‘It’s now serious’ DeWine says as Ohio breaks another COVID-19 record

As Ohio broke its record for daily cases again, Gov. Mike DeWine repeated calls for Ohioans to come together in the fight against coronavirus says “it is now serious.”

“Sadly, our situation in Ohio continues to worsen,” he said. “For my fellow Ohioans who have felt that until now this virus really did not impact their life or their family and that they would react when it was really serious — I say to them that the time is now.”

Ohio broke its daily coronavirus record for the second straight day with 2,425 cases reported.

Yesterday, there were 2,366 cases reported, breaking the previous record set on Saturday.

“Of the 10 highest days of new cases reported, eight have occurred in just the past nine days,” DeWine said. “Nine have occurred in the month of October alone.”

This is the fifth time the state has broken the daily case record in less than 10 days. There have been 190,430 total cases reported during the pandemic in Ohio, according to the state health department.

Clark County is one of three counties on a watch list for counties that could move up to level 4, or purple. Since the alert system was created at the end of June, Ohio has never had a county at level 4.

“Clark County is on the watch list for the first time since the alert system started four months ago,” DeWine said. “The county also exceeds the CDC’s threshold for high incidence.”

There are 30 people hospitalized for coronavirus in the county and long-term care facilities are continuing to report cases.

The governor noted that most of the virus' spread is due to people gathering with friends.

Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties were the other two counties in Ohio at risk of moving up to level 4.

DeWine noted that the three counties on the watch list all qualify now for level 4, but must qualify for two straight weeks before they are moved up.

He also noted there are no mandates tied to level 4 or purple counties and that instead it is a heightened level of concern.

Butler, Greene, Montgomery and Warren counties remain at level 3. They are four of 38 counties at level 3 in Ohio, which is up from 29 reported last Thursday.

Only four of Ohio’s 88 counties are at level 1.

“This is the highest number of red counties and the lowest number of yellow counties to date,” DeWine said. “That means that 74% of Ohioans are living in a red county. Only 1% are living in a yellow county.”

DeWine announced that the state is looking to study coronavirus spread in schools after initial information indicates there isn’t much direct spread in the classroom.

With the consent of the school and parents, the state will have students who qualify as a close contact of someone who tested positive for the virus take quick tests so they can continue to remain in class. The study also will test students who have not been exposed to the virus and compare the results to those who were exposed.

“We’re going to see what kind of numbers we see,” DeWine said. “Anecdotally, which is all we have now, we are just not seeing a lot of spread directly in the classroom.”

Ohio set a new record for new COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday after 216 were reported. Today, 159 hospitalizations were reported, bringing the total to 17,682.

There have been 5,161 deaths related to coronavirus in Ohio, including 12 reported today. ICU admissions increased by 25 for a total of 3,657.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joined DeWine’s press conference to share his experience after testing positive for coronavirus.

“I thought I was safe,” he said. “I was wrong.”

Christie described the virus as feeling like he was being beaten up “from the inside out.” He also described the emotional and mental toll of the virus when he was in isolation, saying that people were communicating with him by showing a whiteboard against a window.

He stressed the importance of wearing a mask, avoiding large groups and frequent handwashing.

“There is no place to hide from this virus if you don’t take the common sense steps recommended to us," Christie said.

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