VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine spoke in Trumbull County on Wednesday afternoon.
DeWine stopped at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport to discuss the recent spike of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions throughout Ohio and locally.
“The Mahoning Valley is really on fire in regard to COVID,” DeWine said.
He was joined by Mercy Health Chief Clinical Officer Dr. James Kravec, who spoke of the challenges that the healthcare community is facing.
“If people do not stop gathering in large groups, our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” he said. “I truly wish the general public could see the stress the staff is under.”
DeWine believes the three counties of the Mahoning Valley are running five times higher than what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classifies as a high incidence level.
We’ve had 528 cases in the last 14 days. The CDC classifies high incidence level as 100 cases per 100,000. Locally, 2,794 people have tested positive over the last two weeks, and 101 have gone into the hospital.
Kravec said while most people have cold symptoms, COVID-19 is not the common cold for everyone. Studies have shown that some people have lasting health effects after contracting the virus. Others may have symptoms for weeks.
Mercy Health stopped visitations last week. It’s a situation that can only get better if the virus gets under control.
Tuesday, DeWine announced a curfew for the state of Ohio. That curfew, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., begins Thursday.
There are some exceptions for workers, medical appointments and those buying essential items, like prescriptions or groceries.
DeWine said the curfew is just one thing that he could do to limit contacts.
“No one says one thing is going to stem this. We’re implementing a number of different things that we think will help,” he said. “We saw in the spring when we reduced contacts, we saw the coronavirus go down.”
DeWine said the 10 p.m. curfew will help. Time will tell.
Most people who test positive end up quarantining at home under a doctor’s watch and get over the virus within two weeks, but others are seeing consequences and winding up in the hospital.
“This is just not the common cold for everyone,” Kravec said.
DeWine said deaths are a lagging indicator and believes the state could start getting a coronavirus vaccine in December. He promised it to nursing home and frontline workers first.