Aug 20, 2020
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Press Conference Transcript August 20
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference on August 20 to give coronavirus updates. Read the transcript of his news briefing here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev for free and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Gov. DeWine: (06:05)
Well, good afternoon, everyone. Fran made me this Ohio mask. Ohio-made mask. I’m wearing a neck tie today if you can see it, Ohio Dominican. John O’Grady, Franklin County commissioner is a grad.
Gov. DeWine: (06:24)
On Tuesday, Fran talked about the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library being now almost a year old. We continue our mission to provide a free book once a month for children under the age of five. In the last 48 hours, since Fran talked about it, 4600 more kids have been signed up. So we’re very happy about that. And we invite anyone to sign your kids up, sign your grandkids up. A great, great thing. We now have close to 200,000 children in Ohio who are enrolled. You can just go to the website, OhioImaginationLibrary.org. That’s OhioImaginationLibrary.org.
Gov. DeWine: (07:15)
Mercer, Van Wert, and Crawford counties coming in September. We still have eight counties that are not covered countywide. So three counties, as I said, have stepped up and come on board since just Tuesday: Van Wert, Crawford, and Mercer County. As you’ll see on here, they are in green. And you’ll see also the other counties that are not yet covered are in blue. Oh, excuse me. The ones that are covered are in blue. The ones that are in white are not yet covered. So those are Ottawa, Richland, Ashland, Columbiana, Lake Sandusky, and Seneca counties.
Gov. DeWine: (08:08)
And so we’re looking for partners. And what partnership means is really, it’s two different things. Two different groups, usually one group to take the applications and to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on. And the other is to provide the matching funding, which is needed. So the state legislature has stepped up in the last budget and provides half the money. The other half of the money comes from the local communities. So again, we need partners in Ottawa, Richland, Ashland, Columbiana, Lake Sandusky, and Seneca counties. If you can help or want more information about what it means to partner with us, please contact us through our website at OhioImaginationLibrary.org.
Gov. DeWine: (08:55)
We’ll go, Eric, now to our data slides. What we’re seeing today, we’ve actually, this is up. This is a number of cases in the last 24 hours. We had three straight days, I believe, where it’s under a thousand. And so we were liking that a lot, but now it’s flipped back up here. Number of deaths, tragically 22 in the last 24 hours have been reported. Hospitalizations, 86. Running about the same as it’s been for a 21 day average. The same for ICU admissions, a little bit up, but pretty much the same. So that’s the data slides.
Gov. DeWine: (09:36)
Let’s move to our new… Go to the next slide, Eric. These are our counties ranked by incidents of COVID in the last 14 days. And it’s by 100,000. So this is the map we continue to show you. We showed you on Tuesday. This is updated a little bit, but pretty much the same. Let’s go, Eric, to the top 10 of those counties.
Gov. DeWine: (10:10)
So you’ll see again, as we pointed out on Tuesday, these counties are actually some of our smaller counties. Mercer County has actually come down a little bit, but still at a very, very high level. And then Darke County’s next, Lawrence County, Preble County, Preble is up there now, Meigs County, Sandusky, Shelby, Auglaize, Erie County, and then Perry County. So again, most of these are relatively small counties in our rural parts of the state. So what has happened is we’ve seen the urban areas, that a bigger percentage of people were wearing masks for a longer period of time and we’ve seen those numbers come down. Unfortunately, we’re seeing the numbers go up in our rural areas.
Gov. DeWine: (10:58)
Let’s turn to the Public Health Alert System. This is where we were last week. This is where we are today. And you’ll see some changes and some things that we’re very happy about, and some things that were not happy about. This week, we have nine red counties, the lowest number of red counties since we started The Alert System eight weeks ago. So that’s good. Four new counties have turned red since last week, and seven though dropped off the red list. The four new counties that are red are Clark, Lorain, Preble, and Trumbull. They join Clermont, Erie, Franklin, Lucas, and Mercer County and we’ll go through these.
Gov. DeWine: (11:41)
The seven counties that dropped from red to orange, which is great, off the red list now Brown County in Southern Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Fairfield County, Licking, Marion, Montgomery, and Muskingum. And as you know, Montgomery and Cuyahoga have been on that red list every single week. They now drop off and so that is great. Some additional good news, six counties dropped from orange to yellow. They’re Highland, Huron, Jefferson, Morgan, Richland, and Ross counties.
Gov. DeWine: (12:15)
Let’s go back now and look at the red counties quickly. And these are in the order in which we have them based upon cases per a hundred thousand residents in the last two weeks. Mercer County stays red this week because of their high number of cases. They are two and a half times what’s considered by the CDC as a high incidence. They’re starting to see a decrease in case numbers, which is good, but they still have the highest number of cases per capita in the state. Their hospitalizations have decreased and they’re continuing to monitor the small outbreaks that spread throughout the County.
Gov. DeWine: (12:56)
Preble County is red for the first time. They meet the CDC’s threshold for high incidents. And again, they’re at 173, so they’re way over that. They had 71 new cases during the past two weeks. That compares to a total of 269 for the whole pandemic. So they basically, 25% of their cases have arisen in the last two weeks.
Gov. DeWine: (13:21)
Erie County: Erie meets two indicators, but they continue to meet the CDC’s threshold for high incidents. They’re at 129. They had 96 cases during the past two weeks, a large outbreak at a longterm care facility is responsible for a significant number of cases. However, there does continue to be community spread throughout the County.
Gov. DeWine: (13:43)
Franklin County: Franklin is edging down and we hope next week that they’re no longer red. But they’re red because of they’re at 109 cases per hundred thousand. Even though Franklin still meets the CDC threshold, their cases, as I said, have in fact been dropping. They’ve seen a small increase in emergency department visits, from 21 visits-a-day on August 9th, to 30 on August 16th. However, their outpatient visits have leveled off.
Gov. DeWine: (14:13)
Let me talk about Lucas County. Lucas continues red, but it is almost out of the red. Again, that is good. They have 102 cases per hundred thousand. They have gone from an average of 22 outpatient visits-per-day on August 11th, to 29 on August 16th. They also meet the CDC threshold for high incidents. However, this number, as I said, has dropped. It was at 159, it’s now 102 for the past two weeks.
Gov. DeWine: (14:44)
Clark County: Clark County is returning to red level this week because they meet four indicators and the CDC’s threshold for high incidents. They are at 102. They’ve had 137 new cases during the past two weeks. From August 5th to August 17th, the number of outpatient visits for COVID have gone up almost four times, from 11 a day to 41 per day. Cases are linked to multiple, multiple small workplace outbreaks and a couple of longterm care facilities. The number of small outbreaks suggests that there is spread throughout the community.
Gov. DeWine: (15:22)
Lorraine County is red for the first time this week. A particular notice is their outpatient visits grew from an average of 20 a day on August 7th, to almost 28 within a week. Their cases per day went from an average of 18 on August 4th, to 24 on August 11th. They are seeing fewer workplace outbreaks, but they are continuing to see community spread. This spread is primarily, we’re seeing, in social situations: family gatherings where people are unmasked and in close contact, and basically let their guard down.
Gov. DeWine: (15:56)
Clermont County: Clermont County remains red this week. The County meets five indicators. We’re continuing to keep an eye on numbers in Clermont County. Although there are limited small outbreaks, the majority of spread is in the community. And health officials told us they’re seeing household transmissions.
Gov. DeWine: (16:16)
Trumbull County, unfortunately, is returning back to red this week. The County went from an average of nine cases per day on August 7th, to 13 cases per day on August 12th. They’ve had 115 cases during the past two weeks. They’ve had a couple of large outbreaks at longterm care facilities involving employees and residents. The majority of the spread is happening within households, according to the local health department officials.
Gov. DeWine: (16:40)
So what we’ve seen again is a fundamental shift from… We’re not seeing increases now in the urban, it’s going down primarily in urban, and we’re seeing it going up in the rural. Let me talk about some examples. And again, we use these examples not to shame anybody or be critical of anyone, but just to it’s illustrative of how we’re seeing spread now in Ohio.
