COLUMBUS, Ohio — As COVID-19 cases in Southeast Ohio continue to rise, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is now focusing on individual counties as it works to contain the virus.
DeWine spoke on the uptick in cases during his Thursday press briefing. I was unable to ask a question at the briefing due to time restrictions, but Danny Eldridge of Hannah News Service asked what I believe is an important question: will Ohio consider mandating mask-wearing while out in public?
DeWine replied by saying that time has not yet come -- but that all decisions will be made in cooperation with local health departments.
“We’re not there yet; we hope we don’t get there,” said DeWine. “This is a discussion that we will have, that our health department will have with their health department. That’s also a discussion I will have directly with the mayors and directly with county commissioners and whoever, in whatever area it is, is the right authority.”
DeWine explained the state’s plan as of now, which is shifting to a more regional outlook with specific counties and communities receiving more focus as necessary.
“So these are not going to be unilateral decisions. These are going to be decisions that we’re going to make and form by the data,” said DeWine. “We are looking at the state now in segments, we’re looking at it in regions, we’re looking at it in counties. And that’s what people should expect.”
DeWine is next set to address the public on Tuesday, June 30.