COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine delivered a statewide address on the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday evening. He did not have his regular 2 p.m. news conference.
He reflected on the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, including canceling the Arnold Sports Festival, and applauded the efforts of Ohioans.
“March 4, 2020, our first full day of this fight and none of us understood the battle ahead,” DeWine said. “Through this most difficult year, we did what Ohioans always do. We rallied together. We sacrificed.”
The governor then shifted to deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine, touting the rollout to vulnerable populations and efforts to get children back in schools. About 1.8 million Ohioans have been vaccinated. He also reinforced the importance of facial coverings.
“We have one battle-tested tool that’s proven to work so well. Study after study proves masks work,” DeWine said.
DeWine said when Ohio gets down to 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, he will lift all health orders in the state. He called it a standard measure the state’s used since early in the pandemic.
“Achieving this goal is really doable. We can do this and I know we will,” the governor said.
On Dec. 3, 2020, Ohio was at 731 cases per 100,000 over the previous two weeks. On Feb. 3, the state was at 445 per 100,000 and on Wednesday, the state was at 179 cases per 100,000, according to DeWine.