CLEVELAND (WJW) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine stopped at Burke Lakefront Airport this afternoon to address the rising number of coronavirus cases across the state.
DeWine normally holds a 2 p.m. press conference a couple times a week from Columbus, but today, he spoke to Clevelanders specifically. He said he’s been going around the state this last week, talking to the people directly.
The governor said the recent numbers were quite concerning, and he pleaded with Northeast Ohioans to continue to use masks and maintain proper social distancing protocols.
“There’s really no reason not to wear a mask,” he said. “This is not an ideological issue, this is a safety issue, this how you say you love somebody else and you love other people and you want to be helpful to other people and protect them. We ask anyone who is going to any event, any event, to wear a mask and keep a distance, we can conduct these events and be safe.”
Global coronavirus rates have recently reached 40 million cases, and American cases continue to rise. Currently, Ohio is averaging 1,863 new reported cases per day, which is a 61 percent increase over two weeks ago, the New York Times reported.
DeWine also explained that the 10 p.m. curfew for restaurants and bars is set to remain in effect for the time being, due to the recent spike in numbers.
Northeast Ohioans “have done a good job” throughout the pandemic, he said, but that we must remain vigilant to keep cases at bay. He said that if cases continue to rise, more schools in the state may have to go to remote learning.
“Teachers have gotten sick, students have been quarantined and schools have had to pull back and go to remote,” he said. “We can fight this. We have a common enemy, the enemy is the virus. We can keep this virus down, but we just all got to pull together.”
Last week, DeWine said during a press conference that he refused to commit to never shut down Ohio again following the surge in new numbers. (He doubled down on that stance in today’s press conference in Cleveland as well.)
“We don’t have any plans to do shutdowns, but no governor could stand up here during a pandemic and say under no circumstances will we shut something down,” DeWine said during his regular coronavirus briefing last week. “That wouldn’t be responsible, (but) we have no plans to shut anything down.”