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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The voices of protesters outside the Ohio Statehouse could be heard in the background of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus news conference on Thursday.

The group held signs with sayings like, “Open Ohio,” “Fire DeWine,” and, “Quarantine worse than virus.” They also shouted messages against Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. Many wore masks.

DeWine said First Amendment protected speech is permitted under his stay-at-home order.

“The people who are outside have every right to be out there and say what they want to say,” DeWine said. “We’re not going to keep these orders on one day longer than we have to. What I’m asking Ohioans to do is hang in there. All the evidence that we have indicates if we don’t hang in there, if we don’t continue to do what we’re doing it’s going to cost a lot of lives. And it’s going to delay our ability to economically recover.”

Acton was the first of the state officials to address the protesters during the news conference.

“I don’t know if you can hear, but there are people protesting right now outside the statehouse. And people are worried, they’re afraid,” Acton said.