DeWine: Ohio in ‘worst shape’ since start of pandemic; State breaks record for new daily cases

DeWine: Ohio in ‘worst shape’ since start of pandemic

The Ohio Department of Health reported a new daily high number of COVID-19 cases Thursday, breaking the previous record set just the day before.

“When you look at the numbers this is the worst shape Ohio has been in,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during his Thursday news conference on the state’s response to the pandemic.

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The state reported an additional 2,178 COVID-19 cases Thursday. Since the start of the pandemic, 175,843 cases have been reported in Ohio.

The latest county-by-county advisory map was released during the news conference, with 65 percent of Ohioans now living in a “red” Level 3 county. Of the state’s 88 counties, 29 fall into the Level 3.

In the Miami Valley, Butler, Clark, Greene, Mercer, Montgomery, and Warren counties are all now in the state’s second highest level. All other counties in the region are in the “orange” Level 2.

“If you’re in a red county, the virus is spreading throughout your county quickly,” DeWine said.

DeWine said the increase in cases appears to be from social gatherings.

“Our health commissioners tell us they are seeing less and less mask compliance when people are out and that people aren’t wearing masks when they are with friends and family. These are not times to be complacent or comfortable. It is the time to be vigilant to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors,” DeWine said.

DeWine talked with Dr. David Margolius, division director of internal medicine at Metro Health Cleveland, who said this increase doesn’t mean Ohioans should avoid social gatherings, but they should do so safely.

“If you’re going to spend time with people spend it safely. You can be around other people, and you can do it safely,” Margolius said. “(The virus) is still here.”

Dr. Nick Dreher, medical director of the Population Innovation Institute at Metro Health Cleveland said the state’s hospitals are not being overrun or are facing any capacity issues due to the uptick in cases across Ohio.

DeWine was asked about the possibility for additional shutdown measures during the winter. DeWine said it would be irresponsible for any governor to rule out any measures due to the pandemic, however the state has no plans for any additional economic shutdowns.

DeWine said he plans to address and release new information about the “last call” health order for bars and restaurants next week. DeWine said he’s not anticipating on a change to the order but hopes to address and find ways to financially help the businesses, bars, and restaurants.

Latest data reported by Ohio Department of Heath:

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been at least 175,665 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 5,038 deaths, and 16,824 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 147,063 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 3,750,763 people tested for the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A total of 18,270 health care workers have tested positive which is about 10 percent of the cases.