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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted provided an update on the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Before discussing the latest COVID-19 numbers, DeWine called for the repeal and replacement of House Bill 6, which is at the center of the $60 million bribery investigation involving Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder.

The Ohio Department of Health said 1,444 COVID-19 cases, 21 deaths, 104 hospitalizations and 17 intensive care admissions were reported in the last 24 hours. Since the beginning of the outbreak, there have been 80,186 total confirmed and probable cases of the virus, resulting in the deaths of 3,256 people.

The governor also released a new map for the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System, which determines a county’s risk for coronavirus. It’s based on the following factors: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases that are not in congregate settings, sustained increase in COVID-19-related emergency room visits, sustained increase in COVID-19-related outpatient visits including telehealth, sustained increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and intensive care unit occupancy.

(Photo courtesy: Ohio Governor’s Office)
  • Added to Level 3: Clark, Defiance, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Lawrence, Marion and Medina.
  • Added to the watch list at risk of going from Level 3 to Level 4: Allen
  • Downgraded to Level 2: Butler, Lorain, Summit and Wood

For Medina County, health officials saw 74 cases from July 6 to July 13, which is the highest number of cases since the pandemic began, according to DeWine. Officials said the surge was traced to graduation parties, weddings, group gathers and out-of-state travel. Some cases were linked to Put-in-Bay and Athens County outbreaks.

Erie County has seen many cases linked to the Ohio Veteran’s Home and the recent outbreak in Put-in-Bay, DeWine said.

During Wednesday’s news conference, DeWine made two major announcements. First, a statewide mask mandate in public places, effective at 6 p.m. Thursday. He also issued a travel advisory for states with high positivity rates in coronavirus testing.

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