COLUMBUS, Ohio — “We know the situation is going to get worse before it gets better. We know it;s gonna be bad. Question is, how bad is it going to be?” said Governor Mike DeWine.
On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton made the announcement they knew was coming.
- 53-year-old Stark County male with no travel history and no known contact with anyone infected
- DeWine tightening restrictions to mitigate spread
- Serious crackdown on public gatherings to come via executive order
With a new community spread case in Stark County, the answer to the question of if and when, became here and now.
“He is a male in his mid 50s, his illness onset was February 25th of 2020. This is a positive case from Stark County with no history of travel outside the U.S. and no known contact with anyone with COVID. That is, by definition, community spread,” said Acton.
While one case may not seem like much, Acton says it’s the start of a bell curve.
“Once we see two cases of community spread, you can assume that 1 percent of the population is infected,” Acton said.
On the precipice of this major disruption, the governor is tightening restrictions to mitigate inevitable spread.
That means limiting nursing home visits to one person per resident, per day.
It also means a serious crackdown on public gatherings, by way of executive order.
“We’re not asking people to change their lives for the rest of their lives. What we’re asking them to do is change for a period of time. We do not know how long that period of time is. Two months? We don’t know. But it’s not forever,” said DeWine.
He says that order is coming in the next few days, as the number of cases is expected to rise.
Despite the great unknowns of this now-pandemic, the governor has faith we’ll be able to get through it.
“This is an opportunity for us to come together as Ohioans. It’s an opportunity for us to do what I have seen Ohioans do in floods and tornadoes and other calamities, and mass shootings, and other horrible things. Every time I see that happen in Ohio and I’m there, I see Ohioans come together. This is the time to come together —maybe not physically come together, but come together emotionally,” said DeWine.
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