DeWine pleads with Ohioans to wear masks, keep distant as 1-day record set for COVID cases

Ohio sets one-day record for new coronavirus cases

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

As Ohio set a record high for COVID-19 cases reported in a day on Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine pleaded with Ohioans during an impromptu visit to Dayton to wear face masks and avoid large gatherings lest their actions affect the ability of businesses and schools to stay open.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,840 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. The previous record was 1,733 cases reported on July 30.

The governor visited Youngstown, Toledo and Lima earlier in the day to make similar pleas as Western Ohio and the Youngstown area have seen especially high case numbers recently. He acknowledged that everyone is tired after months of dealing with the virus but said Ohioans are not being cautious.

“This really comes down to what the citizens of Ohio do because no matter what order I issue ... we have no way of controlling what people are doing where we’re seeing the most spread,” he said. “We’re seeing the most spread in their own houses, in their own backyard ... in their own private events.”

DeWine said he has no plans to shut the state down again. He pointed out that some schools or businesses have had to close because of coronavirus cases.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

“If we want to keep our kids in school ... we want to keep people working, we want to be able to go out to bars and restaurants ... go out shopping or whatever we normally do in our life ... we can’t do it if this thing spikes back up and we’re seeing all the signs that that’s where we’re headed,” he said.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 166,102 cumulative confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 on Friday, including 4,994 confirmed and probable deaths and 16,301 hospitalizations.

Miami County health officials said Friday they were concerned by a “huge increase” in cases in the county.

Since Sept. 25, Miami County has seen 288 new cases, 27 new hospitalizations and five new deaths. Also, the weekly positive case number has gone from an average of 10 to 12 a week to a little over 30 a week now.

As Ohio’s coronavirus cases continue to climb, the state continues to open up. Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed off on an order Thursday that allows nursing homes and assisted living centers to resume indoor visitations starting Monday. The guidelines include face masks, visitation logs, limiting visit duration and coronavirus screenings.

DeWine said state officials decided to reopen nursing homes after hearing tragic stories from Ohioans who couldn’t see their loved ones. He said, “if we’re careful, we can live” with the virus and continue to open Ohio.

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