COLUMBUS, OHIO – For the third straight day, the number of new positive coronavirus cases topped 2,000 statewide as the spread of what Gov. Mike DeWine referred to this week as Ohio’s "common enemy" continues to surge.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health announced 2,607 new confirmed cases and 15 new deaths over the previous 24 hours. The new total of cases is the highest this week when the state saw its total number of coronavirus cases top 200,000. Both the number of new cases and deaths over the past 24 hours are higher than rolling 21-day average.
On Tuesday, DeWine called for local officials across Ohio to "double down" on efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, which has now led to the death of 5,256 people statewide and has infected 205,347 residents. In a news conference Tuesday, DeWine said that 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are considered meeting the standard of high-instances areas, meaning that they have reported at least 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks.
DeWine said that starting with the counties hardest hit by the pandemic in recent weeks, he will begin to arrange meetings with local officials to discuss reassessing their COVID-19 plans. With the majority of counties across the state experiencing high transmission rates, some municipalities – including Cuyahoga County – are on the verge of the Purple zone, which could force local officials to reconsider restrictions as the number of cases continue to rise.
DeWine said that the numbers of hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units are trending in a “bad, bad” way and that Ohio counties need to change the way they are doing things if they expect results to change.
As of Wednesday, state health officials reported that 18,606 people have been hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March and that 3,790 people have been admitted to intensive care units.
As Halloween approaches, DeWine said that residents should not attend parties and should be aware of the football gameday gatherings they attend. The governor attributed most of the increase in cases to community spread and cited people not wearing mask or adhering to proper social distancing guidelines as a reason for the continued spread of the virus to every corner of the state.
“Think about canceling events,” DeWine said during his weekly media briefing on Tuesday.