Dewine press conference

Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during a recent press conference on COVID-19. (File photo)

COLUMBUS -- Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday, while continuing a daily message of urging people not to congregate, also told the state's residents not to fixate on COVID-19 tests.

The governor anounced he was closing nearly all Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices around the state. He also ordered the closure of barbershops, salons, spas and tattoo parlors.

"The virus is here. It lives among us and we must be at war with it," DeWine said. "This enemy is dangerous. It is relentless and it is using us, it is using us as its host and it is using us to survive to multiply and to go from person to person to person.

Support Our Journalism

Facts over fear:

That's been our guiding light as we navigate the uncharted waters of this pandemic. If you think we've been good stewards, consider a membership today. 100% of your support goes to our reporting efforts. Above all, thank you for taking this journey with us. Stay safe, stay healthy.

"But, we do have it in our ability to fight back."

For the first time, DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, the state's health director, downplayed the need for coronavirus testing.

The governor said the state has, and will likely continue to have, limited COVID-19 tests. He said Ohio needs to best utilize the tests for those who are most ill.

"The vast majority of Ohioans who have symptoms do not need to get tested for this," the governor said. "If you're feeling symptoms of what you think might be this virus, you should act like you have it.

"The most responsible thing you can do, the most heroic, the most patriotic is to stay isolated at home (if you're sick)."

Acton said there is no official treatment for the virus and that people who experience the symptoms should treat it like they would a cold or flu. If they have difficulty breathing or symptoms worsen quickly, she said residents should contact their health care provider or local hospital.

"We don't need a test, clinicians, we know to treat (patients)," she said.

Acton said there are 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, up from 57 on Tuesday. The cases are spread across 19 of the state's 88 counties and 26 of those 88 cases have required hospitalization.

She said the age range of those with COVID-19 is 2 to 91 and the median age is 48.5. She said there are 55 males with the virus and 33 females.

There have been no deaths in Ohio thus far from the illness, Acton said.

The governor has already closed the state's schools, bars, restaurants, movie theaters and more in an attempt to force social distancing among residents.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"