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The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,122 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, which is the highest daily number seen in the state since the beginning of the pandemic, reports say.
The previous high was in late April, when Ohio reported 1,103 coronavirus hospitalizations, according to Cleveland’s Fox 8 News. By Wednesday, the department reported 1,100 COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 348 people in intensive care.
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The news comes after the Ohio Board of Pharmacy banned medical facilties from selling or dispensing malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat or prevent COVID-19. The rule goes into effect Thursday, July 30.
The rule also notes that all previous approvals are now void.
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“Basically, it’s a patient safety issue,” Cameron McNamee, the board's director of policy and communications, told The Columbus Dispatch. “We’re looking at the best science to determine what’s best for the patients of Ohio.” She said the decision has nothing to do with President Trump's public support for the treatment.
On July 23, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the designation of 23 counties in a “Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency,” with Allen County approaching a “Purple Alert Level 4.”
Four other counties (Butler, Lorain, Summit and Wood) were downgraded to an “Orange Alert Level 2.”
"Overall, the downgrade in the risk levels in these four counties tells us that the measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread in red counties – including increased diligence in social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands frequently and reducing interactions with others outside your household – may be helping to slow the spread in these counties," DeWine said in a press release.
"We are cautiously optimistic about this, but these are still high levels of spread, and citizens across Ohio must continue to be vigilant."
Finally, Ohio joined Indiana and Minnesota in implementing statewide mask rules last week. DeWine said mask rules will be extended statewide for anyone over the age of 10 starting July 23. The Republican had originally resisted expanding the mask mandate to all of Ohio, but noted a recent rise in coronavirus cases in counties around the state.
The state health department has reported a total of 83,213 confirmed cases, 3,156 confirmed deaths and 10,553 hospitalizations.
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and Nick Givas contributed to this story.
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