‘We’re not through this,’ Gov. DeWine says on latest COVID-19 deaths


Governor worries about autumn and winter as vaccinations slow

DeWine on covid deaths June 23

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a press conference about law enforcement recruitment on June 23, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (NBC4 screenshot)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Even though COVID-19 cases in Ohio have returned to a pace last seen in spring 2020, Gov. Mike DeWine says he is concerned how the pandemic will look after summer.

“The concern is what happens in the fall and what happens in the winter,” DeWine told reporters at an unrelated press event Wednesday. “What happens when the kids go back to school? What happens when we are inside more?”

DeWine said his data team thinks Ohio is now averaging 14 deaths a day from COVID-19. Although that rate is a massive improvement from earlier in the year, it still means nearly 100 Ohioans are dying from the disease every week.

“So, we’re not through this, is my point,” he said.

Ohio’s COVID-19 deaths have been reported separately from cases and hospitalizations since March, when the state moved to a system that prioritizes accuracy over speed. Deaths are reported twice a week (usually Tuesday and Friday) and account for multiple dates.

A date’s death count is considered preliminary until 14 days after, however deaths can still lag more than that. The graph below shows weekly death counts after each week’s data releases:

The governor said Wednesday he worries especially about the most unvaccinated areas of the state. Fourteen of Ohio’s 88 counties, for example, have yet to see a third of their populations get at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. And 53 counties have yet to reach 40%.

“Those are the areas that we worry about,” DeWine said, as “school goes back in, people are moving around, they’re inside more. We worry about outbreaks that will occur.”

RankCountyVaccination started
Source: NBC4 analysis of Ohio Dept. of Health data; 2020 U.S. Census Bureau population estimates

About 58% of Ohio adults are vaccinated, DeWine noted, but “that still leaves a lot of people who are not vaccinated.”

“As happy as I am,” the governor said, to hold public news conferences again, go to Cincinnati Reds games and fish with his children and grandchildren, “the concern is what happens in the fall.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NBC4i.com

Today's Central OH Forecast

Get severe weather email alerts

Don't Miss

Local News

I-71 closed in downtown Columbus for bridge demolition

Buckeyes Teach, and Learn, at Special Needs Football Camp

Ohio man accused of 'incel' mass shooting plot pleads not guilty

Indians owner Paul Dolan one-on-one with John Telich

WATCH: One on one interview with Ryan Day at Big Ten Media Days

Ryan Day speaks at Big Ten football media days

More Local News