Gov. DeWine: (17:13)
In Logan County at the end of July, there was an outbreak associated with a jazzercise class. Although the studio followed recommended protective measures for when people weren’t exercising, masks were allowed to be removed while exercising. There are now 10 cases tied to the outbreak, including one person, very sadly, who is in ICU.
Gov. DeWine: (17:35)
Wood County: A sports team had sleep over at a team member’s house and now there are nine confirmed cases. Just remind our athletes, as we talked about on Tuesday, that what they do away practice, what they do away from the competition is just vitally important.
Gov. DeWine: (17:55)
Let me turn to a city of Kent: A restaurant where a bartender was observed to be not wearing a mask at work. The manager of the restaurant said there were health exceptions, that’s how it was explained. The bartender became sick with symptoms, had three roommates, boyfriend also tested positive. So this is just not a good situation.
Gov. DeWine: (18:21)
Eric, let’s look at the education slide. This is a slide that we showed the other day. This is revised. Should be a slide over here. And again, what is boxed are counties that are red. So the red outline, it means that county is now a red county. Inside that you’ll see the different school districts. And so if it is, they’re going to do it fully remote, it’s the darkest color up there. I guess that’s a dark blue. If it’s hybrid, there’s this light or this color of blue. And then this is green, and that is those that are full of returning. They plan to return fully to class, in-person class. And we only show that up there just to alert people if that’s your district and you’re going back to class, and your county is a red county, obviously the spread does go into the schools. So you’re going to have to be extra, extra careful. And it’s going to be important that everyone in the community try to do everything they can to reduce the incidence of spread in the community.
Gov. DeWine: (19:33)
I’m convinced from talking to many, many superintendents, and school officials, and teachers that the schools are going to do a very good job trying to keep our kids safe when they go back to school. But if there is significant spread in that community, it’s impossible to keep it out of that school. So we all have to work together. Everyone in the community, particularly in the schools that are going back in-person, if we want to keep our kids going in-person, we’ve got to get the spread of COVID down in the community.
Gov. DeWine: (20:06)
I want to address a very troubling thing that we have seen reported in our newspapers over the last week or so, and something that I’ve talked about before, but it’s gun violence. Let me start in the Akron Beacon Journal, here are the headlines: Family Grieving Again, just a gut wrenching story. On Friday, an eight-year-old girl was shot and killed when someone opened fire on a backyard birthday party. And she was not the mom’s first child to die tragically. So our heart goes out to the family.
Gov. DeWine: (20:43)
Toledo Blade: Teen Shot, Killed In Central Toledo Marks 9th Homicide In August. Young man, 15 years old. 15 years old. High school sophomore, shot, killed while out in his neighborhood Sunday night.
Gov. DeWine: (21:06)
Let’s go, Eric, to The Cincinnati Enquirer: Four Dead In City ‘Senseless’ Night Of Violence. Multiple shootings injure 17. Police ID, four killed. This is in reference to Saturday night/Sunday morning in Cincinnati, 19 people, 19, were shot. Four of them killed in multiple shootings overnight. By our unofficial tally, we’ve counted a total of 56 people shot across Ohio, 17 of them killed from Friday, August 14th through today. And these were just that the cases that we were able to find in the news. Seventeen sons, fathers, daughters, brothers, sisters, who are now gone forever to their families. Seventeen families who will carry the weight of their losses for the rest of their lives.
Gov. DeWine: (22:10)
Little Makayla Pickett, eight-year-old girl killed in Akron will never graduate from high school, never walk down the aisle, never know the joy of being a parent. She and her family are robbed of all the incredible joys that life has to offer. Just absolutely unbelievable. Why? Was someone angry? Someone was looking to settle a score with someone at the party? Well, we don’t know. But it’s a horrible, horrible tragedy.
Gov. DeWine: (22:50)
Eight-year-old girl in Akron, 15-year-old boy in Toledo, four people killed Saturday/Sunday in Cincinnati. Enough is enough. We know and I know from talking to law enforcement, from talking to chiefs of police, we can almost bet, that many of these cases were committed with handguns. Those handguns we have found in the past, many times, are stolen. Many times they are illegally obtained and certainly many times the perpetrator is not legally allowed to have these guns, because that person is a convicted felon. It’s not a new problem.
Gov. DeWine: (23:38)
If we want to reduce gun violence, we have to deal with, chiefs have told me time and time again, a relatively small number of people in our cities, in our communities who carry out this violence week-after-week. If we can remove them and if we had removed them-
Gov. DeWine: (24:01)
… and if we had removed them, maybe some of these children would be alive today. We have legislation that is pending in the General Assembly that works on this. It will matter, it will make a big difference. Our bill will get tougher on those who’ve committed a crime with a gun, people who have absolutely no right to have a gun. We’ll get tougher on those found carrying a weapon if they’re legally prohibited from doing so. Increase the penalty for knowingly providing a gun to a minor or to someone who is legally prohibited from owning guns. Our legislation would ensure that warrants on dangerous wanted defenders are in law enforcement databases so that officers all over the state, all over the country have the information they need to arrest those who’ve committed violent crimes, hopefully before someone else gets hurt.
Gov. DeWine: (25:03)
Each one of these cases that I’m referencing is example of just needless violence. I’m asking my friends in the General Assembly to take a look at this. This is something that I don’t think is controversial. These are people who are not allowed to have a gun. I think there’s a general consensus in society that those individuals who are not allowed to have a gun and who are repeat violent offenders need to be removed from society. Well, we’re getting ready for school to start, and today I’d like to bring in a couple of the people who are very, very much involved in getting our kids ready. And then when school goes back, they’ll be dealing with the children, trying to provide them a great education. And so we’ve selected two people. One who’s school district is going remote distance learning, and the other is going to do it in-person.
Gov. DeWine: (26:15)
As I’ve said, Fran and I have grandkids, some are going back in-person, some will be doing it remotely. First, let me welcome Dr. David James. Dr. James recently celebrated his 12th year as superintendent of Akron Public Schools. His unyielding advocate for his students. Akron will be bringing students back fully online for the first nine weeks of the year. And I’ve asked Dr. James to really share with us kind of what his aspirations are and his team’s aspirations, and how they think that this is going to work. Doctor, thank you very much for joining us. Appreciate it.
Dr. David James: (26:56)
Thank you and good afternoon, Governor DeWine. Yes, we will be starting our school year with 100% remote learning for that first nine weeks. Our district implemented one to one technology with Chromebooks about four years ago. So all of our students have the technology to access our Google classroom format. And we’re using the lessons learned from our virtual experience in the spring to prepare for this remote start. The issue with Summit County is we have several zip codes in our district that have some of the highest rates in our county of COVID spread. And so the board and I thought it would be prudent to start off our year remotely and then make an adjustment as we monitor through the data the Department of Health provides and our local Summit County health department provides us as well.
Dr. David James: (27:49)
So this fall, we’ll have a more structured schedule for students with set times to start their day with virtual morning meetings with their teachers. We’ve allocated time for virtual art, music and physical activity, direct instruction virtually, breaks including the lunch are built into their schedule along with individual and group learning time. And we’ve also allotted time in the schedule for parents and students to get any technology help that students may need.
Gov. DeWine: (28:22)
Well, that’s great, doctor. Thank you very much. So let’s say I’m a parent, I’ve got a student. So that student will have a schedule that they’ll have. What time do classes start?
Dr. David James: (28:37)
Roughly between 8:30 and 9:00. We have a different schedule for elementary, middle and high school.
Gov. DeWine: (28:42)
So let’s say my child is in first grade. So brand new experience. I mean, they were in kindergarten, but this is a new experience. What’s their day look like? Let’s say they start at 8:30 or 9:00, are they then looking at the teacher on their screen? Is that how this is working?
