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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: 605426

Reported Deaths: 9642
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion836221331
Lake45189680
Allen32646547
Hamilton29240315
St. Joseph27260380
Elkhart24354344
Vanderburgh19292248
Tippecanoe17905133
Johnson14974293
Porter14707168
Hendricks14295248
Madison10909220
Vigo10688179
Clark10581139
Monroe9338110
Delaware9089134
LaPorte9007162
Howard8177143
Kosciusko803182
Warrick668798
Hancock6639104
Bartholomew6443100
Floyd6377109
Wayne6106161
Grant5965115
Dubois554079
Boone549467
Morgan535595
Henry505564
Marshall502684
Cass482663
Dearborn476245
Noble471257
Jackson421947
Shelby413881
Lawrence389179
Clinton372043
Gibson369159
DeKalb345964
Harrison345644
Montgomery343354
Knox334339
Miami319844
Steuben313045
Whitley304526
Wabash301447
Adams299635
Ripley297545
Putnam294149
Huntington290659
Jasper288134
White272242
Daviess266774
Jefferson262538
Decatur246583
Fayette246348
Greene239262
Posey238128
Wells234050
LaGrange227662
Scott223439
Clay221832
Randolph212848
Jennings197736
Sullivan191133
Spencer190121
Washington183722
Fountain183127
Starke174843
Jay167022
Owen163637
Fulton163130
Orange157234
Carroll156415
Rush154418
Perry152727
Vermillion148634
Franklin147833
Tipton131832
Parke13038
Pike116226
Blackford110922
Pulaski96837
Newton90721
Brown87534
Benton86510
Crawford7929
Martin73013
Warren6777
Switzerland6575
Union6267
Ohio4867
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 853982

Reported Deaths: 10599
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin100550707
Cuyahoga849601082
Hamilton63509448
Montgomery42863417
Summit34586759
Lucas31151616
Butler30735231
Stark25598430
Warren19552140
Lorain18847223
Mahoning17215337
Lake15967154
Clermont15800111
Delaware1430578
Licking13130137
Trumbull12739313
Fairfield1269181
Greene11975136
Medina11504168
Clark10867265
Wood10289158
Allen9826126
Portage9213108
Miami911373
Richland9085117
Marion7437113
Tuscarawas7339181
Columbiana7286124
Pickaway721750
Wayne6987171
Muskingum693941
Erie6113127
Hancock549090
Ross546098
Scioto536364
Geauga503855
Darke467892
Ashtabula451073
Lawrence450154
Union447728
Sandusky434762
Mercer432488
Huron425441
Seneca424865
Auglaize421164
Shelby420522
Jefferson416769
Belmont412740
Washington385240
Athens37669
Putnam373575
Madison352129
Knox350222
Ashland342838
Fulton336543
Defiance328282
Crawford320573
Preble319137
Brown309121
Logan305532
Ottawa290143
Clinton287943
Williams277167
Highland273718
Jackson262445
Guernsey251325
Champaign249728
Fayette235130
Morrow23124
Perry228718
Holmes223874
Henry217349
Hardin211333
Coshocton204521
Van Wert201145
Gallia195426
Wyandot194651
Pike173917
Adams173015
Hocking171024
Carroll154216
Paulding143421
Noble120340
Meigs108024
Monroe100631
Harrison88421
Morgan82629
Vinton69513
Unassigned00
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