On Wednesday, Gov. Mike DeWine urged Ohioans to take the resurgence of coronavirus seriously, imposing new orders on wearing facemasks and social gatherings across the state.
He even threatened to close restaurants, bars, and fitness centers if the number of cases continues to rise.
DeWine said, “Throughout our country’s history, each generation has faced unique sacrifices. Today, we all must do something far less dramatic but very important: wear a mask so your friends and family members can live.”
He shifted the orders of mask enforcement from local counties to the state. The employees of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will conduct inspections across the 88 counties in the state. Businesses will have to close for 24 hours if they receive more than one violation.
DeWine, 73, said, “We must do this to protect our frontline workers. Every retail employee has the right to work in an environment where it is as safe as can be.”
The Ohio governor also said that the state will require businesses to display ‘No Mask, No Service’ signs and to refuse service to those who do not follow the orders.
DeWine went on to say that he will close all restaurants, bars, and fitness centers across the state of the number of cases, hospitalizations, and ICUs continues to increase.
“I am very well aware of the burden this will place on employees,” he said. “I’m well aware of the burden this will place on the owners, but these are places where it’s difficult and impossible to maintain mask-wearing.”
On Monday, Ohio doctors warned of a dark winter to come if COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, CMO at the Ohio Department of health appointed by DeWine said Thursday, “The capacity issues we face now are different from what we experienced in the spring. What we are seeing now is an increasing demand on our staff.”
So far, Ohio has reported more than 5,500 COVID-19 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, which means the state ranks 13th in the death count list.
Over the last couple of weeks, the number of daily new coronavirus cases has increased significantly. Overall, the nation has reported more than 10 million confirmed cases and over 247,390 deaths so far.