COLUMBUS, OH — Gov. Mike DeWine warned Ohioans that the state is in a “precarious” position in its battle with the coronavirus.
The governor spoke with media on Monday and addressed the state’s widespread surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. He said he was alarmed at how rapidly the virus has spread among Ohioans over the past two weeks.
DeWine emphasized that the virus is spreading at social gatherings, as more people get together and ignore social distancing and masking rules. The governor said Ohioans are responsible for curbing the spread of the virus — and that means wearing masks.
“We’ve learned the value of a mask. These masks, when two people are wearing them, there’s a great ability to cut the spread down,” DeWine said.
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The governor said Ohioans living in rural areas are increasingly refusing to wear masks when they’re in public. He urged Ohioans to don masks whenever they’re around someone who isn’t part of their bubble.
“This is a more precarious time,” DeWine said. He emphasized that as colder weather forces Ohioans indoors, there’s a greater opportunity for the virus to spread.
“I understand people are sick of masks. I understand people are sick of distancing. I know they’re sick of everything. But we can see the end of this thing,” DeWine said.
State officials have developed a plan to distribute any forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine. DeWine said officials will continue to tweak that plan, even though there is no timeline on when a vaccine may be available.
Health officials confirmed 1,837 in the past 24 hours, the Ohio Department of Health reported. Since the start of the pandemic, Ohio has seen more than 183,000 COVID-19 cases.
Here are all of Monday’s COVID-19 numbers in Ohio:
These are not times to be complacent or comfortable. It is the time to be vigilant to protect yourself, your family, your friends and your neighbors.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) October 15, 2020
This article originally appeared on the Across Ohio Patch