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DeWine Says Omicron Variant Not Enough To Justify New Health Orders

 Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

The omicron variant has officially been detected in Ohio, which means the state joins others in dealing with a new surge of the coronavirus.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine was asked what else the state could do to combat the surge and if new health orders were needed.

This comes as the state has started to see a leveling off in cases and deaths from the COVID-19 delta variant.

DeWine is strongly encouraging people to get vaccinated, but adds that there will be no new COVID-related regulations.

"You know, we have a surge. It is being driven by primarily by people who have not been vaccinated. But I think we're, you know, we're well beyond the point where, you know, we can issue additional health orders," DeWine said.

That’s partly because of a law that restricts the governor's power to issue health orders.

DeWine said they're shifting away from urging unvaccinated people to get the shot and putting more emphasis on vaccinated people to get boosters.

"Where we really see the opportunity to save a lot of lives is frankly people who have already made the decision to be vaccinated, who have already been vaccinated, and now it's time for them to get the booster shot," the governor said.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.