that all along as we’ve gone through this journey together, and they can be optimistic changes like a new treatment that occurs, a new way of business might try an innovation,” Acton said. “So, I think our numbers will go up and we’ll always try to put that in context for you. We know it’s out there, we know the numbers we report are the tip of the iceberg. We know that this infection is spreading in our population and will continue to do so until we have herd immunity and we just can’t spread it as much or we have that vaccine and that’s the reality.”

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