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Several local schools closing Election Day due to coronavirus concerns

Strongsville High School
Posted at 5:32 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 10:35:57-04

AKRON, Ohio — Several local schools will be closed on Election Day due to coronavirus concerns.

Here is a list of districts that have announced they will be closed on March 17:

  • Akron Public Schools
  • Strongsville City Schools
  • Cleveland Heights

Many of the schools in these districts are used as polling locations, and after consulting with health officials, the districts made the decision to close the schools to limit potential interactions between students and staff and the general public.

"We have made this decision out of concern for the safety of our students, school community and the public," said Akron Public Schools Superintendent David W. James, Ed.D.

Strongsville City Schools released the following statement: "After consultation with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, no students will be reporting to school on March 17th. This is an election day, and with many of the schools in our District being utilized as polling locations, the decision has been made to limit potential interactions between students and staff with the general public visiting our buildings on that day. Disinfecting procedures and protocol will occur following the closing of polls and prior to the next school day."

Parma City Schools District had two previously-scheduled professional learning days on March 17 and March 20 that are not related to COVID-19 concerns. The district will use these days to allow the teaching staff time to prepare lessons plans and assignments for students in the event of building closures due to coronavirus.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Parma City School District's closures on March 17 and March 20 were related to coronavirus.

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.

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

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.

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

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:

News 5's Coronavirus continuing coverage page

Worldwide Coronavirus Tracker from Johns Hopkins University

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

How to protect yourself from coronavirus when flying

Think you may have the coronavirus? Here’s what to do

A state of emergency was issued in Ohio following 3 positive COVID-19 cases. Here's what it means.

Cuyahoga County Medical Director answers your questions about coronavirus

Symptoms

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.

Symptoms
The three symptoms of coronavirus, according to the CDC

Travel

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

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Cuyahoga County: See the CCBH page on coronavirus here.

Ohio Department of Health

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

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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.

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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

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World Health Organization
Coronavirus information
Mythbusters – the truth about food, packages, pets and other things related to COVID-19
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?
Video – How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

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