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Absent A Thanksgiving Surge, DeWine Again Asks Ohioans To Stay Home This Holiday

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during his April 1, 2020, coronavirus briefing.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during his April 1, 2020, coronavirus briefing.

Many feared Ohio's cases of coronavirus would "surge" post-Thanksgiving if families gathered as normal, but data show many in fact heeded the call, leading Gov. Mike DeWine to again urge Ohioans to hunker down for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

To be clear, cases went up, but "thankfully, we have not seen cases go up dramatically," DeWine said during a Monday press conference. "We're happy with what we saw. Overall, we should be pleased with what Ohioans did over that Thanksgiving weekend."

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, joined the conference virtually to remind everyone of the precautions repeated since March: stay home, wear your mask and wash hands.

"Don't eat or drink with people outside your household," he advised. "Rethink those travel plans. Let's work hard this holiday to keep each other safe."

Vanderhoff said it's important to remember that "the actions we take now will show up in weeks."

He later added people should not relax on the usual protocols because of the vaccine, which were distributed to health care workers and nursing home residents and staff last week. "It's much too soon to expect vaccines to bend that curve," he said.

'Ready And Anxious' For Vaccines

Speaking of vaccines, two residents of Ohio nursing homes joined via video conference to receive their COVID vaccination. Karyl Junkala is a resident at Bethany Village in Centerville. She said she was "ready and anxious" for her shot, later adding with a laugh that she "hardly felt a thing." Another resident at a nursing home in Andover said she "didn't even feel it go in."

Current confirmed cases in Ohio stand at 570,774, with 35,048 hospitalized and 7,423 deaths since the pandemic first began.

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Jennifer Merritt
Jennifer Merritt brings 15 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU, having served in various digital roles for such legacy publications as InStyle and Parade, as well as start-ups like Levo League and iVillage. She helped these outlets earn several awards, including MIN's 2015 Digital Team of the Year. She graduated from Rutgers University with a journalism major and English minor and has continued her education with professional development classes through the Poynter Institute, Columbia University and PMJA. Before moving to Cincinnati from New York in 2016, she vowed her son would always call it "soda" and not "pop." She has so far been successful in this endeavor.