For weeks, Ohioans have heard the phrase "flatten the curve" in regards to helping delay the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Thursday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton showed the progress the state is making in doing just that.
In showing Ohio's first projected coronavirus curve -- which is based on limited data -- Acton revealed that the state's peak is currently slated to reach as many as 6,000-8,000 new cases per day in late April. While jarring, those numbers are preferable to the projections for the state had it not put social distancing measures in place, as that model shows Ohio would currently be peaking with as many as 40,000 new cases a day, a number that would have overwhelmed the state's health resources.
Acton attributed the flattening of Ohio's curve to the social distancing policies put in place by Governor Mike DeWine, including a stay-at-home order across the state that went into effect on Monday evening.
"Ohio, what you're doing is absolutely saving lives," Acton said.
That's not to say Ohio's work is anywhere close to done, as the social distancing practices remain necessary to keeping the current projection in place. Acton also said the curve would ideally continue to flatted and push an even lower peak back from its current projection in late-April and into early-May.
"What we do now is still going to determine whether or not we overrun these hospitals and whether or not medical personnel is making life or death decisions," DeWine said on Thursday.
As of Thursday, Ohio has had 867 positive coronavirus cases, 223 of which have resulted in hospitalization and 15 deaths. With hospitals currently estimated to be at 60 percent capacity, DeWine said that the state is looking to expand its hospital capacity to get "a lot bigger."