CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine held a statewide address on Thursday evening as the fight against the coronavirus continues.
The governor, who usually speaks at 2 p.m. on Thursday, gave remarks at 5:30 p.m. as Ohio progresses “towards reaching the end of the COVID pandemic,” according to a statement from DeWine’s office.
Thursday’s address from Gov. DeWine comes approximately one year since the first coronavirus-related shutdowns and restrictions were introduced.
In the address, the governor claimed victory over the pandemic is in sight.
“All of us are so sick of this virus, but you know we must resist this urge and we must fight until the very end,” DeWine said.
However, he stressed that wearing masks and socially distancing has made “significant strides” in slowing the spread.
“Scientists tell us virus is morphing into a more highly contagious virus,” the governor said. “There is something seemingly even more tragic and poignant about a death that occurs when the war is almost over and victory is close at hand.”
DeWine said not only do we have three highly effective vaccines, we have one other proven tool, masks. So, it came as a surprise when he announced they could become a thing of the past much sooner than expected.
“When can we lift the health orders? I’ve consulted with Dr. Vanderhoff, our department health medical director, and a number of epidemiologists as well as other health experts and they tell me that now with the vaccine we can set realistic goals,” said DeWine.
Gov. DeWine said when Ohio gets down to 50 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks straight, all health orders will be lifted.
So how close are we to that? To put that into perspective; on December 3rd, 2020 we had 731 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. On February 3rd of this year, we were down to 445 cases per 100,00 people and this Wednesday, we were at 179 cases per 100,000 people.
“Ohio is on right path to get us to 50,” DeWine said. “We must run through the tape at the end of this race. We need to keep going. We need to finish the job and we need to finish strong.”
Stay with 19 News for the latest from Ohio Gov. DeWine.