Jul 9, 2020
Mike DeWine Ohio Press Conference Transcript July 9
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a COVID-19 press conference on July 9. DeWine said there will not be a statewide mask mandate despite rising coronavirus cases. Read the full coronavirus news briefing speech transcript here.
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Governor Mike DeWine: (01:58)
I’m wearing a Mount Union tie. Mount Union College State Senator Tim Schafer of Lancaster is a grad, as is Liz Conley, deputy chief of staff in the Ohio Senate. Another former staffer of mine, Jesse Shamp is also an alum.
Governor Mike DeWine: (02:17)
Birthdays today. Members of our cabinet. Ryan Gies, our Department of Youth Services director. [inaudible 00:02:25] Maxfield, Ohio Department of Commerce director. Dan Tierney, our press secretary. Happy birthday to all of you. Last week, we talked about the minimum requirements and steps that K through 12 schools will need to take to reopen. Today, we want to talk about our colleges and universities.
Governor Mike DeWine: (02:56)
167 institutions of higher learning in the State of Ohio. We are very, very proud of these schools. Both public and private, Ohio is blessed to have them. They also, of course, are preparing to start up school again. And for most of them, returning to campus. Colleges and universities really drive our economy. They drive the local economy of that village or city, but they also drive our economy in many other ways. They train our future workforce, they’re major employers, they conduct research in health and technology that makes Ohio a national leader. That’s why we’re going to do what we can to support them in this endeavor.
Governor Mike DeWine: (03:55)
The Ohio Department of Higher Education in consultation with our colleges, universities, and our Department of Health and health experts across the state produce guidance for our campuses to reopen for students, faculty, and staff in the safest way possible. And I want to give a shout out to Randy Gardner, the chancellor who has worked tirelessly on this, along with his team and had a lot of conversations with our colleges over the last several months. We’re releasing guidance today. And it is at www.Coronavirus.ohio.gov. This includes minimum operating standards that should occur on all campuses in the state, as well as best practices to further enhance those standards. By implementing these minimum requirements and implementing best practices, our higher education communities continue to educate students and prevent the spread of COVID 19.
Governor Mike DeWine: (05:03)
Ohio’s two year and four year colleges and universities are unique communities of students, faculty, staff. As they plan for their operations this fall, testing will be an integral part of their comprehensive strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19. Each of Ohio’s campuses must identify how it can best implement COVID-19 testing within the institution. Each campus must develop policies and procedures tailored to their particular campus, their particular community, all related to COVID-19 testing. And the isolation of those students who are showing symptoms, faculty and staff members as well, testing of these individuals showing symptoms should certainly take priority over all other testing tactics.
Governor Mike DeWine: (05:58)
Testing, we would hope would be completed within a short period of time after it’s done so that they can take the appropriate action. It is recommended that each campus either designate a university housing space to be set aside or secure a local living space to be left empty, so that may be useful to rapidly relocate individuals who live in residence halls, fraternities, sorority houses, or other institutional affiliate housing, those individuals who become symptomatic. Now we know that this costs money. We know that COVID-19 prevention efforts, safety precautions, educating students this school year, and a safe and healthy environment will be certainly more expensive than it has been in the years past. And that is a significant burden.
Governor Mike DeWine: (06:54)
So to help address these increasing costs, I’ve spoken and worked with speaker householder, Senate President Larry [inaudible 00:00:07:06], as well as Democrat leaders, [inaudible 00:07:08] and Sykes. All five of us have looked at this. All five of us have had our teams working on this, and we believe we have come up with something that will be very helpful to both our K through 12 schools, as well as our colleges and universities, both public and private. To start that, we’re requesting that the controlling board that scheduled a meet, I believe on Monday, approve our initial request on Monday to allocate $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K through 12, from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help meet these increasing costs.
Governor Mike DeWine: (07:55)
As I said, we hope to have additional money. And the figure that we have been talking about, for example, K through 12 is certainly higher than that initial $100 million, but we wanted to get this $100 million out and we want to let the schools be able to plan based upon that money, that money coming. As I said, this money comes from federal CARES Act dollars. I want to thank our members of the federal Congress, both in the House and the Senate for providing these care dollars. Funding comes from federal CARE Act dollars, and schools will be able to use it to meet their unique individual needs. We intend for this funding to be flexible, for example, and these are just examples. A community college may need assistance funding testing at their student health center. A school district, a local school district may need a nurse to help with symptoms, assessment. A university could use funding to purchase PPE.
Governor Mike DeWine: (09:03)
These are just all examples of many things, many ways that this money could be spent. Some may even choose to use this funding to provide connectivity to students and grow distance learning options. The bottom line is that we intend these funds to be used to serve students, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And again, we want our kids back in school. We want them safe and this money will help achieve that. At the K through 12 level, we intend to make the funding available to all public and private schools. For Ohio’s higher educational institutions, we plan to make this available to two and four year colleges and universities, both public and private, including adult career tech providers.
Governor Mike DeWine: (09:48)
To put it simply if you educate students in Ohio, we want to provide additional support with some of the federal funding that we have available. Our request in regard to the controlling board that we’re asking the controlling board, there is additional money though, that I would point out that is being made available through the CARES Act for education in the State of Ohio. $440 million in direct CARES Act funding is available for our K through 12 schools, $440 million.
Governor Mike DeWine: (10:36)
This is money that when they incur a cost, that they can draw this money down. The state’s colleges and universities also receive more than $190 million of direct federal funding. So the two figures I’ve given you, $440 million for K through 12, $190 million for higher education in the State of Ohio. That is in addition to the money that we’re asking the state controlling board to approve on Monday. We hope that schools take advantage of this funding. We certainly realize however that it may not cover all of the increased expenses schools face during this pandemic. We’re going to continue to look, to see if we can provide additional funds in the future. But we wanted to get started with these dollars. I want to talk about homelessness grant.
Governor Mike DeWine: (11:33)
In April, I announced a $1 million grant to the Coalition of Homelessness and Housing to support homelessness prevention efforts and to rapidly rehouse individuals and families who were in fact experiencing homelessness. Those who experience homelessness certainly can be a great risk of contracting COVID, especially those in congregate facilities, such as homeless shelters. Therefore, it is important to do everything we can to keep them out of those situations. With these resources, we’re going to be able to keep hundreds of Ohioans safely housed during this pandemic. Today, I’m announcing an additional $15 million grant to ensure Ohioans can maintain their housing during this time. COVID-19 is still very, very much with us. I don’t have to remind anybody of that. And these resources will help thousands of families across our state stay housed. Stay housed, stay healthy, and get ready for the future.
