Oct 6, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Press Conference Transcript October 6

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Press Conference Transcript October 6
RevBlogTranscriptsCOVID-19 Briefing & Press Conference TranscriptsOhio Governor Mike DeWine Press Conference Transcript October 6

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference on October 6 to give coronavirus updates. Read the transcript of his news briefing here.

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Governor Mike DeWine: (07:02)
Afternoon, everyone.

Governor Mike DeWine: (07:03)
It’s a beautiful day.

Governor Mike DeWine: (07:14)
I want to take a moment to talk about the President’s diagnosis with COVID. First, we continue to pray for his recovery, recover of the first lady, and we pray for the recovery of all the people in this country, and around the world, who have the virus. We also pray for the families of those who have lost someone to the virus. The President said yesterday that we should not let the virus dominate our life, and that certainly is true. We have to learn to live with it, at least for a while. Part of that means accepting that it is in every community in Ohio, and that all of us are at risk of getting it.

Governor Mike DeWine: (08:06)
Part of that also means taking the necessary precautionary measures we all need to take to help keep our economy open, keep it open, and to keep our kids in school, to be able to visit our loved ones in nursing homes, and to do all the things that we want to do, and to bring some sense of normalcy back to our lives, and we can do all these things. That of course means wearing masks, keeping our distance, washing our hands, avoiding large gatherings. It means taking this virus seriously and respecting this enemy, knowing that it poses a great risk to our ability to keep Ohio safe, keep Ohio open.

Governor Mike DeWine: (08:55)
It certainly though does not mean that we have to be afraid. It does however mean that we have to be realistic and practical about it. Over the last few days, we’ve seen commentators raise a number of points and questions about the President’s illness. Should the President have left Walter Reed and gone back to the White House? Other people have raised questions. Why did he leave at the time that he did? Should the White House be contact tracing? Should the President have taken his mask off on the White House balcony yesterday when he turned to salute? These questions go on and on. If you watched any TV yesterday or the day before, these are some of the questions that we continue to see and look, people can continue to talk about that, and that’s fine.

Governor Mike DeWine: (09:53)
But for all of us in Ohio, my fellow citizens, I think we need to keep focused. Ohioans should ask what are the enduring lessons that we have learned from the President and First Lady’s illness? What lessons are relevant to each of us? Well, I have a few. I’m sure each one of us can come up with some. One, even the leader of our great country can get the virus. It can happen to anyone. No one is immune. Second, while testing can be and is very important, even very frequent testing cannot substitute for masks and social distancing. They have to go together. Number three, masks do matter. Number four, distance matters. Number five, contact tracing matters. As I said, we can all come up with our list, but seems to me that those are things that all of us can take away from the President’s illness.

Governor Mike DeWine: (11:24)
In the days ahead, let us talk and focus on the things that you and I can actually do, that we can actually impact, the things that we can do to fight back against the virus, the things that we can do to enable us to have more freedom, to enable us to live a more normal life. Each of us can demonstrate our love and our respect for our fellow Ohioans by wearing a mask, by avoiding large gatherings of people, by frequently washing our hands, and by keeping at least six feet distance from others. All of these things are within our control. This virus is the enemy of our freedom, and by doing these things to fight back against it, we will keep our kids in school. We’ll keep them playing sports. We’ll keep our economy moving forward and all of this together, working together, all of us, will allow us to live with this virus until the time when it is gone. These are the things that must be our focus. These are the things that will remain my focus.

Governor Mike DeWine: (12:50)
Today, I’m wearing a pink tie to acknowledge October is breast cancer awareness month. One in nine women will develop breast cancer, making the disease the second leading cause of cancer death among women. In Ohio, more than 9,800 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women each year, accounting for nearly 30% of all cancers in women. There is good news. In Ohio, the female breast cancer mortality rate has dropped 11% in 10 years. The survival rate among Ohio women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer is nearly a hundred percent. Early detection is very critical. It is recommended that average risk women ages 50 to 74 receive a mammogram every two years. That’s something, obviously, everyone should consult their own doctor. Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project assists women in finding screening providers and other resources and guiding them through the healthcare process. The program also offers no cost screenings and diagnostic testing to those who qualify. For help or information call 1-844-430-2227 or search for BCCP and odh.ohio.gov. And again, the phone number: 1-844-430-2227. We talk about our teachers a lot because they’re doing some just amazing work out there every single day in Ohio. They’re teaching through a pandemic. They’re doing something that no Ohio teachers had to do for a hundred years. Yesterday was World Teacher Day, and I want to take a moment to thank all of Ohio’s teachers. This past year has certainly been a struggle, whether it’s juggling distance education, hybrid or in-person teaching, helping students manage their feelings, their mental health challenges that they might face, or working with families to help kids succeed, we thank our teachers for the dedication.

Governor Mike DeWine: (15:20)
We invited today Ohio’s Teacher of the Year, Anthony Coy-Gonzales, a fourth and fifth grade teacher at the Ohio School for the Deaf. We’ve asked him to join us today. Superintendent of the school says Anthony has an amazing ability, an amazing ability, to connect with students. Anthony, thank you very much for joining us today.

Speaker 1: (15:49)
Good afternoon, Governor DeWine, and thank you very much for inviting me here this afternoon. My name is Anthony Coy-Gonzalez, and I am a teacher at the Ohio School for the Deaf. As we have a certified deaf interpreter with us today, I will let her take over in native ASL and I will use my voice. Thank you for providing this access for our deaf community, and I also want to thank you on behalf of my students for recognizing their hard work last year in one of your press conferences.

Governor Mike DeWine: (16:18)
Anthony, congratulations on Teacher of the Year. We all congratulate you for your dedication to young people. Tell us a little bit about what school looks like for your students this year.

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (16:35)
So our school has changed quite drastically over the last seven months, and it’s been a challenge for all of us, but it’s also been an opportunity to learn and we’ve been quite resilient. We’ve seen students, teachers, staff, and families all pitch in to re-imagine what school can look like. So this year, we have a schedule that’s been updated that allows us to have more time with our students every day, reading, writing, math, social studies, and science. We also have opportunities to meet one-on-one with our students to help them through their special education plans and provide that really valuable time. But it is quite different. We’ve had to deliver meals. We’ve been out there delivering classroom materials to help our students succeed. But it is a unique opportunity for us.

Governor Mike DeWine: (17:31)
So Anthony are you a hundred percent, I may have missed it, but are you a hundred percent virtual, or you have some in class, or how does that work?

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (17:40)
So currently we are fully virtual, but we are looking forward to opening our school back up later this month to host some of the students who are ready to return. And we’re also preparing to continue that virtual instruction for families who choose to do so for the second quarter.

Governor Mike DeWine: (18:00)
And what might be unique challenges that you’re facing now with your students, besides something that maybe another teacher might be facing, what’s unique?

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (18:14)
So our students, the students that we serve are in our school, use American Sign Language as their primary language. And so we are using a technology that we received last year, thankfully right in time in March, to access that communication and be able to provide that direct instruction to students through the online learning. We also are looking to using masks when we return and that’s going to be an additional barrier that we are working through. Our school is preparing virtual lessons online, also providing individual PPE for our staff that might have clear masks where you will have that visible window, and with that window that will provide that additional access to American Sign Language.

