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Gov. Mike DeWine on Ohio's COVID-19 outlook: 'I think Memorial Day will be good'

The governor made the comments during a stop at a vaccination clinic in Canton Friday morning.

CANTON, Ohio — While many are looking to the Fourth of July holiday as a marker of being closer to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he thinks it will be even sooner than that.

"This summer is, you know - the President talked about July 4th. I'll talk about Memorial Day. I think Memorial Day will be good," Gov. DeWine said during a stop at COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Canton on Friday. "You know, a lot better than it was last Memorial Day. I'm very optimistic, but we just - we can't let up."

Cases of COVID-19 have plateaued in Ohio over the past several weeks. On Thursday, the state saw an additional 1,501 new COVID-19 cases and 67 hospitalizations. Gov. DeWine said, Ohio has to stay the course to beat the virus.

"We have to stay on defense for a while. You know, I had a gentleman out there who wanted, who said, 'get rid of the masks!' But we're not there yet," he said. "But we're gonna get there. By using the masks and vaccinating at the same time, we're gonna get there."

RELATED: Ohio's COVID-19 vaccination registration site: How to sign up for an appointment near you

Part of the way to beat the virus moving forward is convincing your loved ones to get the vaccine, he says.

"At the rate that the vaccine is coming into Ohio, it's not going to be too long until the challenge is not, 'well, we don't have enough vaccine,'" Gov. DeWine said. "The challenge is going to be convincing Ohioans, who have been reluctant to get it, convincing them that it's time to, to get the vaccine."

"People listen to their own doctor," the governor said. "They listen to their spouse -- usually. They listen to their family and friends," Gov. DeWine said Friday. "That's who really has the influence. We talked to a man the other day who said, 'I'm the first one in my family to get it, but I'm going home and telling everybody that they need to get it.'"

You can watch Gov. DeWine's full remarks in the player below.

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