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Dr. Amy Acton on Ohio's fight against COVID-19: 'We've won the first battle in the war, but we can't stop here'

Acton provided a few hints at what the road back from coronavirus might look like.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tuesday's COVID-19 briefing at the Ohio Statehouse from the DeWine administration may not have had much in the way of major announcements, but there was certainly reason for optimism after listening to Dr. Amy Acton.

The Ohio Department of Health director closed her daily report by referencing a conversation she had recently with a colleague at Johns Hopkins University in describing the state's response to coronavirus. 

"We've built out an unprecedented level of partnership between our hospitals, our nursing homes, and others in our community, especially our local health departments," Acton said. 

The colleague told Acton that 'Ohio should be tremendously proud.' 

"We've really been a leader and we've won the first battle in the war," Acton said in the briefing. "We've won the first battle, but we can't stop here. There are other battles yet to fight. We must have our hospital capacity ready because we could see ongoing spikes of COVID19 until we have a vaccine."

Although the plan of how the state intends to work its way back to recovery from the pandemic has not been released yet, Acton gave a few hints during her remarks. 

"We're going to move forward together and we're going to move forward smartly," she began. "We do know that a new world will be with social distancing, but it will be a functional social distancing, and will probably include a slow trickle back to work with these masks. And we'll all have to be honest when we're sick." 

Governor Mike DeWine added, "As we reopen Ohio, people will have to be very, very careful until we get a vaccine. You'll have to weigh benefit vs. risk. You will have to make sure you're wearing a mask when you go out, continue social distancing, etc. COVID19 is not going away until we get a vaccine."

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