COLUMBUS – While President Donald Trump initially declined to commit to the peaceful transition of power if he loses in November, fellow Republicans, including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, say it will happen.

“Historically, what’s made us different from the beginning is we have a peaceful transfer of power,” DeWine said, adding that no matter how hotly contested a race is, when the results are in, both sides have to accept it and move on.

“Those who lose will accept it, because that’s what we do in America,” DeWine said.

On Wednesday, Trump said, “Well, we’ll have to see what happens” when asked if he would commit to a peaceful transition if he lost the election.

Without naming Trump specifically, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted “there will be an orderly transition just as there has been every four years since 1792.”

Indoor visits at nursing homes begin Oct. 12

With colder weather approaching, Ohioans will soon be able to visit their loved ones inside nursing facilities.

Outdoor visitation has been allowed since June for assisted living homes and July for nursing homes, but starting Oct. 12, indoor visitation will be allowed on a facility-by-facility basis.

“We know it’s going to get cold, it won’t be that long,” DeWine said. “And we know that outdoor visitation will no longer work.”

Delaying the start until Oct. 12 will give facilities time to prepare, DeWine said. At that time, family members can look up their specific facility at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov to find out what the rules and regulations are for visits. Those will include wearing masks, for example, and a limit of two visitors per resident.

“Remember, when you enter one of these facilities, you are entering someone’s home,” said Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy, urging people to remain cautious with their visits. “When you walk into a nursing home or an assisted living facility, all of us can unknowingly be carrying the virus and unknowingly spread it to residents and staff and their families.”

‘It’s sad when we see something like that happen.’

DeWine reacted on Thursday to a viral video of a woman being tased and removed from an eighth-grade football game after she refused to wear a mask.

The Marietta woman, whose son was playing football, is seen on video resisting a Logan officer who tries for several minutes to handcuff her.

It’s “very unfortunate, very unpleasant to look at,” DeWine said. “No one wants to see that happen. It’s sad when we see something like that happen.”

DeWine didn’t take a strong stance one way or the other – in support of the woman or the officer who arrested her – but he urged people to get the full story before jumping to conclusions.

The officer and a school official seen in the video were trying to get the woman to comply with health rules because they want students to be safe and continue being allowed to play sports, DeWine said. 

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Ohio schools report COVID-19 cases

In the past week, schools reported 248 students and 146 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 statewide. 

That brings the two-week total to 466 students and 273 staff members – a small number of the roughly 1.7 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade in public, private and charter schools across the state.

In Hamilton County, 53 students and 22 staff members have reported positive COVID-19 tests in the past two weeks. Details about each school district are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

Butler County is still red

Butler County remains red on Ohio’s coronavirus alert map. Red is the second-highest alert level, indicating “very high exposure and spread.”

There are a total of nine Ohio counties at level red on the updated map released on Thursday: Ashland, Delaware, Pike, Scioto, Stark, Butler, Mercer, Montgomery and Putnam.

The Ohio Department of Health reported 991 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, slightly above the 21-day average of 982 cases. During that period, 28 deaths were reported. 

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