The speech comes as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. On Tuesday, the state set a new record for reported daily cases at 6,508. On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health said 5,874 cases, 76 deaths, 253 hospitalizations and 36 intensive care unit admissions were reported in the last 24 hours.
“In the spring, as the virus first surged, we shut things down. Ohioans did what they had to do. We flattened the curve, and we were able to open back up,” DeWine said. “We are now seeing our third spike, but, this time, things are much different. We had been warned that when it got colder and drier, and when people were indoors more, the virus would rise up again. And it certainly has.
There have been 267,356 confirmed and probable cases, and 5,623 deaths in the state since the pandemic began, according to the state health department. It is presumed that 191,950 people have recovered.
DeWine acknowledged that many people think the number of cases increased just because of more testing. He pointed out that testing has not even doubled, but cases went up nearly four times.
“As we wait for the vaccine, we have so much to protect. We can’t surrender to this virus and let it run wild until enough of us get the vaccine. It is advancing quickly and seeking victims in every community in Ohio. If you don’t know any of its victims yet, sadly, you will,” he said.
The governor said the state will be forced to close bars, restaurants and fitness centers if the current trends continue. It will be examined one week from Wednesday.
DeWine’s last statewide address was on July 15. Then, there were 69,311 total COVID-19 cases and 3,075 deaths. The number of cases reported in 24 hours that day was 1,316.
DeWine did not issue any orders during that address, instead, urging Ohioans to wear masks and maintain distance.
“We’ve now reached our most critical point in our battle with the coronavirus. If all of us do not take immediate action to slow this virus down, the tragedy that we see playing out on our television screens every day in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California may well be our reality in just a matter of weeks,” DeWine said in July.
The governor did not hold his regular news conference on coronavirus on Tuesday.
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