COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday morning that he opposes a second shutdown for Ohio but that he is working on plans for a slowdown in efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“Instead of shutting down, we have to slow down,” he said. “We have to slow down in our individual lives and our decisions in what we are doing.”

DeWine made a series of appearances in neighboring states to reach out to citizens who live in border counties, visiting Huntington and Wheeling, West Virginia, and Fort Wayne, Indiana.

He said a formal announcement on any slowdown will come Tuesday at one of his regular briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re looking for a way, and we’ll have an announcement tomorrow (Tuesday),” DeWine said. “We’re looking at a way to allow people to work, to keep kids in school, to protect our elderly in nursing homes. But to do that, we have to change what we do. We have to pull back some.”

DeWine did not get more specific about Tuesday’s announcement, but he did emphasize that he opposes a shutdown similar to what he ordered in March.

“We don’t want to shut this state down,” DeWine said. “That has ramifications for mental health, it has ramifications for more drug addiction, overdoses. I mean, all these things go up when you shut the state down. And we do not want to do that.”

He said the next three weeks will be critical as daily counts of new virus cases continue to surge upward, along with hospitalization rates.

“By slowing down, reduce the number of interactions you have with people outside of your own household,” DeWine said. “That really is the key. We can do most of the things we’ve always done. We just need to be careful. And we’re asking people for the next few weeks, this is the crucial time.”

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