Dr. David James: (29:02)
Yes, they will be looking at their teacher. At the elementary level, we’re really focusing on English and math instruction, and then we’ll have some additional activities for them, including packets of hands on materials that they can use as part of their instructional experiences as well.
Gov. DeWine: (29:21)
And is there an opportunity then for interaction with that teacher? And what about interaction with their fellow classmates who [inaudible 00:05:30].
Dr. David James: (29:30)
Yes. So part of the day will be spent with direct instruction with the teacher. So the teacher will be able to see the students, they’ll be able to see the teacher. And then there are times when we’ll have group activities and various individuals who will also help with those group activities with the kids, though it’s all done virtually.
Gov. DeWine: (29:52)
And doctor, you talked about physical activity, you talked about music, maybe art. How does that work out? How do you do that? How do you do the physical?
Dr. David James: (30:07)
Right. So with our physical education teachers, there’ll be times when they’ll engage the students in terms of not necessarily in the gym, but being able to stand up, move around. They may dance, they may do some basic calisthenics, but those are things that we really felt were important while kids are at home learning, but to be able to do those types of things with our physical education teachers leading that part of their school day.
Gov. DeWine: (30:37)
And so if I’m a child looking at that screen, will I see the other students there as well, or I just see the teacher, or how does that work?
Dr. David James: (30:46)
Yeah. With our system, there will be the opportunity as they have tiles across the top or the side of the screen. They should be able to see each other as well.
Gov. DeWine: (31:00)
And for those who don’t know what a Chromebook is, tell us what that is.
Dr. David James: (31:00)
Well, a Chromebook basically just has the Google Chrome software on it and it’s a great device. Ours have the builtin cameras. We’re going to get actual headphones and mics for the students. But it is a simple device, but fairly robust in terms of how we need to deliver instruction.
Gov. DeWine: (31:23)
That’s great. Doctor, thanks for sharing. Good luck to you and your teachers and your whole team. We appreciate your time very, very much. And thanks for dedicating your life to young people.
Dr. David James: (31:36)
Gov. DeWine: (31:36)
Thanks doctor. I’ve also invited a superintendent to join us today who is approaching the start of the school year a little differently. Jeff Greenley has been superintendent of Belpre City Schools, Washington County, since 2019. Before that, he was in the Switzerland School District. Jeff, what’s return to school going to look like for you all?
Jeff Greenley: (32:02)
Hello, governor. And thanks for letting me come on and talk a little bit about the great work that my team here at Belpre has done to prepare for a five day in-person experience. So we’re grateful to you for the flexibility that you gave us in local decision making, and we’ve been hyper focused on our local COVID-19 data. I was just relieved to see that we’re still yellow earlier today. We’re hyper focused on our local families, our local peers, our local health department as we’ve made our determination. So early on, we partnered closely with the Washington County superintendents. There’s a real tradition here of working closely together. And we paired up with the experts at the Washington County Health Department and the Marietta Belpre Health Department. And what started as monthly has now become weekly Zoom meetings with those experts and we have worked very closely together to collaborate and make joint plans and share some best practices.
Jeff Greenley: (32:58)
So our Board of Education tasked me to listen to our community. We spent a great deal of time with families and focus groups, listening to their concerns. What was interesting to me is that the concerns of our elementary parents were different than our high school parents, even within our school district. So after we heard concerns and listened carefully, we engaged with our faculty and our staff and empowered them, gave them a seat at the table to think about, if we’re going to bring our students back five days a week, how can we do that in a safe way? So that’s ultimately what we’ve done. And I think like most districts, if we become a level three or a level four county, we’re prepared to dial back. At the same time, we’ve also allowed families that may have not felt comfortable about returning or have a higher risk or someone in their family has a higher risk, a virtual option.
Jeff Greenley: (33:53)
Our Ohio Valley Educational Service Center led by superintendent Annie Brooks helped negotiate a consortium partner that’s serving all of our school districts and in this area for high school students. And then we usually have four teachers per grade level in our elementary, and three of them will be in-person and one will be virtual to serve the students that have elected to go that way. So we’ve just been hard at work trying to get that ready.
Gov. DeWine: (34:18)
So for the students that go virtual, in what percentage do you think of your students are going to start virtual?
Jeff Greenley: (34:26)
We’re running somewhere, but around 27% of our students have elected to go virtual.
Gov. DeWine: (34:32)
And so they will actually have a teacher. Will that be live then, basically a live interaction or how does that work?
Jeff Greenley: (34:39)
So it will look a little differently for each side of the house. The high school will have access to a live educator, but I think they’ll also have more of a blended model where there’ll be able to engage with in coursework and then interact with a teacher or a content expert. And then in our elementary school, it will be one of our local teachers that will provide that instruction and will follow the same pacing guide and calendar as the students that are in-person.
Gov. DeWine: (35:08)
Tell us a little bit about your district.
Jeff Greenley: (35:12)
Yeah, we’re about a thousand students in Southeast Ohio, a really great community. Nice mixture of folks, and actually coming up on our 150th year of educating students, which is exciting.
Gov. DeWine: (35:25)
That’s great. So you mentioned, there’s a difference between what the elementary parents who had elementary kids and those who had high school kids. What were their goals, different schools?
Jeff Greenley: (35:38)
Yeah. So I think I would say that our elementary parents felt a little more trepidatious about our return to schools. Our high school parents, I think because of maybe the extracurriculars and the other types of things that happen in the high school, I think had less risk tolerance than some of our other families. And so for us, it was all about, how can we best balance this? And although ultimately, we were able to welcome students five days a week. I think in my mind, that’s only because of our low community spread that we’ve had in Washington County. We’ve been a level one county for several weeks, and we’re just very briefly a level two county. But I understand that we also don’t have high speed internet in Southeast Ohio in many areas, especially outlying area, so that was a factor in our decision,.
Jeff Greenley: (36:30)
But we just passed the portrait of a graduate and we try to be critical thinkers. So we know reasonable minds can differ on these kinds of conclusions and the community might look very similar to us and may make a different decision. But that’s why we appreciate Ohio’s decision to get to local level and allow us to work with families and make a decision that’s right for us.
Gov. DeWine: (36:49)
Well, good luck. Good luck to you and your students and your parents. What about sports? Last question. You all are doing sports this fall? What are you doing?
Jeff Greenley: (37:01)
Well, I just walked out of our athletic meetings. So about nine o’clock, we received the final information in orders and have-
Gov. DeWine: (37:08)
[crosstalk 00:37:08] a little late last night.
Jeff Greenley: (37:09)
That’s all right. We had a flurry of activity, I’ll say today. We are committed to doing this. We think it’s an important part of our students extracurricular and really co-curricular life. But boy, we’re going to make sure we can do everything we can to mitigate risk and allow those student athletes to participate. And we are very grateful for that.
Gov. DeWine: (37:30)
Jeff Greenley: (37:31)
Thank you, sir.
Gov. DeWine: (37:32)
Thank you. Thanks for joining us. We really appreciate it. We know you’re busy. Thanks for taking the time to do it.
Jeff Greenley: (37:36)
Yes, sir. Thank you, governor.
Gov. DeWine: (37:40)
Let me now welcome Christy Pennington. Christy has more than 18 years of experience as a mental health professional working in schools. She served as a student advocate in Columbus City Schools through the communities and schools program. And for the past 13 years, she has served as a school-based therapist supervisor and director of Hopewell Health Centers working in with the Logan Hocking School District. Christy was recently promoted to serve as the director of the Hocking County Behavioral Health Clinic with Hopewell Health. Christy is also the mom to two middle school girls who learned remotely in the spring. Christie, welcome. Thank you very, very much for joining us.
Christy P.: (38:22)
Thank you very much for having me, and thank you for really keeping social emotional health a consistent and central part of this conversation as we move through this pandemic.
