COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff held a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon to address the state's response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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DeWine's purpose for the briefing was to make a direct appeal to local school boards as well as to parents about the best way to protect children from COVID-19 in the classrooms. "To every parent, school official, and school board member in Ohio: The best way to make sure a child can stay in school is for that child to be vaccinated. If a child can't be vaccinated, the best way to ensure a good year is for that child to wear a mask," he stated.
Tuesday's press conference came amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases that have largely occurred in connection with COVID-19's Delta Variant. Last week, Vanderhoff said that the Delta Variant, which is considered more contagious and more dangerous than previous strains, had become the dominant COVID-19 strain in the state.
"We are at the highest number of new cases since February. Today we're reporting 3,235 cases," the governor added on Tuesday. "On July 7, our cases were at 17 cases statewide per 100,000 people for a two-week period. Today, that number is 236 per 100,000 people."
Speaking at a press briefing earlier this month, DeWine stressed the importance of residents getting the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that 98 percent of Ohio's COVID-19-related hospitalizations in 2021 have been unvaccinated patients.
"No fact better illustrates how powerful the vaccines are than by looking at the people who have been in our hospitals for COVID since Jan. 1 of this year, when the vaccine first really started to have a big impact," DeWine said. "We now live in a state with two groups of people: those who are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated."
You can watch Tuesday's entire briefing below: