Health officials weigh in on what’s causing, how to prevent increase in Ohio’s COVID-19 cases

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As COVID-19 cases rise in Ohio, officials say there is a number of factors that may be causing the increase, and they’re weighing in on what that might mean for mask requirements.

Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County Public Information Supervisor Dan Suffoletto said cases have been fluctuating and there’s been no steady decline recently.

“People don’t just stay in one county, they’re moving about the area, moving about the state, the country, so we really need to have to keep an eye on how COVID is progressing throughout the whole nation to really get a good picture of where we’re at,” Suffoletto said.

Suffoletto said health officials can’t point to a specific factor causing the spike at this time, but the variants, summer activities and people letting their guards down are likely what’s contribting.

“The other thing is complacency, and just the tiredness of COVID in general, and people not wanting it to continue, so maybe they don’t get vaccinated and they don’t take precautions, and then that can lead to the spread,” Suffoletto said.

On Friday, The Ohio Department of Health reported 533 new coronavirus cases in the past day, which is second straight day above 500 cases.

Ohio has seen cases slowly climbing since the begining of July. Along with that, only just over 48 percent of Ohioans have at least one dose of the vaccine.

Despite rising cases, Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday he has no plans to reinstate the state’s mask mandate, which lifted with all health orders on June 2.

Instead, DeWine is urging people to get vaccinated before the kids who can’t get the vaccine return to school.

“These kids do not have a choice,” DeWine said. “So, anyone who comes in contact with that child could in fact be carrying the virus. So, the most important thing we can do, that will help our children, particularly those who cannot be vaccinated, is for more of us to get vaccinated.”

2NEWS reached out to the City of Dayton to ask if they would reinstate a mask order for the city and city officials said there’s no plan at this time as they remain in conversation with PHDMC.

PHDMC and the CDC recommend anyone who is unvaccinated should wear a mask when around others in public.

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