Ohio’s COVID-19 curfew order will be extended, Gov. DeWine says

Gov. DeWine gives update on COVID-19 response

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio’s COVID-19 10 p.m. curfew order, which is set to expire Thursday, will be extended, Gov. Mike DeWine says.

DeWine did not say how long the curfew will be extended but did say more details will be released on Thursday.

The 9,273 new COVID-19 cases announced Monday are the sixth-highest number of daily reported cases, the governor said.

DeWine says Ohio’s COVID-19 cases are “flattening out” and credits the state’s mask mandate and the curfew for the slowdown.

Ohio will see a “one-day spike in reported cases” on Tuesday, DeWine said, from backlogged antigen tests.

Previously, DeWine said Ohio manually verified antigen tests before counting them as positive cases which differs from the approach of the CDC.

In August, the CDC started allowing antigen tests to be included in case counts without additional verification, the governor said.

The number of antigen tests has doubled over the past four weeks. The Ohio Department of Health and epidemiologist teams said about three weeks ago they can no longer keep up with manual verification of the antigen tests because of how widespread COVID-19 is in the state, the governor said.

“After understanding more about the antigen testing, the CDC changed their definition. Our epidemiologists have alerted us that they are no longer able to keep up with the manual verification process of antigen testing because there is so much COVID-19 spread in Ohio,” said Gov. DeWine. “Antigen tests have become a bigger part of our overall picture of understanding COVID-19, and it’s important to capture that information.”

So, starting Dec. 8, Ohio will “align with the CDC’s current case definition” DeWine announced. The switch will result in the one-day spike in COVID-19 cases the governor mentioned.

Ohio, as of Monday, has reported a total of 484,297 COVID-19 cases.

“Limited spread” has happened inside of schools, according to the Ohio Department of Education. There has been an increase of community spread though due to “informal gatherings outside of school,” the state education department reports.

Gov. DeWine also showed a breakdown of how many school districts in Ohio are doing in-person, hybrid, or remote learning.

“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote.  Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning,” said Governor DeWine.

The state’s total number of COVID-19 deaths surpassed 7,000 with 63 more being reported on Monday. 7,022 Ohioans have died from the virus, according to officials with the ODH.

Another 336 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past day, health officials said. 29,569 total people have been hospitalized, the ODH’s data shows.

TriHealth Bethesda North Hospital nurse manager CJ Adams joined the governor Monday to talk about what she is seeing in southwest Ohio.

Adams says not only are they nearing capacity, but there are now problems with staffing. Her team is exhausted and tired, but she says fear is the biggest concern right now.

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