CLEVELAND — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has made it clear that he doesn't want to shut down the state's economy in order to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
But when asked about the prospects of doing so during an appearance at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport on Monday, DeWine admitted he wouldn't rule out any measure -- including another lockdown -- considering the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic.
"I don't look for us to get to that point," DeWine said. "I've said I would never rule things out because I can't make up scenarios. But that's not where we want to go, that's not what we want to do."
DeWine's comments come as Ohio has seen a recent surge in its coronavirus numbers. As of last week, 29 of the state's 88 counties and 65 percent of its population have fallen under the Level 3 "red" coronavirus risk level, which denotes "very high exposure and spread" of the coronavirus.
With Ohio trending in the wrong direction with winter still ahead, DeWine has warned that he made need to take additional measures, such as the possibility of schools returning to full remote learning.
As for shutting down the economy, as he did in parts of March, April and May, DeWine said he doesn't believe that's necessary, as he's aware of the additional harm such a measure can cause.
"I really don't think this is what we want to have happen because when there is a shutdown, some obvious things happen," DeWine said. "This has been tough enough for people from a mental health point of view. We've seen drug addiction appears to be going up. So the virus itself has caused a lot of problems. We know when we actually shut down the state that took the economy down as well along with the pandemic that it took it down.
"There's really no reason that Ohioans cannot be careful and go about our business and do most of the things that we have done in the past. We just gotta do them differently."
You can watch DeWine's full appearance in Cleveland on Monday in the video player below.