Governor Mike DeWine: (12:41)
We are all now as the virus spreads, we’re all starting to experience knowing people who have come down with COVID 19. We received word today that someone on my staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual has been working from home since the start of this pandemic. We wish the person the best as they recover. And this, I guess is just a reminder for everyone that this virus is very, very, very much with us. Let’s go and look at the data for the day.
Governor Mike DeWine: (13:26)
First, we’ll start with the key indicators. And again, starting with the cases, we’re seeing cases hover above a thousand a day, which is significantly higher than certainly they were before. We are reporting today, 1,150 new cases that we’ve learned about from local health departments during the last 24 hours. This is a little bit lower than our peak last week, but it’s still considerably higher than where we were three weeks ago. This is consistent with the pattern we’ve seen and are continuing to see where the number of new cases is much higher than it was. Looking at the rest of the data, you’ll see here, the deaths, the last 24 hours were 15 of our fellow citizens. The 21 day average is 18. So that’s a little bit under that.
Governor Mike DeWine: (14:28)
The hospitalization is up above the 21 day average. That’s 81 versus a average of 70 for 21 days. And the ICU admissions is up a little bit statewide as well. And when we get to the further data, we’ll kind of look at this as it breaks out by region of the state.
Governor Mike DeWine: (14:55)
Let’s look, Eric, at the next one. And let me just also point out that some of these are in fact lagging indicators, certainly in regard to hospitalization. And when we get to new cases, that is even further out before we see people go to the hospital or we see them get into ICU. This is the current confirmed COVID-19 patient count in Ohio, hospitals by day. The previous slide depicted the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations that we have reported. This slide, also it looks at hospitalizations, but it shows the daily number of COVID-19 patients that are currently in Ohio hospitals. You can see from this slide that on June 26th, for example, there were 619 COVID-19 patients in hospitals around the State of Ohio. Since then, we’ve increased that. And as of today, a snapshot as of today, 905. So June 26, 619. Today, 905 COVID patients in our hospitals, in the State of Ohio.
Governor Mike DeWine: (16:12)
During the past few weeks, this increase has been steady, which is certainly concerning as we see these numbers go up. Let’s turn to the next slide, which is the testing and positivity slide. We can continue to increase our testing capacity in Ohio during the last few weeks. We know that testing is an important component of the ongoing monitoring of this virus. We do see a different effect. And I ask our team about this today. This is a number we look at. We have positivity numbers statewide. So in other words of the tests that were done, what percentage were positive. Snapshot, the last day we have available, 6.4%. That has hovered between 4% and 6% for some time. This is a higher number. We don’t particularly like that number, but we are seeing for whatever reason in reporting then on the weekends, the positivity number is just less.
Governor Mike DeWine: (17:21)
Obviously, it’s who’s getting tested and where they’re getting tested. So we’re not really sure. So the most important thing is really to look at this in a seven day average. And we’ll try in the future, not only to show you this for the day, but I think the seven day average gives us probably a much better look at what is going on. But the positivity rate reported for July 7th, which was 6.4%, which is Ohio’s highest since May 25th.
Governor Mike DeWine: (18:04)
Now we’re going to look at the new risk level map, and you will obviously see some changes and I’m going to go through that. We’re going to do this once a week. We’re doing it basically on Wednesday. Once the Wednesday data comes out, then our team starts working with that data. Our data team has working, analyzing the data over the past week, updated the status of our counties on the public health alert system. I want to remind everyone that there are a number of different data points that we look at. Three of the data points have to do with cases. The team looks at new cases per capita. They determine if there is a sustained increase in new cases, they look at the proportion of cases that are not in a congregate setting.
Governor Mike DeWine: (19:06)
Another group of indicators looks at symptoms. They looked for a sustained increase in emergency department visits. Sustained increase in outpatient visits, such as people going to see their doctor’s office with suspected or confirmed cases. The team also looks for sustained increases in new COVID-19 hospitalizations and increase in intensive care unit bed occupancy. Additional indicators will ultimately be factors, but are not yet, will include contact tracing, test per capita, and percent positivity. We do not have, for example, the test positivity broken down yet. We don’t have the ability to do that by county, but we are certainly looking at that. And again to review, counties that meet zero to one indicators are public health advisory level one yellow. Level two orange is triggered when two to three public health indicators are met. For counties that meet four to five indicators, they’re listed as level three, which is the red counties.
Governor Mike DeWine: (20:07)
Once a county is at level three, the additional factor that then comes into play is that they cannot improve their risk level category unless cases dropped below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s threshold for high incidents. For high incidents. And that is 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks. For a county to be considered level four or purple, a county must trigger six or more indicators during two reporting periods in a row.
Governor Mike DeWine: (20:42)
Once the county has a level four, it cannot improve its risk level until it’s not triggered six or more indicators for two consecutive reporting periods. So let’s look at at the map and we’ll kind of go through these counties one by one. Let’s start with Hamilton County.
Governor Mike DeWine: (21:08)
Hamilton County you’ll see has moved up. It was red. It is now on what we call the watch list, which means it basically has met the criteria to go purple, but we’re going to allow a week to elapse and look at the data again in another week before we actually move it into that purple and before it looks purple on the map. Hamilton County. During the last three weeks, Hamilton County’s COVID-19 cases increased along with several other healthcare indicators. Between June 24th and June 30th, Hamilton County had 1,124 cases reported. The largest number of COVID-19 weekly cases reported there since the beginning of the pandemic. From June 16th to June 30th, the average new cases per day doubled from 82 to 161, 82 to 161. Excuse me.
Governor Mike DeWine: (22:21)
One of the things that the data team reminds me is that on a lot of this data, once you hit July 1, the data is incomplete. So you may see us referring for example, to another period, June 16th, as I just did to the 30th, where we said the new cases per day doubled from 82 to 161. We’re citing that because July 1 onward, that’s still fluid. And those cases are still coming in. As my team reminds me due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers may continue to grow for this reporting period.
