Gov. Mike DeWine is sounding a pessimistic warning about the coronavirus pandemic as the state heads toward colder months. The average number of new cases is up, and positivity has increased despite more people getting tested.
Ohio's confirmed COVID-19 deaths are just above 4,700, with the total of confirmed and probable cases topping 5,000. Confirmed cases are above 161,000. But the numbers of people being hospitalized, and in intensive care and on ventilators, continues to rise.
1,016 in hospitals (up from 949 yesterday; 3.89% of total)
271 in ICU (up fr 242; 6.06% of total beds)
134 on ventilators (up from 123; 2.53% of total capacity)
3,688,793 total tests; 36,727 new; 38,535 yesterday
Positivity rate 4.1%; 7-day moving average 3.9%
— Karen Kasler (@karenkasler) October 13, 2020
DeWine said he's constantly asked about the future of the pandemic. He said no one can predict what will happen in the next few months, but he said, "in a sense you can liken this to halftime, in the middle of the game. No one knows exactly if we’re in the middle, but not too far away from that.”
DeWine said until there's a vaccine, Ohioans should stick with wearing masks, staying away from each other, and washing hands. But he's sending up a warning about what may be ahead.
"What we can say is that things will get better, but in all likelihood they will get worse before they get better. We’re already seeing that in the trend lines of the last several weeks.”
He’s urging 85-90% mask compliance to lower those numbers.
DeWine also said the state has received its first shipment of rapid antigen tests from the federal government. He said earlier this month they would go to schools, colleges and universities and nursing homes. These are the same kind of test DeWine took before he was to meet with President Trump in Cleveland in August. He tested positive, but tested negative in two other PCR tests at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center.