COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine announced on Wednesday that he is in the process of issuing an order limiting mass gatherings in Ohio after it was discovered that a man in Stark County contracted the virus via community spread.
According to the health officials, community spread means that the infected person had no history of travel outside the United States and had no known contact with someone else with the disease.
“Community spread takes us into a different area,” DeWine said at the news conference.
DeWine had previously recommended that Ohio residents practice social distancing and stay away from locations and events with large crowds.
On Wednesday, DeWine also announced an order that limits visitors to nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
The order limiting mass gatherings is expected to come in the next 24 to 36 hours.
“Every expert has told us that there is a risk in any kind of mass gathering - the closer you are to other people, the bigger the risk. You must ask yourself if going to a large gathering is necessary,” DeWine tweeted.
This order could have wide-ranging impacts to scheduled events in Northeast Ohio, though two major events that were scheduled for later this month — the Cleveland St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Cleveland International Film Festival — have already been canceled.
The MAC tournament, taking place in Cleveland this week, has taken steps by closing doors to the general public, allowing only the athletes, essential staff, and immediate family of the players.
The NCAA has not made any announcements regarding the round of the Men's Basketball Championships taking place in Cleveland next week.
“We shouldn't panic, but we should take rational actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and others. This is an opportunity for us to come together as Ohioan,” DeWine said in a tweet.
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 Tuesday, March 10, there were three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio, all in Cuyahoga County, outside of Cleveland. Fifteen persons were under investigation for the disease.
According to the governor, two of the confirmed 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.
On Tuesday, after consulting with medical experts, Gov. DeWine announced wide-ranging, statewide recommendations, including holding sporting events without spectators and having colleges and universities switch to remote learning.
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 affiliates:
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.
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
Cuyahoga County: See the CCBH page on coronavirus here.
Ohio Department of Health:
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:
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:
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
World Health Organization