Ohio Governor Mike DeWine threatens crackdown as coronavirus cases soar

FILE—In this file photo from March 14, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a coronavirus news conference at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

Gov. Mike DeWine’s statewide address urging Ohioans to take the coronavirus more seriously included threats to close bars, restaurants and gyms for a second time while stopping short of the type of severe crackdowns implemented in the spring.

Posted: Nov 12, 2020 4:09 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine’s statewide address urging Ohioans to take the coronavirus more seriously included threats to close bars, restaurants and gyms for a second time while stopping short of the type of severe crackdowns implemented in the spring.

Wednesday’s speech by the Republican governor followed record-high numbers of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

DeWine and Lt. Gov Jon Husted have repeatedly pleaded with Ohioans to take personal responsibility for the virus’ continuous spread throughout the state’s 88 counties by doing a better job wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

With concerns that approach isn’t working, DeWine warned he could go a step further by once again shutting down bars, restaurants and fitness centers — businesses that he and health officials have previously noted are not the source of major community spread.

Instead, officials have said, the spread is coming from private gatherings, including parties, weddings and funerals.

DeWine reissued an order Wednesday limiting public and private gatherings to 10 people.

“What you do in your private lives affects everyone,” DeWine said.

DeWine also announced the state would take over monitoring businesses’ compliance with the statewide mask order.

Agents with the state insurance fund for injured workers will oversee the inspections, rather than county health boards.

Stephanie McCloud, the new Ohio Health Department director, was the administrator of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation until last week.

Under the inspection order, all businesses must display signs requiring masks and are responsible for ensuring customers and employees wear them.

One violation would result in a written warning and a second in the closure of a store for up to 24 hours.

DeWine’s crackdown could be particularly felt in rural counties, where some businesses have not only ignored the statewide mask mandate, but also displayed no-masks-required signs.

Republicans representing those areas in the Statehouse have signaled their constituents’ feelings about mask-wearing, with most refusing to wear facial coverings during floor sessions.

All but two of the 25 Ohio counties that have seen the most new cases per capita in the past two weeks are rural, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

DeWine’s warnings angered the Ohio Restaurant Association, which said it disagreed with studies that used prediction modeling to conclude restaurants are a significant source of spread. The agency said another shutdown would devastate the industry.

The association noted that on Monday, Dr. Andrew Thomas, the chief clinical officer at Ohio State University and a top coronavirus adviser to DeWine, said that “a second stay-at-home order that would close businesses and manufacturing is not necessary at this moment.”

About seven in 10 Ohio voters approve of how DeWine has handled the coronavirus pandemic, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 3,900 voters in the state. Only about a quarter disapprove.

Similar majorities of both Republicans and Democrats think DeWine has done a good job with the public health crisis, the survey showed.

By comparison, about half of Ohio voters approve and roughly as many disapprove of the way President Donald Trump has handled the pandemic.

Republicans overwhelmingly approve of Trump on the pandemic – about eight in 10 do – and roughly nine in 10 Democrats disapprove.

The top House Democrat said DeWine’s speech didn’t go far enough given the increases in cases and hospitalizations.

“Instead we just got another stern admonishing, a rehash of how dire the numbers are in our state and what appears to be a final warning that he may take steps to slow this down in a week,” said Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, an Akron Democrat.

One in every 315 people in Ohio tested positive for the virus in the past week, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by more than 114%, reaching an all-time high Tuesday of 6,508.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751826

Reported Deaths: 13811
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033581790
Lake557861011
Allen41721692
St. Joseph37001565
Hamilton36612417
Elkhart29416461
Tippecanoe22926227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19364326
Johnson18481389
Hendricks17692317
Clark13231195
Madison13166344
Vigo12629253
LaPorte12425221
Monroe12219176
Delaware10969198
Howard10343225
Kosciusko9636121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7862156
Floyd7814180
Grant7246179
Wayne7165201
Boone6976103
Morgan6764141
Dubois6222118
Marshall6211116
Cass6023110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502296
Lawrence4749122
Gibson445395
Clinton443255
Harrison441775
DeKalb440085
Montgomery438890
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400559
Miami395669
Jasper388855
Knox377491
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332453
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246236
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221448
Sullivan214643
Owen212258
Fulton203443
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175144
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120748
Newton114436
Brown104443
Benton102514
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84015
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109374

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1288561469
Cuyahoga1158492216
Hamilton814161251
Montgomery525741049
Summit484431006
Lucas43380824
Butler39066606
Stark33348930
Lorain25690506
Warren24607305
Mahoning22383602
Lake21216389
Clermont20133253
Delaware18873136
Licking16668225
Fairfield16582204
Trumbull16559483
Medina15615273
Greene15289248
Clark14240306
Wood13296200
Portage13251216
Allen11916239
Richland11610211
Miami10857225
Wayne9147225
Columbiana9038230
Muskingum8908135
Pickaway8663122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8646139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6998133
Ross6946163
Geauga6843151
Scioto6536106
Belmont6159174
Union584849
Lawrence5739102
Jefferson5681159
Huron5550122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5323109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487585
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435897
Putnam4335104
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4045110
Brown402561
Logan387678
Preble3858105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359966
Williams348478
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318354
Perry297350
Morrow291840
Fayette285550
Hardin275565
Henry273667
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269260
Van Wert247264
Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197448
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110024
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Van Wert
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The warming trend continues into Thursday with highs reaching into the middle 80s.
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