Governor Mike DeWine: (19:03)
And so in that classroom, explain to me how this works. You were signing for us at the beginning. And so somebody in your classroom, is that how they’re getting your course generally from you?

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (19:19)
Yes. So typically every day I will be using sign language without the use of my voice in class. And that will be our primary mode of instruction throughout the day. One of the challenges of being completely virtual since the pandemic has been not having those students that we’ve missed all this time, but also those students missing school and their teachers and having that regular communication in our school for their access to language throughout the day.

Governor Mike DeWine: (19:53)
So I imagine you and the students are looking forward to kind of getting back together in class?

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (19:59)
Absolutely, absolutely. I had the opportunity, and I know a lot of Ohio’s teachers had the opportunity, to drop off some supplies to their students over the summer. And that was magic. We missed them so much and we can’t wait for them to be back. We’ve seen some of those social emotional needs, and being able to connect with them in person from a safe distance with masks has been a beautiful opportunity, and we’re really looking forward to continuing to provide that once we get back into the building,

Governor Mike DeWine: (20:33)
Anthony, one last question. I admire teachers very much, admire you. How did you become a teacher? What inspired you to do that? What was your pathway?

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (20:45)
Sure. I think my story is probably this very similar to a lot of teachers out there, just having a heart for kids and wanting to make a difference. And I think we’re in an opportunity right now where we can definitely do so. I attended Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, after graduating from Hilliard City Schools and took sign language courses and pursued it and returned home to Ohio, where I’m able to give back to the community, like a lot of teachers out there. I’m really proud to serve with all of Ohio’s teachers.

Governor Mike DeWine: (21:19)
So how many years you’ve been teaching now?

Anthony Coy-Gonzalez: (21:21)
Seven years.

Governor Mike DeWine: (21:21)
Seven years. Well, thank you. And we’re glad you’re in Ohio and I know you’ll be happy and your students will be happy to see you and get back into the classroom. But thank you very, very much. And again, congratulations. There’s so many good teachers out there, and you’re kind of the symbol of all of those teachers who were making a difference every single day. Anthony, thank you. I appreciate it very much.

Governor Mike DeWine: (21:46)
Eric, let’s go and look at the slides. We’ll start off with our general slide. Unfortunately at 1,335 new cases is what we’re reporting. This is trending upward. We’re now, you can kind of see the trend of the last 21 days. We’re over now a thousand, there was a time not too long ago when we were dipping below a thousand, we’re over a thousand now. So we are concerned about that. Let’s go to the next slide, Eric, which is really kind of a new slide. It’s based on the same information that you have seen before, but I thought it might be interesting. We really have two things that we look at every week and on Thursday, we’ll announce the new color code. We’ll give the new list for one through 88 counties, as far as the incidence. And those are two really different ways of measuring the situation that you have in your particular county.

Governor Mike DeWine: (22:53)
So I think we wanted to kind of put these two together. And so what you’re going to see on here is just the red counties right now, and then the other counties that you see on here that are kind of orange, yellow, I’m not quite sure what that is, but the other color there are counties that have a high incidence of the virus. High incidence counties are ones with greater than a hundred cases per a hundred thousand population in the last two weeks. And so the rest of these counties are counties that don’t fall into either one of these categories.

Governor Mike DeWine: (23:34)
So to summarize it, these are the counties that we would worry the most about. Doesn’t mean everybody else’s doesn’t have something to worry about, but these are the counties, these two colors, these counties, are the ones that you have something else, they’re either a high incident level or they are red because they’ve met enough of those seven indicators. So again, we do kind of see a pattern-

Governor Mike DeWine: (24:03)
So again, we just kind of see a pattern over in the Western side of the state. But that’s, again, a new map. We’ll put that up so people can see it. It is a combination of several other maps and we’ve kind of put them together in a different way to look at. Eric, let’s go to our top 20 Ohio counties ranked by highest occurrence. And again, and we start with Mercer. Athens is now number two. Looks like Putnam, Fulton, Darke, Defiance, Fayette, Henry, Wood, Auglaize and then we dropped to Lawrence and we keep going from there. Again, it is of interest just geographically. Most of these, first of all, are rural counties. And in second with a couple of exceptions, most of them are in Western part of the state.

Governor Mike DeWine: (24:58)
Let’s go to the 88. Eric, you’re showing that one there. And again, that is up and anyone can go take a look at those 88 counties. You can see where your county is ranked. Again, this is by number of cases in the last two weeks. Let’s talk for a moment about hospitalization. Hospital admissions had been declining for many weeks since our peak in mid July. Unfortunately, we started to see that trend change a few weeks ago. As a reminder, hospital admissions are a lagging indicator. The data comes a little later as folks go to some hospital for something that they need that kind of, particularly, that kind of care. So let’s look at several of these. This is number of hospital admissions. And you can start to see a trend. This starts over here in April, goes all the way across.

Governor Mike DeWine: (25:58)
If you can’t read, it goes to the week that we are into now. These data fills in late sometimes. So we might get information today and It might indicate back here or might indicate here. And so it’s probably best not to look at this week because it hasn’t filled in fully. But you do start to see a trend going up a little bit, not marked on there yet, but we see that trend. Our data team showed me some things this morning I want to share with you. And they’ve taken hospital admissions and they’ve really come up with different ways of looking at this. This is hospital admissions by age. As we said earlier, in August and September, spread among the young and healthy, we are afraid, will eventually impact those who are older and more vulnerable. The average age of COVID cases and this is going up and unfortunately, so is the average age of hospitalizations.

Governor Mike DeWine: (27:03)
So this is a relatively new trend. In fact, in recent weeks, Ohioans in 60 and older now account for about 70% of COVID hospital admissions. This is considerably higher than the 50% that we saw in July. It’s only natural, I think, to see older people are the ones going to the hospital more. But we have seen a marked change just since July. Again, 50% of the people going into our hospitals for COVID in July were 60 years of age or older. Now that number is up to 70% who are 60 years of age or older. So again, you can kind of see and we’ll make this available on our web page as well. What you see, the colors, the darker red, purple. This would be 70 to 79, this would be 80 plus.

