COLUMBUS (WPTA21) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state will remain in a state of COVID-19 emergency and his officials will look at closing bars, restaurants and fitness centers if cases continue to trend high.
On Wednesday, Ohio reported a total of 252,510 confirmed infections and 5,285 deaths.
While testing hasn't even doubled, COVID-19 cases have gone up almost four times since health officials started keeping track.
DeWine said he's signing an executive order that will keep Ohio under a continued state of emergency and add new restrictions.
Like Indiana, Ohio has a statewide mask order in place. That will continue.
Here are some other new items he mentioned:
- Each business is ordered to post a face covering document at main entrances that requires face masks
- Each store will be responsible for making sure customers and employees are wearing masks
- Ohio is forming a new agency that will enforce compliance of the mask order.
- The first violation will be a written warning
- The second violation means the business is at risk of closure for up to 24 hours
- If the trend of high cases continues, he will look at closing restaurants, bars and fitness centers one week from Thursday
At the beginning of the pandemic, officials were concerned about having enough ICU beds, personal protection equipment and ventilators to care for a surge in patients. Now, the question is do we have enough health care workers to staff hospitals.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is getting hit with its third spike of COVID-19.
Every single Ohio county has a high rate of COVID-19 spread, and rural areas are getting hit hard as well, DeWine said.
"We are now at the most crucial phase of this pandemic," the Ohio governor said.
He hit the basics again: wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask.
DeWine also said Ohio will be ready to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved.
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