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DeWine undergoes COVID-19 test for news conference

Governor urges social distancing for fireworks, celebrations.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine underwent a test for COVID-19 before the live video feed at his news conference on Tuesday.

The governor, along with first lady Fran DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, were swabbed by a nurse from the Ohio National Guard at the start of the daily briefing to the public.

“That’s it?” DeWine said of the quick test, which involved a swab in each nostril. “Awesome!”

The subject of fireworks and Independence Day celebrations was a topic of discussion.

The DeWine administration has said a ban of large gatherings is in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but fireworks shows are not prohibited.

“A lot of the large firework shows have been canceled, but for those who might be considering holding an event, we ask that you do so safely,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said at Tuesday’s news conference on the coronavirus.

Dewine urged those who celebrate on Independence Day and the surrounding week to do so safely.

“We can find ways to celebrate without gathering close together in small groups,” the governor said. “Watch from your porch, your car, or your backyard.”

In our region, Coal Grove has postponed its fireworks, as well as the surrounding Family Fun Days, while New Boston has canceled theirs. Portsmouth is opting for a drive-in celebration.

DeWine also addressed the recent protests that have occurred throughout Ohio and urged those taking part to be cautious of the pandemic.

“We are again asking all demonstrators to wear masks,” he said. “ We are all in this together. The things we do impact others. You can protest and get your point across, but you should also social distance and do everything you can do slow the spread of COVID-19.”

DeWine said the state is “in pretty good shape” since businesses reopened, but there have been some small upticks in certain areas.

“We will continue to monitor those,” he said.