Governor Mike DeWine: (28:02)
So you can look at these colors. And these are the two interesting… they’re all interesting, but you can look at these two colors. And what you will see is that the older population is taking more percentage of those cases going to the hospital, of that population. Eric, let’s look at the next one. This is hospital admission by county type. So we break it down into urban counties, suburban and small, metro and rural counties. And what we’re starting to see here, what we are seeing here is the red, the rural, again, comprise more of the total number of COVID cases, COVID admissions into hospitals. People with COVID who are going into hospitals. And so these are just interesting trends. More rural. We’re seeing it more rural and we’re seeing it older. Another way of looking at this as percentage of hospital admissions by region. And again, these are the regions. Again, we’ll be able to pull this down and you can just kind of make your own conclusions here. But the green which is region one, Northwest Ohio. And so we’re starting to see that. We’re seeing relatively fewer residents of the Cleveland, Columbus area being admitted with COVID. At the same time, our three Western regions, one, three, and six. One, three and six. As you see them, there are seeing a greater percentage of hospital admissions along with some increases in region seven and eight, which is Southeast Ohio. I will make it clear, all of our regions have adequate capacity remaining in the hospitals. We’re certainly keeping a close eye on it. But we’re okay. But is a geographical switch and we’re seeing an age switch. Let me talk for a moment about something I’ve heard from a number of superintendents and health directors and very concerned. And let me just say again, I’m very impressed with what our teachers are doing, what our principals are doing, what our superintendents are doing. They’re doing an absolutely phenomenal job trying to get as many of the kids back in school, as they can. We’ve heard from many superintendents though, about the number of students who are meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of close contact and are being put into quarantine. In most cases, again, this is guidance from the CDC. So you might have a young person who is in class, let’s say a high school student. It’s determined that they have COVID. Then they go back and determine who they were seated within a close distance, within six feet.

Governor Mike DeWine: (31:11)
And then the CDC guidelines talks about those individuals being quarantined. The CDC, and I’ll just quote part of it, in the context of COVID-19, the definition of a close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more. I’ll just go down a little bit. The determination of close contact should be made. And this is what the CDC says, irrespective of whether the person with COVID-19 or the contact was wearing a mask. And so what people have said to us is, look, both people were wearing masks, both students were wearing masks. They were then six feet, but they were both wearing masks. They were above 15 minutes, but they were both wearing masks. And basically, shouldn’t that count for something? So we’re looking at this. Frankly, our health department and our health experts and others who we consult outside the health department are very reluctant to change this without data.

Governor Mike DeWine: (32:19)
So we’re going to go out and try to get some data. And what we’re going to do is to take some of the new tests that are coming in from the White House that we expect to be here any day. We’ve asked Ohio State researchers to come up with a protocol. We’re going to take 10, we think, 10 school districts or school buildings in the state. And what we’re going to do is run a test, frankly, of those individuals who meet that criteria, who would normally have been quarantined and we’re going to follow them with very frequent strip tests. These new strip tests. So again, we’ll have more details in the future. This is not the announcement of when we’re going to start it. But I wanted to let everyone know that we are working on this. Frankly, we’ve seen a lot of gut wrenching things and things that just, as a parent, bother me.

Governor Mike DeWine: (33:19)
Kids missing out on school, kids missing out on activities that they want to be involved in. But frankly, our medical experts do not feel that we can move off this without data. So what we’re going to look at to see is, let’s follow these kids who had this exposure, where both people had masks, they were in six feet of each other and they were together for more than 15 minutes. And we’re going to take some of those and follow them and just see what they do, in fact, develop. Do they, in fact, come down with COVID or not, and what the percentages are and see if the data can help inform us as how we move forward. Last week, we had invited RecoveryOhio director, Alisha Nelson. Alisha worked with me in the attorney general’s office. She heads up, basically, our anti-drug efforts, our recovery efforts in the state. And I wanted to invite her to join us today, to talk about some of the things that we are seeing.

Governor Mike DeWine: (34:26)
And I know Alisha, last month was RecoveryOhio month, but for you and for the departments, for every Ohioan every month really is kind of recovery month. And so tell us a little bit about what you’re seeing out there. I mean, we know that we’re seeing an increase in mental health problems, we’re seeing an increase in drug use, drug dependency. And so these are some of the things that have come along with the virus that obviously caused us a great deal of concern. So Alisha, I’m going to turn it over to you and kind of tell us maybe what we’re doing and what could be of help.

Alisha Nelson: (35:12)
Well, thank you, governor. First, I want to echo what you said and thank everyone who participated last month in national recovery month. And I’m glad to also be here with you this week to kick off mental health awareness week and talk about what Ohio has been working on to support those with mental health and substance use disorders and their families. As you said, we have seen some increases that have concerned us. And what research has really told us is that at times of natural disaster or traumatic events, and in this case, in pandemic times, it has proven to be a time of increased anxiety and stress for those across the country. And it’s been certainly true in Ohio. And what we’re seeing is that people who have never had to worry about mental health or other issues like stress and anxiety are starting to have feelings and symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Alisha Nelson: (36:13)
And then those who frequently or may struggle with a condition, a mental health condition or substance use disorder are seeing their symptoms increase. And so what we have done is wanted to make sure that folks knew that our behavioral health system is open and we wanted to make sure that that system remained open and worked to be creative to do that work. To make sure the system stayed open, I guess, is what we really wanted to say here. And one of the ways that we’ve done that is through our tele-health system. Right now, if you have a phone in Ohio, you can access treatment supports and really get to talk with someone about any of the symptoms you’re feeling. We also wanted to make sure that important medication and assisted treatment services through our opiate treatment programs remained available and have really allowed for take home dosing.

Alisha Nelson: (37:09)
And it really expanded the use of Naloxone as the third way to make sure that we’re looking at opiate overdose deaths and overdoses and really combat those with any tool that we have in the toolbox. And Naloxone is an important tool for that. So right now if you’re in our state, you can access Naloxone by mail through our Ohio Department of Health or your local department of health’s Project DAWN program, along with many other programs across the state. And we felt that, that would be important as we move forward and continue to address this crisis together.

Governor Mike DeWine: (37:47)
So director, in regard to someone… let’s say you have someone in your family who has an addiction problem and you’re concerned that they may have relapsed. How should a person deal with that? Say, they’ve got a brother. Let’s say they’ve got a son. daughter or somebody in a mother or somebody in their family.

Alisha Nelson: (38:11)
One of the best things that you can do is really talk to somebody about what you’re experiencing and recognize that any differences that you see in your family members, or even in yourself during these times, that you do have a support network in the state of Ohio that can help you. And one avenue to get support is the COVID care line that the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has set up. That tool is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It’s a toll free call-in line. You can call and talk to somebody about what you’re seeing, what you’re experiencing, what you’re feeling and they can really help you navigate through that. And that number is 1-800-720-9616. Again, 1-800-720-9616. And if you don’t catch it live here today, we have that up on the coronavirus website.

Governor Mike DeWine: (39:09)
So even though it says for COVID and it really, if I call there and I’ve got someone, I don’t have a COVID problem, I’ve got a mental health problem, or I’ve got a drug addiction problem. Whoever’s on that other line will be able to help me or help my family and kind of maybe guide me to where I should go.?

Alisha Nelson: (39:31)
Absolutely. It does not have to be COVID related. Anything that you’re feeling regarding mental health or substance use disorders or stress and anxiety at this time, you can reach in that number and someone would be there to talk to you and point you in the right direction.

Governor Mike DeWine: (39:47)
Director, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Alisha Nelson: (39:48)
Thank you.

