COLUMBUS, Ohio — During a news conference on Wednesday, Governor Mike DeWine once again urged Ohioans to stay home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state and country.
It’s not often Ohioans and Americans in general are asked to do nothing so to speak, but it’s exactly that DeWine says is the single most important thing to do if you are feeling ill.
“The best thing you can do, the most responsible thing you can do, the most heroic thing you can do, the most patriotic thing that you can do is to stay isolated at home,” DeWine said.
DeWine said that the vast majority of people who have symptoms will be able to recover at home, thus saving test kits to be used on individuals showing the worst symptoms and those who need hospitalization. “Efficiently using our limited testing will enable our scientists and disease detectives to better understand the spread of the virus,” he said.
The testing will be done in a targeted and methodical way, according to DeWine, and means that doctors on the front lines of this fight will determine who needs testing.
“Here is the truth," DeWine said. “With or without a test the virus is here. It lives among us. And we must be at war with it. And we are at war with a very, very dangerous and lethal enemy.”
“This virus’s mission is to reproduce. And for it to go from person to person, it needs our help. It cannot do its damage without us. We become the enablers. We become the ones who make it jump from person to person to person," the governor said. "We have it within our own control how fast this spread it spreads and how widespread it spreads. We have it within our hands, not only our own safety, but the safety of our fellow citizens.”
Right now, DeWine says every single person in the state is in a fight to prevent the virus from spreading.
“This enemy is dangerous and it is relentless and it is using us. It is using us as its host, and it is using us to survive and to multiply,” he said. “We do have it within our ability to fight back. When you stop moving, it stops moving. It can’t reach someone else. Each one of us must do all we can to limit our exposure. We must stop enabling this enemy.”
The fight against the virus is different than other conflicts that Americans are used to and while it may seem like such a foreign idea, Ohioans can fight the good fight just by staying in their own homes.
“Everyone of us is in this fight. We don’t need to go into the battlefield ourselves. We simply need to stay at home, DeWine said. “We simply need to have space, no matter where we are, between us and individuals. We need to stay socially connected, but physically separated.”
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.
Below you can find information and resources on novel coronavirus, COVID-19, from local, state, national and international organizations, including the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Ohio Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.
News 5 will continue to update this section with new information, resources, links, and more as it is made available.
COVID-19/2019 Novel Coronavirus Overview from the CDC:
What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19? Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of the United States. Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers, or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Learn more about places with ongoing spread here.
Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.? Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage here.
How does COVID-19 spread? The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but is now spreading from person to person. The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses here.
Download and read the CDC's full "What you need to know about coronavirus disease (COVID-19)" information sheet here.
Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report.
Coronavirus in Ohio:
As of Monday, March 16, there were 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. Cuyahoga County remains the county with the highest number of cases in the state with 24. There are 6 in Butler, 2 in Belmont, 3 in Franklin, 1 in Geauga, 3 in Lorain, 1 in Lucas, 1 in Medina, 3 in Stark, 2 in Summit, 2 in Trumbull and 1 in Tuscarawas.
ODH Director Amy Acton revealed that their department believes that at least 100,000 Ohioans are currently carrying the disease, a claim that has made national headlines.
Since Wednesday, March 11, Governor Mike DeWine has issued the following orders:
-A limit on visits to nursing homes and an order to hold sporting events without spectators. Since that time, almost all professional, college and high school sporting events have cancelled, and DeWine issued an order restricting all visitors to nursing homes and assisted care facilities, with exemptions for end-of-life care.
-A prohibition on "mass gatherings" of over 100 people. Another order on March 16 reduced gathering size to 50 people, per the CDC's current guidance.
-An order to close all Ohio K-12 schools for three weeks beginning at the end of the school day on Monday, March 16.
-On March 13, DeWine announced several new steps the state is taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus and provide relief to Ohio's residents, including an order stopping visitations at county jails, providing free breakfasts and lunches to Ohio's K-12 students, and a request to the Trump administration for regulatory and other relief as necessary.
-On March 15, DeWine ordered that all bars and restaurants in Ohio close, and serve customers through carry-out and delivery only.
-On March 16, DeWine announced his recommendation that the Primary Election on March 17 be postponed to June 2, and that mail-in absentee voting be extended. Secretary of State Frank LaRose supported the recommendation. A lawsuit was filed but rejected by Franklin County Judge Richard Frye. Mere hours before polls would have opened, Ohio Dept. of Health Director Amy Acton ordered the polls closed as a public health emergency.
Coronavirus' Impacts in Northeast Ohio:
Since the announcement of confirmed cases in Ohio, a number of local events, schools, facilities and more have announced closures, cancellations, postponements and changes as a result of coronavirus. News 5 is working to keep this information updated in the links below:
Here's a list of things in Northeast Ohio closed due to coronavirus concerns
Multiple Ohio colleges suspend in-person classes due to coronavirus concerns
The City of Cleveland has canceled its St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Cleveland International Film Festival, and issued a civil emergency in response to COVID-19.
More resources from News 5 and affiliates:
News 5's Coronavirus continuing coverage page
The symptoms of coronavirus are fever and lower respiratory tract issues, such as cough and shortness of breath, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
Anyone traveling internationally should review plans in advance of their trip, and check the CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Information Page for daily updates and travel alerts.
Click here for the CDC COVID-19 Travel Information Page
Practice Good Hygiene
The CCBH recommends the following good hygiene practices to prevent coronavirus, as well as the flu, colds and other illnesses:
Sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow to keep germs from spreading
Regularly wash your hands with soap and water/use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in between
Don’t share cups, spoons, forks, etc. with anyone
Don’t make food for anyone if you are sick
Don’t go to work or school if you are sick
Visit a doctor, urgent care or emergency department if you are sick – don’t take chances
Please contact your medical provider with any questions.
Guidance for those with compromised immune systems
Click here for specific guidance from the CCBH for anyone at higher risk for becoming ill.
Cuyahoga County: See the CCBH page on coronavirus here.
Ohio Department of Health:
Click here for the Ohio Department of Health’s Coronavirus information page.
It is updated daily at 2 p.m. with the current number of confirmed cases, persons under investigation and persons under investigation who tested negative for the disease.
More resources from ODH:
Resources and information
Ohio Secretary of State:
Corona Facts: Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has launched a web page dedicated to providing facts about coronavirus' impacts on voting and the Primary Election in Ohio.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Homepage for COVID-19 materials and information
What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19
If you are sick with COVID-19 – English
Preventing spread of COVID-19 at election/polling/voting locations
World Health Organization
Mythbusters – the truth about food, packages, pets and other things related to COVID-19
Video – What is COVID-19?
Video – What is my risk of getting COVID-19?
Video – How can I protect myself from COVID-19?