The majority of Ohio's population is living in a county under a Level 3 health advisory, with 29 counties listed as "red" with very high exposure and spread of COVID-19. The spike in coronavirus cases and hospital admissions has Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) once again addressing the predicament of political rallies.
With COVID-19 on the rise in Ohio, DeWine says organizers should give a second thought to social events.
"We know that several red counties still have several formal events planned, like pub crawls, political events, art fairs, car shows. Now is really the time to rethink whether these are in the best interest of the community," says DeWine.
Including "political events" in his comments was curious since DeWine attended a large rally for President Donald Trump with a mostly maskless crowd, though the state is still under a mask mandate.
DeWine says his administration will continue to encourage social distancing and masks but will not order restrictions that impede on First Amendment rights.
"I wouldn't say that Joe Biden shouldn't come into Ohio or the president shouldn't come or the vice presidential candidates shouldn't come. I would never say that. What I should would say, though, and I am saying is that, look, we need to be careful and we need to keep have events where people can keep a distance. We need to try to do them outside and we need to have strict adherence to wearing a mask," DeWine says.
The governor has said other events that bring large people together such as bonfires and weddings continue to play a role in increasing the spread of COVID-19.