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Ohio To Increase COVID-19 Testing Capacity By About 500%

Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new agreement that will dramatically increase Ohio's capacity for coronavirus testing. DeWine says testing and tracing will play a major role as Ohio’s businesses start opening in the next phase of fighting COVID-19.

Ohio currently tests an average of about 3,700 people a day. That number is set to grow to 22,000 tests a day in the next four weeks because of new agreements made with Thermo Fisher to produce more reagent and ROE Dental Labs to manufacture more swabs.

DeWine says the expanded testing will be met with ramped up contact tracing measures to find out who came into close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19.

"This is an aggressive strategy but I think it fits Ohio and I think it fits our attitude on how we deal with problems," says DeWine. "Contact exposure tracing is one of the strongest weapons we can employ to help our family, and our friends, and ourselves stay healthy."

DeWine says there will be more than 1,750 people working on contact tracing as the state looks to slowly reopen businesses. The contact tracing effort will be aided by a partnership Ohio is entering into with the group Partnership in Health out of Massachusetts.

DeWine says he plans to reveal details about Ohio's plan to reopen businesses on Monday.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.