Gov. DeWine: (38:33)
Well, tell us what parents should know, what any of us should know in this area, because I know that, look, this has been a difficult time starting back when kids were out of school and March. Nothing has been really normal. Talk to us a little bit about the mental ramifications of this, and maybe some things that parents should know, teachers should know, the public should know.
Christy P.: (38:58)
Absolutely. So a lot of parents are concerned. They have various concerns, right? So some parents are concerned that their kids need to get back to a routine, they need to get back to face-to-face learning, because they’ve been a little bit socially isolated, especially also in Southeastern Ohio. So our communities are sometimes a little spread out in the country and there may not be as good of internet access and other things to get people connected. So I know that that’s a concern of people. Other concerns surround anxiety about going back to school or anxiety about how school is going to work. So I’ll come at it from a couple of different angles. So if you’re planning on sending your kiddo back in-person, some of the things that you may want to do to calm your kiddo’s anxiety would be to talk about some of the new routines that are going to be happening in schools.
Christy P.: (39:54)
Schools are absolutely going to be different, even if we’re going back in-person. I know a lot of districts have done a really wonderful job with virtual open houses. So if you have access to those, please do watch them. Other things you want to talk to your kids about are the masks, right? No one’s excited about the masks, but it’s going to help our communities and it’s going to help our kids stay in school longer if people participate in the mask wearing. So it’s helpful if adults put aside their differences about whether they like the masks or don’t like the masks and create the conversation as more of an adventure for little kids. This is different, but we’re all going to wear masks and it’s going to be fine and exciting. Other things that may be different or you may have to talk to your older kiddos about, they’re not going to have lockers this year.
Christy P.: (40:43)
So they’re going to be carrying everything in their book bags. They may get their temperature checked every day. We certainly want parents checking their temperatures at home before sending them, and they may get their temperature checked again at school, just depending on different policies and procedures. Another thing that our older kids are going to have to deal with a little bit is us asking them some more questions about whether they have symptoms. I know that my teenager doesn’t really like when I’m poking and prodding in her life; how do you feel today? Do you have a headache? Do you have this? I think these are going to have to become more central to kind of our everyday routine. And telling little kids, it’s going to be okay if you get corrected at school. If you accidentally take your mask down, someone might ask you to put it back up and that’s okay. We’re all still practicing this. But if we want to be able to go back to school face-to-face as many days as possible, we’re going to have to do these things that are keeping us safe, which is wearing our mask, staying six feet away from our friends, and also maybe being asked to wash our hands more than we were before.
Gov. DeWine: (41:47)
Go ahead. I’m sorry. I was just going to ask you-
Christy P.: (41:53)
We may also need to create some new routines at home, right? So for students who are maybe going to start virtually like the students in Akron, we’re going to have some different things that are going to help it be easier. So we want to first understand the format. So Dr. James did a really nice job of talking about how they really took what happened last year when we went home in the spring and we learned from it, and he’s creating a virtual learning experience that has a little bit more structure. One of the things that makes in-person school so popular and easy for our students to learn is that there’s a built in structure to that. So we want to understand the format. Is it going to be a structure where I need to maybe help my younger student get on a Zoom call early in the morning and how do I need to be present for that?
Christy P.: (42:44)
Or is it like the middle and high school students where it’s going to be more self guided and there’s going to be educators that are available? You’re going to want to find out how to access your IT help, right? Because most of the time, our technology works, but the times when it doesn’t work, we’re going to need to know how to do that. Other things that you can do to make this experience an easier transition would be to create a separate learning space in your house. This doesn’t need to be an entire room where you’re going to do school out of a separate room. It could just be a space at the end of your counter, where the students always going to come and have their learning materials or their laptops so that they’re kind of in a separate space ready for school. You may also have to talk about new rules.
Christy P.: (43:35)
I know that last year when we were doing remote learning from home and my husband and I were both working from home, we had to talk about things like, when is it a good time to interrupt your parent who’s also working and things like that? So you’re going to want to talk about rules; when is it okay to come get me? Do you have someone that’s available to help your student all day long or do we need to get some support help in there for that? And then at the end of the day, we’re going to evaluate how it went. We’re going to reach out for help if we need help. I know that there are so many groups on social media right now, many who have been advocates of homeschooling or remote learning for a long time, and they already have this figured out. So it’s really helpful to reach out to those people who have helpful hints.
Christy P.: (44:24)
I know that in our district, I’ve seen a couple Facebook groups go up for parents who have chosen the digital learning option so that they can kind of be a support group for each other. And at the end of the day, if it didn’t work today, we’re going to revamp and we’re going to try again tomorrow. So it’s really important to be flexible and forgiving of ourselves, and just try again tomorrow.
Gov. DeWine: (44:47)
Well, thank you very, very much. That’s been very helpful. This is a new time for all of us and I’m sure there’s particularly tension for kids going back to school, haven’t been in school for a while, longer than normal. But also if you’re doing it remote, there’s got to be a tension too. That’s got to be something to get used to. So thank you. Thanks for sharing some ideas with us and your experience with us. We appreciate it.
Christy P.: (45:17)
Gov. DeWine: (45:18)
Thank you. Throughout this pandemic, older Ohioans have been hit especially hard due in large part to their high degree of susceptibility to COVID-19 and to the congregate nature of many longterm care facilities. Closures and restrictions have impacted nursing homes, assisted living, home and community based services, adult care centers, and senior centers. We’ve begun to allow limited visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities if those facilities could coordinate visits safely. However, adult daycare centers and senior centers have remained closed since March 23rd. Our administration has worked with the Ohio Association of Senior Centers and those representing adult care centers nationally to develop a responsible restart plan. Today, I’m announcing that these facilities may open beginning on September 21st in a reduced capacity if they’re able to meet certain safety standards.
Gov. DeWine: (46:20)
And again, this goes back to what we’ve said a lot, and people are probably sick of John and I talking about, but we can do two things at once. We can be safe, we can be protective, but we can try to get back to normal, and so it’s important to do it. We’re delaying the opening until September 21st. We’re providing time by doing this for each center to properly prepare based on the orders guideline. Each center should consider a variety of factors when determining its ability to reopen, including the case status in the surrounding community; how much COVID is there, the county’s public health advisory system color, the risk level, the case status in its facility, and the facility staffing levels, access to testing, the ability of participants to wear face coverings, access to personal protective equipment and local hospital capacity.
Gov. DeWine: (47:21)
Requirements for a center to reopen include the following; open with a limited capacity based on safe social distancing. Two, limit entry to the facility to those who are necessary for the safe operation of the program. Three, screen all participants and staff, and keep a daily log. Four, conduct baseline and repeat testing of staff and participants. Five, require all staff and participants to wear face coverings with limited exceptions. Six, use cohorting of participants when possible and order schedules to reduce contact. Next, implement CDC guidance for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. Adult day centers and senior centers certainly playing an important role in the lives of so many of our older Ohioans.
Gov. DeWine: (48:02)
… role in the lives of so many of our order Ohioans. This order provides guidance for these facilities to begin to safely open. Details will be made available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Gov. DeWine: (48:15)
Let me talk for a moment about assisted living testing. We’ve been working to protect some of Ohio’s most vulnerable residents. Often when COVID positive test patient is identified, there are others in the facility who are also infected, but who do not yet have symptoms. Often these individuals unknowingly contribute to the spread of the virus, so rapid action to identify, isolate, and test others who might be infected is critical to prevent the spread.
Gov. DeWine: (48:45)
Consistent with our efforts to test in nursing homes, a statewide testing initiative for Ohio’s more than 765 assisted living facilities is underway. The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Aging have secured a testing provider who is able to offer baseline saliva testing to all assisted living staff and residents, and that is at no cost to the facility. We’re pleased with this testing option, which has started, as the test can be self-performed or performed with assistance under the observance of licensed medical staff. The tests themselves are minimally invasive and provide reliable results in about 48 hours upon the lab’s receipt.