Governor Mike DeWine: (23:03)
The community continues to experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 in Hamilton County. For example, from June 16th, if you look at June 16th and June 30th, visits for COVID 19 to the emergency department doubled from an average of 11 per day to 22 per day. More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19 between June 16th and July 2. Average outpatient visits more than tripled, more than tripled from 52 to 172 visits per day. In recent weeks, over 86% of the cases are not in congregate settings. Again, signaling significant transmission in the broader community. Hamilton County also hit a new threshold for the overall utilization rate for regional intensive care unit beds, which succeeded 80% during five of the last seven days.
Governor Mike DeWine: (24:05)
And so, that last indicator is an indicator for the route that is used by the region as well. So you’ll see that indicator used for Claremont County as well as Butler County. That’s the only indicator that is regional because that’s how people use ICU units. Someone, for example, in Butler County, if they’re in ICU, they may certainly be in Hamilton County. So that metric moving up had an impact on those three counties that you see in the farthest Southwestern part of the State of Ohio. Let me move to Butler County. During the last three weeks, Butler County’s COVID-19 cases increased, along with several other healthcare indicators. Between June 24th and June 30th, Butler County has 181 cases reported. The-
Governor Mike DeWine: (25:03)
Since June 30th Butler County had 181 cases reported, the largest number of COVID-19 weekly cases reported for them since the beginning of the pandemic. From June 16th until July 3rd, the average new cases per day doubled from 15 to 29. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers certainly may continue to grow for this reporting period. The community continues to experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 symptoms. From June 16th, July 4th, visits for COVID-19 symptoms to the emergency department tripled from an average of two per day to seven per day.
Governor Mike DeWine: (25:42)
More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19 between June 16th and June, excuse me, between June 16th and July 7th. The average outpatient visits more than doubled from 15 to 38 visits per day. Again, these are the early indicators. And again, as every County in that region did, Butler also hit a new threshold for the overall utilization rate for regional intensive care unit beds, which exceeded 80% during five over the last seven days. Again, that isn’t an indicator that that is a regional problem because that’s where individuals go regionally for intensive care unit beds.
Governor Mike DeWine: (26:32)
Let’s jump up to Cuyahoga County. During the last three weeks Cuyahoga County’s COVID-19 cases increased along with several other healthcare indicators. Between June 24 and June 30th, Cuyahoga County had 999 cases reported the largest number of COVID weekly cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic. From June 16th until June 28th, the average new cases per day, more than doubled from 66 to 151. Most of the cases in Cuyahoga County were in non congregate settings during the last three weeks.
Governor Mike DeWine: (27:09)
Cuyahoga County residents are seeking care for COVID-19 related concerns at higher levels than ever before. For example, from June 16th, July 1, compare that visits for COVID-19, the emergency department more than doubled from an average of 19 per day to 50 per day. Over the same period, the average number of outpatient visits with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis increased with 41 to 233, 41 to 233. And that was the average number of outpatient visits with suspected or confirmed COVID. Finally, more residents of Cuyahoga County were admitted to the hospitals for COVID-19. The average hospital admission per day, more than doubled from seven on June 6 to 20 on July 2nd. Let me go back to Claremont County and again in our same region other state-
Governor Mike DeWine: (28:17)
During the last three weeks, Clermont County’s COVID-19 cases increased along with several other health care indicators. From June 16th until June 30th, the average new cases per day, doubled from four to nine. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers may obviously continue to grow for this period. The community continues to experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 symptoms. More people are visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19. Between June 16th and July 2nd, the average outpatient visits nearly tripled from nine today to 25 visits per day. In recent weeks, over 94% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community, community spread. Clermont County also hit a new threshold of course, as we said, for the overall utilization rate for regional intensive care unit beds, which exceeded 80% during five over the last seven days.
Governor Mike DeWine: (29:23)
We’ll move to Fairfield County. During the last three weeks, Fairfield County’s COVID- 19 cases have increased along with several other health care indicators. Fairfield County report a total of 85 cases per 100,000 residents during the last 14 days exceeding any previous two week period. Over 20% of Fairfield County’s total cases have been in the last two weeks. So a mark, mark change in Fairfield. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers of course may continue to grow for this period. More people are visiting their doctors being diagnosed with COVID-19 between June 16th and July 2nd, the average outpatient visits increased from 11 to 16 per day. In recent weeks, over 88% of the cases are not in Congress settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community.
Governor Mike DeWine: (30:18)
Let’s turn to Franklin County. And you will note in Franklin County and we’ll get to this in a minute, but we had them on the watch list. Our data team has now removed them from the watch list, so that is a good thing. This week, Franklin County was removed from the watch list due to a decrease in the number of residents being admitted to the hospital based on what COVID-19 diagnosis, but it still remains as level three alert red. Franklin County has reported nearly 2200 cases during the last 14 days, which means the county exceeds the high incidents category for COVID-19 is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID-19 cases have increased along with several other healthcare indicators. Beginning on June 16th, Franklin County had an average of 94 cases per day and reached an average of 175 cases per day by July 2nd. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers may continue to grow for this period. The community continues to experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 between June 16th and July 7. Average outpatient visits increased from 171 to 302 visits per day. Similarly, more residents are also going to the emergency department for COVID like symptoms with average daily numbers growing from 27 visits on June 16th, to 56 visits on July 4th. Lorain County, during the last of three weeks, Lorain County’s COVID-19 cases have increased. Lorain County has reported more than 160 cases during the last 14 days. Cases more than doubled from an average of 5.5 cases on June 6th to an average of 14 cases on June 29th. The community is also experiencing early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 symptoms. From June 16th to June 30th visits for COVID-19 to the emergency department, double from an average of three per day to six per day.
Governor Mike DeWine: (32:41)
More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19 from June 16th to July 2nd. Outpatient visits more than tripled from an average of eight visits per day to 26. And in recent weeks over 91% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community. Recent community outbreaks includes settings such as workplaces, a childcare center and a faith based organization. Down to Montgomery County, during the last three weeks, Montgomery County’s COVID-19 cases have increased. Montgomery County has reported more than 600 cases during the last 14 days, which means the county has categorized it’s high incidence for COVID-19 is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Case increases from an average of 41 cases on June 16th to the average of 50 cases on June 30th. Communities continuing to experience early signs that people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 symptoms. From July 16th to July 2nd, visits for COVID-19 to the emergency room increased from an average of 9 per day to 16.
