FILE - Ohio Budget growth DeWine Obhof Householder legislature

In this March 5, 2019 file photo, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, center, speaks between Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, left, and Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder during the Ohio State of the State address at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. While Dewine and lawmakers eventually agreed on a biennium budget, critics are asking why government spending in the state has far exceeded population growth over the past 30 years.

(The Center Square) – The state of Ohio is spending $2.8 million on a pair of public awareness campaigns to encourage Ohioans to remain vigilant against COVID-19 and highlight the state’s reopening.

The campaigns are “aimed at spreading awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures that impact the well-being of Ohioans and the Ohio economy,” according to a news release.

“The messages of these ads are clear,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a news release announcing the campaigns. “Ohioans, by continuing to practice good prevention, can do two things at once, help stop the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly and safely get back to work.”

Ohio’s tax revenues continue to lag in the wake of COVID-19, and the pandemic could “have enduring negative consequences” through the 2021 fiscal year, officials warned. Last month, DeWine ordered a $775 million cut in state spending to offset reduced revenues.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) provided the first campaign: “I Believe.” It “focuses on real Ohioans and the prevention measures they take to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” according to a news release.

The 15-second ads feature two Ohio health care professionals and will air for three weeks on broadcast, cable and social media statewide.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) provided the second campaign, “Up to All of Us.” It “focuses on the importance of taking proper preventative precautions, such as maintaining social distance and washing hands, to get Ohioans back to work and Ohio’s economy working again,” according to a release.

The ad, which features an emergency room physician and a local restaurant owner and operator, will air on broadcast and cable television for three weeks.

The BWC ad is $1.4 million, and both ODH spots are also $1.4 million, Dan Tierney, a spokesman for DeWine, confirmed. The governor’s office did not immediately respond to additional questions about the spending.

As of Monday afternoon, Ohio reported 46,127 “confirmed and probable” COVID-19 cases and 2,735 “confirmed and probable” deaths from COVID-19.

“The message in this public awareness effort I think is really clear,” DeWine said during a Tuesday news conference. “We must keep taking appropriate precautions to keep this virus at bay.”