DeWine Tells Meet the Press He May Implement Statewide Mask Mandate

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As Ohio’s coronavirus testing and case numbers are increasing, Gov. Mike DeWine is threatening to impose a statewide mask mandate.

While Ohio’s coronavirus tests and cases are increasing, the rate of deaths is decreasing, even as Gov. Mike DeWine says he has not ruled out a statewide mask mandate.

DeWine spoke about mask mandates on Meet the Press on Sunday.

Video of the interview is available here.

He was asked why are counties allowed to have so many different mask requirements instead of a uniform, statewide requirement.

DeWine said, “We’re going the wrong way” on cases.

There will be more counties under the mask mandate this week, he said, and tied it to the color-coded system in which “red” designates a “Level 3 Public Emergency.” He said he would not rule out a statewide mask mandate.

On Thursday, DeWine added eight counties to the red level, meaning nearly 60 percent of the state’s population will be required to wear face coverings in public, The Ohio Star reported.

He told Meet the Press that Ohio was heading to Florida’s situation and he blamed bars and churches for spreading the virus.

However, The Star in June reported that 70 percent of the state’s deaths happened in nursing homes. The report was based on research by FreeOpp, a public policy think tank. Ohio’s rate is far above the national average of 42 percent.

The COVID Tracking Project provides a state-by-state database of new tests, new cases, current hospitalizations and deaths. The Ohio page is available here.

On July 1, the number of new cases was 52,865. As of Sunday, that number was 74,932.

For the same time period, the number of new tests conducted jumped dramatically from 4,076 to 24,478.

Current hospitalizations for that period increased from 7,911 to 9,555.

The number of negative test results went from 739,140 to 1,087,982 from July 1 to July 19.

And, the number of deaths increased from 2,876 to 3,174 during that period.

Over the course of the pandemic, 51,086 people are listed as having recovered.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.

 

 

 

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