Governor Mike DeWine: (33:51)
More people are also visiting their doctors being diagnosed with COVID-19. From June 16th to July 3rd, outpatient visits nearly quadrupled from an average of 14 visits per day to 48. Over 63% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling transmission in the broader community. The number of COVID-19 positive patients in the West Central regions hospital beds, ICUs, know ventilators has tripled since the beginning of June. Recent community outbreaks includes settings such as workplaces, restaurants and nursing homes. Pickaway County. During the last three weeks Pickaway County’s COVID-19 cases increased along with several other healthcare indicators. From June 16th until July 2nd, the average new cases per day increase from one to four. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers may continue to grow. The community has experienced early signs that more people are seeking medical care between June 16th and July 7th. The average outpatient visits increased from eight to 11.
Governor Mike DeWine: (34:59)
In recent weeks over 81% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the community. Pickaway County’s recent outbreaks include a restaurant and a faith based organization. Let me move to Summit County. During the last three weeks Summit County’s COVID-19 cases increased along with several other healthcare indicators. During the last two weeks, Summit County had a total of 59 cases per 100,000. From June 16th until June 30th, the average new cases per day, nearly tripled from 11 to 30. Due to clinical and reporting lags, of course, these may increase sum. The community experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care. For example, from June 16th to June 30th visits for COVID-19 to the emergency department increased from an average of 5.5 per day to 8.5. More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19. Between June 16th and July 2nd, the average outpatient visits nearly tripled from 11 to 29 visits per day. Summit County currently has faith-based, workplace and longterm care facility outbreaks.
Governor Mike DeWine: (36:11)
Trumbull County, let’s take a look at Trumbull County. During the last three weeks, Trumbull County’s COVID cases have increased along with several other health care indicators. During the last two weeks, Trumbull County had a total of 68 cases per 100,000 residents. From June 16th until the 27th of June, the average new cases per day, doubled from eight to 17. More residents are visiting the emergency department from June 16th to the 29th. Visits for COVID-19 to the emergency department increased from an average of three per day to eight per day.
Governor Mike DeWine: (36:49)
Trumbull County residents are being admitted to the hospital. The average number growing from one on June 16th to four on July 1. Trumbull County currently has an outbreak in an apartment complex and several longterm care facilities. Wood County, during the last three weeks Wood County’s COVID-19 cases have increased along with several other indicators. During the last two weeks, Wood County had a total of 63 cases per 100,000 residents. Over 18% of Wood County’s total cases have been in the last two weeks. From June 16th until July 11th, the average daily new cases significantly increased from less than one to nine. Over 89% of the cases are not in congregate settings signaling that we do have community spread.
Governor Mike DeWine: (37:38)
The community is also experiencing early signs of that people are seeking medical care for COVID-19. Between June 16th and July 2nd, the average outpatient visits nearly doubled from three to six per day. Yes, let me look here. We had a couple other thing. John, I’m going to look at this map a moment I’m going to refer to you and then I’ll come right back and then we’ll get to questions.
Sure. Good afternoon and I have a few things on the job training, medical advancement and sports fronts. And let me start with the launch of IMAP which is a job training program. Many of you have heard me talk about Tech Credit, which is our effort to get employers to upgrade, up-skill the people in their workforce and as people are trying to get back to work. If you look at the OhioMeansJobs website, you see there’s 120,000 jobs on there that are currently available. 60,000 of them pay more than $50,000 a year. But if you look, you’re going to see the tech skills are an important part of landing, those higher paying jobs that are part of our landscape.
And so we’re announcing today, the $2.5 million grant opportunity under the Individual Micro-credential Assistant Program or IMAP as we’re calling it today, this is for the providers to register so that they can provide these skills. The grant application is open to those training providers today, those can be universities, colleges, our Ohio technical career centers and private sector training groups as we know that there are a lot of them that are really doing a great job of getting the tech skills developed in their workforce. And this program was created in partnership with the Ohio Legislature last year. I want to thank them for their efforts. It will provide up to $3,000 of training reimbursement for an individual.
And you can find out more information at, IMAP, I-M-A-P.development.ohio.gov. We’re going to ask the training providers first to go and apply for this, which we’ll wrap up on July 24th and then we’ll have an announcement of how individuals can go about applying for this. But wanted to put it on their radar screen, to get the training providers involved so that they can qualify for this and we can get people trained up to tackle some of these opportunities that are growing as we come out of the economic slowdown. And as we do that, I also want to highlight shared work and the shared work executive order that the governor signed on July the 2nd. This will allow the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to draw down federal dollars authorized under the cares act for the shared work program.
And I’ve talked about shared work before, but let me just give a quick review of this because this is a great program for employers and employees. It’s designed to keep people working. And we know that when you have an economic slowdown, that you may not have enough work for all of your employees, but you want to keep them on the job, you want to retain their talent for when the economy picks back up and you can use them full time. Well, this program shared work is designed for this kind of activity. And let me give you a few details on how it works. Employers who want to reduce staff and reduce their hours in a uniform percentage between 10 and 50%. So they’re going to reduce hours for employees between 10 and 50% of a maximum up to 52 weeks. This will keep people employed at the same time those employees will receive shared work compensation for the remaining hours, which is prorated as an unemployment benefit.
So you can work, draw down your salary for that and then for those hours that the employer is shortening that, you can draw down unemployment compensation. And the program is easy to use and gives a lot of flexibility to employers. Just so you know, since March the 15th, when we started to push this, 909 employers have used it, 1,680 shared work Ohio plans have been advanced. And that has allowed 46,352 employees to stay on the job and still have the opportunity to reduce their work and also get compensated for the hours that they’re not working. So that’s really working well to keep people employed in Ohio and we want to keep that going.
And then let me also add some good news on the medical front. And I want to remind people about plasma donation on coronavirus.ohio.gov, under our checklist station, you’ll find some resources about donating plasma. Convalescent plasma is very helpful, it’s rich in antibodies that could be used to attack COVID-19 as a treatment for the severity of the virus and for the length of duration. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating, you can find more information on how to donate at redcrossblood.org/plasmaforcovid. So go to the Red Cross website, redcrossblood.org/plasmaforcovid. Or you can contact any Red Cross local organization or plasma donor center. OSU Wexner Medical Center is also a place that you can contact for ways to help, The Hoxworth Blood Center at the University of Cincinnati is another place that is also collecting it. You can find that at hoxworth.org.
