5 things to know about the coronavirus: Masked voting and a call for unity from Gov. DeWine

It is Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, and these are five things to know about the coronavirus pandemic today.

Gov. Mike DeWine calls for unity in an open letter to Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine issued an open letter to Ohioans before Election Day encouraging them to vote and seek unity throughout the election season, especially as Ohio and the country continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

“Today, and for some time to come, we also share a common enemy–one that cares not whether we voted for Donald Trump or Joe Biden; an enemy that is relentless and clearly on the march. This enemy has invaded our nation, stealing nearly 230,000 American lives and at least 5,300 Ohio lives — all on our own soil,” he said.

Are face masks required to vote?

To vote in Ohio, face masks are not required but are strongly encouraged for the health and safety of others. Election officials have a protocol for voters who arrive without a mask, including offering a disposable mask for free, or curbside voting where two poll workers come to the voter’s car with a paper ballot. After being offered safer voting alternatives, every eligible voter will still be allowed to vote.

Ohio reports over 3,000 cases yesterday

Sunday marked the third day in Ohio that more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases were reported.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 3,303 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths associated with the disease on Sunday.

There have been 219,000 cases of coronavirus and 5,303 total deaths as of Sunday. The state’s 21-day case average is 2,393 and the 12-day death average is 14 people, according to the ODH.

Also on Sunday, 88 hospitalizations were reported with 17 intensive care admissions, bringing cumulative hospitalizations to 19,220 and ICU admissions to 3,876 since the pandemic began.

Hospitals report they still have capacity

Local hospital leaders said that despite record numbers of coronavirus patients, there is still capacity available for both COVID-19 and non-coronavirus patients. However, as counts continue to rise, officials urged the public to take precautions to limit further spread and protect each other.

Beavercreek schools will be in-person starting today

After an Oct. 29 school board meeting, the Beavercreek Board of Education approved a modification to the district’s coronavirus restart plan.

When Greene County went to a “red” alert level, Beavercreek Schools, per their original plan, went to a hybrid learning method. In-person students were attending school two days a week and learning remotely the days they were not in the school buildings.

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