Gov. DeWine: (49:28)
The value in this initiative is tied to four things: Accuracy and sensitivity of the test, how quickly you get test results, consistent or repeat testing in high-risk settings, and modifying behavior based on the results data. Our administration has worked closely with the associations representing assisted living providers to implement this initiative, and we’re grateful for their support. Our focus has been and remains protecting Ohioans while navigating through this pandemic. To achieve this, we must have 100% participation of all assisted living facilities in Ohio. Therefore, today I am issuing an order that requires all assisted living facilities to participate in COVID-19 testing as I’ve outlined for staff and for residents. The order and relayed guidance will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Gov. DeWine: (50:22)
Let me now turn to the Attorney General. Not to the Attorney General. I’ve been thinking about the Attorney General today, but turn to the Lieutenant Governor, Jon Husted. Jon?
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (50:34)
Thank you, Governor. It was great to hear from those educators, and so I’ll give a little update on something that’s education related. As you know, we announced a $50 million grant called the K-12 Broadband Connectivity Grant, and this is to enable the funding for hotspots and internet-enabled devices for students. We’ve had a response, as you would expect, because we talked to people, we knew this was a problem, wanted to try to get some resources toward them. 592 applications already for this from schools across the state.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (51:13)
The reason I’m bringing this up is tomorrow’s the deadline. You got to get your application in by tomorrow at the end of the day, and I’ve been told the schools will get notified the week of August 31, so the team that’s listening, let’s try to go faster. Let’s get these things, let the schools know what resources they’re going to have available, and get this out to them as soon as they can. But get your applications in by tomorrow. That’s really important. If you need information, it’s at ohiok12.help/broadbandohio-connectivity-grant. I know that’s a lot. We’ll get it out on all of our social media channels so you can find that and get to it.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (52:03)
Also, one of the other things that we did is we talked with all of the internet providers, all of these providers and said, “Let’s get your best deal. Let’s post it. Let’s get your best offer on the table so that these schools can know where to go and what the price will be.” And so far, we’ve had 36 vendors that have listed their information, their equipment up to this point. And you can find that at procure.ohio.gov. We’ll also send that information out on social media so it’s easy to track down.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (52:36)
Additionally, we have a new announcement today. As you know, Governor, Innovate Ohio and the BMV team have been working from the very beginning at improving the way that we serve our customers at the BMV. We have get in line online, so you can check in without actually having to go to the BMV. You can do all kinds of different services on the BMV website. We have a new announcement today that you can go on oplates.com and get your temporary tags and print them off. You used to have to go in to do this. Now, as of today, you’re going to be able to do it online. This is largely for private sales and new residents who use this service, and you can place the order for the temporary tag and complete your payment at oplates.com, and you get a temporary tag number which can immediately be printed, and this is what it looks like, so that you know what we’re talking about. Just another way that we’re trying to improve customer service, to use our tools to save people time and money, and this is a new service available today.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (53:49)
And then let’s go to voting. I know that there’ve been a lot of conversations about voting as of late. I want to reassure people that we’ve had a tried and true practice of all of the above voting, in person voting, early voting, voting by mail. It’s worked well in the past. It’s going to work well this year. I talked with Secretary of State LaRose. I think we’ve been talking almost on a daily basis here as of late to make sure that everything is getting nailed down.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (54:15)
Remember, you must request an absentee ballot if you want one. The good news is, it’s easy. You can do that right now. You can call the Board of Elections and do it. You can go to the Secretary of State website to do that, voteohio.gov. You can find those absentee requests, gives you a way to make those requests, but you don’t have to do it that way. If you wait until after Labor Day, Secretary LaRose is going to mail you one. Every registered voter will get one mailed to them. Fill that out, send it back in, then on October the sixth, then your ballot will be mailed to you, and you’ll have nearly a month to fill it out, get a stamp on it, and mail it back in, and it is easy to do. There are a variety of ways to go through this process, but you don’t have to wait. Don’t procrastinate. That’s the number one thing. Don’t procrastinate.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (55:13)
Don’t wait. Do it now if you want. Wait until you get it from the secretary, and this will be an easy process for you. We’ve been doing this in Ohio. Reassured, not much new here. And if you have questions though, on any of this voting related information, go to voteohio.gov, and remember, this is something that I know will provide a little bit of comfort to you. If you mail in your ballot, you can track it. You can go and track it, and you’ll see that it’s been received. All of that gets tracked online, and you can see that information as a matter of reassurance.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (55:49)
So I just wanted to provide those updates, Governor, and it’s great to see all of the innovative things that schools are doing to help the kids get back and get this right. I know that the educators are excited, too, to make sure that they’re getting the job done. So thanks, Governor.
Gov. DeWine: (56:08)
Lieutenant Governor, thank you very much. Speaking about voting, I’ve asked Director Damschroder of the Department of Administrative Services to work with Secretary of State Frank LaRose to ensure that the 88 boards of election have the PPE resources they need to execute early in-person voting and voting on Election Day. We know there are many Ohioans who would like to vote in person. Some who do, some who don’t, but they get their choice. Over the next few weeks, Director Damschroder will be coordinating the delivery of … Let me look at the number. 800,000 face masks, and other items of personal protection. It’s our hope to have the PPE to our Board of Elections by early September to each Board of Election around this state. I want to thank our partners at the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID, MAGNET in Cleveland, the Developmental Service Agency and Jobs Ohio for their continuing support of our efforts to make PPE, to make it here in Ohio. I like these face shields. We’re very proud of that fact.
Gov. DeWine: (57:17)
Finally, today I’m asking the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors to send out $1.5 billion in dividend payments to Ohio employers this fall. If this is approved by the board, this will be our second dividend of over a billion dollars since April, our third since 2019. Employers told us after the April dividend that these dollars certainly can be lifesavers for business, and so I’ve made the decision to ask the board to do this, and to do it now, and not wait. Because we know that there’s some businesses out there that very much can use this money now.
Gov. DeWine: (57:58)
April’s dividend, $ 1.35 billion went to private employers, $184 million went to local government taxing districts, including various counties, cities, and schools. We anticipate that checks should start going out, this is approved, in late October. Additionally, I’m asking the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors to vote to distribute a second round of face coverings to Ohio employers and their workforce as part of BWC’s programming, Protect Ohio’s Workforce: We’ve Got You Covered, is what’s it’s called. BWC has shipped 20 million masks to 197,000 employers and their workforce since May. So this would be a second round that would consist of approximately 23 million masks to employers. They’re meant to replace any masks that have exhausted their effective use. We’ve asked BWC to work to purchase as many masks as possible, to do that in Ohio if possible. So we’re now ready for questions.
Speaker 1: (59:04)
Governor, your first question is from Max Filby at the Columbus Dispatch.
Max Filby: (59:09)
Afternoon, Governor. I’m curious about the adult day centers. As they move to reopen in September, what kind of testing protocol will surround that? And will your administration also be reporting cases and whatnot like you have with longterm care facilities, with the adult day centers?
Gov. DeWine: (59:29)
Yes. We will outline that in the future. We wanted to give a date and give people time to start moving forward with that. The only caution I would have is that all of this is subject to what we’re seeing as we move forward. So as we continue to evaluate, and frankly, we had discussion this morning. In our senior staff meeting at 8:00, we talked about how we can evaluate what is going on with the opening up of our nursing homes and the visitation. And that’s an ongoing process. So the date that we set, and also what’s going on in regard to our assisted living as well. So we’ll have more information about that as we move forward.
Gov. DeWine: (01:00:27)
But again, I have a caution. It’s our goal to open on that date, to allow everybody to open, but we’re continuing to monitor the facts. We’re going to continue to, frankly, see how far along we are in very aggressive testing at that point. So that’s a month away or so, but we want to give everybody some warning that that’s coming. They can start going. Our goal is to do it, but that we’ve not put the final green flag up yet, and we will not until we get closer to that date and we know exactly where our testing is, and we know exactly what else we’re seeing in the communities. So more to come.
