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DeWine Pushes For Federal Relief Bill As Ohio Sees Continued Surge In COVID-19 Cases

A medical professional performs the COVID-19 test at a drive up testing site in Merrillville, Indiana.
Justin Hicks
Indiana Public Broadcasting
A medical professional performs the COVID-19 test at a drive up testing site in Merrillville, Indiana.

Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday released an open letter asking Congress to quickly pass another COVID-19 relief bill, as Ohio reported more than 3,000 coronavirus cases for the third time in a week.

Sunday's 3,303 new cases are short of the daily recordof 3,845 from Friday, but represent a continued spike in Ohio. 

Statewide, there have been 219,000 infections since the start of the pandemic, according to the Ohio Department of Health. As of Sunday, 5,303 people have died because of COVID-19. The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 has climbed to 19,220.  

"Today, and for some time to come, we also share a common enemy–one that cares not whether we voted for Donald Trump or Joe Biden; an enemy that is relentless and clearly on the march," DeWine wrote in his open letter. "This enemy has invaded our nation, stealing nearly 230,000 American lives and at least 5,300 Ohio lives–all on our own soil."

While Congressional discussions over a coronavirus aid package have been delayed until after the election, DeWine asked Ohioans to unify in taking personal responsibility to fight the pandemic in the meantime.

"Congress needs to quickly pass a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill," DeWine wrote. "But each one of us also has an obligation. We all need to protect each other–our families, our friends, our neighbors, and Ohioans we don't even know. We must do this to keep the virus at bay until we get the vaccine."

Both of Ohio's senators, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) have also calledon Congress to pass measures such as additional unemployment benefits and small business relief.

The Centers for Disease Control continue to recommend that people wash their hands frequently, avoid close contact with others and wear masks in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.