DeWine hints he may not be done issuing health orders

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine did not rule out possibly enacting more health orders after expressing concern Friday afternoon that the rate of infection in the coronavirus pandemic in Ohio continues to rise without reaching a plateau or showing signs of decline.

“We’re going to have to do more,” DeWine said. “We don’t have any choice.”

DeWine’s comments came after he laid out plans for distributing the initial shipments of COVID-19 vaccine starting later this month. But it will still be several months until enough people in the state have been vaccinated for the rates of infection to come down.

In November, DeWine enacted a statewide 10 p.m. curfew and began enforcing mask-weaking at retail establishments. Although he said those actions have helped, they have not done enough to slow the spread of the virus. Private gatherings where people do not wear masks or maintain social distance have been concerning, especially after Thanksgiving, where a spike of cases may yet come over the next few days.

“We are in a very, very tenuous, dangerous situation,” he said. “What I think everybody should be able to agree on is that we cannot let our hospitals get to the point where health care is dramatically threatened.”

DeWine did not say what may come next but that he is consulting with infectious disease specialists and other experts and that he is working on reaching out to legislative leaders.

There has been pushback to DeWine’s health orders from the statehouse, including articles of impeachment that were filed on Monday. And DeWine vetoed a bill on Thursday that would limit the health director’s ability to issue orders.

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