Protesters gather outside Ohio Statehouse during coronavirus briefing


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Protesters were heard during Thursday's coronavirus briefing at the Ohio Statehouse during Dr. Amy Acton's portion of the presentation.

Protesters were demonstrating against Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Acton's stay-at-home actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many of the protesters said DeWine and Acton do not have the power to shut down businesses.

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About 100 people marched past the statehouse carrying signs and chanting, "Open Ohio," referencing their anger that businesses are closed and people are not working.

Some signs read "LET MY PEOPLE GO: to schools, to parks to work," "Quarantine Worse than Virus," and "BALANCE THE RISK #OPENOHIO."

Dr. Acton addressed the protest during her briefing as they occurred outside.

"I don't know if you can hear, there are people protesting right outside the statehouse, And people are worried, they're afraid. They're worried about their jobs. We are working very hard on how we are going to get through this beyond this," she said. She equated the effort to climbing a mountain, saying it takes patience, planning and teamwork.

"This is a hard mountain to climb, everyone. My husband and I tried to climb the highest mountain in the United States, Mount Whitney. Climbing mountains takes an incredible amount of teamwork ... getting to each base camp safely. We will not leave your side as we get through this arduous journey ahead. ... We will escort you equally as carefully. We aim to be one of the most aggressive states when it comes to recovery," she said.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are now 31,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 1,888 people have died from the virus and 5,773 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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