COLUMBUS – State Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) and the Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that seeks to gather more details on the COVID-19 figures released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). House Bill 624 passed with a 61-34 vote.

“As we continue to deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohioans deserve total transparency on the statistics that are influencing major decisions on health and economic policy in our state,” said Cross, who co-sponsored the legislation.

Cross explained that other helpful COVID-19 data has not been publicly reported, including the number of patients who have recovered, the number of individuals who tested negative, the number of deaths that did not involve nursing home residents or prison inmates, and the number of patients with pre-existing conditions.

House Bill 624 ensures that the ODH provides Ohioans with more comprehensive statistics when disseminating information on COVID-19. This includes requiring boards of health, healthcare providers, and coroners or medical examiners to report to the ODH each test that is administered, along with the following information:

- Date of the test administered;
- Zip code of the residence of the individual tested or the testing location;
- Indication of whether the individual was tested in a congregate setting, such as a nursing home, residential care facility, hospital, or prison, and if so, the identification of the congregate setting.

Entities listed above shall promptly update its report to ODH with all of the following information:

- If the reporter is a hospital, the date of admission to the hospital for the treatment of COVID-19 and the date of discharge or date of death, as applicable, shall be reported;
- Each death resulting from COVID-19, the date of the death, the age of the deceased, and whether the death was attributable solely to COVID-19 or there were additional complication factors, and, if there were, identification of the complication factors.

“This legislation will help paint the full picture of the current threat of COVID-19 and empower Ohioans to make informed decisions as they go about their everyday lives,” added Cross.

H.B. 624 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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