I know that Dr. Dean Kereiakes at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, and I have talked about this many times, he’s told me that even though this is in the investigative stage, that Ohio medical facilities are having success with this. So plasma donation, Ohio innovators in the medical care field are using this to help people not only survive when they’re in difficult situations, but to even shorten the stay for people who are there. And then finally, we talk a lot about sports and the return to play plan. Many non-contact sports have been active. We have a temporary order under specified circumstances to allow contact, to go forward until the 15th of next week. We’ve launched the #IWantASeason hashtag that we’re using to try to remind young people that if they want to have a season, if they want to control the spread of coronavirus to their teammates and their family, they should wear a mask and socially distance, very important.
But we’ll have more guidance. I know people want to plan. When you think about sports and some of the contact sports that we don’t have future guidance on, that will be coming next week, wanted to keep you informed on that. We’re trying to have these great conversations on what we’re learning, talking with the sports organizations from around the state, that’s Ohio High School Athletic Association, our college and professional teams to make sure that we are learning on how to keep people safe, allowing them to participate. And we will be forthcoming with more information starting sometime next week. So that’s my quick update on all of those topics. Please take advantage of the training opportunity. Please donate plasma if you’ve had COVID and you want to help somebody else out. So we’ll conclude that and turn back to the governor for a couple of more items.
Governor Mike DeWine: (45:50)
Thank you very much. Just a couple of other comments before we get to questions. One thing to note on the map is that Huron County was moved down barely. It was that close, but we’re going to follow these numbers. And so that’s a good thing. We’re very happy about that. And we hope that that continues to see other counties get a lower level of risk. Also would mention we had 18 counties moved from yellow to orange of note, Highland County met two indicators, which you would move it, but it still remains yellow because they’re a low incident County. This means they have under the criteria we’ve set up, they have fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 for a two week period, which automatically makes them according to our order, a level one County.
Governor Mike DeWine: (46:50)
So apologize for taking as long to go through each County. I wanted people who are watching this from one of these counties to at least be able to hear. I suspect what we will do going forward is we’ll try to be a little crisper in the summarization of the counties. This is going to be posted a basic summary of each of the red counties. That will in fact be posted so you’ll be able to go online and look at that particular county. And again, we have some counties moving around, a couple of them in the right direction, some in the wrong direction. But the goal here is to try to keep you informed where your county is, the best that we can do that.
Governor Mike DeWine: (47:42)
We have data that we’ve shared with you, but we also want to put it into a category or again, a color that makes it easier I think to understand, particularly when you look at the map. And again, those counties that are on watch, we see Hamilton Butler, Cuyahoga County. That means that they really, for one week qualified to go into the purple and we’re not putting them into the purple until they do it two weeks we put a asterisk there or a star there that designates that they are on that kind of a watch list. So we’re ready for questions.
Randy Ludlow: (48:22)
Good afternoon governor, Randy Ludlow with the Columbus Dispatch. Obviously with the designation of these new red counties, we have mass orders expanding farther still. Why did you feel the need for the first time during this pandemic to directly regulate people attending a religious gathering and why are you convinced this is allowed under the first amendment? What specific examples of COVID spread can you cite from religious gatherings that would require all congregants to wear masks?
Governor Mike DeWine: (49:00)
Randy, that’s a very good question. And one of things I want to assure everyone is that Ohio has been a leader in this, in the sense that we have never ever closed down any religious activity, none. We do not intend to going forward. We have not regulated in any way funerals. We’ve not regulated baptisms, marriages, anything. And it’s because we thought that was the right thing to do that. This is a great tradition in our country. And we are not in any way prohibiting anyone from going to church now. What we’re simply saying is that we do have examples and Randy, I’ll get you the examples, but there’s certainly been reported in the Columbus Dispatch. They’ve been reported in other papers and I can tell you from talking to our health directors, these occur-
Governor Mike DeWine: (50:03)
… tell you from talking to our health directors these occur, and it should not be a surprise. Whenever we just bring people together, we see that. And we see in large gatherings. And so when I’ve talked to pastors, I’ve said, “Just be careful.” I get texts all the time, “What can we do?” I say, “Look, you can do anything, but you need to be careful.”
Governor Mike DeWine: (50:29)
So we put on in this order what we consider to be the minimal, and that is that following best medical guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19, in those counties that are red or purple, that people who are attending a service, when they can, whole bunch of exceptions, medical exceptions, but that they should wear a mask. We have provided that the person officiating it certainly does not have to wear a mask during the time that they’re talking, or in any way need to not have a mask on. Our interpretation of that is going to be broad. So simply if you have a reader who stands up and reads, that’s fine. If you have someone distributing communion, that’s fine, if there’s some reason they can’t have the mask on. It’s usually going to be speaking roles, that may get in the way of them speaking. So it’s a very light touch, but for us to ignore significant gatherings that do in fact occur didn’t really seem to make sense. And so that’s why we did it, is for protection of our fellow citizens, and it’s something that we hope does not last very long.
Governor Mike DeWine: (51:58)
What we hope is that if we all do this, we all wear a mask, if we keep distance, that these counties will move out of red. Now, we hope people continue to wear a mask, but when they’re red, we have problems. Trend lines are all the wrong direction, and we feel very, very strongly that, look, we’ve got to protect people, and we’ve got to … When you’re wearing a mask, you’re generally wearing it for other people. And so this is, I believe, the thing that we need to do to get us out of this. Look, let’s keep our eye on the ball. Our eye, what we’re aiming to do here is to have fall where we have kids back in school, have fall, and do fall sports. Have Friday night football. These are all things that we all want to see and do, and what we do in the next 30 days or so is frankly going to determine how all that works out. So that’s why we did it.
Speaker 1: (53:03)
Thank you, Governor.
Jack Windsor: (53:09)
Jack Windsor, WMFD TV, Mansfield. Governor, 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties have had less than 10 deaths since November, 2019. 13 of those have had zero. They’ve seen declining hospitalizations and almost no deaths, yet they’re in code yellow. The CDC shows an entire US map in the green, but we don’t even have a green label on our map in Ohio. The CDC also reported the 10th straight week of declining deaths. They indicated that COVID may go below the epidemic threshold. Since the start of the pandemic up to today, not a single one of the seven counties coded red before today had ICU utilization above 80%, and COVID-specific ICU utilization was under 10% in all seven counties. This does not reflect a pandemic or epidemic environment, yet these counties are in code red. We’re in a heightened state of fear that has had an adverse effect on people, schools, and businesses. Governor, can you explain why we’re being mandated more now and being told to be more afraid, even though our own state numbers and the CDC numbers tell a different story? And then side note, any update on the antibody testing we discussed last week?
