DeWine has no plans to reinstate mask mandate as COVID cases increase in Ohio

Gov. Mike DeWine said he does not have plans to reinstate a mask mandate despite an increase in coronavirus cases, according to 10TV. Instead, the governor continued to encourage people to get vaccinated.

He also said he hopes the FDA will give full approval to the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. The Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are under emergency use authorization. With full approval, DeWine said he believes more people will be willing to get vaccinated.

Ohio recorded 533 cases of coronavirus Friday, making it the second day in a row the state has reported more than 500 cases, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

It’s also the third time Ohio has seen more than 500 cases in a day this month.

COVID cases in the state have been rising in recent days, nearly doubling Ohio’s 21-day average of 287 cases a day.

ODH Chief Medical Office Bruce Vanderhoff urged Ohioans to get vaccinated if they’re eligible as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread in the state.

“Delta is moving rapidly to replace B117 or the alpha variant as our dominant form of COVID-19,” he said Wednesday.

From May 23 to June 5, 1.9% of the state’s cases were from the delta variant, Vanderhoff explained. It increased to 15% from June 6 to 19. Preliminary data indicated delta cases “substantially” increased again from June 20 to July 3 and are likely more than double that 15%.

It’s not clear at this time if Ohio’s increase in cases is due to the delta variant, the Fourth of July holiday or another factor.

Thirty-nine hospitalizations were reported Friday, slightly above the state’s 21-day average of 32.

Ohio recorded four ICU admissions in the last day, matching it’s 21-day average.

The state added 26 deaths Friday, bringing its total to 20,437, according to ODH. Death data can fluctuate because other states do not regularly report deaths to Ohio’s Bureau of Vital Statistics. The day a death is reported does not reflect the date the death occurred.

More than 5,652,600 people in Ohio have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine as of Friday and 5,296,611 people have finished it.

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