State, county leaders address rising COVID-19 cases, potential for shutdowns

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – State and local leaders are urging the community to be vigilant to avoid new restrictions in the future.

Governor DeWine and health officials in Montgomery County say new health orders are still a possibility, but did not indicate when they could be issued.

“We are now at a critical juncture in our fight against the virus,” Governor Mike DeWine said. “Cases are spiking all across the state of Ohio.”

Cases are spiking across Ohio, including in Montgomery County.

Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said the county’s positivity rate, which was around 4% previously, is now 8.8%.

“Social settings are why this virus is spreading,” Copper said. “Individuals are not complying with the recommendations, or dismissing the recommendations.”

Community spread is now filtering into the state’s hospitals. COVID-19 hospitalizations are at an all-time high for the entire span of the pandemic.

There are 2,075 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Ohio, that’s a 55% increase compared to just two weeks ago.

Hospitalizations are also increasing in Montgomery County, according to Dayton Area Hospital Association President and CEO Sarah Hackenbracht.

“Hospitals have now treated double the number of COVID-19 patients in just the last month,” Hackenbracht said.

Miami Valley Hospital Assoc. Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colón said they’ve seen many people admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 because they weren’t following the basics of wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding gatherings.

“The majority of the people that we are seeing in the hospital are having the ability to identify some of those situations where they let that down,” Colón said.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is urging people not to let their guard down, especially as the holidays near.

“Dayton, Montgomery County, the counties surrounding us, we’re imploring you, for your community, for the safety of your family, for the safety of yourself, do what the CDC asks,” Whaley said.

When asked about county restrictions, Whaley said they’ll do what it takes to protect hospital capacity, but hope people will follow guidelines so that can be avoided.

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