Governor Mike DeWine: (54:21)
Well, I’ll let the Lieutenant Governor talk about antibody testing, but I’ll go first. We should not fear. We should not live our lives in fear. What we should be is what Ohioans have always been, and that is optimistic about the future. We have been a people who have felt that we could control our destiny. We can control the future. And so what we do in the next 30 days is going to determine if we’re going to be able to do all the things that we want to do.
Governor Mike DeWine: (54:56)
These are with the exception of one thing, and that is that we’re putting a mask on out in public, without exception. There is no mandate associated with any of these. If you’re yellow, you’re yellow. If you’re orange, you’re orange. Life can go on the same way. What we’re trying to do that we’ve done throughout this is to tell people all the data that we know, and this is not just case numbers. It’s not just one thing. It’s seven separate indicators that indicate, and four of the seven are directional. That was, “Which direction are we heading?” And so this gives us all an opportunity to change the future.
Governor Mike DeWine: (55:48)
I’ve talked about being a fan of Back to the Future movies, which kind of dates me, I guess, but they’re still fun to watch. But the point is, there’s alternative futures. There always are. It’s which pathway we take, what we do, and having the best information so that Ohioans can make those decisions is what we owe to give to the public.
Governor Mike DeWine: (56:13)
For three months, I’ve had many of my friends who said, “Mike, why don’t you give us data county by county? My county is not the same as somebody else’s county. My county is doing okay.” Okay. We’re trying to give now the data based upon objective data about where every single county is every week. Will these numbers change? Will these colors change? Yeah, they’re going to change some. We hope we start getting rid of the red, and we hope we don’t see purple, and we hope any kind of order to wear a mask, we hope people continue to do it, because that’s the way we can drive these numbers down. That’s the way we can stop the spread, and that’s what we hope for. But this is not about fear. This is about us controlling our future. Ohioans controlling their own destiny, and they need information to be able to do that. Jon?
Yeah. Jack, I don’t have any update for you on antibody testing today. If I can find something, I’ve texted back to talk to the staff about if there’s any updates, but I will give a full report on that on Tuesday, which I had planned to do, about the progress of where things come. So if I don’t have something today, I will have it by the beginning of next week.
Molly Martinez: (57:44)
Hi, Governor. Hi, Lieutenant Governor. This is Molly Martinez with Spectrum News. The virus has infiltrated at least one of the chambers. Governor DeWine, you have a staffer now that has unfortunately tested positive, and many more staffers are becoming infected, yet it seems there isn’t much transparency, and many staffers are finding out they’ve been exposed from news outlets. Can you comment on why you think that is?
Governor Mike DeWine: (58:09)
No. We’re going to try. We found out this morning about a member of our staff. We wanted to make that public. The person that we’re talking about, who I know very, very well, has been working from home, so obviously did not get it in the office, but we’re going to try to share any information that we have. That’s what we’re going to do.
Dan Pearlman: (58:41)
Governor DeWine, Dan Pearlman with NBC4 here in Columbus. Franklin County is no longer on the watch list for approaching level four on the public health advisory system, but two neighboring counties, Pickaway and Fairfield, are now at level three. Should residents in those counties be concerned that perhaps the virus is spreading from Franklin County outward?
Governor Mike DeWine: (59:00)
I think that would be too simplistic an explanation. I don’t think anyone really knows. The health directors in those two counties probably can give you some indication based on the tracing that they’re doing, and when they talk to residents of the county who have come down with COVID-19. And we’re trying to get better data for me and for you so that we can share that, but I cannot answer that question. It would only be speculation. I’m not going to do that. But those health directors probably, I can’t speak for them, but they probably have some indication of where their citizens who are getting infected, where they may have been. Now, as we all know, there’s some cases where people just don’t know where, they don’t know where they got it, because you’ve got people who have no symptoms, and so they may have been with somebody, but they didn’t know they got it from them, and that person still to this day doesn’t know they have it. So the answer is, I don’t know. I can’t really answer it.
Karin Johnson: (01:00:23)
Good afternoon, Governor. Karin Johnson, WLWT in Cincinnati. There are a lot of school districts asking about this money. Obviously they all want a piece of the pie. When will this money be available? How can they go about getting this? And if school districts are going to be doing a higher level of testing, does this mean that sports clubs and other groups will be able to be up and running again?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:00:48)
Well, as far as the money, the original money from the CARES Act, my understanding is they simply draw it down. When they spend money on something that qualifies, they then can draw that money down. I was on a call with the Vice President the other day, and they noted that I think less than 5% of this money has been drawn down, but that’s not unusual. One would assume as school gets ready to start that more of that money will be drawn down. It’s a significant amount of money, as we outline.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:01:21)
As far as the new money that we’re going to take and designate from the CARES dollars that we have, and something we’ve worked with the legislature on, that money will be in front of the controlling board on Monday. And as soon as they vote on that, assuming that they release that money, then the process can start to release that money. Jon, you want to add?
Yeah. We can’t spend money we don’t have yet, so we’re going to wait on the legislature to get this done, and I’m sure they’ll be enthusiastic about supporting schools. And look, we know that there are going to be COVID-related expenses, and we just wanted to let them know and signal to them that there are going to be resources on that, and we will fill in the details to that as it goes forward. But I know, to the point of your question, schools are nervous. They know that these things are out there. What we’re trying to do today is to let them know that there is a plan to help support those COVID-related expenses.
Tristan Navera: (01:02:31)
Hi, Governor. Tristan Navera From Columbus Business First. So the census bureau estimates last month that about 500,000 Ohioans struggled to pay their rent. Eviction moratoriums are ending, and court is back in session around the state. You announced today $15 million for housing stability funds, but last month you got a letter from 180 organizations saying the number needed was probably closer to $100 million because they estimated that as many as 700,000 Ohioans could be at risk of eviction this year. So why $15 million? Do you foresee the need for more in the future, or other kinds of funding?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:03:09)
We’ll certainly monitor it and we’ll see how things are going. We’re certainly open. Obviously you have to find the money somewhere, but this is certainly important, and we’re going to monitor it. Absolutely.
