DeWine says Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis shows no one is immune

President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis demonstrates that everyone is at risk and no one is immune, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Tuesday.

“The president said yesterday that we should not let the virus dominate our lives and that is true,” he said. “Part of that means taking the necessary measures to keep our economy open ... It means taking this virus seriously and respecting this enemy. It does not mean that we have to be afraid. But it does mean that we have to be practical about it.”

While politicos and journalists have commented on Trump’s diagnosis, treatment and decision to leave the hospital, DeWine said Ohioans should use the case to stay focused on practical steps they can take, such as wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands.

“I wish the president would wear the mask more. I wish he’d wear it all the time when he is in public,” DeWine said.

DeWine offered these takeaways — even the president can be infected; testing is important but not a substitute for other measures; masks, social distancing and contact tracing are important.

The Ohio Department of Health on Tuesday reported 1,335 new cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 161,299 confirmed and probable cases; 4,947 confirmed and probable deaths; 15,972 total hospitalizations.

Data trends show an uptick in hospitalizations in rural areas and among older patients. Ohioans 60 and older make up 70% of coronavirus hospital admissions, up from 50% in July. The governor stressed that the state’s hospitals still are at adequate capacity at this time.

DeWine said his administration is still considering whether to allow alcohol sales after 10 p.m. at bars and restaurants. The restaurant industry is pushing for later sales while most mayors are asking that the restriction stay in place, the governor said.

DeWine urged caution for families considering trick-or-treating and added that going to large Halloween parties “makes no sense.”

His administration is working with state lawmakers to create a plan to use federal CARES Act money to help Ohioans struggling to pay rent, mortgages or utility bills, as well as small businesses and nonprofits. The governor said he hopes to have more details to announce soon.

After hearing from multiple school superintendents about the number of students meeting the CDC’s definition of close contact and being quarantined, the governor said he’s asked his administration to meet with health officials to study the guidelines on student quarantine.

“We have heard anecdotally that most quarantined students are not getting sick,” he said. “I feel that it is important to have data and evidence on this before we make a change to the recommended guidance.”

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