COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio's "state of emergency" came to an end Friday as we continue moving out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s time for that to end as well," Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Thursday morning press conference.
The state of emergency was put in place in March 2020 when the first cases of coronavirus first surfaced in the state of Ohio. Gov. DeWine said that lifting the state of emergency does not impact what Ohio can do at this point in the pandemic.
“Sometimes there’s a misconception about what a state of emergency means in Ohio," he said. "It really is very narrow as far as what it does. From a practical point of view of what we were doing daily early on in the pandemic: procurement, purchasing, waiving those rules so that we could get stuff in here now. Whether it was PPE or whatever it was, that was really significant. But now we’re at a very different stage of the pandemic. … This is kind of the last thing to be dealt with.”
Gov. DeWine's announcement, however, also came with a warning for those who are not vaccinated.
“We still are losing people every single day to COVID," Gov. DeWine said. "There really is a dichotomy that’s really a fundamental difference between your safety if you’re vaccinated and your safety if you’re not vaccinated. On one hand you’re safe, on the other hand you’re not. We have variants coming into the state. Things will continue to change. We’ll have some more figures next week, but we continue to lose people who are dying every single day in Ohio because of COVID. A lot less than what it was; hospitalizations are down, cases are down, positivity numbers are down, so we’ve certainly headed in the right direction – but that is being driven by the people who are vaccinated. The people who are not vaccinated still run a very, very significant risk.”
Gov. DeWine estimated Ohio is still losing 10 people each day due to COVID-19.
The move to end the state of emergency comes a few weeks after Gov. DeWine lifted the COVID health orders earlier this month.
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