Jim Otte: (01:03:30)
Hi, Governor. Jim Otte from WHIO TV in Dayton, Ohio. There’s a certain state lawmaker from the Miami Valley who publicly is not just questioning, but floating multiple theories about what really is behind the data that you’ve been talking about for the last couple of months. That same lawmaker is also now encouraging people publicly to stop being tested. Your reaction to that? And how do you counteract that from your position?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:04:04)
Well, I think that’s shocking, that anyone would recommend to their fellow citizens who might have symptoms that they not be tested. It’s hard for me to believe, frankly. If you have any indication that you have COVID-19, the right thing to do to be tested. If in fact you are, then try to figure out how to alert, and the health department will help you, but figuring out how to alert people who you may have infected, and so they in turn can be tested, and if they test positive, that they hunker down a little bit and not be infecting other people. If we’re going to keep our businesses open, if we’re going to give people confidence that they can go out in public, we got to do two things. We’ve got to keep masks on. We’ve got to keep some distance, and we got to test, and test, and test. Now, testing by itself does not solve all our problems, but if we test, we then can isolate the virus. So I just don’t know what to say, but that would just not be the right thing to do, to do that.
Governor, can I add a couple of thoughts to that? All of these, everything we’re asking people to do, it’s not always about you. It’s about other people. I know that just like we’re talking about high school students about wearing masks and socially distance, we know that statistically, the chance of mortality for a young, healthy person is very low, but the reason to test or the reason to wear a mask or socially distance is so that you can protect yourself and you can protect your teammates so you can play. But then you get to the other end of it, one of the reasons that you might want to get a test and do all these things is you may have somebody who you love who is elderly, or has a health condition, or that you have to work with, who cares for somebody that has those things. That we’re there to protect them.
You can live your life. Just do it thoughtfully, with other people in mind. And if you think you have a symptom, oh my goodness, get a test. Because you’d want to know. Why would we want to live life in the dark? Why would we want to encourage people not to have information about their health status so that they could then be empowered to protect the people that they care about? Testing is one of the few things that we have to control the spread. And when you control the spread, then if you’re building consumer confidence, you’re protecting your loved ones, you’re doing everything that helps protect the health and the economic future of our state. So everything that you can do to help one another, whether that’s testing, wearing a mask, social distancing, is about them. It’s not just about you. It’s about protecting people, protecting the economy. And nobody’s mandating you get a test, but you ought to do it to try to help.
Jim Otte: (01:07:36)
Farnisha Mary: (01:07:41)
Hi, Governor DeWine. This is Farnisha Mary from the Associated Press. On Tuesday, you required a mask mandate in seven counties, and today you said 12 counties. So in addition to those seven counties that have been labeled red, will that change the mask mandate? And for Huron, that was lowered to a level two, will that change your mask mandate in that county?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:08:06)
Yeah. This, by the way, I didn’t say it. Thank you for reminding me. This goes into effect tomorrow night at 6:00 PM for the additional counties. So red counties will go forward. As we saw in Huron County, when a County moves out of red and drops down, when it drops down, then the mask order goes off. Now, we hope people in Huron County will, because they’re right at the bubble. Frankly, we don’t want them going back to red, and we hope people will use this kind of as cautionary information and continue to mask up. But we’re going to call it like the numbers are, and we’re going to inform people where those numbers are. They’re very close for Huron County, but they’re slightly under, and so they moved back. They moved back to the lower color, to orange.
Farnisha Mary: (01:08:58)
Data on the antibody test I’ll provide quickly. The study began last week. They mailed out 12,000 postcards, invitation letters. On Monday, they began testing the workforce, which will include the recruiters, interviewers, and nurses who will be conducting the test. Training began for them on Tuesday and Wednesday. The teams will be in the field collecting samples today. This is the actual first day of this. They’re going to be starting out in Central Ohio. The goal is to collect 1,200 samples from individuals statewide. They’ll do it as fast as they can, and this will conclude. They hope by the 28th of this month, as they go through Central first, Southwest and West Central, Southeast, and Southeast Central, Northeast and East Central, and then Northwest Ohio, and that will give us a snapshot during that period of who may have had COVID who have antibodies in their system. And hopefully that will give us the information we seek, and that will hopefully answer Jack’s question from earlier in the news conference. Thank you.
Jessie Balmert: (01:10:21)
Hi, this is Jessie Balmert with The Inquirer. My question is, how do you get buy-in or people to change behaviors in perhaps less populous counties, where they see comparatively small numbers, like two ER visits a day, going to seven ER, visits today in Butler County, which has 380,000 people.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:10:47)
Well, we’re seeing more people wear masks. That was occurring. It’s anecdotal. I don’t have any solid evidence, except just what I’m getting reported from talking to different mayors and talking to different officials who are out and about. I think people are beginning to understand that we don’t want to end up as Florida. We don’t want to end up as Texas. God love them and their citizens, but we don’t want to see that. We don’t want to see Ohio on TV like that. We don’t want our citizens to have to go through that. So I think what these do is they give you a real indication of if you’ve got a problem, if you have a trend, if you have a serious trend, things going in the wrong direction, and the whole idea behind them is to get people information so that they can say, “Okay, look, I might not have been concerned when we were at orange, but look, this is a new level. The indicators are going the wrong way.”
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:12:02)
And so I think you’re going to see more and more people who will, particularly in those counties where they are red, I think more people will start wearing the mask. The law is a teacher. What we’re trying to do is, we don’t have to change everyone’s behavior. We know there will be people out there who will not do that. We understand that, but if we could get 75% to 80% of people who are actually out in public, who are interacting with other people, to wear a mask, we will beat this thing down. It will make a fundamental difference. It will change the fall. It will change the winter. It will make a difference. No single act will change everything, but in combination with keeping distance, washing your hands, wearing a mask, kind of thinking twice about what you do, where you go, those things are all within the grasp of all of us.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:13:22)
And I guess I always try to take the long view. We’re going to get out of this. There is sunlight out there. We’re going towards it. We’re going to make it. And frankly, we all want to be there when this thing is over with, and we want our loved ones to be there, and we want our neighbors and our friends to be there. And to do that, we’ve got to make some changes in our lives. We have to live with this virus. We don’t know how long we’re going to have to live with it. We’re going to have to live with it for a while.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:13:59)
And the other thing I would say is that I know there’s some fatalists out there who say, “Oh, well, everybody will get it.” Or, “X number of people will get it. Might as well get it over with.” Well, that’s just ridiculous. And it’s ridiculous, because look how far we’ve come, when this started. Look what doctors know today. Look at their ability to treat people who are very, very, very sick. They don’t save everybody. We know that, but they’re saving more. And if it’s a choice of getting it today or three months ago, you’re better off getting it today. And if it’s today versus three months from now, you’re better off three months from now.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:14:35)
So we are all in this together. We can get through it. There’s all things that each and every one of us wants to do with our families, with our kids. My case, our kids and our grandkids. A lot of things I want to do, and so just being careful. Thinking about other people. Not spreading it. I just think the more people analyze this and think about it, and the evidence is just absolutely overwhelming that you’re going to see more and more people who are going to-
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:15:03)
And the evidence is just absolutely overwhelming that you’re going to see more and more people who are going to comply. Will everyone? Certainly not. We know that. But if we can get 75 or 80%, we’re on knock this thing in the head pretty hard. Thank you.
