“Sadly, our situation in Ohio continues to worsen,” says Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

The latest Northwest Ohio county to enter the red COVID-19 threat level is Ottawa.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. (Ohio Department of Health)

TOLEDO, Ohio — “Sadly, our situation in Ohio continues to worsen,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “For my fellow Ohioans who have felt that until now this virus really did not impact their life or their family and that they would react when it was really serious — I say to them that the time is now.”

According to health experts, including Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski, the winter will cause a spike in coronavirus infections because of more people staying inside with family and friends, without masks.

The newly-added “red alert” counties include: Allen, Crawford, Geauga, Hardin, Lake, Lorain, Ottawa, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties.

Counties that entered the “red” last week include: Adams, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence, Licking, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Stark, Summit, Union and Warren counties.

“Local health department officials report that they are seeing double the case volume compared to just two weeks ago. They also report that hospitals are seeing increased inpatient and outpatient volume, and that social gatherings continue to be a problem,” the governor said.

‘I thought I was safe and I was wrong’

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie joined Governor Mike DeWine to express the importance of wearing masks, after he tested positive for the virus, follow an event he attended at the White House — without a mask.

“My message is that there is no place to hide if you are not going to wear a mask, remain socially distant, and wash your hands frequently,” Christie said.

The former N.J. governor said that while assisting President Trump in debate prep, he felt safe and didn’t assume he was at risk.

“I thought I was safe, and I was wrong. I took my mask off, and I left it off for the time I was inside the White House gates. Soon after I began to feel the freight train of symptoms,” he said.

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