COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Four days this week, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19. On Friday, it reported 1,495 new cases.
Gov. Mike DeWine called that number “very alarming” at a press conference called to answer questions about President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnoses.
“This is pushing 1500 cases for a day. That is not good and we’re not headed in the right direction,” said DeWine.
During the press conference he also repeatedly reminded Ohioans to wear masks.
“If we could get 90 percent of the people wear a mask, let the ones who aren’t going to wear a mask not wear the mask. If we could hit 90 percent, these numbers would not be what you saw today,” he said. “We control this. This is not rocket science, this is not difficult. We know what works. Wearing a mask works. Keeping distance works, staying away from large crowds works.”
The 21-day average of daily new cases is also now above 1,000. DeWine also noted positivity numbers and hospitalizations are also going in the wrong direction.
Some Ohioans share DeWine’s hope that more people will wear masks.
Beau Peiffer spent the summer in New York City. With how hard the city was hit, he said people there take mask wearing and social distancing extremely seriously. He would like to see Ohioans treat it that way too.
“It’s not something to sneeze at because it could definitely happen at any time and people could get this easily. Trump got it and he has a team of cleaners behind him 24/7,” Peiffer said. “He still got it, so I feel like everybody is at risk.”
Columbus residents Fred Brou and Mitch Rotondo went out early Friday for drinks with their roommates. Both said rising case numbers play a factor into what they decide to do.
“I don’t think it’s getting any better any time soon,” Brou said. “A lot of people that I hang out with won’t go out to bars because they don’t want to risk it and some people simply don’t care, so it’s interesting to see how differently people take it.”
“You’re always fighting that battle of ‘We’ve been cooped up for so long,’ but cases are rising, so you’re always fighting that battle, like, what you want to do,” Rotondo said.
DeWine also said the fact Trump got COVID-19 is a reminder anyone can get it.
“I think that this is a powerful reminder for us to pay attention. The president of the United States can get this, first lady can get this. We can get it to and we just have to be very, very careful,” he said.