Jim Province: (01:15:17)
Hello, Governor, Jim Province with the Toledo Blade, and continuing with the face mask issue. I know that you want everybody to wear a face mask whenever possible, but does this face mask order apply to non-residents of these counties who are either passing through, stopping at a gas station, maybe going to a dinner in a neighboring county? And is that one of the reasons that, at least initially, you preferred statewide orders as opposed to county by county orders?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:15:48)
Jim, it’s a good question. You can argue this either way. We’ve come down in the middle, frankly. We have some state orders that apply in every single county, from Monroe County to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County to Hamilton County. And those are kind of baseline orders; no large gatherings, keep your distance, et cetera. Those apply everywhere.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:16:23)
But there is an argument that the data is different in different counties. And that what goes on in a very rural county in Ohio, what goes on down here, you pick the area, is different, and that, while we have orders that in business, then matter what county you’re in, you have to wear a mask at that business. But if you’re out in public, it made sense to impose it for those counties that are at the highest level of risk. Look, you know, and everyone knows, that the business group that we put together, health/business came back initially with recommendations that not only everybody in the workplace should wear a mask, but everybody in public. We put that out there and it was abundantly clear that people of the state of Ohio were not ready for that. So what we have done is we waited. The situation is more serious. We now have the ability to target those counties with data. We can tell by data, those counties that are most at risk and to say, “Okay, we’re going to have this face mask order for these counties that hit red or hit purple.”
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:17:55)
It is something that I think the majority people will accept. Not everybody will accept it, but I think the majority of people will accept because it’s based on data. It’s based on evidence. And we’re not saying everybody has to do it. If you’re in Monroe County, you don’t have to do it or if you’re in another one of our great counties, Ross County, Pike County, et cetera, you don’t have to do it. But if we’re at this level, then you need to do it.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:18:26)
So it’s the way of getting at the problem in a way that I hope is acceptable to the people of those counties. They can work their way out of this. We would love for them. Nothing would please me more than to look at that map and see no purple and no red. I would be delighted. So that’s why we did it. And again, our destiny is in our own hands as we move forward here.
Jim Province: (01:18:53)
And are non-residents expected to comply when they’re in those counties?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:18:59)
They should. Look, we’re not talking about throwing people in jail. This is a law that is there to advise people what they should do. Most people will follow the law. Most Ohio citizens will follow the law. If somebody happens to be in a county that is red and they come out of a county that is not red or purple, they’re going to get a break. Virtually everybody’s going to get a break. People are going to be asked we just put a mask on. And I’m sure that stores and restaurants will have extra mask. And they’ll just say, “Here, put that on.” This’ll work out. Ohioans can figure this out. We can work this out.
Jim Province: (01:19:48)
Tom Bosco: (01:19:53)
Tom Bosco with ABC 6 here in Columbus, and I’ve been informed that this is the last question of the day. Back to colleges and universities. We already have young people on college campuses with sports resuming and getting practices underway. We’ve already seen Ohio State has stopped practices for seven teams because of some positive COVID tests. We’ve seen this with sports around the country at other universities. Is this kind of a canary in a coal mine, or an indicator that getting schools and universities back open may not work?
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:20:30)
No one said this is going to be easy. This is not going to be easy. We have congregate living in dorms, but it’s also not only what goes on in the classroom, but it’s obviously what goes on in young people’s lives. Young people like to get together. We all know that. So yeah, we’re going to have to see how this works out and colleges are going to make their own decisions. They’re going to look at this.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:21:01)
I’ve been impressed with our colleges in Ohio. Their preparation for this, what they’re doing for this. They know, quite candidly, that they have to sell this to parents and to students that they are providing the safest environment they can provide on campus. There’s always a risk and we know that, but I think there’s almost a competition and Ohio colleges and universities have risen to the challenge and they’re all setting up their own criteria and exactly what they’re doing. We’ve worked with them, as I said.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:21:38)
Chancellor Gardener’s worked with them very, very closely. He is very impressed with what they’ve done. I’ve been very impressed with what they have done, but it’s not without risk and it’s not without trap doors and pitfalls, whatever words you want to use. And so, we don’t know where this is going.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:22:00)
Again, this virus, we know it’s dangerous, we know it spreads well, but we don’t know where exactly it’s going to be in the fall. And I just conclude, before I say goodbye to all of you until next Tuesday at two o’clock, but again, we can control some of this. We can control some of our future, how things are going to be in a month. And the more Ohioans will wear a mask out in public, the more Ohioans will keep their distance, the better off we’re going to be.
Governor Mike DeWine: (01:22:34)
And finally, please get a test. If you have an opportunity to get a test, get a test. One of the things I was talking to General Harris about this morning, with our Ohio National Guard, we are going to look at those communities where the local officials tell us, “We have not had enough testing here. We’ve not had the availability of testing. It’s not been easy enough.” I told the general look at some of our mid level counties in size and cities and see if they want us to come in. We’re going to be guided by what local officials say to us. And if local officials want additional testing so that they can cut this virus off at the knees, which is what testing can do, and why you do testing, as well as for the individual who’s being tested, so, if they can get the proper diagnosis. So I would invite any mayors, any counties that, again, want us to have the guard to come in for a day, do a pop up test there, we’re happy to do that. We’re we’re happy to help. So, we’ll see you all. We’ll see you all Tuesday at two o’clock. Thank you very much.