COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted provided an update on COVID-19 in the state Thursday in which he appointed a new leadership team at the state Department of Health amid another record-setting day of new cases.
As of Thursday, Nov. 5, a total of 235,170 (+4,961) cases have been reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 5,461 (+33) deaths and 20,015 (+214) hospitalizations.
Thursday’s number of cases was the highest since Ohio began keeping data. DeWine reported that the number of hospitalized patients is also a record and represents a 55% increase from two weeks ago.
DeWine announced new appointments at the Ohio Department of Health, which has been without a director since Dr. Amy Acton left in June.
Stephanie McCloud, administrator/CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, was named director to replace Acton.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, senior vice president at OhioHealth, was named chief medical officer.
Lance Himes, who had been interim director, was named senior deputy and will direct efforts to distribute a vaccine once it is available.
And Kathleen Madden, who was assistant director of the state office of budget and management, becomes chief of staff.
DeWine encouraged Ohioans now that the election is over to focus their efforts on slowing the spread of the virus. He especially singled out private gatherings such as football-watching parties for becoming events where the virus is spread.
“This virus doesn’t care if we voted for Donald Trump. It doesn’t care if we voted for Joe Biden. It’s coming after all of us,” he said.
Eighty-six of Ohio’s 88 counties are at levels 2 or 3 on the state’s public health advisory map, with 56 at level 3, or red. No counties in the state are at level 4, or purple, which is the highest level on the watch list. Only two counties, Morgan and Monroe in southeastern Ohio, are at level 1.
In Central Ohio, Franklin, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison and Union counties are all at level 3. Delaware is at level 2, or orange.
Seven counties moved to level 3 for the first time: Champaign, Clinton, Coshocton, Holmes, Jefferson, Morrow and Sandusky. DeWine said 86% of the state’s population now lives in a red county.