“The virus is raging throughout the state of Ohio,” Gov. DeWine says

Ohio reported 194 new hospitalizations in the past day, higher than the 21-day average of 124.

Gov. DeWine speaks during COVID-19 briefing on October 29.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As of Thursday, 1,536 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, 416 were in ICUs and 226 on ventilators.

Gov. DeWine says there are no counties expected to go ‘purple’, the next COVID-19 alert level from ‘red’. “The virus is raging throughout the state of Ohio,” DeWine said at the start of the briefing. He said no one can “hide” from the virus.

“Thanksgiving’s got to be different. Christmas has to be different,” he said. “We can do most things but we can’t do them the way we have done them in the past.”

COVID-19 Defense Teams

Governor DeWine Thursday called on community leaders in each county to immediately form a local COVID Defense Team consisting of county commissioners, mayors, local hospital leaders, health commissioners, business leaders, religious leaders, and other local leaders.

Each COVID Defense Team will be responsible for assessing COVID-19 spread in their communities, taking inventory of the assets in the community, and focusing on what steps are necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus among their citizens.

A Facebook post from Governor DeWine reads:

Right now, more than three quarters of Ohio’s population is living in a county where there is very high exposure and spread. All but four of Ohio’s counties are considered high incidence. Despite this grim data, I’m optimistic. Ohioans have the tools, they know what works, and we always rally when we need to rally. I know people will do that. We can slow down this invader. The decisions each Ohioan makes each day will determine what kind of winter we have.

Local leaders are echoing the same sentiments. Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski says that as the holiday season approaches, more people will be gathering and coronavirus cases will rise.

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