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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Warns Ohioans After COVID-19 Recovery

a photo of Gov Mike Dewine
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine invited the former governor of New Jersey, who has recovered from COVID-19, to speak at his briefing Thursday.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie warned Ohioans to not let their guard down when it comes to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Christie, a Republican, recently recovered from COVID-19 after a stay in an intensive care unit.

“I came out of this ok, and I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I survived, I’m alive, but it very well could have gone the other way.”

Christie addressed Ohioans during Gov. Mike DeWine’s Thursday virus update, saying he thought he was safe because he was being tested daily as were those around him. He took off his mask because he thought he was safe, he said but that was when he was exposed to the virus.

Sometimes testing can give you a false sense of security, DeWine said, and the biggest takeaway from Christie’s story is to not let your guard down and don’t change behavior just because you think you’re safe or because you’ve tested negative.

The former governor wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that he went from feeling completely fine to being admitted into the ICU within 24 hours.

“It is a frightening experience,” he said. “This is one of the most unpredictable, random, and brutal viruses you’ll ever see.

Christie advised Ohioans to listen to Gov. DeWine, who he said has been a strong voice and a spokesman for what needs to be done during the pandemic.
DeWine went on to say that the pandemic is getting worse in Ohio, and everyone needs to do their part to prevent spread.

public health alert map 102220
Ohio Department of Health
Summit, Stark, Portage and Cuyahoga Counties all remain on red alert and Cuyahoga is at risk of elevating to level 4 or purple, the highest alert level which indicates severe exposure and spread of the coronavirus.

Ohio is seeing a dramatic increase in red or Level 3 counties this week according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. DeWine announced 38 counties are currently red, and three counties are now on the watch list for possibly moving from red to purple or Level 4 alert: Clark, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton.

Crawford, Lake, Ottawa, and Tuscarawas counties are red for the first time, largely driven by an increase in new cases and hospitalizations.

About 74 percent of Ohioans are now living in a red county, the governor said.
“This whole idea that our cases are going up solely because of an increase in testing is just nuts. It’s not right,” he said. “The way you can tell that is, look at our increase in positivity.”

Ohio’s positivity rate has gone from 2.5 percent to 6 percent in a matter of weeks,
DeWine said, “not good.”

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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