Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday encouraged Ohioans to view President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization as a lesson.
“It can happen to anyone,” he said. “No one is immune.”
In a wide-ranging news conference, DeWine reiterated the importance of masking, social distancing and contact tracing as the pandemic continues.
“While testing can be and is very important, even very frequent testing cannot substitute for masks and social distancing,” he said.
The governor also updated Ohioans on the most recent trends in COVID-19 diagnoses within the state, including multiple shifts away from late-summer patterns. The average age of a COVID-19 patient is rising again, having dropped slightly in the last weeks of summer and first weeks of the academic year.
The Ohio Department of Health found that people over the age of 60 made up 78% of all COVID-related hospitalizations in the state during the final week of September — the largest share they ever have, even in a pandemic that affects them disproportionately to begin with.
COVID-19 “hot spots” have relocated from the northeast portion of the state to the west, DeWine added. Although he said he believes all hospital systems have capacity to take in COVID-19 patients, and none are at risk of becoming overtaxed, the illness is becoming more concentrated in southwestern communities such as Cincinnati.
ODH reported 1,335 cases of COVID-19, 16 new deaths and 132 new hospitalizations between Monday and Tuesday.