COLUMBUS — Ohio remains in a state of emergency due to COVID-19 and “what each Ohioan does in his or her own life impacts all of us,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statewide address late Wednesday afternoon.
DeWine reissued Ohio’s mask order, which states: “1. Each business will be required to post a face-covering requirement sign at all public entrances to the store; 2. Each store will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks; and, 3. Our new Retail Compliance Unit, comprised of agents led by the Bureau of Workers Compensation, will inspect to ensure compliance.”
He warned that, “If the current trend continues and cases keep increasing, we will be forced to close restaurants, bars and fitness centers. We will look at this one week from tomorrow.”
DeWine also said, “Recommit to your individual efforts to stay safe, because what you do in your private lives affects everyone. Please don’t host that birthday party, or that baby shower, or that kids’ sleepover or that get-together to watch the football game.
“Please don’t attend that gathering you were invited to, stay home when you can, and work from home if you can. Even our family and our closest friends can bring COVID into our homes. And as we approach Thanksgiving, please remember that when someone you don’t live with enters your ‘bubble’, it puts everyone you live with at risk.”
DeWine said, “We are now seeing our third spike, but this time, things are much different,” he said. “We had been warned that when it got colder and drier, and when people were indoors more, the virus would rise up again. And it certainly has.’
“At the end of September, we averaged under 1,000 cases a day. Today, we reported our second-highest number of cases at nearly 5,900 cases.” He said that in the first week of November, 104 Ohioans died of COVID-19.
“We’ve learned during the pandemic that what happens today may not reveal its full impact for weeks.” He said hospitals are already at a peak they normally see during the peak of flu season.
He reiterated the basics: Frequent handwashing, social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding, or at least being safe at, social gatherings.
“The truth is your local school won’t stay open if it can’t keep teachers in the classroom and bus drivers in buses. the virus threatens our ability to keep grandparents safe in nursing homes, hospitals functioning, businesses open and citizens working,” DeWine said.
Clinton County’s COVID-19 statistics as of Tuesday night were 564 confirmed cases and 222 probable ones for a total of 786, with 470 of those recovered. The county reports 302 active cases including 16 currently hospitalized. There have been 14 deaths.
Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer pointed out to the News Journal that the locally reported statistics will not necessarily be the same as those published by the State of Ohio. She said Clinton County’s data entry to the state system is lagging because “we are getting kicked out when uploading data” — probably due to the system “being so taxed with everyone trying to enter data into it from across the state.”