As of Tuesday, Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) reported zero active cases of COVID-19 in the county — the first time it has reported zero cases since the first case on March 24.
The updated changes, according to FCPH, included:
-One individual has recovered and has been released from monitoring.
-One individual who is a close contact of an out-of-county confirmed case has been added to monitoring (individuals are monitored by the county in which they reside).
A statement from FCPH read: “While this is great news, there is still an active pandemic and cases continue to increase in other areas of Ohio as well as in other states. If your summer plans include travel, take the proper precautions and be aware of the guidelines for the area you are visiting. Many areas require cloth facial coverings in public settings.
“PREVENTION remains our best weapon in the battle against COVID-19. Please continue to be vigilant in taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
—Wear facial coverings (when appropriate)
—Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
—Maintain social distance
—Clean and disinfect “high touch” surfaces often
—Know the symptoms
—Stay home when sick
“The fight against COVID-19 is far from over, but please take a moment to be proud of your efforts, and then continue to do what you’re doing, Fayette County. These are the results we have all been working towards. #InThisTogetherFayetteCounty”
Residents of seven Ohio counties will be mandated to wear a mask when out in public, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during a briefing Tuesday as the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 reached the highest count in at least 21 days.
The governor said the mandate will impact residents of Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery and Trumbull counties starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Three of those counties are home to the state’s three largest cities, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Ohio saw 948 reported cases Tuesday, pushing the total number of probable and reported cases statewide to 58,904. The state reported 134 hospitalizations.
Residents in impacted counties must wear a mask when out in public or in a place where they are unable to follow social distancing rules.
It will not be required for children under the age of 10 or anyone who has a medical condition that keeps them from wearing a mask.
The mandate is to be enforced by state and local authorities, not by businesses. However, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said businesses will have to comply.
The mask mandate comes after DeWine announced last week that he will not be issuing a statewide mandate like a number of other states have, including Ohio’s neighbor, West Virginia.
DeWine pushed back against criticism that he has waffled on mask-wearing over the months, initially requiring them statewide before rescinding that mandate the next day. He said, “We’re now at a much more dangerous time,” and that he believes the public is now ready. He said imposing the mandate in just those counties that are “red hot” is fair.
STATE LAWMAKER CONTRACTS VIRUS
The leader of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus said she has tested positive for COVID-19.
State Rep. Stephanie Howse, a Cleveland Democrat, announced her diagnosis in a video posted to Twitter on Monday.
She said her symptoms — cough, loss of taste and smell — “are pretty mild” and she expects “prayerfully” to fully recover.
DeWine said during his Tuesday press briefing that he was thinking of Howse and hoping she recovers soon.
RETAIL, FOOD WORKER TESTING
Hundreds of people who work at the bars, restaurants and tourist shops in the Lake Erie island community of Put-In-Bay will be tested for the virus, health officials said this week.
The decision comes after less than 10 cases were linked to the island and two popular food and drinking spots closed in recent days — one after two employees tested positive and the other after a worker was showing symptoms.
As many as 1,000 workers could be tested, Jerry Bingham, Ottawa County’s health commissioner told the Sandusky Register.
Put-in-Bay Mayor Jessica Dress said the village’s businesses told her they support the widespread testing. The county health department said a week ago that seven people tested positive after visiting the island in mid-June.
The two main ferry lines that bring tourists and residents to the island said this week they now will require all passengers to wear masks on their boats.