“No place left to hide”: Ohio virus cases continue to surge
By FARNOUSH AMIRI and ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
Report for America/Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Oct. 29, 2020 (AP): Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gave a grave
warning Thursday as nearly every county in the state was at a
high-risk level for coronavirus infections.
``There is no place left to hide,`` he said.
The Buckeye State is among dozens of other states facing a new
wave of virus infections, with Ohio now breaking records
previously set when the pandemic first hit in March.
``We have to come together to fight this enemy,'' DeWine said
during a briefing Thursday. ``We have got to get back to
The Republican governor called on leaders of each county to
create a ``COVID defense team,'' to assess how to stop the
spread of the virus infection on a local level. DeWine said the
group will include county commissioners, mayors and local
The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen
from 1,563 new cases per day on Oct. 14 to 2,477 new cases per
day on Oct. 28.
The Ohio Health Department
reported 3,590 daily virus cases Thursday, the highest in the
state's pandemic history, and 25% higher than the previous
record reported Saturday.
There are currently 1,536 people hospitalized with COVID-19
related symptoms, with 224 of those patients on ventilators,
according to the COVID Tracking Project.
No counties were moved to purple Level 4 advisory Thursday,
despite DeWine warning that Cuyahoga, Clark and Hamilton
counties were all on the brink of being elevated for the past
two weeks. If a county reaches Level 4, the state will bar
residents from leaving home except for supplies and essential
DeWine said the infection spread is happening mostly in social
gatherings and less in bars, businesses and schools.
But the governor remained optimistic about Ohioans' ability to
once again combat the latest surge in infections.
``We can in fact slow down this invader,'' DeWine said. ``The
decisions each Ohioan makes each day will determine what kind of
winter we have.''
The announcement came on a day when the initial claims for
unemployment compensation remained above 17,000, essentially
unchanged over the past two weeks.
Ohioans filed 17,531 claims for the week ending Oct. 24, just
down from the 17,598 filed the previous week, according to the
Department of Job and Family Services. While the number of
initial claims is gradually falling, they're still more than
twice as high as for the same week a year ago.
To date during the pandemic, the state has paid $7.1 billion in
unemployment compensation payments to more than 830,000 Ohioans.
Ohio has pledged several financial efforts recently to help
individuals and businesses hurt by the pandemic. They include a
record $5 billion in repayments from the state insurance fund
for injured workers announced Wednesday and $420 million in
federal pandemic aid going to small businesses, colleges and
universities, restaurants and bars, nonprofits and arts groups,
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Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report
for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a
nonprofit national service program that places journalists in
local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.