Governor takes COVID-19 message to Appalachia

    Over the past month, Gov. Mike DeWine has toured various parts of Ohio to warn about the spread of COVID-19 and encourage residents of each region to continue abiding by safety guidelines.

    On Monday, DeWine traveled to Huntington and Wheeling, West Virginia to address media outlets there which serve residents living in southern and eastern Ohio. 

    Spread is being recorded everywhere in the state, with all 88 counties having a “high incidence” of COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

    Several Appalachian counties, Hocking and Adams, are currently within the top 15 counties when considering the virus occurrence as adjusted for population. 

    Others have reached the top slots as well, such as when Athens County featured outbreaks at Ohio University earlier in the fall.

    The state’s Public Health Advisory System maps out the 88 counties, with four levels designating the level of spread in each county. 

    Of the 32 counties recognized by the Appalachian Regional Commission, 18 are currently labeled as Level 3 (“very high exposure and spread”). Another 13 are Level 2 (“increased exposure and spread”) and Noble County stands alone as the only county in Ohio at Level 1 (“active exposure and spread”).

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    Tyler Buchanan
    Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.