COLUMBUS — During Gov. Mike DeWine's unusual evening press conference on Thursday, he announced what needs to happen for health orders to be lifted in Ohio.
DeWine said that when Ohio reports an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over two weeks, he will lift all health orders, which includes the statewide mask mandate.
On Wednesday, the state reported 179 cases per 100,000. Last month, on Feb. 21, that number was 145. On Dec. 3, 2020, the state was at 731 cases per 100,000 over two weeks, DeWine said. So, in the past three months, Ohio has reduced COVID-19 cases per capita by a measure of 550 cases per 100,000.
DeWine said that cases per 100,000 people for a two-week period is a standard measure that the state has used since early in the pandemic.
Our path back is by each of us getting vaccinated when we can, and by each of us wearing masks in public. While no one will be forced to take the vaccine, the more of us who are vaccinated, the more complete our victory, and the more confidently we can put this behind us.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 4, 2021
"I can’t tell you exactly the day, and the time when we can declare victory, but we will be able to declare victory. I can’t predict how this virus will act in the coming days. No one can," DeWine said. "What we do know is this. We’re close."
Holmes County is currently the only county in the state reporting less than 50 cases based on population.
"Instead of going to the limit, we must go past it because that is a victory, which always found. Ohio, we must run through the paper at the end of this race. We need to keep going. We need to finish the job and we need to finish strong," DeWine said.
In the last month, DeWine was able to lift the curfew, end the stay-at-home order and reopen bars, restaurants, and gyms due to a decrease in cases.
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