As Ohio faces a statewide spike in the coronavirus infection rate, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is sounding the alarm.
In a “Meet the Press” interview on Sunday, he told NBC News’ Chuck Todd that the situation has reached “the point where we could become Florida.”
Along with several other southern states, Florida has seen a steep rise in the number of positive COVID-19 tests and related hospitalizations in the weeks since Memorial Day.
“Where you look at our numbers today versus where Florida was a month ago, we have very similar numbers,” DeWine said. “So we’re very, very concerned.”
After an initial response that showed promising results, the governor acknowledged that his state is “headed in the wrong direction” and signaled that he would be announcing new public health orders in the near future.
In response to Todd’s inquiry regarding a possible mask mandate, DeWine said that he “certainly would not rule out” such an order but stressed that it is “not just about masks.”
He stressed the importance of limiting physical contact and “getting people to understand, hey this is very, very serious.”
As of the latest data available, Ohio has registered more than 3,100 coronavirus-related deaths out of nearly 74,000 total cases. Florida has become the nation’s hotspot with more than 350,000 positive results and a recent one-day high of 15,300 new cases.