DeWine encourages Ohioans to get tested as state sees spike in coronavirus cases

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Ohio has seen a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the state over the last few weeks. Twelve counties have now been placed on the state’s COVID-19 risk alert system.

The Ohio Department of Health released the state’s latest coronavirus numbers Thursday afternoon.

There were 61,331 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, which is an addition of 1,150 cases, along with a total of 3,006 deaths (up 15 from Wednesday).

This recent spike in numbers, especially among young people, has prompted Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to mandate mask-wearing in public in highly-impacted counties, including Cuyahoga.

The total number of hospitalizations due to the virus is now 8,570 people. The median age of those Ohioans getting coronavirus is still 45 years old.

As of Thursday, here are the Ohio counties with the most coronavirus cases:

  • Franklin: 10,879
  • Cuyahoga: 8,277
  • Hamilton: 6,287
  • Lucas: 2,836
  • Marion: 2,736

And here are the Ohio counties with the most coronavirus deaths:

  • Franklin: 439
  • Cuyahoga: 383
  • Lucas: 303
  • Mahoning: 239
  • Summit: 207

DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted held a press conference Thursday afternoon to update the public on the state’s response to the virus.

Leaders said that six counties were added to Level 3 of the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System. Ohio now has 12 counties under the alert.

The new counties at the red level are Clermont, Fairfield, Lorain, Pickaway, Summit and Wood. Already on the list were Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin Hamilton, Montgomery and Trumbull counties.

Huron County was moved to a Level 2.

Cuyahoga, Butler and Hamilton counties are on the state’s watch list, meaning they are close to reaching a Level 4 Public Emergency.

Between June 24 and June 30, Cuyahoga County reported 999 cases. DeWine says that is the largest number of COVID-19 weekly cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic. From June 16 through June 28, the average new cases per day in the county doubled from 66 to 151.

Most of the cases in Cuyahoga County were in non-congregate settings during the last three weeks.

Counties in Level 3 and Level 4 are subject to the mask requirement in public from DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health.

Meantime, Lt. Governor Husted is encouraging Ohioans who have been fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks to consider donating their plasma.

“Convalescent plasma, which is plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, is rich in antibodies that could possibly attack the virus that causes COVID-19,” Husted explained. “It shows promise to lessen the severity or shorten the length of COVID-19.”

For more information or to sign up to donate, visit redcrossblood.org/plasma4covid or contact a local blood donor or plasma collection center.

Additionally, DeWine is encouraging Ohioans to get tested for COVID-19. He will be guided by local officials about National Guard pop-up testing locations.

Those who are interested in being tested can do so for free at several pop-up testing locations throughout the state.

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