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DeWine: '100% Of The State Is High-Incidence' For COVID-19

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wears a mask before his coronavirus press conference on June 23, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

For the last two weeks, Ohio has set new records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases. Health authorities are bracing for the situation to worsen as the holiday season nears.

Gov. Mike DeWine says the increases in Ohioans hospitalized with COVID-19, in intensive care units and on ventilators shows that the virus is widespread throughout all parts of Ohio: “100% of the state is high-incidence."

"That means that there are enough cases throughout the last two weeks to get to high incidence, that the risk of catching this virus in every county is real and certainly very concerning," DeWine says.

DeWine says congregating continues to be the culprit for spreading this virus. He cites a situation where 10 teachers are now quarantined in one county because they attended one of two Halloween parties where at least one of them had COVID-19. 

Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of University of Cincinnati Health System, says the hospitalizations are causing stress for staff at his medical facility and others throughout the state. If the situation worsens, Lofgren says it will affect patient care.

“And it would result in us needing to think about deferring non-COVID care, which we recognize has had and would have adverse effect," Lofgren says.

It's not just staff that are stretched to their limit – the influx of COVID-19 patients in rural areas has required facilities to reorganize their space.

“I have heard a lot of people have been converting spaces, just as we have, along these previous months to make more spaces appropriate for COVID patients," says Ronda Lehman, president of Mercy Health System in Lima.

Some of the patients have been referred to larger medical centers at times to help relieve stress on local hospitals.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.