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South Carolina Public Health Director Joan Duwve Named New ODH Director

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the appointment of Dr. Joan Duwve as director of the Ohio Department of Health during his Thursday press conference.

Duwve is the permanent replacement for Dr. Amy Acton, who resigned the post in June shortly after launching the process of lifting Ohio’s sweeping coronavirus restrictions. Those rules led to accolades from some and death threats from others. Acton moved to a position in DeWine’s office before leaving for a nonprofit job in August. Lance Himes served as interim director since Acton’s departure.

Duwve comes to the job from South Carolina where she was the director of public health for the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control. In that role she served as spokesperson delivering the state’s message on containing the pandemic.

Duwve took the job in South Carolina in April, after serving for years in Indiana’s public health agency. She has Ohio roots – a graduate of North Olmsted High School and The Ohio State University.

DeWine said Duwve will start the job around October 1.  

The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,121 new daily coronavirus cases, slightly higher than the 21-day average of 1052. The number of deaths, 30, was also above the 21-day daily average of 20.

Overall, Ohio has had 134,086 cases to date and 4,354 deaths.

Officials are advising against travel to four states with high positivity rates of 15 percent or higher: North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and Alabama.

“As we’ve advised, it’s not always about where you’re going, that’s part of it, but it’s what you’re doing while you’re there,” DeWine said.
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