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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is warning of new closures that could be announced as soon as next Thursday, November 19, if there is no change in the surge of coronavirus cases.

In a statewide address Wednesday evening, he said the state would look at closing bars, restaurants, and fitness centers again.

These businesses were closed in March during a state shutdown and were allowed to reopen with restrictions in May.

“Every single one of our counties has a high rate of virus spread,” he said in his address.

The governor said at the end of September, the state had under 1000 new coronavirus cases per day.

5,874 new cases were reported Wednesday.

Tuesday the state topped 6,500 new cases.

The governor stressed the increase in cases wasn’t because of increased testing.

“While testing has not even doubled, cases have gone up more than four times,” he said.

Gov. DeWine said the state is approaching 3,000 people hospitalized in the state and currently has a record number of people in ICU.

“If we do not change this, we will not be able to provide appropriate care for all Ohioans who need it,” the governor shared.

He says while PPE shortages were a problem in the beginning, the biggest concern is the state’s healthcare workers.

“Today the question is whether we have enough people,” he said.

“These new cases are not trending down and taking an enormous human toll on our healthcare workers.”

Gov. DeWine is hoping the warning will make a difference, although the main message was not different than what he’s been telling people to do during his afternoon press conferences.

  • Wash your hands
  • Social distance
  • Wear a mask
  • Don’t host or attend gatherings

The governor reminded people of the state order made in April that limits gatherings, whether public or private to 10 people.

He said a new order on gatherings would be forthcoming.

He said Ohio remains in a state of emergency due to the pandemic.

He’s also adding new guidelines for the statewide mask order he issued in July.

He says all businesses must post a sign about the face covering requirement at all public entrances.

The businesses are also responsible for enforcing it, he said.

The businesses will be held accountable by a new retail compliance unit.

The unit will issue businesses a written warning for first violations.

Second violations will close the store for up to 24 hours.

“I know you’re tired. I know you’re weary. I know you want this to be over,” the governor said.

We are now at the most crucial phase of this pandemic.”

5,623 people in Ohio have died of coronavirus since March, according to the Ohio Department of Health.