Governor Mike DeWine: (39:51)
[inaudible 00:15:49]. As I do each Tuesday, I’m going to take a moment to talk about gun violence in this state. We should all be sick and tired of picking up the newspaper and seeing the things that we see literally every single day. Our fellow Ohioans injured or killed through senseless violence. Since I last talked about this a week ago, at least 42 more people in Ohio are shot. More than half of them, 23 men, women, children have died. Just this week. 23 lives cut short, 20 more families who are needlessly having to grieve. Tomorrow will mark one year since Senator Matt Dolan And I announced legislation to help local law enforcement, prosecutors, to help judges get tougher on those relatively small number of criminals who are responsible for most gun crimes. Convicted felons convicted of a crime of violence who illegally have guns. This legislation is still pending in front of the legislature. Again, would ask the legislature to take action. Eric, let’s look at some headlines. In the past two weeks, excuse me, in the past week, two, 15-year-old boys were killed. On Tuesday and I quote, “15-year-old, one of the latest homicide victims in Columbus.” Then on Thursday in Cleveland, 15-year-old boy found dead in field after being shot. It is an absolute tragedy. On Friday, this headline, 12-year-old boy shot in the face in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. And Willowick police officer at home recovering after being shot during a traffic stop. Child that we are talking about survived as did the Willowick police officer who was shot in the chest during a traffic stop. Reports say his bullet proof vest may have been what saved his life.

Governor Mike DeWine: (42:10)
Also, Friday headline, 25-year-old man fatally shot during fight at bar on Akron’s East Side. Two in critical condition. Let’s talk a little bit more about this case. According to reports, one person was shot and killed, one person was shot and critically injured, and a third person was critically injured when she was hit by a car fleeing the scene. The alleged gunman was arrested a short time later. According to public records, this suspect is a convicted felon prohibited from having a gun. In fact, the suspect was caught illegally carrying a gun in the past and was sent back to prison but for only six months. The reality is oftentimes convicted felons caught illegally carrying guns don’t go to jail or don’t go to prison very long. We have to change that. We need to give our judges, we need to give our prosecutors, we need to give our police more flexibility. Get this relatively small number of violent, repeat offenders off our streets.

Governor Mike DeWine: (43:15)
The legislation we announced last October would give judges the authority to sentence a convicted felon to up to eight years in prison the first time they’re caught illegally possessing a gun. Up to the judge, but we give them that discretion. The possible sentence goes up to 11 years if they’re caught with a gun again after that. This legislation is necessary, it will in fact save lives. I again ask the General Assembly to work with us, take this measure, which we know, absolutely know might not save every life, but it will save lives. There’s no doubt about it. Let me talk briefly and then we’ll go to the lieutenant governor. The ongoing pandemic has impacted so many people and hurt so many people just besides those who have gotten sick. We have Ohioans who are struggling to pay their rent, their mortgage, water, and sewer utility bills. We’re working closely with our partners in the General Assembly and hope to have something to announce early next week about some money that we will take, the coronavirus money that we will take.

Governor Mike DeWine: (44:32)
What’s called the CARES Act dollars. And we will take to help those people who have to pay their rent and they’re way behind their rent or mortgage. Second, we’re also going to give some help to our small businesses and to our nonprofits. Again, many of them are teetering right on the edge and we know it’s been a horrible, horrible, really difficult time for them. So we’ll be doing this. I’m talking about today and I talked a little bit about last week just to tell people it’s coming. When we get everything worked out with the General Assembly and have it ready to go, and we can put it out so that people can start applying, we’ll be able to announce that. And we hope that we’ll be early next week. Today’s the first day of early voting in Ohio. Ohioans can go to their county board of elections to vote in person if they do not want to, or not able to go to the polls on election day. They also obviously have the option of absentee ballots.

Governor Mike DeWine: (45:37)
So we encourage everyone to do that. We encourage you to be kind to the poll workers, to the people who are manning, doing the work at the board of elections, as well as the people ultimately who will be doing it on election day by wearing a mask, you standing in line. We saw some pictures in some of the newspapers we put up this morning, early people standing in lines. And just please be careful, be safe. And let me turn it over to the lieutenant governor. I know lieutenant governor as former secretary of state, has been involved in elections a lot. And Jon, if you want to say anything more about that or what other comments that you have.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (46:16)
Thanks, governor. Old habits die hard. I would like to say I was looking at some of the video showing people standing in line, and remember, you don’t have to stand in line in Ohio. There’s still plenty of time to request an absentee ballot. You can fill that ballot out and you can either mail it back in, or you could drop it off at the drop box at that local board of elections. So that same place that you would be standing in line, you can just request your absentee ballot, fill it out and just physically drop it off there at that board of elections so that you don’t have to stand in a line. Just one convenience that the Ohio system of elections allows you. Just a reminder that you can take advantage of. Appreciate, governor, the acknowledgement of the work that’s being done to pull together some of the efforts around small business.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (47:07)
I would like to talk about the economy today, both in terms of how we’re recovering from both a health and an economic point of view. We all know that Ohio is home of a lot of great research. We have wonderful colleges and universities that do a lot of wonderful things in the area of innovation. But when we got here, one of the things the InnovateOhio Team was looking at, that you charged us with governor is to find out maybe why some of that great intellectual property in our colleges and universities was not being commercialized. Why we weren’t developing enough small businesses as a result of that, which we know create jobs and help bolster our economy. What we found when we looked at that was that it was a little bureaucratic getting that intellectual property-

