DeWine reminds Ohioans to keep distance during Labor Day weekend

By Max Filby - Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

With Labor Day approaching, Ohio Gov. DeWine reminded Ohioans to keep their distance from others to prevent the spread of the virus.

DeWine said he was on a phone call with the White House on Monday about the upcoming holiday weekend. Vice President Mike Pence and others asked governors to speak directly to their states about the risks posed by traveling over Labor Day.

“They have a grave concern about Labor Day coming up. … We must remember that whenever there is more activity, there’s going to be more cases,” DeWine said.

The governor said it was clear that the July 4 weekend caused COVID-19 to spread more quickly after it had been stifled earlier.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, an additional 1,453 Ohioans had tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday.

Tuesday’s number was above a three-week average of 1,037 new cases reported per day. The total number of cases in Ohio now stands at 124,610, according to the state.

The new cases on Tuesday also mark the most newly reported ones in a day since the end of July, DeWine said. It’s likely that the increase is due to students returning to college campuses, the governor said.

More than 2.26 million COVID-19 tests have been administered in Ohio since the pandemic hit the state in March. The average positive test rate for Ohioans over the previous seven days remained at 4.4% on Sunday, the most recent day for which data is available, according to the state health department.

Deaths rose by 27 on Tuesday; that is more than the three-week average of 22 new deaths reported per day. In Ohio, 4,165 people have died of COVID-19, according to the state.

An additional 103 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Tuesday. That’s above a three-week average of 82 new hospitalizations reported a day, state data shows.

Admissions to intensive care units rose by 14 Tuesday, which is one more than a three-week average of 13 new ICU admissions per day. On Tuesday 777 people remained hospitalized with COVID-19, including 241 in ICUs and 127 on ventilators, according to the state.

Franklin County remains one of the hardest hit counties in Ohio. By Tuesday, the county had recorded 22,005 cases and 563 deaths, the state health department reported.

Cuyahoga County has the most deaths, 581, and the second-highest number of cases, 15,804. Hamilton County has the third-highest number of cases at 11,285, while Lucas County has the third most deaths, 343, according to the state.

Dispatch reporter Emma Scott Moran contributed to this story.

By Max Filby

Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

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