By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — States once hard-hit by the coronavirus have now ordered a quarantine mandate for visitors from Ohio as the number of reported daily cases in the state continues to push over 1,000.
Visitors traveling from Ohio to New York, New Jersey or Connecticut must quarantine for 14 days to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a regional agreement announced Tuesday.
The mandate comes months after Republican Gov. Mike DeWine won nationwide praise for his aggressive approach to the coronavirus pandemic, closing aspects of the states even when no cases had been reported.
Now, as Ohio continues to push forward in its reopening, it joins a list of other states that include Texas, Arizona and Florida, which have seen an explosive number of reported cases in the past few weeks.
The quarantine mandate was issued because Ohio’s rate of positive virus tests had reached 10% or higher over a seven-day rolling average, or exceeded 10 people per 100,000 residents over seven days, Cuomo’s office told The Columbus Dispatch.
Ohio’s seven-day test positivity rate was around 6% as of Saturday, according to data released by the state.
On Tuesday, the number of reported daily COVID-19 cases was 1,142. Ohio also reported 134 people were hospitalized with virus-related symptoms in the past 24 hours.
As the number of cases in Ohio continues to rise, cities across the state and some lawmakers are taking the matter into their own hands.
On Tuesday, the city councils of Akron and Toledo voted to move forward with requiring residents to wear a mask or face covering when in public. Other Ohio cities have passed similar mask mandates, including Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Dayton.
House Democrats announced Tuesday that they will introduce a bill allowing legislative staff to unionize following a staffer testing positive for the virus last week. The bill plans to address staff health and safety in the chamber.
“We now call upon our GOP colleagues to join this effort as co-sponsors on this commonsense piece of legislation to protect these hard-working professionals,” Democratic Rep. Jeffrey Crossman said in a release.
Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.