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Ohio coronavirus update: More than 18,000 cases with 975 deaths in the state

Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton held a briefing with the latest on the state's response to COVID-19 on Thursday.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton held a briefing with an update on the state's response to coronavirus. 

The Ohio Department of Health reports that there are now 18,027 cases of COVID-19 in the state. 975 people have died and another 3,533 are hospitalized.

DeWine announced that over the last few weeks, the state has delivered more than 1.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Ohio's prisons. This includes: 108,000 N95 masks; 256,000 gloves; 684,000 procedure masks; 10,000 provider gowns; and 100,000 cloth masks for inmates.

In addition, the governor was asked about businesses that might be planning to reopen prior to the state-mandated date of May 12. "We're trying to phase openings in. We're trying to continue to buy us some time so that we don't have the curve going straight up again. We would say if you open up early, it's a mistake. We hope people will follow the law," DeWine said during the briefing.

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