Ohio governor to give 2nd statewide address as virus surges

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2019, file photo, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during an interview at the Governor's Residence in Columbus, Ohio. The state surpassed a new daily virus record Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, with more than 3,500 cases as Ohio joins dozens of states in a third surge of infections as the country enters the colder months. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will give a statewide address Wednesday night, making it the second time he will make a public appeal about the severity of the coronavirus’ spread to residents since the pandemic began in March.

The governor will speak on “the critical stage Ohio is at in battling COVID-19 and its impact on Ohio moving forward,” according to a news release Tuesday.

Early on DeWine stood out as a rare GOP governor ringing the alarm on the virus and enforcing aggressive precautions statewide. The lifelong politician also stood alone within his party in pushing for mask-wearing and social distancing enforcement. Ohio has remained under a statewide mask mandate since July.

But despite his consistent pleas, the state began to see the second wave in October when cases more than doubled, reaching an all-time high for daily cases Saturday with 5,549.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 2,332.57 new cases per day on Oct. 25 to 4,466.86 new cases per day on Nov. 8, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

The Health Department on Monday reported 4,706 probable and confirmed cases. Ohio has reported more than 250,000 probable and confirmed cases to date, including 5,524 deaths.