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'The rural spread in western Ohio is of grave concern': DeWine makes Toledo stop addressing COVID-19 spike

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made a surprise visit Friday, discussing concerning coronavirus trends hitting the western part of the state.

Jenson Strock

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made a surprise stop in northwest Ohio Friday, addressing what he called a "disturbing" trend in COVID-19 hitting the western part of the state.

Case numbers are on the rise, averaging around 1,500 a day. Last month, the positivity rate in Ohio was right around 2.5%. But in just a few weeks, that number has jumped up to 3.9%, with mainly rural counties bearing the brunt of the spread. 

"Early on, the spread was focused in our urban areas, today our urban areas are certainly aren't out of the woods, but they are doing a lot better than many of our rural counties," DeWine said.

In northwest Ohio specifically, DeWine noted that there are a number of rural counties with exceedingly high case numbers over the last two weeks.

"Trend lines are not good in Ohio. The rural spread in western Ohio is of grave concern," he said.

For a few months, DeWine's administration has been ranking Ohio's 88 counties in order of those with the most cases per 100,000 people to the least. This week, 5 northwest Ohio counties were in the top 20 of that list.