Speaker 1: (01:01:07)
Next question is from Adrienne Robbins at WCMH in Columbus.
Adrienne Robbins: (01:01:12)
Governor, thank you for doing this today. As we see more spread in the rural areas of our state, and at the same time, it seems that those areas are more likely to do in-person learning, have you thought about beginning to tie closures of schools or closures of any other businesses to the county map and incentivize those counties to get their numbers down?
Gov. DeWine: (01:01:33)
Well, I’ve tried to make it very clear based on what we’re seeing that there ought to be a real incentive for those communities to get their numbers down. Because if they can’t, if they don’t get the numbers down, I think it’s unlikely that they’re going to be, frankly, successful, in school being open and playing sports. And those counties will get the early warning signs, I think, if that is happening. So it’s very important as we get close to the beginning of school for those counties to take control of their future, and taking control of their future means looking at what’s happened in the last two months in Ohio when our urban areas went to about 90% compliance with masks, and we’ve continued to see a drop for a number of weeks in those counties.
Gov. DeWine: (01:02:25)
So I’ve made it as crystal clear as I can that based upon everything that we’re seeing, if you wear a mask, the rate goes down. If people are conscious about keeping separation, keeping a distance, the rate goes down. And we know that school is going to reflect … The rate in the school is going to reflect what is out in the community.
Gov. DeWine: (01:02:54)
So I think to get right to your question, there is a real incentive out there. I mean, a real incentive. Look, people want their kids back in school. They want their kids to play sports. They want to have as open a life as they can in the era of COVID, and the way to get that freedom, the way to get that freedom is frankly, this is a pathway to freedom. I mean, it really, really is. And putting aside any ideological discussion, the science clearly shows, and our experience in Ohio shows, our experience in Ohio shows this works. And so I think there’s a lot of incentive. Without me putting my hand in it, I think there’s a lot of incentive for our rural communities to do that.
Speaker 1: (01:03:45)
Next question is from Laura Hancock at Cleveland.com.
Laura Hancock: (01:03:50)
Hi, Governor. Just wanted to ask you about Goodyear. After President Trump urged his Twitter followers to boycott Goodyear, you said in an interview that you didn’t think it would be something that he’d say again, but then later the same day he doubled down calling on people to boycott Goodyear. Do you think that was appropriate for him to call in a boycott of a Ohio-based manufacturer? And have you talked to the President or anyone at the White House to express your concerns about it?
Gov. DeWine: (01:04:23)
Well, I don’t discuss usually my contacts with people at the White House, but look, we should not boycott this good company with good Ohio workers who are doing a good job and making a good product. So we should not have any kind of boycott. We have a couple good tire companies in Ohio, and we should patronize them. I don’t think we know all the facts. I would just say in general, and I’m not commenting about this case, because I really don’t, much as I’ve tried to read about it, I don’t fully understand what happened, but I’m a believer in the First Amendment, and I think as much while any company has a right to run its business the way it wants to run it, I think it’s always better if people have the ability to express themselves, long as that does not get in the way of the work or the mission of the organization. So I come down on the side of the First Amendment and people’s ability to express, and I think you’ll find that I’m pretty consistent in that regard.
Gov. DeWine: (01:05:43)
There are limits, and I know legally that a company can control what goes on in their workplace, but I would just think companies should be as open to First Amendment things as they can. That’s what kind of country this is.
Speaker 1: (01:05:58)
The next question is from Tonisha Johnson at Spectrum News.
Christy P.: (01:06:04)
Hi, Governor. Two quick questions. One is, once testing starts in the assisted living facilities, how confident are you when it comes to having all of the resources necessary, including the personnel, to carry it out so that there’s not a slowing in the process. And then the other question is, you mentioned on Tuesday, we kind of got more data about site inspectors at sporting events. And while we’ve seen some challenges across the country with people, quote-unquote, being “the mask police,” what is your message to those who may have to carry out those duties at sporting events?
Gov. DeWine: (01:06:43)
Well, I’m going to let Jon answer the second one, but basically we are working with the Ohio High School Athletic Association on that. And so we really have done two things. One is the school or whoever the host is has to have one person who everybody can contact about compliance. And then the Ohio High School Athletic Association is going to do some spot checks, and we’re going to help them financially with a little money to be able to do that, because everyone wants these young people to be able to play, and we want it done in a proper way, and the focus needs to be on the field, in the arena, on the kids who are doing what they love to do.
Gov. DeWine: (01:07:27)
As far as the assisted living and saliva, our team has worked very hard on this. We have a contract with a company. It is saliva. It is self-administered, or it has to be administered with somebody who has been trained, somebody in the medical field who has been trained. But we think it’s going to work well. It has started. We’re already getting results back. So far we’ve been running about 4% positivity. It’s ranged anywhere from 0% to 12%, and what this means is when you go into an assisted living and you test and you get those numbers back, then the local health department can take over, tracing can occur, and lives can be saved. So we’re very, very excited about it, and we feel confident that it will work. We’re into a few days now. Already we’re starting to see some of the results. Jon?
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (01:08:27)
Thanks, Governor. Yeah. To the question, this is how the process works. Every home team has the responsibility of having someone in charge of controlling the venue to make sure that things are being implemented properly. Remember, everybody in the arena, stadium is supposed to be a family or loved one of a contestant. So they should want to create an environment in there that’s conducive to operating the game in a thoughtful way.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (01:09:00)
Additionally, when an inspector goes out, this is why we’re doing it with the Ohio High School Athletic Association, because certainly a local health department has this authority, but the extra incentive here, if you care about your student athlete out there, that if you don’t follow the rules, the Ohio High School Athletic Association has the ability and reserves the right to cause a forfeiture of the game, disqualify a team from participating. So all of those kinds of things are relevant to making sure that this all goes smoothly. Because look, in the end, everybody in there should have the same goal. It’s about the kids. It’s about giving them a chance to play. And if you don’t do this safely, you’re not looking out for them. And so we would appeal to people to the best entrance of the students that they’re supposed to care about to do this right, so that they can continue to play through the season uninterrupted.
Gov. DeWine: (01:10:00)
Thanks, Lieutenant Governor. Who’s next?
Speaker 1: (01:10:02)
The next question is from Alex Ebert at Bloomberg.
Alex Ebert: (01:10:08)
Good afternoon, Governor, and thanks for having us on. West Virginia and Kentucky are both going forward with providing the $100 to have the full $400 extra unemployment benefit for their workers under Trump’s executive order. They have tighter budgets. They have worse unemployment systems in Ohio. Why can’t Ohio go forward with the same thing for its workers?
Gov. DeWine: (01:10:33)
Well, I will call those governors and I’ll find out kind of how they’re doing it. We did an analysis, and the analysis was that we would not be able to do that. So I’ll get back to everyone, but our analysis shows that we simply do not have the money to do it. So I’m not sure how they’re frankl, going to pull that off, but I’m always open to learning.
Speaker 1: (01:10:58)
Next question is from Jim Otte at WHIO in Dayton.
Jim Otte: (01:11:03)
Governor, I want to go back to your sports order. A major soccer tournament is scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Beaver Creek. And you know, this is a big annual community event as well. Your new restrictions will limit this to one team playing another team per day, so you can play multiple games between the two teams but that’s it per day, and it seems to prevent the real, true tournament schedule that brings people together for this. Was it your intention to prevent a real, true tournament where you play multiple games against multiple teams? Or is this just a byproduct of your order? What’s going on here and what do you intend?
Gov. DeWine: (01:11:42)
Yeah, Jim. I’ll be quite candid. We did not want to see multiple games with multiple teams per day. It just does not make sense. There’s a model that we have seen used in certain parts of the state where people come in and a traveling team might come-
Gov. DeWine: (01:12:03)
Where people come in and traveling team might come in. They may come even from out of state. I’m not talking about Beaver Creek now, but would come out of state. They come in on Friday, they play a game. They play two, three games on Saturday. Two, three games on Sunday. They’re playing different teams all the way through. And so you’ve had a tremendous amount of mixing. That’s a very different thing than a football team that is playing on a Friday night or soccer that is playing one team. And so our goal was to let competitions work forward, let kids play with the idea of we’re trying to limit the amount of literally exposure for those kids. For example, I’ll take a sport that I know a little bit more about. Don’t pretend to be an expert, but that’s cross country.