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (48:03)
It was a little bureaucratic getting that intellectual property out of the University system, both from a standpoint of contract negotiations and just speed to market. It was slow, it was not very entrepreneurial, it was not functioning at the speed of business. So, the InnovateOhio team partnered with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Inner University Council who was just instrumental in this looking how we could change it to create less friction, save time and money and move more intellectual property into the marketplace, and that’s when we created the Ohio IP Promise. The IP Promise included 14 public universities and two privates Case Western University, and the University of Dayton, and the IP Promise was a uniform transparent way of taking this intellectual property and moving it into the marketplace, into commercialization and really to take these great innovations on our campuses and helping improve people’s lives, and after this one-year anniversary, I wanted to give a little report on where we stand.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (49:18)
I had some great conversations with some of these universities to talk about their successes. Had a wonderful one last week with David Adams who’s UC’s, so the University of Cincinnati’s chief innovation officer and the head of the UC Research Institute after the completion of the Ohio IP Promise, he noted that last year the University of Cincinnati had a 400% increase in the number of startups that were spun out of UC intellectual property, and this year alone they had a 1000% increase. Amazing work going on at the University of Cincinnati and becoming more entrepreneurial. Additionally, at Ohio University, the AEIOU Scientific has developed technology that recently won a NASA iTech Ignite The Night pitch competition, and their technology helps predict a bone weakness in a noninvasive manner. That’s obviously important for NASA, but just think of the geriatric and other health implications that this potentially has, health value that this has coming out of that research. I will also note something that happened at the University of Dayton Research Institute as a result of the Ohio IP Promise. And that was the development of x-rays to diagnose COVID-19, and they used the principles outlined in the Ohio IP Promise to get that to market in just two and a half days, to commercialize that in just two and a half days, to get it licensed in June and it’s now licensed in generating revenue for the university and is being used to diagnose COVID cases through x-rays. Ohio state, the Ohio S University has more than a hundred active startup companies in their portfolio. Many of them using the Ohio IP Promise to move forward with this. So, I want to thank the Ohio department of higher education, the tech transfer offices at these universities and the Inter University Council. And note that today we will be announcing three areas of collaboration for the IP Promise commercialization efforts. First, there’ll be a statewide inter institutional agreement, and these will allow more than two institutions to jointly own an invention and to work together to commercialize it.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (51:43)
These agreements define the responsibilities for marketing licensing and the proportional costs and the royalties, and it’s just a new tool that we have to promote collaboration on universities. We’re also going to gather in the second component of this, gather statewide collection of institutional entrepreneurial resources. A lot of things out there for professors and researchers to use in the entrepreneurial space that they maybe didn’t know exists. We’re going to help make sure they know how to contact, how they can use that information. And then, third establish agreements among the Inter University Council members to use a consistent nonfinancial starting of terms for these agreements. As a measurement of the IP Promise success, we’re going to use five benchmarks, the number of invention disclosures, the number of technologies licensed, the number of startups launched, the total number of portfolio funding and the net promoter score as a measure of stakeholder satisfaction.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (52:49)
The bottom line is, is that we’re trying to take the power of innovation and research on our university campuses, improve people’s lives with it, make it easier for entrepreneurs and businesses to commercialize this and hopefully light a fire under our state’s economy with the great talent and research that’s happening in our colleges and universities. Five or 10 years from now, there’s going to be a great business that we’re all proud of in Ohio that is the result of the intellectual property that’s sitting on the shelf somewhere right now at one of our colleges and universities that we’re going to get off the shelf, turn it in development and move it into becoming one of these great business startups in our state. That’s what this is all about, and we’re excited about step two of the Ohio IP Promise. I’ve also talked about, in my role here on these news conferences, about how businesses are helping us during this COVID time period to help contribute to the health of our state, and also grow the economy at the same time.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (54:01)
We announced a little while ago that that jobs, Ohio and DSA jobs, Ohio is going to have some revitalization grants for Appalachia, that the development services agency had some grants for PPE. We are announcing today that, or want to highlight today during manufacturing month, that there’s a company in Jackson County in Southeast Ohio, in the heart of Appalachia, Phoenix quality manufacturing that’s announced that, with these grants, they’re going to start manufacturing N95 masks in Jackson County. It’ll create approximately 40 jobs. They’re going to convert 23,000 square feet of former manufacturing facility for elemental products. They’re going to use this now to produce that N95 masks, and this will serve customers across the region of our country, statewide and ultimately will help nationally and internationally. And I just want to thank the collaboration the private/public collaboration of, of Jobs Ohio, the Ohio Development Services Agency, the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, Appalachian Growth Capital and Jackson County Job and Family Services for helping get this started.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (55:20)
This is what we said, we know we need PPE, we know we need jobs. We know we need economic development. Putting some of that startup capital in to get this going, and hopefully we’ll be able to sustain this, because we don’t ever want to find ourselves, again, in a position where we don’t have adequate PPE to serve our state. And also in closing Governor, let me add that on Ohio Means Jobs website, there are 165,000 jobs currently available, 81,700 of them pay over $50,000 a year, and I just remind people of that. You may be struggling. You may have lost your job in one industry that’s been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, but there are a lot of others that are flourishing during this timeframe. We need to get you connected with those. We have the training programs available also on that site and the employers of our state have done a great job at creating safe environments for employees to go to work.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (56:23)
So, use Ohio Means Jobs as a resource for you to help you get your career restarted as we begin to move forward living with the coronavirus in our lives and doing so successfully. Thanks Governor.

Governor Mike DeWine: (56:39)
John, that’s so very, very, very important. It’s also really exciting about the N95 masks going to be made in Jackson, Ohio. We love it. This is something that we’ve worked on a long time. A lot of people have worked on to get that done, and we talk about one of the enduring lessons of this coronavirus is that never ever again, do we want to be in a position where we have to import all our personal protection equipment. We don’t want to do that. And so, making N95 mask in Ohio is a great thing. Ready to go to questions.

Speaker 2: (57:20)
First question to the Governor is from Shane Stegmiller at Hanna News Service.

Speaker 3: (57:29)
Thank you Governor for taking my question. Could you talk about the decision to allow the Browns and maybe the Bengals to raise their spectator capacity? And where are you at on raising the capacity at other sports and entertainment venues? And also, can you talk about the discussions on lifting the 10:00 PM alcohol sales restrictions as well?

Governor Mike DeWine: (57:48)
Sure. We’ve made no decision yet on the 10:00 PM alcohol. Certainly under consideration. I understand what this is doing. This does hurt small businesses, people who are running restaurants and bars. I’m going to have an opportunity the next several days to talk to a number of representatives from the restaurant association. We’re trying to balance that. We also are hearing from some of our mayors. One mayor who’s for it, but we have most the other mayors that are talking to us or saying, they do not want to see that done. And so, we’re trying to balance that whole issue of safety, at the same time protecting our small businesses. Both of these things are important. And so, that’s what we’re trying to, to balance. As far as the Bengals and the Browns, we started by first games at 6,000 people. I don’t know the exact capacity, but we’re over 50,000, I think, in both places, and we kind of looked at that. We talked to the local health departments, we talked to local officials to see what impact that had.

Governor Mike DeWine: (59:11)
It looked like it was safe. They really didn’t have any incidents. So, we thought we could take it up to 12. This would give more football fans in Ohio the opportunity to go, but also do it in a safe way, and I think we’re probably at where we’re going to stop. And I made it very clear to the ownership of the Browns and the Bengals to that this is a game-by-game, but we don’t see any reason that it couldn’t continue at 12,000 people. That would seem to be a reasonable thing. We have our overall guidelines. We look at each case just as we did with high school football. We had variances and we gave some variances there. So, we’re trying to provide the broad guidelines in the big events. Again, we try to measure everything to make sure that it is in fact safe. And we also look at, frankly, the impact on what’s going on downtown and other things.

Speaker 2: (01:00:20)
Next question is from Jackie Borturd at the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:00:24)
Hey Jackie.

Jackie: (01:00:25)
Hey, how are you? You mentioned this school study using the rapid antigen tests. Rapid antigen tests have only been approved by the FDA to test people with symptoms, and the CDC has said several times that even if you get a negative test and you’ve been exposed, you should still quarantine for 14 days. So, I was hoping to talk a little bit more about why you think an Ohio-based school study would show something different than what the various CDC studies have shown. Is this just to appease the school officials?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:01:03)
No. Look, we don’t want to move away from CDC unless there’s some data that shows that we are safe and moving away from CDC getting a study in Ohio schools that are spread out among different demographics will provide us with more information. It does not mean there’ll be a decision to move. It doesn’t mean anything. It simply means we’re trying to get some additional information. We are looking at how to use these tests. As you know, Ohio will be receiving about 128,000 of these tests, we believe, every seven to 10 days, and we continue to work on how we’re going to deploy them to save lives, how we’re going to deploy them to allow Ohioans to do more things and try to do more things safely. So, this would come under the second category, but we’re going to see what we come up with, and we’re going to go with the facts.

