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DeWine: ‘Seeing spread everywhere’

Noble Health Commissioner tests positive for COVID-19

State and federal officials again renewed the plea to Ohioans to wear masks and socially distance Tuesday.

“Today we’re seeing spread virtually everywhere,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during his Tuesday press briefing. “Today we’re reporting 2,015 new cases in Ohio.”

Athens County also breached more than 1,000 confirmed cases Tuesday, and DeWine noted with a visual slide of top 20 worst counties for incidents rates of increased cases that Athens is fifth on the list, it has dropped from the top worst incident rate last week.

“Some of the top numbers are just staggering,” said DeWine. “The virus is running rampant in some of these top counties … Currently 69 of 88 counties are now considered high-incidence counties.”

Along with that announcement, Noble County Health Commissioner Shawn Ray confirmed Tuesday that he and his wife have tested positive for coronavirus.

“I was out of town last week for the third wedding in our family. This last one on October 10 (occurred on) Kim and (my) 28th wedding anniversary as well,” Ray released to social media. “The wedding was for our niece and occurred in Michigan. Late Wednesday, we were informed that our youngest daughter, who also attended the wedding, had COVID symptoms.”

After his daughter tested positive per her employer protocol, he said the couple also began exhibiting the virus’s symptoms.

“A wise person reminded me of the personal integrity that I value … Kim and I went and got tested yesterday. Both of us are positive for COVID-19,” he said. “We like much of Noble County did not keep up enough barriers for this wedding.

“For this, I apologize for being unsuccessful at the high bar we all need to follow in order to stop this disease.”

The health commissioner noted that the couple is quarantined and now are considered in isolation on their home farm.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also took questions from reporters on a call Tuesday and emphasized the guidance to wear masks and limit social gatherings.

“I stand with the governor with his strong encouragement on masks,” said Portman. “We do have a third wave in Ohio… I’m discouraged by it.”

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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