Coronavirus: Thanksgiving travelers need to quarantine

Governor asks Ohioans to limit contact with others

Ohioans who traveled over the Thanksgiving holiday need to quarantine and take extra precautions.

“For those who traveled over Thanksgiving and are now back, please be as safe as possible. That might include taking additional time off to quarantine and minimize your level of contact with others to break any possible chain of transmission,” said Dr. Andy Thomas, chief medical officer for Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, who spoke Monday during Gov. Mike DeWine’s video press conference. “God forbid you get sick, but at least you will be breaking that chain in transmitting it to others.”

Thomas, who spoke Monday during Gov. Mike DeWine’s video press conference, recommended people stay home and quarantine for at least the next five to seven days.

As of Monday, Ohio has reported 421,063 total cases of coronavirus, according to Monday’s data from the Ohio Department of Health. The state recorded more than 60,000 cases and 400 deaths last week. There is a backlog of about 7,500 antigen tests, DeWine said. When the cases are entered into the system, there will be a one-day artificial surge.

Moving forward, DeWine said Ohioans must continue to limit contact with others as well as follow the coronavirus guidelines.

“I’m asking every Ohioan to continue to pull back and limit your activities. There is a cause and effect to what we do — we can slow this down,” he said. The scariest thing is that there is no indication that we have plateaued. We haven’t seen anything like this for 100 years.”

During the upcoming holidays, he said No. 1 people should not travel.

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While DeWine said he is encouraged by retail reports that more than 90% of people have been wearing masks, the next step is for people to reduce contact with others by 20%.

“Make the grocery list and go once a week instead of a few times,” he said.

The good news is that help is on the way, with the first vaccine shipment expected to arrive Dec. 15 in Ohio.

“Vaccine appears almost ready to go,” DeWine said.

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State employees initially were scheduled to start returning to work in early January, but that has been put on hold, DeWine said.

Two Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction employees have died due to the coronavirus. Officer Steven Cook who worked at Dayton Correctional Institution died Wednesday and DeWine said he learned Monday of the death of officer Mark Jones, at Trumble Correctional Institution.

Staff Writer Kristen Spicker contributed to this report.

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