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DeWine Warns COVID Numbers Indicate A Tough Winter Ahead

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Ohio Department of Health

Governor Mike DeWine says - given the latest numbers released by the Ohio Department of Health - the rest of 2020 may be rough.

Health officials announced Tuesday 1,447 new cases of COVID had been reported in the previous 24-hours, continuing a rise that began two weeks ago.  12 new deaths were attributed to the coronavirus, and Mike DeWine say positivity - the number of cases over the number of tests administered is now at 4.1% and rising. It had been 2.7% in September. 

DeWine says a coronavirus vaccine probably won't be widely available until next summer at the earliest, and the state is already strategizing how to roll out a vaccine.  In the meantime, Ohio has received the first shipment from the feds of a rapid test developed by Battelle.  Dewine cautions that test is not without its limitations.  

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"Antigen tests, the Binex tests and others can have some level of false positives and false negatives. We do have protocols to follow up on, but we need to be aware that this is part of testing on this scale. The opportunity to test and more often makes this an important step forward."

ODH is determining how best to deploy the rapid tests.  But Dewine says the best way to control the spread of COVID-19 are the same strategies health officials have talked about since March.

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"We've got to control it ourselves. We control it ourselves with masks and distance. If tomorrow everybody in those counties, those top 10 counties, 20 counties, 30 counties - everybody put on a mask, everyone keep a distance, you could knock this thing down in two weeks. And your numbers would start going down. Absolutely no doubt about it. We've seen that in Ohio, when a community has done that, the cases go down."

There have been over 171-thousand cases and 5,017 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

 

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