CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that Hamilton and Clermont counties remain at the red alert level on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for coronavirus.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 161,299 COVID-19 cases and 4,947 deaths in the state.
Hamilton County was last in the red on July 30. Clermont was on Aug. 20.
DeWine spoke about President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis saying it can happen to anyone.
“No one is immune. While frequent testing is important, it isn’t a substitute for masks and social distancing,” he said. “Each of us can demonstrate our love and respect for our fellow Ohioans by wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, keeping at least 6 feet distance from others, and frequently washing our hands. This is in our control. This virus is an enemy of our freedom. And by doing these things to fight back against it, we’ll keep our kids in school and our economy moving forward. All of us working together will allow us to live with this virus until the time when it is gone."
According to DeWine, hospital admissions had been declining since the peak in mid-July however, the trend began to change direction a few weeks ago.
“Keep in mind that hospitalizations are a lagging indicator,” he said.
In recent weeks, Ohioans 60 and over have accounted for about 70% of COVID-19 hospital admissions which is considerably higher than the 50% the state saw in July.
DeWine said he’s heard concern from school superintendents about the number of students meeting the CDC definition of close contact and is partnering with the health community to study the current guidance on student quarantine.
“We have heard anecdotally that most quarantined students are not getting sick. I feel that it is important to have data and evidence on this before we make a change to the recommended guidance,” he said. “I’ll provide more information on this as we have updates, but I wanted to take the opportunity to thank our school leaders and acknowledge that we are studying this issue carefully.”
DeWine said he is considering changes to the state’s 10 p.m. last call order. He says he knows that cutting off alcohol sales at 10 p.m. has hurt bars and restaurants.