CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was honest with how he feels about what the coming months will be like as the fight against the spread of COVID-19 continues.
During his remarks on Tuesday, the governor said the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations across Ohio are continuing to climb, especially in rural communities.
The numbers are only likely to get worse as more people spend more time together indoors during the winter months, Gov. DeWine expects.
“Things will get better, but in all likelihood, things will get worse before they get better,” the governor said. “This virus is sneaky and cunning and won’t give up.”
The governor said the situation likely won’t improve until an effective vaccination is distributed and herd immunity can begin to develop among the community.
According to the Ohio governor, indications show that “Operation Warp Speed,” the federally-led program to test and manufacture a vaccine, is working.
“A vaccine is coming, and judging by the indicators, it’ll work,” Gov. DeWine said. "But the timing isn’t something Ohioans can control.
The governor said the state could be in a position to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine to a “large" part of Ohio by summer 2021.
“We can do this. Wear mask when you are in any place where you will see others,” the governor urged.
A vaccination would likely be first distributed to critical first responders and health care workers in Ohio, Gov. DeWine suggested, as well as vulnerable individuals.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties are classified as “Red Alert Level 3,” indicating a high incidence of COVID-19 spread.