By the end of next week, Ohio should be able to test up to 22,000 people every day, according to Governor Mike DeWine.
Thanks in part to a state contract with Thermo Fisher and other companies throughout the state switching their manufacturing facilities over to manufacture swabs needed for test kits, DeWine said the expanded testing will be spread throughout the state of Ohio.
"This expanded testing is key, really, to protecting Ohioans," said DeWine. "And it's particularly key as we go through this reopening phase of our economy."
Access to testing will still follow priority-based standards, however.
DeWine and Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton both referenced a list outlining patients who would be considered higher priority for testing:
DeWine stressed that, although this is a major milestone for Ohio, other layers of protection against the COVID-19 virus like masks, social distancing practices and stringent disinfection routines will still be necessary as the state tackles its reopening process throughout May.
"It's important to remember that testing is only one, of course, response to the virus," said DeWine. "It allows us to quickly identify individuals infected with COVID, promptly isolate them and determine who they've been in close contact with."
It does not entirely replace methods intended to control and prevent infection in the first place, he added.