As Ohio prepares for the possibility of having its first counties reach Level 4 "Purple" on the state's COVID-19 risk advisory, many are wondering how Governor Mike DeWine might respond.
But while some have theorized that Ohio might issue orders for those counties, including the closing of schools, Gov. DeWine said that wouldn't be the case -- at least not on Thursday.
"We're not going to issue additional orders," DeWine said at a press briefing on Wednesday to announce a $5 billion dividend to help Ohio businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. "It's just one more piece of information. Going into purple is a signal that potentially we have a hospital problem."
Rather, DeWine said he would continue to work with local leaders on strategies to combat the coronavirus. He did state it is possible he could eventually issue orders based on a county's risk level down the line.
DeWine's comments come one day before Ohio is set to unveil its latest coronavirus public health advisory.
Last week, three Ohio counties -- Cuyahoga County, Hamilton County and Clark County -- were put on the watch list to soon move from Level 3 "Red" to Level 4 "Purple," which will occur on Thursday unless those individual counties have since improved their coronavirus trends.
Dating back to Ohio's first color-coded coronavirus public health advisory system being released in July, no county has reached Level 4 "Purple."
In recent weeks, Ohio has seen a surge in coronavirus cases and trends, with 74 percent of the state's population currently living in a Level 3 "Red" county and 82 of the state's 88 counties currently considered to be "high incidence."