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Ohio sets new record with 8,808 new coronavirus cases

By Rick Rouan, The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio on

Published in News & Features

COLUMBUS, Ohio — New coronavirus cases hit a new record on Friday as Ohioans headed into their first weekend under Gov. Mike DeWine's mandated statewide overnight curfew.

The state reported 8,808 new cases on Friday, eclipsing the 8,071 record set a week ago.

Ohio had hovered between 7,000 and 8,000 cases a day over the last week. But that represents a significant jump from just three weeks ago, when the state had fewer than 4,000 new cases.

Friday's record new cases, up from 7,787 on Thursday, doesn't account for a backlog of about 12,000 less reliable rapid antigen tests that the state is double-checking. The state always verifies those tests, but the number performed on a daily basis has exploded from hundreds to thousands, making it difficult to check within 24 hours.

The state also reported on Friday another 65 deaths and 398 new hospitalizations from the coronavirus. Another 42 were reported to have been admitted to intensive care units.

The sustained spike pushed DeWine this week to implement the curfew and to travel the state to encourage Ohioans to limit their contacts, wear masks and abide by the curfew to help stop the rapid spread of the virus.

And local governments around the state have issued stay-at-home advisories for residents, including those in Franklin County where the state on Thursday gave a purple warning designation for the first time.

The statewide curfew started Thursday and runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for 21 days until Dec. 10. Franklin County's advisory was to begin at 6 p.m. Friday.

The order does not close businesses, but it does require Ohioans to stay at home during those hours, with several exemptions, including for those seeking medical treatment, picking up takeout food, going to work and shopping for groceries.

Greater restrictions came this week as hospitalizations hit record levels. The state set a record with 3,829 patients hospitalized in Ohio on Thursday.

The state also debuted two new tools this week at coronavirus.ohio.gov to track the virus' spread in childcare facilities. One shows the number of children and staff cases at individual centers, but a separate dashboard is being used to show the number of positive cases from children and adults at smaller home-based providers.

 

Both the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art announced temporary closures on Friday because of the spike in coronavirus cases.

Officials at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum said in a release Friday that they will monitor the pandemic in the coming days, with a plan to reopen on Dec. 19.

The museum had, even prior to the pandemic, ramped up its online programming and those virtual events will continue. Already scheduled was a regular event called "Rally Point."

The next one is Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. featuring Mary Whyte, an artist who founded the Patriot Arts Foundation, and Heather Seymour from the Veterans Art Initiative. The will talk about the healing power of art.

The museum was closed for more than three months early on in the pandemic but reopened in late June.

The Columbus Museum of Art in Downtown Columbus will monitor the situation before announcing a reopening date. In the meantime, the museum will contact ticketholders and provide refunds.

The museum was set to open "Raggin' On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson's House and Journals," an exhibit of more than 200 works of visual and literary art by the Columbus artist, who died at age 75 in 2015. Originally scheduled to open in July, this is the second time the pandemic has caused the show to be delayed.

Earlier this year, the health crisis also impacted another major exhibit, "Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989," which celebrated the impact of the 1969 Stonewall riots and the ensuing LGBTQ civil rights movement on the art world. The show opened on March 6, but the museum temporarily closed just a week later on March 15. Visitors were welcomed back in late June, and the exhibit was able to resume.

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(Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Jackie Borchardt and Dispatch reporters Holly Zachariah and Erica Thompson contributed to this report.)

(c)2020 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC