COLUMBUS, Ohio — “Optimistic.”
That’s the word Gov. Mike DeWine used to describe his outlook on the spring, at his COVID-19 briefing on Thursday.
He credits new information we are learning about something we all use now every day.
The governor was referring to masks and the power of the masks we now wear. He said they are key to returning to some sense of normalcy by this spring.
He referenced the effectiveness of mask-wearing in school settings to eliminate the spread of COVID-19.
He said with new information about that effectiveness – we may be able to return to events that we haven’t been able to experience in more than a year, like sporting events.
DeWine added as we look to the spring with school proms and sporting events, “the mask will allow us to do a lot of these things and I’m optimistic.”
The governor said we cannot declare victory yet as vaccination efforts need more time.
Meanwhile, Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff who joined the governor at his news briefing said the variant that was discovered in the UK is here in Ohio and these new strains are an important signal about what’s happening to the virus and where it’s heading.
They said they will continue to monitor the variants closely.
“Even in the face of these new more infectious variants, we have the weapons we need,” said Dr. Vanderhoff as he spoke about the approaching spring season.
According to Dr. Vanderhoff, a testament to masking is the numbers from this flu season. Last year he said there were 5,500 flu hospitalizations. That’s compared to less than 100 flu hospitalizations this year.