County adds 4 cases; DeWine mandates masks statewide; Frisch’s won’t reopen

Staff and wire report

According to local health officials, Champaign County data increased by 4 cases in 24 hours for a total of 77 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday at 2 p.m.

And as of this evening, every Ohio county will be covered by mask orders.

The county has had 8 total hospitalizations with 2 currently hospitalized. The county has suffered 1 fatality to date during the pandemic.

Presumed recovered cases are defined as confirmed cases with a symptom onset date of more than 21 days prior who are not deceased. For Champaign County, that number held steady at 43 as of Wednesday.

Champaign County remains at Level 1 (yellow) on the public health emergency scale. This is the lowest level of risk for a county.

Frisch’s in Urbana won’t reopen

Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant chain has announced it will not reopen the Urbana location, which was closed due to the pandemic and statewide stay-at-home orders issued in March.

Urbana joins the list of other Frisch’s Ohio locations not reopening, which includes Frisch’s in nearby Marysville. Springfield locations have reopened. According to a company press release, employees who worked at locations Frisch’s has closed permanently have been invited to work at nearby Frisch’s restaurants.

Governor orders masks to be worn in all counties

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A mandatory mask order will be expanded statewide across Ohio to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday.

The mask mandate takes effect July 23 (today) at 6 p.m. for everyone age 10 and older when they’re out in public or in places where they can’t follow social distancing rules, DeWine said. It will not be required for children under 10 or anyone who has a medical condition that keeps them from wearing a mask.

The Republican governor’s first try at a statewide requirement for wearing masks inside businesses — back in April — drew backlash that led him to rescind that directive the following day, a stutter among the aggressive moves that had won him early praise in his efforts to curb the virus. Mask-wearing also has been a point of contention at the Statehouse, where many Democratic lawmakers have donned masks while many Republican lawmakers have not.

DeWine had resisted calls for a statewide mask order in favor of a more tailored approach, focusing on the counties considered hot spots. Last week, he’d ordered residents in 19 counties, including almost 60% of the state’s population, to wear masks in public.

But he said Wednesday that more counties are seeing increasing case numbers, and that there are signs the rate of increase has slowed in counties where masks were required.

“It looks like wearing the masks is starting to have an effect,” he said.

The new mandate is to be enforced by state and local authorities, not by businesses.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, also a Republican, also issued a mask mandate Wednesday that begins next Monday. Ohio and Indiana follow neighboring Kentucky, where Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s mask order is being challenged in court.

Ohio has seen a steady increase in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, rising from 908 patients on July 9 to 1,098 as of Wednesday, DeWine said. Ohio also reported 1,527 more probable and confirmed coronavirus cases, its second-highest number so far, for a total of nearly 79,000 cases and about 3,200 deaths in the state.

DeWine issued a travel advisory that anyone coming into Ohio from a state that has a positive virus testing rate of 15% or higher is recommended to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

He also said health officials are concerned about safety guidelines not being followed at county fairs across the state. An outbreak of 19 cases has been traced back to a county fair, DeWine said.

“We want fairs to continue, but I spoke with county fair managers today and expressed that they must follow the rules,” he added.

Ohio reported 1,527 new cases on Wednesday, above the 21-day average of 1,232 daily cases. Ohio reported 16 additional deaths compared to the 21-day average of 17. The state reported 128 new hospitalizations compared to the 21-day average of 93. Ohio had 19 new intensive care unit admissions compared to the 21-day average of 18.

To date in total, Ohio has recorded 78,742 cases, 9,864 hospitalizations, 3,235 deaths and 54,426 presumed recoveries.

The positive test rate is 6.3% with tens of thousands of tests being performed per day during the last 10 days. Health District graphic of Ohio graphic of Ohio graphic Health District graphic

Staff and wire report