Gov. DeWine asks counties to form COVID-19 defense teams, Dayton mayor says efforts already in place

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor DeWine is calling on counties to form COVID-19 defense teams to find solutions to the spread happening in communities.

Governor DeWine and his team will be working with each individual county to establish the teams, starting with counties with the highest instance of cases.

He said he wants local leaders come up with steps to lower the spread in their area.

“The major part of their job will be to explain to people in the community exactly what is going on in the community,” DeWine said. “What’s going on in the local hospitals, what steps must be taken to slow this advancing virus.”

DeWine wants the teams to consist of government leaders, health officials, and business and religious leaders and be representative of their community members.

The COVID-19 defense teams would look at local coronavirus data, inventory their assets, then act on it.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the city already has an internal team to protect employees and an external group driving efforts to slow community spread.

“Whether that’s about outdoor efforts in the summer, when you saw us do that kind of work, or if it’s talking to the superintendent about Dayton Public opening,” Whaley said. “All of these decisions are in concert with public health.”

Whaley said leaders of urban counties have already been working closely with the Ohio Department of Health on these issues.

She said now it’s time for rural counties to step up.

“I firmly believe we’ll do this call with the governor and he will tell us we’ve done more than even other counties have done and then he’ll have to go to the other counties that aren’t listening to him,” Whaley said.

DeWine is asking counties not to wait for their call with his team, and to start forming their defense team now.

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