Speaker 2: (01:02:12)
Next question is from Sean Linear at WCMH in Columbus.

Sean: (01:02:20)
Governor DeWine, you may know the Columbus city council just repealed their curfew, their 10:00 PM curfew, understanding that the statewide last call order is in place. I know you just touched on it a little bit, but is there any type of timeline that you’re looking at to make an announcement? Is there any indicators that you’re looking at, or specialists that are talking to you about when this could possibly change, and understanding that you’re trying to balance the safety, but also the sustainability of these bars and restaurants that are hurting because of this order?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:02:55)
Sure. Mayor Gunther and I talk at least twice a week, usually, four or five times a week, and he knows that we’re looking at this. He’s very aware of the fact that we are looking at this. He’s expressed his opinion that he hopes we don’t change it. We have Mayor Cranley in Cincinnati who wants us to change it. So, we take all the information and we try to balance these things. Want to keep our economy going, want to protect our small business, but at the same time, we’re watching the numbers, watching what’s happening and trying to keep Ohio from spiking up, flaring up. So, it’s no different than many of the other decisions we make, frankly. There’s no easy answer and there’s no perfect answer, and there’s usually two answers that neither one are perfect. And both are kind of in one sense, one’s trying to figure out which is the worst alternative. So, we’re looking at these things and we’re trying to weigh this out.

Speaker 2: (01:04:03)
Next question is from Andrew Welch Huggins at the Associated Press.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:04:08)
Happy birthday, Andrew. I hear it might be your birthday today.

Andrew: (01:04:12)
Hi, Governor. It is. Thank you very much. I really appreciate that. I just had two quick questions following up on the small business rent or mortgage aid package that you you’re working on that you mentioned earlier. So, in terms of making the money available quickly, how seriously are you looking at option like the controlling board as the fastest method to deliver the aid, and then longer term, especially with last week’s report that initial unemployment claims ticked back up, what are your concerns that small businesses and low income renters are going to need even more help down the road than what this package can deliver?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:04:52)
Well, they certainly may need more then we can deliver with this package. As far as using the controlling board, of course, that is a creature of the state legislature. There’s two ways to get money out. We can pass a bill or we can go through the controlling board. In either case we need the support of the legislature. So, this is a dual project, and I feel good though. I think that we’re, we’re coming close to having this thing worked out about what we can do now and because we want to get some of this money out, but I think you’re right. I mean, we don’t know how long we’re going to see a downturn in the economy. I mean, we’re battling back, we’re doing things, but we still have a lot of people hurting and we need to be able to give them some relief. Part of this is a mental health issue. If you’re sitting there and you’ve got a number of months rent back, and you’re worried about your family, you’re worried about where’s that money going to come from?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:05:56)
Am I going to get evicted from my house? Am I going to get evicted from my apartment? None of that’s good, none of that is good. And so, we want to provide some relief there. That money will go out also, and will spread throughout the economy very quickly. will help the landlord who owns it, might have a mortgage to pay to. And so, it will have a big, big impact, I think, as we put this money out and what we balance as we look at this is to make sure that we have sufficient money for the testing that we’re going to need. We also have a big question mark out there, and that’s what Congress is going to do, and whether or not Congress is going to allow us to carry this money over until next year? Is the Congress going to pass a separate bill where they provide additional funds to do different things? And so, we’re waiting, but we can’t wait and this is something that we think that we can set this money aside, we can push this money out, we can help people now, at the same time, we’ll still have money back in regard to the testing and the other things that we absolutely have to have the money to be able to do to fight this virus.

Andrew: (01:07:13)
Thank you.

Speaker 2: (01:07:14)
Next question is from Mike Livingston at Gongwer News Service.

Mike: (01:07:19)
Hi Governor. Regarding your Strong Ohio proposal, obviously the lame duck session is quickly approaching. If this does not pass this GA, what’s your plan? You bring it back next year and you may be trying to narrow the scope to make it an easier lift? Thanks.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:07:35)
Mike. I’m an eternal optimist and I’m not going to talk about what happens if we don’t get it passed. We’re going to stay on this, and we look forward to a lame duck session where we can do some of these things.

Speaker 2: (01:07:54)
Next question is from Jeff Radich at WSYX in Columbus.

Jeff: (01:07:59)
Good afternoon, Governor. You touched on the president’s remarks. Much has been made of the fact that he said we shouldn’t be afraid of the virus and how his condition improved. He also received an experimental cocktail of drugs not widely available, and I’m just curious what your efforts are. The health department’s efforts are to improve treatments in Ohio, such that they might be more in line with the great care the president received at some point in the future.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:08:29)
Well, I think we all wanted the president to have the best care that was possible. We would want that for our president. As far as getting drugs, getting care to people who have COVID, this is an area, frankly, where I think we’ve seen some significant increase in the ability to care for patients still have people dying, we have people going to the hospital, but there are more tools available today. There’s more knowledge available in regard to the doctors. This is an area where I take no credit. This is what doctors have done. This is what the medical community has done. This is what the researchers have done. So, when we’re talking about getting more drugs to individuals, more therapeutic, more ability to deal with people. How you treat someone with COVID, that’s out of my league. I take no credit for it, but we are going up and we’re moving in the right direction, not just in Ohio, but as a country.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:09:35)
We have some of the world’s most premier medical institutions in the state of Ohio, and some of the most amazing doctors and researchers. So, we are contributing, in Ohio, not me, we’re contributing to this knowledge base that exists around this very, very dangerous virus, and that will continue, and we’ll continue to move forward on that.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (01:10:03)
Governor, if I could add one thing. Well, as the Governor stated, we’re not the doctors, but what we do is we do respond when Ohio’s doctors ask us to. When they’ve needed contacts with the FDA to help speed up the process for a convalescent, plasma treatments and other things that they’ve asked us to do. We’ve engaged with our medical community to provide the support and the help that we can to help them do what they think is best. So, we’ve been taking our cues from the medical leaders and we have great hospitals and institutions in this state, and we have responded by reaching out to try to get those clearances for those experimental treatments as quickly as we can to serve the people of Ohio.

Speaker 2: (01:10:54)
Next question is from Alex Ebert at Bloomberg.

Alex: (01:11:00)
Good afternoon, Governor. Thanks for this opportunity.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:11:03)
Hey Alex.

Alex: (01:11:04)
On Sunday in an interview, you said that president Trump’s administration was not helping state officials with contract tracing after the Cleveland debate last week. Can you clarify if that is still the case, and if they are helping, what are they doing to do contact tracing following the debate? Thank you.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:11:22)
Yeah, I think what I said, or what I meant to say was I was not aware of that going on. On two occasions, I have talked to the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic about this issue. What he told me is in the room itself everyone had tested negative. They had people spaced out, I was not in the room, but he felt that the only person that would need necessarily to be contact traced probably would have been Mr. Wallace, and of course we saw that he got a test-

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:12:03)
Wallace. And of course we saw that he got a test later. So, as far as contact tracing within that room. I don’t know that there was anything that should have been done. But again, Cleveland clinic is there, they’re the ones who would have been in contact with the local health department, if something was going to happen as a direct result of that movement to the President coming in and the President leaving. So, that’s really the extent of my knowledge of it.