Gov. DeWine: (01:12:55)
We would encourage a lot of dual meets, frankly. We hope that schools will be able to… we want the kids to run, they can run just as much with a dual meet than as they can bring it in at 20 teams. And I think the Ohio High School Athletic Association is an agreement with that. I think the coaches of the cross country teams are in agreement with that. I’m only using that as an example that throughout this, we want to try to limit exposure of these kids. We want them to play, but we don’t want to have this rate mixing of kids with many, many other kids from many, many different schools. I mean, we purposely wrote that language. We thought long and hard about it. We consulted doctors. We consulted the health officials. And that’s what we came up with.
Speaker 2: (01:13:50)
Next question is from Ellen Wagner at mahoningmatters.com.
Christy P.: (01:13:56)
Hi governor. We’re regularly hearing from readers who like to remind us that you’re not making laws, you’re mandating and these policies mean little to them. How can you change their minds so that they can take these mandates more seriously?
Gov. DeWine: (01:14:12)
You want to repeat the first part of it? You’re hearing from readers who are saying what? I missed the what. I’m sorry. I apologize.
Christy P.: (01:14:20)
We’re hearing from readers who are saying that you’re not making laws, you’re mandating them and these policies mean little to them. So how can you change their minds so that they take these mandates seriously?
Gov. DeWine: (01:14:33)
Well look, we don’t ask people to listen to me. We ask them to listen to the doctors, to medical experts, to look at what’s happening in other states, look at what’s happening in Ohio. The mask order is a prime example. I understand the controversy with mask, but if you talk to the best experts that you can find, whether you’re watching TV or whether you’re you’re pulling it up online, the jury’s return. There’s no dispute that mask are very, very, very important. And so it’s also a question of experience in Ohio. I mean, we have seen what’s happened in Ohio when an area decides, people individually, making individual decisions, but collectively they come up that 90% of them are wearing mask. The rate goes down. It does. And so if we want to have kids in school, if we want to have sports, if we want to have as normal a life as we can, this is what we have to do.
Gov. DeWine: (01:15:38)
So no. I’m not asking them to necessarily listen to me, but listen to the experts who do this for a living and have worked their way through this and have studied this. And the evidence, I just think, is overwhelming. I think it is a prudent, conservative approach to do some sacrifice, wearing a mask for example, so that you’re going to have more freedom. I mean, to me, that is the ultimate conservative approach. Cautious, conservative approach. It is an approach that expands liberty. It’s a approach that expands freedom. And I think that is truly the way that it should be looked at.
Speaker 2: (01:16:30)
Next question is from Kevin Landers at WBNS in Columbus.
Gov. DeWine: (01:16:41)
Speaker 2: (01:16:47)
Well, I’ll have Kevin go next. The next question is from Andy Chow at Ohio Public Radio and Television.
Andy Chow: (01:16:55)
Gov. DeWine: (01:16:55)
Andy Chow: (01:16:55)
I wanted to make sure I understood something you said earlier. Do you support President Donald Trump’s call to boycott Goodyear? And are state employees allowed to wear political attire?
Kevin Landers: (01:17:08)
Can you hear me now, governor?
Gov. DeWine: (01:17:09)
Well, Kevin, let me do Andy’s question first if I could. Andy, you want to repeat them. The last one was a political attire and-
Andy Chow: (01:17:22)
Do you support President Donald Trump’s call to boycott Goodyear?
Gov. DeWine: (01:17:25)
No. No, no, no, no. Absolutely not. We should not a boycott this good Ohio company. They have good Ohio workers and they produce a very good product. Second question had to do with state employees. State employees are very different than someone who is working in the private sector. They come upon with more restrictions that are built into the law. I don’t think that we would want, let’s say, a state inspector who is out, who might have a political button on, on state time and taxpayers paying for that person. So that’s not allowed. So I think, Andy, it’s a very different thing than what happens in a private enterprise where we don’t have that situation where taxpayers are paying for that person’s time. And taxpayers have the right to expect, during that period of time only, that that person just goes about their business and is not broadcast which party they’re for, or which candidate they’re for. But I think there’s a fundamental difference between the two.
Speaker 2: (01:18:45)
Next question is from Kevin Landers at WBNS in Columbus.
Kevin Landers: (01:18:49)
Gov. DeWine: (01:18:49)
Kevin Landers: (01:18:51)
Sorry about that. Governor, during this pandemic, your administration has demonstrated broad powers to keep Ohio in safe. You mandated masks, you’ve issued state home orders, you’ve limited mass gatherings. And of course on March 12th, you ordered all public schools and private K-12 school buildings to be closed. Of course, you stopped bars from selling alcohol at 10:00 o’clock. This week, you’ve given the schools the green light to play sports this fall, but not the green light to go back, to allow children to head to the classroom. The optics, right or wrong, if you were to send a message that sports are safer than face to face learning. How do you respond to that?
Gov. DeWine: (01:19:27)
I missed the part. You said I’ve not given the green light to go back to school. Is that what you said?
Gov. DeWine: (01:19:38)
Kevin Landers: (01:19:40)
This week you’ve given schools the green light to play fall sports and not to mandate that children go back to the classroom to have face to face learning. The optics, right or wrong, appear to send a message that contact sports are safer than face to face learning. How do you respond?
Gov. DeWine: (01:19:58)
I don’t see it that way at all, Kevin. Look, first of all, the parents are the most important people. So the parents, first of all, make a decision. Does that student go in-person, does that student go remotely. Those families are making that, number one, all across the state of Ohio. Number two, each school district, and we are a state of local school districts, over 637. Each school district is making the choice, what array of options do they give? School districts are by and large giving very wide options. They may have one preferred option when they go back. So they can do that as well. So it’s very, very, very open. All we did this week, all we did on Tuesday, we didn’t infringe on the parent’s rights. Parents have the right to say yes or no.
Gov. DeWine: (01:20:55)
We didn’t infringe on the school’s rights. They have a right to say yes or no. We gave the school a second option. If they want to not have their football team playing or their soccer team playing this fall, they can try to do it in the spring. They can do that. We’re not interfering with that. We worked with Ohio High School Athletic Association to make sure that that choice was there because we didn’t want it to be, you either play this fall or you don’t play at all. We wanted to give them more options and so that is the option that we gave them. But what we did with the order on Tuesday is we just presented the most carefully designed plan that we could come up with, consulting with coaches, consulting with health experts, that if the parent wants the child to play, and if the school wants the child to play, both have to occur, the child can play.
Gov. DeWine: (01:21:51)
And that’s what we did. John, I spent the next five hours on the phone talking to coaches and athletic directors. So I don’t come to the same conclusion that you do. These are individual choices. And look, I’ve been pretty blunt. If you’re in a school district and you’re red, I put the map up there. If you’re in a red county and you think you’re going back in-person, you have a right to do that but this is a high risk proposition and you’ve got to get your COVID down in your county or it probably will not be successful.
Speaker 2: (01:22:27)
Next question is from Marty Schladen at the Ohio Capital Journal.
Marty Schladen: (01:22:32)
Good afternoon, governor. How are you today?
Marty Schladen: (01:22:36)
Good. Advocates warn that in the absence of congressional action, low-income Ohioans are on the brink of economic calamity in the next couple of weeks. The group Advocates for Ohio Future is calling on you to appropriate $243 million of the more than $1 billion in Ohio’s unappropriated CARES Act funds. They want it from emergency rental assistance, utility assistance, money for food and basic needs and funds for childcare. Any response to that request?
