HUNTINGTON — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has gotten criticism from within his own party for his aggressive anti-coronavirus measures, but the state’s Democratic senator had praise for him Friday.
“I think the governor has had a steady hand in this,” Sen. Sherrod Brown said while visiting the Cincinnati Health Department to promote getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
“I wish I could say the same about the Legislature and the way the Legislature has politicized this,” Brown added of GOP-led state legislators. Some have challenged DeWine’s actions with criticism such as trying to turn business operators into “mask police.”
Brown unseated DeWine in the 2006 Senate election.
Brown said people who have gotten vaccinated, as he has, should encourage others.
“People need to hear from reluctant friends or neighbors or relatives that got the vaccine and tell them about how safe it is and how it matters,” Brown said. “That’s all about sharing stories.”
Brown’s Ohio Republican counterpart, Sen. Rob Portman, took part in a vaccine test, and Cincinnati-area U.S. Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a Republican who is a doctor, has given vaccinations himself.
Nearly 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 were reported statewide Friday, for a total of 1,081,518, with 19,425 deaths.
In West Virginia, 339 new cases were reported, for a total of 155,680, and six new deaths, for a total of 2,719.
Total cases per county are: Barbour (1,422), Berkeley (12,269), Boone (2,002), Braxton (921), Brooke (2,193), Cabell (8,663), Calhoun (307), Clay (484), Doddridge (584), Fayette (3,416), Gilmer (823), Grant (1,271), Greenbrier (2,771), Hampshire (1,795), Hancock (2,783), Hardy (1,513), Harrison (5,664), Jackson (2,077), Jefferson (4,567), Kanawha (14,820), Lewis (1,177), Lincoln (1,454), Logan (3,074), Marion (4,383), Marshall (3,407), Mason (1,995), McDowell (1,553), Mercer (4,777), Mineral (2,840), Mingo (2,541), Monongalia (9,161), Monroe (1,124), Morgan (1,155), Nicholas (1,644), Ohio (4,177), Pendleton (700), Pleasants (869), Pocahontas (662), Preston (2,860), Putnam (5,094), Raleigh (6,702), Randolph (2,558), Ritchie (700), Roane (623), Summers (815), Taylor (1,222), Tucker (524), Tyler (701), Upshur (1,852), Wayne (3,073), Webster (475), Wetzel (1,317), Wirt (416), Wood (7,733) and Wyoming (1,977).
Cabell County reported 229 active cases Friday, while Wayne County reported 95.
In Kentucky, more than 630 new coronavirus cases and 11 more virus-related deaths were reported Friday.
More than 1.85 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Andy Beshear said. Anyone 16 or older is eligible to receive the vaccine in Kentucky.
“We are lifting more restrictions each month as we get more folks vaccinated, open our schools and protect our neighbors from this virus that has already killed more than 6,500 Kentuckians,” the governor said in a news release.
On Thursday, Beshear announced that Kentucky businesses and events with fewer than 1,000 people will be allowed to operate at 75% capacity starting May 28. Any indoor and outdoor events drawing more than 1,000 people will be able to operate at 60% capacity, also starting May 28.
The state reported 638 new COVID-19 cases Friday. With the 11 deaths announced Friday, Kentucky’s death toll from the coronavirus was at least 6,559. One death announced Friday was discovered through the state’s audit of deaths from previous months.
The statewide rate of positive cases was 3.50%.