Speaker 2: (01:12:38)
Next question is from Carl Hunnell at richlandsource.com.

Carl Hunnell: (01:12:51)
Oh, sorry. Good afternoon Governor. [crosstalk 01:12:53] Richland County on Thursday may become the state’s first level four County under the public health advisory system. And that’s based at least in part on outbreaks in the two state prisons here. What exactly does this designation mean in terms of restrictions for residents, schools and businesses in this County? And is it fair to local residents to have the purple designation be made when one of the drivers is the two state prisons here? Thank you.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:13:23)
Yeah. For some of the things that we look at, Carl, the prison is removed from there, and I’m going to let our statisticians, our data people get that information to you and to everyone exactly what the prison outbreak, which there certainly is one, what it impacts and what it does not. In answer to your question, these color codes are really to inform people of the nature of a problem. And so, you start at the yellow, you go to the orange and then into the red. And then of course there would be potentially the purple there, but if they would go purple, if they would go purple, again, it means nothing as far as what the state is telling them to do. Again, red is the indicator that people should say, okay, look, we got a problem here. What’s what’s going on? And let’s look at the data. Is our mask were in high enough, et cetera?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:14:37)
But there’s no punitive action by the state of Ohio. And yes, we fully realize there is a prison there and citizens of the community are not responsible for what that goes on in the prison. The fact is however that people who live in Richmond County work in the prison, as do people, I’m sure for many counties around. And so, it does have an impact on what’s going on in the community and the color might reflect that. But we’ll get you a breakout of the indicators and which indicators has anything to do with the prison. But, again, I think people should be alert now that we do have significant spread in the County. Plus we have other indicators of use, of medical, whether it’s in emergency room, whether it’s in a doctor’s office, those indicators going off, which says, hey, we have a problem, but we also have, these early indicators that there’s more of a problem, could be more of a problem down the road. That’s all we’re trying to do. And the map I put up a few minutes ago at the beginning where we put the high incidents counties, and we put the counties with the different colors. Those are just trying to alert people, hey, this is what’s going on in your community. And we think, because we want to be transparent, we want to give people the best information that we can, but we’ll have some more for you.

Speaker 2: (01:16:16)
Next question is from Ben Schwartz at WCPO in Cincinnati.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:16:22)
Hi Ben.

Ben Schwartz: (01:16:22)
[inaudible 01:16:22] Do you think that President Trump’s reaction to his positive COVID test is endangering Ohioans at all? Specifically about his and his administration’s willingness to take off their masks while around others and the example they’re setting while the state is still encouraging Ohioans to wear masks while possible.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:16:45)
Yeah. Ben, I mean, I talked earlier about what I think we should take away from this. And one of the things that we should take away from this is that frequent testing, which we can assume everybody had, is important, but it does not substitute for wearing a mask, it does not substitute for keeping a distance. And I’ve made no secret of this. I wish the President would wear the mask more. I wish he’d wear it all the time when he was in public. And I said that before he had the Corona virus. So, what I try to distill down for the people, 11.7 million people I represent in Ohio, is what can we take away from this? What lessons that are lessons that we can focus on? We’re not the President. We’re not going to fly in a helicopter, probably, unless there’s some emergency and air flight comes and gets us, but for the average person, what do we take away from this?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:17:53)
What all of us in Ohio take away from it. And I think the lesson about the testing, that testing is very important, but it is not a substitute for the mask, not a substitute for the distance, not a substitute for those other things. And we just should have a, I think a renewed sense that we can live with this, but we got to be tough, we got to be strong, and we got to be resilient, and part of that is wearing a mask. So there’s some lessons from what happened with the President. And we should learn from some of these things.

Speaker 2: (01:18:29)
Next question is from Laura Hancock at cleveland.com.

Laura Hancock: (01:18:34)
Good afternoon, Governor.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:18:36)
Hi Laura.

Laura Hancock: (01:18:36)
Hey, I’m circling back to the Cleveland Browns spectator decision. The owners and upper management at the Browns have requested you guys increase it from a range between around 11,000 to around 16,000 spectators. What was the science that made you guys settle at 12,000? And what’s the science that has you can concluding that the cap this season needs to be around 12,000 spectators?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:19:05)
I’m sorry. I missed the last sentence. Give me the last sentence again.

Laura Hancock: (01:19:09)
What is the science that has you guys concluding that you need to cap the spectators at 12,000 this season?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:19:19)
Yeah, part of this is an art as well as a science, but we try to go by the science and the science is pretty basic. The science is outside is generally better than inside. Not always, as certainly as we found out in the Rose Garden, doesn’t guarantee you’re going to be safe, but it’s better than certainly being inside. Distance is important. And the ability to wear a mask and the team requiring, and the people who run the game, run the stadium, requiring people to keep their mask on. These were all things that were important. And so what we wanted to do with both the Browns and Bengals is start with 6,000. As you saw, if you watched any of these games on TV, they’re pretty spread out in 6,000.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:20:15)
And we wanted to try that and see, okay, how’s that going to work? How’s the flow into the game going to work? How’s the use of restrooms going to work? And health departments of both of those cities were there and were able to observe that. The Mayors and their health departments, we were able to contact them. So we started with 6,000 and just, we felt fairly safe with that. And we figured that doubling that, spreading it out all over the stadium would still allow enough room. Could it have been 13,000? Could have been 11,000? Yeah. We kind of looked at what we had at 6,000, felt very comfortable with that, feel comfortable at doubling it. That’s probably about as far as we’re going to go.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:21:07)
Again, we have an obligation to provide a safe environment for people who go in there. They’re going to be there a long time. These games last three hours, sometimes a little longer. So people get there half an hour before the game, they’re going to be there maybe up to close to four hours. So it was a long time to be in your seat. And so the proximity is certainly there. So you want to keep people spread out, but there’s no, there’s no magic about 12. It just seemed to be the right place to come out, knowing and following the basic health guidelines that we’ve been hearing and talking about.

Speaker 2: (01:21:45)
Next question is from Jim Otte at W-H-I-O in Dayton.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:21:50)
Hey Jim.

Jim Otte: (01:21:51)
Hey Governor, given the fact that the President now says don’t fear the COVID and yours now saying, well, continue with caution. I’m talking about now about upcoming events, trick or treat is the next one coming. What are you recommending to parents? Should they continue their Halloween events, trick or treat even if they still live in a County where there’s some spread, I’m thinking of Mercer County here? Even though they live in a level three, a red County, I’m thinking about Gary County there? What are you telling parents now trying to make sense of this?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:22:21)
Look, Jim, whatever you’re doing looking at how widespread spread is of COVID in your County matters. I mean you can just go through and think, if your child’s knocking on X number of doors, well your odds have gone up that somebody inside might have COVID and they might not even know it. So these are, we try to help families make these decisions based upon, is your County high incidence? How high is that? Is it a red County? And to look at these things. That’s just one piece of information. But there’s so many other variables. Could you go with your young child and trick or treat if you were exceedingly careful?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:23:16)
I think it depends on how many people, how many ghosts and goblins are running around that neighborhood. The more, and you’re bumping into more people, it’s kind of not what you want to see. So I think spreading the kids out and I’m not recommending that people do it or don’t do it. I just think this is a parent decision, but we have an obligation to inform parents of the best available information. And so we remain concerned about close contact with other kids, close contact with that person at that door. And so somebody came up with a recommendation of if you could set out things that your child could pick up and separated enough from the other things, that might be difficult, the other pieces of candy.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:24:12)
These are all things that people can work on and people are very creative at Halloween. And they can put some of that creativity towards trying to keep the kids safe who go, I think when you get away from that and you go to parties, you go to big gatherings downtown, those make no sense. Those just don’t don’t make any sense. And I think for the normal classic trick or treating, I think we leave this up to parents. We leave this up to communities. They should be informed by what is going on out there and in their particular County.

