DeWine lays out circumstances where Ohio health orders can be lifted
Gov. DeWine says that a vaccine allows the state to set goals under which orders can be lifted.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has now officially outlined the circumstances under which the remaining health orders, including the state’s mask mandate, can be dropped.
During a statewide address on Thursday evening, the governor said all health orders would be dropped if the state could maintain fewer than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people for a period of two weeks.
The numbers are trending downward. According to the governor, the state recorded 178 cases per 100,000 people. He said the figure was 731 on Dec. 3, and 445 on Feb. 3.
“Achieving this goal is very doable,” DeWine said. “We can do this. And I know we will.”
The announcement came near the end of a twenty-minute speech in which the governor struck an optimistic but sober tone while championing the progress Ohio has made during the pandemic. During the address, he highlighted the state’s vaccine plan which has, according to the governor, so far resulting in 1.9 million Ohioans receiving at least one dose, including more than 200,000 educators.
At the same time, however, Gov. DeWine cautioned Ohioans against becoming complacent or impatient now that a potential end is in sight. Drawing a comparison to his own father’s experience losing a soldier just days before the end of the Second World War, the governor said there is something more tragic about a death that occurs when victory is on the horizon.
“The end of our fight is now in view,” said the governor. “But we must continue pressing forward in these final days. We want all Ohioans to complete this final mission together.”
This week marks a year since the COVID-19 pandemic first began affecting things here in Ohio. On March 3, 2020, Gov. DeWine announced the cancelation of the annual Arnold Fitness Expo. Soon after, he would order a limit on spectators at events, an extended closure of Ohio schools, and eventually a complete lockdown of non-essential businesses. Many of the more stringent health orders have been lifted over the course of months but the statewide mask mandate remains in place, as do limitations at sporting events and indoor gatherings, as well as social distancing guidelines.
“Through this most difficult year, we did what Ohioans always do,” DeWine said. “We rally together. We sacrificed. We showed the world our Ohio grit.”
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