COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted are holding a press conference to discuss the state’s response to COVID-19 coronavirus.
As of July 7, a total of 58,904 (+948) cases were reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 2,970 (+43) deaths and 8,383 (+134) hospitalizations. There are a presumed 41,438 (+625) recovered cases in Ohio.
The Department of Health adds the data when it is informed of a case or death. The information is backdated to the actual date the person started exhibiting symptoms or the date the person died.
Governor DeWine says the day-to-day increase is above the state’s 21-day average, and that average continues to increase.
“What is at stake here is the lives of Ohioans,” said Governor DeWine.
DeWine said the age of people with the coronavirus is getting younger here in Ohio and nationwide. One concern is no matter who gets it first, the risk of mortality will be passed on to the most vulnerable.
The governor announced the Ohio Department of Health will issue an order to the seven counties in red to require masks. This order will stay in place as long as they are at a red or purple level.
“What’s going on in these counties is very frightening, it should frighten the people of those counties,” said Governor DeWine. “The good news is we can fight back, there is something we can do.”
A color-coded system was revealed last week, showing the extent of virus spread in the state.
- Alert Level 1 – Yellow – Counties triggering one or zero indicators. 53 counties are now at this level.
- Alert Level 2 – Orange – Counties trigger 2 or 3 indicators. 28 counties fall under this level.
- Alert Level 3 – Red – Counties trigger 4 or 5 indicators. 7 counties fall under this level.
- Alert Level 4 – Purple – Counties trigger 6 or 7 indicators. No counties are under this level, but Franklin County is approaching this phase.
Masks must be worn in any indoor location (not a residence), when they are unable to maintain social distancing outside, when in a ride sharing vehicle. It does not apply to anyone under 10 or anyone who can’t safely wear a face covering.
The order does not supersede any school order. K-12 schools should still follow guidelines released last week.
Governor DeWine said he spoke with health commissioners in the seven counties, who told him the spread is likely due to large family gatherings, workplaces, churches and tourist destinations.
“When I’m asked the question are we going to see football on Friday night in Ohio, a lot of it depends on do we get this virus, do we wrestle this virus to the ground,” said Governor DeWine.
Last week, Governor DeWine announced school reopening guidelines for the state.