Gov. DeWine recommends sports without spectators, remote learning at colleges to slow spread of coronavirus

Posted at 3:02 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 16:25:23-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine is recommending that sporting events go without spectators, and that universities implement remote classes, among other changes to minimize gathering of groups in the state as a measure against the spread of coronavirus.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Gov. DeWine said he made these recommendations after meeting with a number of medical experts "who understand what's going on."

“They’ve told me that in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, we need to make the tough decisions now,” DeWine said. “The decisions we make now will have a huge impact.”

Sporting events

The greatest concern for sports at all levels of play – high school, college and professional – is with spectators, DeWine said. His recommendation is to have no spectators at indoor sporting events — only athletes and essential personnel.

At this time, DeWine said outdoor sporting events can continue, but that may change.

Colleges and Universities

DeWine said he met with the presidents of the state’s 2-year and 4-year colleges, and held a conference call with the presidents of the private colleges. He gave the following four recommendations for these institutions:

  • Screen students returning form international travel or cruise ships
  • Eliminate international travel
  • Cancel or postpone university-sponsored travel and large meetings
  • Move toward remote or online learning.

K-12 Schools

DeWine said at this time, the recommendation is not to close K-12 schools, but schools and parents should prepare for the possibility of school closures.

Social distancing and individual prevention

As for measures anyone can take to prevent the spread of coronavirus, DeWine recommended that all Ohioans need to evaluate the risk of the actions they take. DeWine said medical experts emphasized the importance of social distancing – staying away from large crowds and individuals.

DeWine echoed the guidance that has been provided by the CDC and other national agencies since the outbreak: wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizer when you can’t use soap, and stay away from others when you’re sick.

“Each decision we make will impact us, our families, people we don’t even know,” DeWine said. “We are at a critical time, and we need to get this right.”

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

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:

“2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV/COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).”

“When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of MERS and SARS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.”

Global case numbers are reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation reportexternal icon.

Coronavirus in Ohio:

As of Monday, March 9, there were three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio, all in Cuyahoga County, outside of Cleveland.

According to the governor, two of the cases are from a married couple that went on a cruise on the Nile River.

The other case is from a person that went to the AIPAC conference in Washington D.C. According to a cantor from the Jewish Temple in Beachwood, 160 people from Cleveland attended the conference.

The three patients are between 54 and 56-years-old, according to officials. None of the positive cases have been hospitalized at this time.

READ MORE: Ohio's 3 coronavirus cases are in Cuyahoga County; Gov. DeWine declares state of emergency

See the Coronavirus information page on the Ohio Department of Health's website for the latest numbers of confirmed cases and persons under investigation.

From News 5 and affiliated news outlets:

News 5's Coronavirus continuing coverage page

How to prepare your family and pets for COVID-19

EPA releases list of approved disinfectants to use against COVID-19

How to protect yourself from coronavirus when flying


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.

The three symptoms of coronavirus, according to the CDC


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 spreadingRegularly wash your hands with soap and water/use alcohol-based hand sanitizer in betweenDon’t share cups, spoons, forks, etc. with anyoneDon’t make food for anyone if you are sickDon’t go to work or school if you are sickVisit 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.

Additional Resources

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:

Fact sheet
Prevention infographic
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

The CCBH has created this list of coronavirus-related resources from the CDC:

Homepage for COVID-19 materials and information

Fact sheet – Chinese
Fact sheet – English
Fact sheet – Spanish

Guidance for businesses
Guidance for colleges and universities
Guidance for communities and mass gatherings
Guidance for healthcare facilities
Guidance for healthcare professionals
Guidance for people with elevated risk for illness
Guidance for pregnant women
Guidance for risk assessment
Guidance for schools
Guidance for travelers

What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 – Chinese
What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 – English
What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19 – Spanish

If you are sick with COVID-19 – Chinese
If you are sick with COVID-19 – English
If you are sick with COVID-19 – Spanish

Preventing spread of COVID-19 at election/polling/voting locations
Prevention and treatment
Symptoms – overview

World Health Organization

Coronavirus information
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?