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Ohio coronavirus update: 6,975 cases, 274 deaths; Gov. DeWine restricts liquor sales in several counties to Ohio residents only

Also, the state's long-term care facilities must notify residents and families within 24 hours of a resident or staff member becoming infected.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — After a well-deserved weekend off, Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton held a news conference Monday at the Ohio Statehouse with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic across the state. 

The Ohio Department of Health reports there are now 6,975 cases of COVID-19 in the state. 274 people have died and another 2,033 are hospitalized.

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On Monday, DeWine made several key announcements regarding coronavirus in Ohio:

  • The Ohio National Guard will begin providing assistance to the medical staff at Pickaway Correctional Institution. There are a number of medical staff out sick due to coronavirus. Guard members will provide triage support, taking temperatures, and helping with non-COVID19 cases.
  • DeWine asked Dr. Amy Acton to issue an order that will require long-term care facilities to notify residents and families within 24 hours of a resident or staff member becoming infected.
  • In-person sale of liquor in the following counties will be restricted only to Ohioans: Ashtabula, Trumbull. Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, Belmont. DeWine says the restriction became necessary due to repeated instances of persons from Pennsylvania coming into these counties for the sole or main purpose of purchasing liquor. "Right now this creates an unacceptable public health issue," he said.

During her presentation at the briefing, Acton mentioned the importance of masks for the present, as well as the future. 

"These masks are being viewed as another weapon to get back to normal. These are much like the other social distancing actions we've taken. We will be looking at a year of using these in new ways."

Over the course of the past few days, multiple Ohio Republicans have called for DeWine to reopen the state's economy with Ohio having been under a stay-at-home order that is currently slated to last until May 1 since March 23. Most notably, Republican state senator Matt Huffman issued a letter to DeWine asking him to consider reopening businesses in less densely populated areas. 

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine facing pressure to reopen state's economy

Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he would soon share details of the state's current plan to slowly reopen the state's economy amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

“I will say this, that going out of this thing is going to be just as tough, if not tougher, than going into it and closing things down,” DeWine said Monday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "It's going to be a series of decisions that we're making but I think every governor right now is thinking, 'How do we open up? How do we do this?'" 

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: Reopening will be 'just as tough' as start of coronavirus pandemic

Click here for more of our coronavirus section.

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