The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020

Area counties see huge COVID-19 spike

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates Tuesday on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated county risk levels
Governor DeWine today announced that 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties are now considered high incidence counties as defined by the federal government. This means those counties have seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks.

In the past few weeks, Van Wert County has gone from having one of the lowest per-capita COVID-19 rates, to having the 10th highest rate in the state. In fact, more than half of all county cases have come in the past three weeks.

Van Wert joins Putnam (No. 1), Auglaize (No. 2), Mercer (No. 3), and Allen (No. 5) as being among the top 10 counties per-capita in confirmed COVID-19 cases this past week.

Governor DeWine also announced that the number of patients treated in Intensive Care Units at hospitals throughout the state is at the highest rate since the beginning of the crisis. He said that, based on the indicators, the state has not yet reached the peak of hospitalizations, and the ICU utilization has doubled since the beginning of October. Governor DeWine explained that most of Ohio’s cases are a result of community spread.

“As the virus spreads in the community from gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing, it directly impacts our ability to keep our schools open, to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes, and to keep our hospitals from being over-run and exceeding capacity,” said Governor DeWine. 

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans of the fundamental ways to stop the spread of the virus.

  • Wear a mask when out in public, when at a store, and when with friends.
  • Keep one’s distance.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Keep buildings well-ventilated. 

He also asked Ohio businesses to allow employees to work from home, when possible; to remind employees of the ways they can stop the spread of the virus; and require customers to wear masks.

Governor DeWine also called on community leaders to inventory where they are in the battle against COVID-19. He asked them to work together to assess where they are, what they need to do, and set goals in their fight against the virus. The Governor and Lt. Governor will begin calls with the community leaders to develop strategies forward, starting with the three counties on the watch list.

Election update

Governor DeWine was joined by Secretary of State Frank LaRose for an update on the election on November 3. Secretary LaRose outlined the precautions that the Board of Election offices are taking to keep Ohioans safe while voting. Secretary LaRose also reminded Ohioans that they can cast their vote early in person, by mail or on election day.

Additional information about the election, such as hours of polling locations, can be found at

Current COVID-19 data
There are 202,740 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,239 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 18,433 people have been hospitalized, including 3,771 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

POSTED: 10/28/20 at 7:11 am. FILED UNDER: News