COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's Thursday coronavirus news briefing was packed with announcements and information regarding several topics, including those unrelated to the pandemic such as whether President Donald Trump would peacefully transfer power should he lose to Joe Biden in November.
Counties turn red
Four new counties have been increased from orange Level 2 to red Level 3 on the state’s Public Health Advisory System, including Stark and Ashland counties in Northeast Ohio. More, here.
COVID-19 cases in Ohio
The governor touched on the newest case numbers of coronavirus in the state. The Ohio Department of Health has reported 991 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 147,744. More, here.
State recommends colleges conduct random testing
DeWine said that the state is recommending that all residential colleges and universities conduct regular random COVID-19 testing of a sample of the campus’ asymptomatic student population. The recommendation to test a population of the student body is intended to provide college and university presidents and staff a better understanding of the spread of the virus on their campuses. More,here.
What happens if President Trump loses the election?
DeWine also addressed President Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to leaving the office peacefully if he loses the 2020 election, saying “Those who lose will accept it. That’s what we do in America.” DeWine, although vocal about the fact that Trump is obligated to transition his power as president to his challenger if he loses the election, said he would not outright condemn his statement.
“I’m not going to condemn anything. I don’t know what’s in [Trump’s] heart and his mind,” DeWine said. “Anybody who runs for president wants to win and they’re going to fight and they’re going to fight all the way through, but without exception, I believe, throughout American history, the loser, once it’s determined that you are the loser, concedes and we move on. That will happen, whoever loses this election.” More, here.
National Guard in Cleveland for Presidential Debate
Next week, DeWine said that the Ohio National Guard will provide "backup" to law enforcement agencies in Cleveland during the upcoming presidential debate.
"This is important. So we thank the guard, the men and women of the guard, who will be deployed there," DeWine said.
Three-hundred soldiers will be activated for the event, he said. More, here.
Updated sports order coming soon
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that the state will soon update the current sports order that limits teams to one game per day. According to Husted, the state will be adding a provision that will "require each sports venue to cooperate with the local inspectors who are in charge of making sure that there is compliance, that these inspectors will be able to have the authority to terminate the competition if they're not following the spectator and participant rules." More, here.
Nursing homes to allow indoor visitations
The state of Ohio is expanding nursing home visitation to allow for indoor visits beginning Oct. 12 and intermediate care facilities to begin indoor visits beginning Sept. 28.
Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy said during DeWine's news conference that with flu season approaching it’s critical to stay vigilant and take caution when visiting a nursing home to prevent COVID-19 or flu outbreaks. More, here.
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Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.
See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.
The CDC and the Ohio Department of Health are now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Read more about the CDC's recommendation here. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a face maskfrom common household materials, without having to know how to sew.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.