Gov. DeWine: (01:23:11)
I mean, we’re certainly looking at that, but I remained convinced based on the best medical advice that we have a ways to go in this pandemic. I’m also advised by the best people we can talk to. That if we really want to try to keep these numbers down and keep it to a slow burn instead of a flare up which will create even more havoc in the economy, we’re going to have testing. It’s going to have to be robust. We’re going to be very aggressive with it. So we have our foot to the accelerator as far as we can push it in regard to testing. I anticipate that more testing, just like the saliva testing that I was just talking about. So we have not unmindful of the merit of the request that you referenced, but I think our fundamental goal has to keep the virus down because nothing else can happen if we don’t keep the virus down.
Gov. DeWine: (01:24:19)
And so very aggressive testing. We have to make sure we have enough money set aside to get us through what may be tough winter. We don’t know. Some of the experts who I’ve consulted nationwide have said, look, November, December, January could be very, very, very rough with the flu coming back, at the same time, people all indoors and the virus spreading. So that is, I think, an imperative for us to make sure we have the money for the testing.
Speaker 2: (01:24:53)
Next question is from Jim Provance at the Toledo Blade.
Jim Provance: (01:24:57)
Hello governor. We were led to believe that you were going to have an announcement today involving performing arts in schools. And can you give us an idea of where you stand on that? And also, are you looking at this point just at schools, or are you also looking at professional and amateur theaters and concert venues?
Gov. DeWine: (01:25:15)
No, our goal is by tomorrow and we’ll just put it out. We’re not going to wait until Tuesday. Our goal is by tomorrow to have an order out, a guidance in regard to performing arts. So across the board.
Speaker 2: (01:25:30)
Next question is from Scott Halasz at the Xenia Daily Gazette.
Gov. DeWine: (01:25:37)
Scott Halasz: (01:25:38)
Can you hear me? I’m sorry.
Gov. DeWine: (01:25:41)
You’re on now, Scott. Go ahead.
Scott Halasz: (01:25:42)
Okay. Great. Thanks for taking my question. I want to go back to the Creek Classic for a second. Hopefully this wasn’t already asked. But historically in these types of tournaments and you have Flyin’ To The Hoop coming up in January in the Dayton area, there’s a lot of teams that come in from out of state. Is there still a 14 day quarantine requirement if they come in from out of state? Are they going to be allowed to come in? Because if they’re coming in for a weekend tournament, it’s kind of hard to quarantine for 14 days.
Gov. DeWine: (01:26:12)
I mean, that’s an advisory. I don’t think that is actually an order. I’ll check that. But again, Scott, here’s our concern and here’s the health experts concern. We want kids to play. We want them to compete. We want them to have a great experience. But these tournaments that bring in schools from all over and then mix them in with our local kids and where they’re playing maybe more than one game a day against a different opponent, is just doubling, tripling the amount of exposure that our young people in Ohio have. And so I know that this is something that people enjoy. I know the young people enjoy doing it. What could be better if you’re 12, 15 years old and play five games that weekend or six or seven? I get it. But it’s just not safe.
Gov. DeWine: (01:27:17)
And so this is our compromise. This is kind of how we can let people play, but also try to shelter them from that wide exposure to kids who they’ve not had a contact with before, not going to have contact with. It’s one thing to play one team, it’s something very different to play two. Different to play three, four, five. You’re multiplying the danger, not only to the kids, but you’re multiplying the danger to the community. And that’s true for all the kids. The kids who come in, as well as the kids who are from Ohio.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted: (01:27:55)
Governor, I’d like to add to that. Look, we’re going to learn. And we talk with the Ohio High School Athletic Association because they talked about having a big cross country meet. And I said, look, don’t do a big event and create a problem before we even get a chance to get started. You got to learn to walk before you run. Let’s have some one on one team competitions to see if this works well so that we can learn and build confidence before we consider any larger kind of events. I think that there’s general consensus among the people who’ve been looking at this that, that’s the most prudent way to proceed. And then governor in support of what you just said with schools academically or sports, this is a local choice. They’re very consistent. They’re exactly consistent with one another on how we’re taking this approach.
Speaker 2: (01:28:48)
Next question is from Geoff Redick at WSYX in Columbus.
Geoff Redick: (01:28:55)
Hello, governor. You mentioned the performing arts guidance will be coming out tomorrow. Other activities in schools, specifically choir, I guess, anything that involves singing or projecting the voice, but also clubs, science club, robotics club. Will your order extend to that? Is that a different order? Are we still waiting?
Gov. DeWine: (01:29:14)
I would not think science club. I mean, look, teachers can figure that out. I mean, again, it’s social distancing. It’s really no different activity than a lot of other things kids are doing. So we’re not going to get down into art or science or… there’s really no reason to do that. There’s basic guidance there. Teachers will certainly do a good job in regard to that. So don’t look for that. Choir. Look, choir is a different situation and we’re going to try to get some good guidance to help our schools. Very sadly, I never was in the choir. I can’t sing, but love music. And this has been one of the things that all of us have missed, which is live performance of music. And it doesn’t mean it can’t happen now, but there’s clearly got to be distance.
Gov. DeWine: (01:30:14)
I mean, one of the things that we’ve learned is the spread of choirs. We’ve seen it in churches. We’ve seen just a lot of people come down with it. And the more the scientists learn, when you’re projecting and you’re singing that goes out a long distance. So again, it’s particularly difficult. I’ve had some superintendents tell me, look, they already know what they’re going to do as far as music. They’re going to teach more music theory and some history and do some other things during the pandemic. I mean, look, the good news is, this pandemic will get over with. We don’t know when, but it’s going to get over with and we’re going to be able to get back to normal and do all the other things that we like. So we’ll have some guidance in regard to choir, but again, lots going to depend on how that school wants to handle it and how they want to figure it out.
Speaker 2: (01:31:13)
Governor, your next question is the last question for today and it belongs to Noah Blundo at Hannah News Service.
Noah Blundo: (01:31:20)
Good afternoon, governor. Can you hear me?
Gov. DeWine: (01:31:22)
I can indeed. Thank you.
Noah Blundo: (01:31:24)
Thank you. I’m wondering, in your sports order, there’s language about needing a cardiac risk assessment in order to be able to return to play if you have a case. Is that something that somebody can get from their family physician or are we going to have athletes needing to seek cardiologists or get special equipment? Because, that could mean it’s essentially season ending if you [inaudible 01:31:50].
Gov. DeWine: (01:31:52)
Look, this was based on what has really been learned in the last month or so. And we saw it. You heard from a doctor at Ohio State of their athletes who tested positive. The 13% of them had this problem. Thank heavens it was not serious with any of them. But based upon that and based upon what other people are reporting, we know that this does go along with the COVID. Can go, can go. And in Ohio State’s case, it was 13% of the young athletes. And so no, we’re not prescribing, what we’re saying is go to your local doctor, have them follow the best protocol. And we put some things down, but the truth is that a month from now, the best protocol may be very different or at least different or more nuanced at least.
Gov. DeWine: (01:32:49)
And so we’ve provided that. And so people can continue to update that. And your local doctor will be able to update that and see exactly what the most current information is. But again, this goes back. We’re trying to protect our young people. Sudden death is something that we worry about with athletes when we don’t have the COVID. This apparently contributes to more people having that syndrome with the heart, which could lead to that. The advice is the same. Candidly, to a 30 year old who likes to run, you probably better get cleared to go run extensively before you go back to do that if you’ve had the virus. So it’d be no different. Someone who’s going to be active needs to get that cleared. That’s what the doctors are telling us. Well, that is it. Thank you all very much. Hope everyone has a nice weekend and look forward to seeing you at 2:00 o’clock on Tuesday. Thank you.
Governor DeWine coronavirus press conference | August 20, 2020
WATCH: Governor Mike DeWine provides an update on the status of the coronavirus and Ohio's response. https://bit.ly/2ZlwitZPosted by 10TV - WBNS on Thursday, August 20, 2020