CLEVELAND — Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to shut down.
Bars and restaurants are ordered to close by 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to an order delivered by DeWine.
DeWine said restaurants are still allowed to serve carry-out and delivery orders.
The strategies of social distancing and bans on large crowds are being stressed so highly as an attempt to minimize the spread of COVID-19, according to DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health and state officials.
During the press conference, DeWine said he and his team are working to mitigate the fallout from these closures, especially the impact they have on small businesses and employees who will be out of work.
An executive order was signed by DeWine to create unemployment compensation for employees without paid leave at work, giving those impacted by the shutdowns and social distancing access to unemployment pay and benefits, according to Lt. Governor Jon Husted.
Payments will be expedited and the current week-long delay will be waived for employees to receive immediate benefits, Husted said.
To learn more about the unemployment assistance, click here or call 1-877-644-6562.
For bars and restaurants that prepared for the upcoming events that have since been canceled, such as March Madness and St. Patrick's day events, the state has created a buyback program. Bar and restaurant owners can now return unopened high-proof liquor bought in the last 30 days to the vendor they purchased from as part of the buyback program.
For more information on the buyback program, call 1-877-812-0013.
For small businesses, state officials have made it possible for small businesses and non-profits to easily apply for a low-interest emergency loan of up to $2 million to keep them afloat during the coronavirus crisis. To learn more about the emergency loans, click here.
During the press conference DeWine also said that while he has not ordered day care centers to close, it is an action he plans to take in the near future.
As of Sunday at 2 p.m, there are 37 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio and 361 people are under investigation, according to Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health.
“This is the real this, this is not a drill,” Acton said.
Earlier Sunday, DeWine said he wouldn't be surprised if Ohio schools didn't reopen this school year as coronavirus numbers continue to rise, according to News 5's media partners at the Canton Repository.
"We're taking these steps to save lives," DeWine said.
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:
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 Saturday, March 13, there were 26 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio —11 are in Cuyahoga County, 3 in Stark County, 2 in Belmont County, 4 in Butler County, 2 in Summit County, 1 in Franklin County and 2 in Trumbull County. A total of 264 persons were under investigation for the disease. See the Coronavirus information page on the Ohio Department of Health's website for the latest numbers of confirmed cases and persons under investigation.
According to the governor, two of the confirmed cases are from a married couple that went on a cruise on the Nile River. The third Cuyahoga County 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. Read more on those cases here.
On Wednesday, health officials announced a fourth case in Ohio - a man in his mid-50s in Stark County. This case is the first example in the state of "community spread," meaning the man had not traveled out of the country, and had no known contact with an international traveler. Read more on that case here.
The fifth case, announced Thursday, was in a 55-year-old Trumbull County man.
On Wednesday, DeWine announced some measures to stem the spread of coronavirus: limiting visits to nursing homes and holding sporting events without spectators.
On Thursday, DeWine took the state's response to the next level with two orders representing major, wide-ranging steps to stop the spread of the disease: an order prohibiting "mass gatherings" of over 100 people, with exceptions, and an order to close all Ohio K-12 schools for three weeks beginning at the end of the school day on Monday, March 16.
During that news conference, ODH Director Amy Acton also revealed that their department believes that at least 100,000 Ohioans are currently carrying the disease, a claim that has made national headlines.
On Friday, 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.
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:
More resources 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 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
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