Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference to provide an update on the state’s response to coronavirus Thursday, including announcements about a possible emergency rule around liquor sales at bars and restaurants and new guidance on mass gatherings.
The following announcements were made:
- DeWine is asking the Pharmacy and Medical Boards to examine the issues surrounding hydrochloroquine.
- The state reported its highest daily count of coronavirus cases. Nine of the top 10 days have been in the last three weeks, DeWine said.
- DeWine said the state continues to see fewer visits to the ER involving people complaining of COVID-19 symptoms.
- There were 10 fewer counties this week that fell into the Level 3 Red Category of the Public Health Advisory System map, DeWine said.
- DeWine said he’s continuing to have grave concerns about COVID-19 spread at establishments that serve alcohol onsite consumption.
- DeWine said he’s asking the liquor board to call an emergency meeting to consider establishing an emergency rule related to liquor sales. That meeting will be at 9 a.m. on Friday. If approved, the rule would prevent alcohol sales at bars and restaurants after 10 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,” DeWine said.
- This proposed emergency rule does include restaurants that serve alcohol, but the state’s 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.
- DeWine also announced a new order to include guidance and recommendations for mass gatherings to include:
- Gatherings at a household or family residence should be limited to close friends/family and are recommended to be 10 visitors or less.
- Residents in a red/purple county should limit hosting or attending gatherings of any size.
- Wear a mask at all times at gatherings and maintain physical distance.
- Use take out, outdoor dining, or indoor dining only when strict social distancing can be maintained.
- Take extra precautions if you go to bars/clubs, where use of masks typically is inconsistent and drinking alcohol can lead to less social distancing.
- Protect anyone w/ serious medical conditions at home by social distancing, wearing a mask, and high levels of hygiene.
- High-risk individuals should take extra precautions to limit the number of people they interact with.
- Make the group of people you interact with most often as small as possible and make sure that they are taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions – even if you are just gathering with family, friends, or neighbors at your home.
A new public health advisory system map was released today:
- Alert Level 1 (Yellow): This level means a county has triggered zero or one of the indicators, and there is an active exposure and spread. Currently, Logan and Champaign counties are at this level.
- Alert Level 2 (Orange): This level means a county has triggered two or three indicators and there is an increased risk of exposure and spread. Counties at this level are seeing cases that are growing in the last two weeks. Currently, Preble, Mercer, Darke, Auglaize, Miami, Shelby, Greene, Clinton, Warren, and Butler counties are at this level.
- Alert Level 3 (Red): This level means a county has triggered four or five indicators, and there is a very high exposure and spread. Risk is very high. Currently Montgomery County is at this level.
- Alert Level 4 (Purple): The highest level means a county has triggered six or seven indicators, and there is severe exposure and spread. Officials say to stay home as much as possible when in this level. There are no current counties on this list.
Things you should know today, Thursday:
- Ohio pharmacy board halts rule banning hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 treatment
- Middletown schools suspend all extra curricular activities
- DeWine issued an updated COVID-19 travel advisory on Wednesday
- Montgomery County pop-up testing sites yield 5.6 percent positive rate
- GWOC goes conference-only for fall athletic events
- Ohio’s hospitals saw their highest number of patients with COVID-19 this week since the pandemic began March 9.
- Child care providers will be permitted to return to normal, statutory ratios and class sizes beginning Aug. 9.
- Dayton Public Schools will begin online only for the first nine weeks of the school year
- All Huber Heights City Schools students will begin the year online
- Cabins, a rental house, apartment and campers at Buck Creek State Park are housing people in quarantine
More things you should know today, Thursday
LATEST STATE DATA: As of Thursday afternoon, there have been at least 89,626 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 3,442 deaths, and 10,678 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 64,311 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus in the state.
Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.
There have been 1,441,708 people tested for the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
A total of 10,134 health care workers have tested positive which is about 11 percent of the cases.
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