COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is sounding the alarm, but he’s not ready to impose more restrictions just yet in response to growing COVID-19 case numbers and hospitals around the state under the gun as patient numbers rise.
Recently, DeWine toughened mask requirements for retail establishments around the state and last week he imposed a statewide 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, which essentially shut down bars, restaurants and all other retail daily at 10 p.m., aside from grocery stores and pharmacies.
On Monday, Nov. 23, during a news briefing to discuss increasing hospitalizations and the toll it’s taking on Ohio hospitals and health care workers, DeWine announced more than 11,000 cases in the last 24 hours. However, those numbers are skewed because of a technical issue that caused two labs to not be able to report cases for two days.
Despite the numbers, DeWine said he’s encouraged with mask compliance. However, when asked about another statewide shutdown, he said he’s not taking anything off the table.
“The curfew hasn’t been in very long, and the doctors will tell you that you won’t see the impact for a little time,” DeWine said. “It is true that what we do in the next couple of days will really determine how things will go. I have not ruled anything out, but we have to give people in Ohio the chance to turn this thing around.”
DeWine said COVID-19 hospitalizations have grown 59% over the past two weeks, and the impact is being felt throughout the state’s hospitals and on. health care workers.
At the Cleveland Clinic, according to Dr. Robert Wyllie, 970 health care workers are out because they are either in quarantine or they have active COVID-19 cases. Wyllie said those workers did not catch the virus at the hospital, but rather in the community.
Also, Rhonda Lehman, with Mercy Health, said the inpatient side of the hospital is filling faster than they can discharge patients.
DeWine continued to plead with Ohioans to limit or eliminate personal contact with others, wear masks and follow the current mandates and curfew orders.
“This is personal behavior. This is personal responsibility,” DeWine said. “This is an area where government can’t really do a whole lot.”
An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.