Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday cautioned that the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases indicates that significant numbers of infections are likely this winter unless citizens take steps to mitigate and control the spread of the virus.
“Although a vaccine is on the way in the future, we can’t control the timetable of the development of a vaccine – but we can control how much this flares up until then,” Gov. DeWine said during his coronavirus press briefing Tuesday afternoon.
“Things will get better, but in all likelihood, things will get worse before they get better,” he said. “But, it would appear that we could have a tough winter ahead of us. We are already moving more back inside. Cases are up. Positivity is up. Hospital admissions are up.”
“We have avoided the large outbreaks that other countries and other states have seen, and so far, the combined efforts of Ohioans have kept the virus in check. We can’t let our guards down now. We need to continue taking basic safety measures of wearing masks, keeping distance, and avoiding large gatherings,” the governor added.
In the last seven days, Ohio COVID-19 cases have averaged 1,475 cases per day by report date as compared to an average of approximately 1,000 cases per day only two weeks ago. Ohio’s current positivity rate is 4.1 percent as compared to 2.7 percent on September 23 and 24. A total of 51 counties are considered high incidence and/or Alert Level 3 on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 161,678 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,017 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,565 people have been hospitalized, including 3,447 admissions to intensive care units.