Speaker 2: (01:24:55)
Next question is from Andy Chow at Ohio Public Radio and Television.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:24:59)
Hi Andy.

Andy Chow: (01:25:00)
Hi Governor. Hi Governor. Jumping off on sort of Jeff’s question and the idea of learning lessons from the President’s diagnosis. And I think you might’ve said this, and I just kind of want to be clear. Does the state plan on reaching out to the White House to learn more about the treatment that the President received, to see if maybe there could be advances in treatment for people here in Ohio based on the treatment that the President received?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:25:25)
Yeah. Again, we will do what any, anytime any of our great hospitals ask us what to do. In other words, if it can’t get information. So if any of our hospitals needed that information, we would certainly make the phone call, do whatever needed to be done, but they are really good. And I just can guarantee you that our hospitals are looking at every single possibility to keep people alive, to allow them to recover. We have very, very, very good hospitals and our bigger hospitals are sharing information with our smaller hospitals.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:26:11)
We put together a system with the Ohio Hospital Association early on this pandemic, where we have partnered larger, more research oriented institutions with our smaller County hospitals. And there’s that relation that exists. So anytime that we can be of help in that area to facilitate that, we’ll do that. And as a result of your question, I certainly will call some of our contacts at some of our major hospitals and see if there’s anything that we can do. But knowing them they’re way up on it. And they’re looking at these different drugs, they’re aware of what drugs the President utilized. They’re aware of what the availability of those drugs would be. But I’ll have those conversations with our major hospitals. It’s a good idea.

Speaker 2: (01:27:05)
Next question is from Jim Provance at the Toledo Blade.

Jim Provance: (01:27:09)
Hi Governor.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:27:10)
Hi Jim.

Jim Provance: (01:27:10)
Hi. This question will be for you and for the Lieutenant Governor. Have both of you requested absentee ballots. Is that how you plan to vote? Does the First lady plan to vote that way?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:27:21)
Well, I’ve not asked the First lady, so we’ve not had that discussion. We talked a little bit about it early on. I don’t know how we’re going to vote yet. We normally vote here in Cedarville and go in and vote in person, but I’ll check with Fran.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:27:39)
I don’t know if Jon’s on there or not.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted: (01:27:47)
I’ve voted throughout the years, I’ve voted every way. I’ve voted early in person, I’ve voted by mail and voted in person on election day. As of right now, I intend to vote in person on election day, wearing my mask and joining my wife and we’ll go and we’ll vote.

Speaker 2: (01:28:09)
Next question is from Jack Windsor at WMFD in Mansfield.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:28:16)
Hey Jack.

Jack Windsor: (01:28:16)
Hi Governor. Hello, sir. Two quick scenarios with the same fundamental question. Today, a female student would have been the first golfer from Eastern Pike High to ever compete in the district tournament. But because she was named as a contact in a COVID case, the Ohio Department of Health wouldn’t let her play despite her not being sick and despite pleas from the Pike County Health District. As Carl Hunnell mentioned, Richland County may go purple on Thursday, despite two tenths of 1% of the population being infected. In July, you said the advisory system was made for local leaders to make decisions and it appears that’s also what you said today. So Governor, why was the high school golfer denied the chance to play if the local officials are allowed to make the decisions? And can you be more specific about what powers elected officials have regarding schools, businesses, and other measures here in Richland County?

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:29:11)
Well, as far as Richland County, I think I answered that with the other question, again, going purple has no consequences or sanctions from the state of Ohio, and that’s the same way as being red. But let me talk about the student golfer, but I want to talk about all student athletes. There’s been a lot of things throughout this pandemic that has been very sad, caused me a lot of anguish, but it’s not about me, it’s about what these kids are going through. I talked earlier about nursing homes, where we had to shut the nursing homes down as far as visitors. We did it to keep people safe, but also what happened was that people weren’t able to see their loved ones and with horrible, many times very difficult consequences. And I’ve heard directly from people who’ve lost a parent and who felt their parent died because no one could go visit the parent.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:30:21)
We’ve heard, I’ve talked with superintendents, got a lot of emails from superintendents who talk about CDC guidelines, which are the state guidelines, which are followed by local health departments and saying, can’t we change those? What do you do about the student who is sitting by another student and they were within six feet or two, they’re close, because the school is back in, can’t spread them out anymore. And one student comes down and yeah, you got to confirmed case of the virus. And then people who have been around that student that day, who’ve been around them for more than 15 minutes, end up being quarantined. So we’ve really been looking at this, our health advisors, not just in the Health Department, but our main doctors around the state are very reluctant, frankly, to change that guidance.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:31:25)
And unless there’s some data that indicates that spread with two people having a mask on, three feet apart or four feet or five feet or wherever it is, that the incidence of spread is very, very, very low. And if it’s not very low or then there’s a feeling that we should not change that. And so my heart goes out to the student who you’re talking about. It goes out to runners who can’t run, football players who can’t play football, soccer players who can’t play, volleyball players. It goes out to a student who’s in drama, a student who wants to do something else and they can’t do it, or just a student who can’t go to school. But those are the generally accepted best practices guidelines.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:32:22)
And what we’re trying to do with the study that I talked about is to figure out, hey, is there a way we can lessen those? Is there a way that we can get real data, look at it in Ohio, from a representative sample of students, students who have been exposed within that six feet, over 15 minutes and track them and have them take three tests a week, or whatever the experts tell us, and be regularly tested and follow that and come up with some data that may be able to allow us to change this. We started this, as you recall with many people saying, I want to have my kids personally in school. I don’t want them to be remote. So we let schools make that decision. We let parents make that decision, which is the right thing to do we thought. We still do.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:33:12)
Same way with sports. We said, let them go play. But we also said, we’re going to have to file basic health guidelines. And these are the basic health guidelines that we’re going to have to follow. So it’s a tough situation for her. I’m very, very sorry for her. I know that doesn’t help her a bit, but I’m very sorry for her. I think if this was my child upset, I would be, and I understand that. But we’ve got to try to keep people safe, the same time we’re trying to get as many kids out playing sports and going to school as we can.

Governor Mike DeWine: (01:33:44)
I think that’s the last question. We’ll look forward to seeing you all on Thursday. Thank you very much.

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