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Ohio placed under curfew

To be in effect 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for 3 weeks beginning Thursday

WARREN — With a vaccine on the horizon, Gov. Mike DeWine is implementing a three-week, 10 p.m.-to-5 a.m. general curfew starting Thursday in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and “build a bridge” to immunity.

The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. It is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy.

Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m.

Despite good news about the coming vaccine in the last few days and weeks, new cases and hospitalizations caused by the coronavirus are still on the rise, reaching a high frequency of spread in every Ohio county and threatening the ability of hospitals to treat the surge in cases.

“The bad news is that our situation in Ohio is deteriorating,” DeWine said. “We see more and more cases, more and more people in the hospital. And we’ve got to turn this thing around. We literally have to build a bridge to get from here to a point when we’re gonna have the immunity from the vaccine. We have to get over this. We have to get over this bad, bad spot.”

The state added 7,079 cases Tuesday, and DeWine reported hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are also still on the rise.

Though the 21-day average for new hospitalizations is 210, 368 new admissions were reported Tuesday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

On Oct. 13, 1,000 people were in Ohio hospitals being treated for COVID-19. On Nov. 5, that number increased to 2,000, and it rose to 3,000 on Nov. 12, DeWine said.

On Tuesday, 3,648 people were being treated in Ohio hospitals for the disease.

ICU admissions are bad, too. One month ago, 280 were being treated in Ohio ICUs for COVID-19. Tuesday, the number was 900.

“This is just going up dramatically,” DeWine said.

The rate of people testing positive for the virus also is up. The seven-day running average for positivity is 12.8 percent, an already high number compared to the earlier days of the pandemic. But the last day the positivity rate was reported, Sunday, it was at 13.8, DeWine said.

“So, certainly not heading in the right direction,” DeWine said.

VENTILATOR

Getting sick enough to be admitted to a hospital is no walk in the park, said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer of the Ohio Department of Health.

People often are sick at home for days before they seek treatment from a doctor or get admitted to a hospital, Vanderhoff said.

If someone gets that sick, their hospital stay isn’t likely to be short, he said.

It can be several days, and if on a ventilator, weeks, Vanderhoff said.

“It’s not an easy road. It can take a long time to rebound from being on a vent. It is grueling, it requires a long recovery, even after you’re breathing on your own again,” Vanderhoff said.

Those who are sick are likely to be isolated and alone.

There are measures that can be taken, “simple, yet very effective,” Vanderhoff said.

“The science is absolutely clear, keeping your distance, wearing a mask and good ventilation all work together to form a protective barrier against viral transmission. It doesn’t matter if you feel fine. Or you just have a mild tickle in your throat. You could be asymptomatic and still a carrier able to infect the people around you. Even if you feel absolutely fine. That is why it is crucial that each one of us wears a mask when we’re around anyone who isn’t in our immediate circle,” Vanderhoff said.

DeWine asked everyone Ohioan to do at least one thing every day to reduce the amount of close, physical contact people have with those outside of their immediate family. He suggested making one grocery trips instead of three, using the phone or computer to watch a sports game with friends or family and wearing a mask if going to church.

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