BEXLEY, Ohio (WDTN) – In a one-on-one interview with 2 NEWS reporter Madeline Ashley, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is reflecting on 2021, and revealing some of his plans for the new year.

Sitting next to a fireplace with dog Dolly by his side at the Governor’s Mansion in Columbus, Governor DeWine said he believes Ohio is coming out of the pandemic in good shape.

“Now it’s been tragic, I think. Everyone knows someone who’s died or has gotten COVID and been very very sick. So, you can’t look at this and say it’s been a great year. But, in spite of COVID, Ohio’s moving forward,” said Governor DeWine.

With Ohio’s overall COVID-19 vaccination rate still below 59% for all ages, Governor DeWine is continuing to urge Ohioans to get their vaccinations and boosters, especially before the holidays. “The delta variant is still here. We’re loosing 30 to 40 people who are dying every single day. So, there’s ample reason for us to go ahead and get the booster shot.”

While the pandemic has taken up much of Governor DeWine’s time since being sworn in, he’s proud of how Ohioans are bouncing back. “We are resilient people. We are tough people. We get up in the morning, we’re Ohioans. We get up in the morning, we go to work, and we deal with problems. That’s how we approach this.”

On an economic level, Governor DeWine says he’s happy to see companies keeping their products local, and bringing more jobs into the Buckeye State. “We’re creating more jobs every day in Ohio than we have people.”

Another goal on Governor DeWine’s list is also focusing more attention on education. “Fran is involved in the imagination library getting books to kids zero to five, getting free books into their home once a month. It’s why we put a real focus on early childhood education. It’s why we put a focus on reaching pregnant mothers early on who are poor or might be drug addicted or have some challenge where they need help.”

With just days until 2022, Governor DeWine says he’s confident these goals can be accomplished within the next year. “So that’s the future we’re very very optimistic. This is really Ohio’s time in history I believe.”

You can watch the full interview in the player below