Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation administrator Stephanie McCloud to lead the Ohio Department of Health, which has gone without a permanent director since June 11 when Dr. Amy Acton stepped down from the position (Source: “Coronavirus in Ohio: DeWine names new state health director, chief medical officer,” Cincinnati Enquirer, Nov. 5).
McCloud will take over as the state continues to break records for new COVID-19 cases heading into winter, which is expected to exacerbate the disease. DeWine previously prioritized finding a doctor with public health experience to lead the department. Now, he says, Ohio is in a different stage of fighting the disease and needs someone who can focus on administration.
DeWine also announced a new chief medical officer: Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, who served as senior vice president and chief medical officer at OhioHealth. Lance Himes, who has served as interim director, will continue with the health department as a senior deputy. Himes will lead the coordination of distributing a vaccine and will continue to work directly with Ohio’s local health officials.
On Friday, Ohio set yet another new record with 5,008 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, breaking the previous record set the day before (Source: “Ohio reports 5,008 new COVID cases, setting a new record,” Columbus Dispatch, Nov. 6). As of Friday, 2,170 Ohioans remained hospitalized with COVID-19, also a new record. Of that, 547 patients with COVID-19 were in the intensive care unit and 280 on ventilators, according to the state. Deaths rose Friday by 33, which is more than the three-week average of 21 new deaths reported per day. So far, the virus has killed 5,494 Ohioans, according to the state.