Coronavirus in Ohio: Officials Confirm First Three Cases Of COVID-19< < Back to
Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday declared a state of emergency after the first three cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, were identified in the state.
DeWine announced that three Ohioans tested positive for the virus, but the state won’t release information on who the patients are until they’re notified. All three patients are from Cuyahoga County, and above the age of 50.
“It’s important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans,” DeWine said in a tweet.
This afternoon we learned that three Ohioans have tested positive for #COVID19. It's important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans, and therefore, I have declared a state of emergency in #Ohio.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 9, 2020
Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton says the cases were identified through tests conducted with the state’s new kits. She says that the disease meets the criteria of a pandemic.
“If you live in a household with someone that is vulnerable to this disease, treat yourself as if you’re someone who already has it,” Acton says.
The health department says it will notify people if they came into contact with patients who tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ohio Department of Health is providing daily updates of coronavirus numbers in Ohio. So far, 11 people in Ohio have tested negative. Currently, 255 people across Ohio are being monitored by their local health department.
Health officials are also investigating eight of people suspected of having the coronavirus. Those individuals show symptoms of respiratory illness and either recently traveled to China or interacted with someone known to have COVID-19.
The Ohio Department of Health has also opened a call center for questions about the coronavirus. The hotline is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
On Thursday, Acton issued a directive banning spectators for most of the Arnold Sports Festival over concerns over the disease. The festival already called off its annual trade expo. No other major events in Ohio have been canceled yet because of the coronavirus.
“We will be making more of these – many of you lived through many epidemics over time,” Acton said at a statewide summit in Columbus on Thursday. “We will be making more of these every day.”
The CDC says that 19 people have died from COVID-19 so far.
The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.