• 43°

DeWine encourages unity against COVID-19

By The Center Square

COLUMBUS — As case numbers continued to rise to record levels, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine continue his aggressive approach over the weekend to try to convince Ohioans to take recommendations more seriously.

DeWine called for a calm, unity just days before Tuesday’s general election, encouraging voters to cast their ballot. At the same time, he said the state faces a common enemy – COVID-19 – and the stakes could not be higher.

“Today, and for some time to come, we also share a common enemy – one that cares not whether we voted for Donald Trump or Joe Biden; an enemy that is relentless and clearly on the march. This enemy has invaded our nation, stealing nearly 230,000 American lives and at least 5,300 Ohio lives – all on our own soil,” DeWine wrote.

DeWine called on Congress to quickly pass bipartisan COVID-19 relief. An avid supporter of masks, the governor also called on Ohioans to protect each other, including families, friends, neighbors and those people may not know.

“We must come together as Ohioans have always done,” DeWine wrote. “We must come together as Ohioans have always done. We must put the past behind to move forward.”

Shying away from statewide closures or mandates, DeWine last week asked community leaders to form what he called COVID defense teams, which would be responsible for assessing local spread, taking inventory of assets in their community and focusing on what steps are needed to slow the local spread.

As of last Thursday, according to a news release from DeWine’s office, 78 percent of Ohioans live in a Red Level 3 county, while less than 1 percent live in a Yellow Level 1 county.

“Despite the grim data we see, I am confident we can slow down this invader,” DeWine said. “The decisions Ohioans make each day will determine the outcome of this battle. We must mask more, keep distance more and simply be more careful. We can control our destiny.”