There have been 89,626 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state since the pandemic began, which includes an addition of 1,733 cases reported Thursday, along with a total of 3,442 deaths (including 20 additional fatalities reported Thursday).
A presumed 64,3111 Ohioans are now thought to have recovered from the virus.
The total number of hospitalizations due to the virus is now 10,678 people. The median age of those Ohioans getting coronavirus is now 42 years old.
Thirteen Ohio counties are now under a Level 3 Public Health Emergency Alert.
Here are the Ohio counties with the most coronavirus cases:
- Franklin: 16,630
- Cuyahoga: 12,212
- Hamilton: 8,872
- Lucas: 4,521
- Montgomery: 3,845
And here are the Ohio counties with the most coronavirus deaths:
- Franklin: 507
- Cuyahoga: 465
- Lucas: 313
- Mahoning: 249
- Summit: 216
“The good news is that more people are wearing masks in our urban counties and we are seeing the spread slow,” DeWine said. “The bad news is our more rural counties are turning orange with significantly more spread taking place.”
DeWine said he continues to have concerns about bars. He says the state has seen outbreaks of COVID-19 related to bars.
He says most restaurants and bars are doing a great job following orders established by the Ohio Department of Health, however, several bars and restaurants were recently cited for violating these orders.
“I continue to have grave concerns about the spread of coronavirus at establishments that serve alcohol for onsite consumption. We have seen outbreaks associated with bars across Ohio including Toledo, Cleveland, and Columbus,” the governor said. “The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors. Patrons either stay at one location, sometimes for hours or bar hop. Either way, they interact with many different people – especially the younger crowd.”
DeWine says he does not want to shut down Ohio bars and restaurants, but state leaders do need to take some action.
He has requested the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to call a meeting to consider enacting an emergency rule related to liquor sales. The rule would require that all liquor-permitted establishments stop selling alcohol at 10 p.m. daily. All alcohol consumption must also be completed by 11 p.m.
“The businesses can stay open – but we believe that stopping alcohol sales at 10 o’clock for onsite consumption will help thin out the crowd and help slow the spread,” explained DeWine. “This proposed emergency rule does include restaurants that serve alcohol, but our proposal will allow any liquor-permitted establishment that sells food to continue serving meals until closing.”
DeWine is also requesting that the Ohio Liquor Control Commission raise the number of liquor and mixed drinks that can be purchased with a meal to-go from 2 to 3.
The commission will hold this emergency meeting Friday at 9 a.m. and, if approved, DeWine would sign the order making this go into effect at 10 p.m. Friday night.
DeWine also announced Thursday that he would be making changes to the state’s mass gatherings ban.
“Today I am announcing that we will be separating out our 10-person mass gathering guidance back into a separate order,” DeWine said. “The order will be the same in many ways as it is today, however, this order offers clear recommendations to remind Ohioans when gatherings can be done safely.”