COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – This afternoon Governor Mike DeWine spoke in Columbus, providing updates on COVID-19 in Ohio. Here is a complete outline on everything that was discussed.

Update on State COVID-19 Numbers

The Ohio Department of Health’s latest report shows another high daily case total and a notable jump in new hospitalizations. The state is up to 58,904 total cases of COVID-19. 2,970 Ohioans have now died from the virus, while over 41,000 have recovered. 849 people are currently hospitalized throughout the Buckeye State due to the virus.

Update on Stark County COVID-19 Numbers

The state’s latest report shows Stark County is up to 1,133 total cases of COVID-19. 113 people have died in Stark County due to the virus, while 826 have recovered. Stark County remains in the orange (level 2) of the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Masks Required in Red Counties

This afternoon Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue an order, effective 6:00 pm Wednesday, that will mandate wearing of face coverings in public in all counties that are designated Red Level 3 Public Health Emergency Alert.

DeWine says this order will stay in effect as long as these counties are in a red level or if they increase to the Purple Alert Level 4. If the counties drop to a Level 2, the requirement will drop off.

In these red-alert counties, people will need to wear a mask:

  • When they are in any indoor location that is not a residence
  • When they are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household
  • When they are waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private care service, or a ride-sharing vehicle.

The Order does not apply to children under the age of 10 or any other minor who cannot safely wear a face covering.

The Order also reflects the mask guidance that has existed for employees and businesses under their health and safety guidelines, which does not require a person to wear a mask if their physician advises against it, if wearing a mask is prohibited by federal regulation, if communicating with the hearing impaired, when alone in your office or personal workspace, and other similar measures.

Contact Sports Given Green Light for Competition

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced this afternoon that on a short term basis, the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order allowing for Contact and Non-Contact Competition to resume for all sports if teams agree to all of the guidelines in the order.

This will include things such as:

  • Testing of all players, coaches, athletic trainers, support staff, and officials before travel and competition.
  • Daily symptom assessments.
  • Athletic trainers must wear a face covering while attending to a player.
  • Coaches and officials are strongly recommended to wear a face covering, when possible.
  • Strict social distancing by players who are not actively engaged in practice or competition.
  • Immediate isolation and medical care for a participant who develops symptoms.

The order will remain in place through July 15. The order mainly pertains to ESPN’s The Basketball Tournament which is being played at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.