DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In a special one-hour ‘Coronavirus in Ohio’ edition of 2 NEWS Thursday night, we were joined live by Governor Mike DeWine, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and Dr. Steven Burdette with Miami Valley Hospital for the latest local, state, and national information on the pandemic.
While many expected Governor DeWine to announce some sort of new mandate during his address to the state Wednesday evening, he instead urged Ohioans to continue to do their part to stop the spread. At his news conference Thursday, he revealed that 19 Ohio counties are now under the red ‘Level 3’ alert and will now fall under the mask mandate.
“I have found that as much as you can ask people to do things, it’s better than if you’re telling them to do it,” said DeWine. “Ultimately, it’s going to be up to people, what they end up doing. It’s not just the masks. The masks are very, very important and we urge everybody in Ohio to wear a mask, but it’s also, frankly, just what people do.”
“I can’t be everywhere, the health department can’t be everywhere. We’ve just got to look at this, all of us, collectively, as that we’re facing a big enemy. This enemy can only get us if we allow it to get us. It can only move from one person to another if we allow it to do that,” he continued.
He says he wants people to be able to live their lives and go to work, but on the other hand, “We just can’t do things that just don’t make sense.”
DeWine stressed that the purpose of his primetime address was not to issue more orders but rather to make a personal appeal. However, when it comes to the possibility of more orders, he said, “There may be more in the future, certainly.”
“We may have to issue orders…next week, next few days, but really the most important thing is not what I say or orders I issue, or your local health department what they issue, or the mayor issues. It’s what people do in their individual lives every single day,” he said.
He reiterated that if we aren’t careful, Ohio could head down a path similar to Florida, which has become a virus hotspot.
“If you look at where Florida was a month ago, that’s where Ohio is today,” he said, adding that the numbers are “going the wrong way” virtually everywhere in the state. When it comes to the possibility of another shutdown, the governor says it’s “the last thing we want to do” and that he hopes the actions of individual Ohioans will keep the state from having to consider it.
As of July 16, a total of 70,601 (+1290) cases were reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 3,103(+28) deaths and 9,324(+115) hospitalizations. There are a presumed 48,330 patients who have recovered from the virus in Ohio.
A total of 19 Ohio counties are now under a red ‘Level 3’ alert. Montgomery County remains part of this group.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley was one of the first mayors in Ohio to require masks in their city. So far, she says the ordinance has been well-received for the most part.
“To be a good citizen in Dayton, it requires you to wear a mask to protect yourself and others. We haven’t really had to do any sort of heavy enforcing. People are just following the law,” she said.
She feels that warm summertime weather and people becoming more comfortable with the presence of the virus has resulted in more movement around the city, and thus, more community spread.
Mayor Whaley says we can’t continue to see this virus spread and expect the reopening of schools to be successful.
The 30 Rock Reunion special will air at 2 a.m. Friday on WDTN, so set your DVR.