Governor DeWine’s Tuesday Press Briefing Addresses Labor Day Weekend Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, High-Speed Internet Grants for Students

 

Governor Mike DeWine’s recent press conference touched on several issues facing Ohio and possible fixes.

In the Tuesday briefing, DeWine reminded citizens to take the proper safety precautions for Labor Day weekend. DeWine reported Ohio had the “highest number of new cases since the end of July,” which he called a “stark reminder that this virus has not gone away and it continues to spread in our communities.”

DeWine called on citizens to continue hand washing, social distancing, and to remember the mask mandate is active in all 88 counties.

In anticipation of Labor Day weekend, the governor announced three new safety efforts to curb fatalities on Ohio’s roads, and give young drivers the tools to drive safely. The efforts include a new traffic safety council led by the Department of Public Safety, an initiative to utilize air enforcement around the Department of Transportation’s construction areas, and a grant to juvenile courts to fund more advanced driver training to young adults. The new efforts come after Ohio reported 154 traffic fatalities in July, the highest number in a single month since 2007, according to DeWine’s press release.

DeWine also encouraged drivers to watch their speed, as roads emptied by the pandemic have caused the remaining drivers to speed. The Ohio Highway Patrol has issued more than 2,200 citations for speeders driving at speeds of above 100 miles an hour just this year, the governor’s press release said.

Labor Day also marks the traditional end of summer and normally, the beginning of the school year. In light of the general school closure due to the pandemic, Lt. Governor Husted announced at the press conference that over 900 grants have been approved to help a reported 121,000 Ohioan students gain high-speed internet in their homes. The grant comes as a need for high-speed internet increases as more and more schools turn to hybrid or online-only options to help deal with the pandemic. As many as 645,000 Ohio students are in schools that are increasing their online workload.

Husted also unveiled a public service announcement featuring 99-year-old Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, a WWII Paratrooper who jumped into France before the D-Day invasion. Martin called on Ohioans to “mask-up.”

Currently, the Ohio Department of Health data shows Ohio has 124,610 confirmed or probable cases of the virus, and 4,165 confirmed or probable deaths. A total of 13,479 people have been hospitalized, 2,975 of which have been sent to an intensive care unit.

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Ben Kolodny is a reporter at The Ohio Star and the Star News Network. You can follow Ben on Twitter. Tips can be sent to [email protected]
Photo “Mike DeWine” by The Ohio Channel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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