VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine stopped in the Valley on Friday following a spike in local COVID-19 cases.
Thursday, Mahoning and Trumbull counties turned to the red level in regard to coronavirus monitoring.
“The Valley’s done well. I am optimistic, but this red is a real warning sign,” DeWine said.
Speaking from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, DeWine talked about the indicators that led to the change.
DeWine said he wanted to find out why “things are starting to go the wrong way” and see what is causing this. What is happening in Mahoning County is happening statewide. He said people aren’t being cautious or wearing masks and are “letting their guards down.”
To obtain Risk Level 3/Red, a county must trigger at least four to five of the seven data indicators:
- More than 50 cases per 100,000 residents
- New cases trending up over at least a five-day period of time
- More cases in the community setting, rather than in congregate settings
- Sustained increase in emergency department visits from COVID-like symptoms
DeWine implored people in the area to do their part to stop the spread. He said he wants to keep the economy and schools open, and to do that, people need to wear masks and keep their distance from one another.
“We’ve got to get in front of this now, so this is why I’ve come to the Valley on this beautiful day to really make this appeal to people of the Mahoning Valley. We can do this. We’re Ohioans. We’re tough, but we got to get through this,” DeWine said. “We’ve got to buckle down, we’ve got to focus, we got to do what we have to do.”
DeWine cited two funerals in Mahoning County that led to outbreaks, an outbreak from a group home and one from a birthday party.
He also talked about a COVID outbreak at a local school, stemming from a sports team. He said one person was hospitalized.
“We could have a very, very rough winter, and I’m very concerned about that,” DeWine said. “
DeWine says his goal is to keep the economy and schools open and allow people to go about their daily lives.
“The only way that is going to happen is if people wear masks, wear the shields, keep the distance, wash their hands very frequently and really not let their guard down,” he said.