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The latest coronavirus updates: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Posted at 6:58 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 07:12:39-04

CLEVELAND — All of the updates on the coronavirus and the impact it's having on our way of life can be hard to keep up with. To help you stay on top of it all, we'll post this daily blog on our homepage. You can find all of our stories, and a map of Ohio cases, on our coronavirus page.

10:33 PM
City officials announced that Cleveland has seven cases of coronavirus. More here.

9:47 PM
Dispatchers across Northeast Ohio are reporting that they are getting more 911 calls for people experiencing symptoms similar to COVID-19. More here.

9:03 PM
A Parma City School District employee tested positive for COVID-19. More here.

8:40 PM

After the U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to approve the House’s coronavirus response bill, President Donald Trump signed the bill Wednesday night. More here.

8:19 PM
News 5's Kevin Barry speaks to a salon owner who is being forced to temporarily close up her shop due to Gov. DeWine's latest ban. More here.

8:04 PM
MetroHealth System is temporarily not allowing visitors due to COVID-19 concerns. More here.

7:16 PM
Florida congressman is the first member of Congress to test positive for coronavirus. More here.

7:13 PM

The Senate passes a stimulus package to help Americans during the coronavirus. More here.

5:52 PM
New 5's Ron Regan speaks with a home health care nurse about COVID-19. More here.

4:25 PM
Piano Cleveland announced they will be hosting weekly virtual concerts. More here.

3:51 PM
News 5's Mike Brookbank looks into how one local school district is supporting the community during this pandemic. More here.

3:46 PM
During his daily press conference, Gov. DeWine addressed the National Guard rumors that are going around, saying, “Let me be clear: When the National Guard is going to be doing something, you’re going to know about it." More here.

3:13 PM
A local grocery store chain wants shoppers to know that there is no need to panic buy. More here.

2:45 PM
Of the 88 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Ohio, patients range in age from 2 to 91 years old.

2:42 PM
Dr. Amy Acton confirms a 2-year-old child has tested positive for COVID-19.

2:29 PM
Gov. DeWine announced the following new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19:

-The closure of 181 Bureau of Motor Vehicle deputy registrar locations across the state at end of business Wednesday. Five will remain open to issue commercial driver's licenses.
-DeWine said that police have been instructed not to issue tickets for expired licenses.
-The closure of all barbershops, hair dressers, nail salons, tattoo parlors at the end of business Wednesday.

DeWine also asked business owners across the state to check the temperature of all employees before they come to work, be aggressive in cleaning surfaces, and have soap and sanitizers available. If an employee is sick or has a high temperature, send them home, DeWine said. The temperature check is not perfect, but it is one way to screen employees for coronavirus.

More here.

2:04 PM
Daily update from the state: There are now 88 positive COVID-19 cases in Ohio, 21 more than yesterday. More here.

2:04 PM
Firebirds Wood Fired Grill stated that it plans to lay off more than 400 workers in restaurants across the state. More here.

2:03 PM
To combat the uptick in calls from the public, the county has released a new coronavirus helpline at 1-855-711-3035. More here.

1:49 PM
The Cleveland Indians announce fans will get refunds on games that are canceled. As of right now, MLB is still planning on having a full season.

12:43 PM
New sign outside Cleveland Clinic testing site lays out new testing parameters for patients.

12:41 PM
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. More here.

12:19 PM
The Treasury Department wants to start issuing direct payments to Americans by early next month as the centerpiece of a $1 trillion plan to stabilize the economy as the coronavirus epidemic takes a toll on taxpayers and businesses. More here.

11:36 PM
The Lake County YMCA confirmed a member who came into their Central Y facility has tested positive for COVID-19. More here.

11:27 AM
The White House coronavirus task force will speak to reporters Wednesday morning at 11:45 a.m., hours after President Donald Trump said that the U.S.-Canadian border would be temporarily closed due to the pandemic. More here.

11:17 AM
University Hospitals said it tested around 350 patients for COVID-19 at Landerbrook test site during the first two days. On Wednesday, it hopes to do 500 tests and get testing down to 5 minutes per patient.More here.

11:15 AM
Orchard Hollow Elementary School in Mentor has been disinfected after a parent, who was there last week to meet the staff, tested positive for the coronavirus. More here.

11:06 AM
The U.S. and Canada have agreed to close the border separating the countries amid the COVID-19 outbreak, confirmed President Donald Trump in a tweet Wednesday morning. More here.

10:41 AM
Cars are lined up for testing at University Hospitals Landerbrook Health Center in Mayfield Heights.

9:14 AM
The Huron County Board of Health confirmed its first presumptive positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county on Tuesday. More here.

8:16 AM
Cuyahoga County Board of Health will hold a briefing on COVID-19 Wednesday morning. Watch it live here.

7:55 AM
Social distancing is the best tool to slow the spread of COVID-19. Here is a quick rundown courtesy of Los Angeles Public Health of activities that are safe, activities to avoid, and activities where officials recommend using caution.

7:50 AM
The novel coronavirus pandemic has people all across Northeast Ohio taking extra precautions both outside and inside their home. With that in mind, the owners of a small biohazard cleanup business located in Parma are vowing to do what they can to put people’s minds at ease. More here.

7:36 AM
As of Wednesday morning, at least 6,496 people were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 in the United States. At least 114 people have died in connection with the disease. More here.

7:32 AM
During this time where there are so many questions, one of the big concerns is taking care of the elderly. The Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging (WRAAA) serves 5 counties in Northeast Ohio and helps thousands of our senior citizens. That agency is having to adapt during the COVID-19 outbreak. More here.

6:57 AM

6:25 AM
If you're reading this on a computer – really, if you own a working computer – you can to help find a potential treatment for coronavirus. More here.

6:15 AM
The Cleveland Clinic is changing the way they test patients for coronavirus. Starting on Wednesday, they will be prioritizing high risk patients to be tested at the W.O Walker testing facility on Euclid Avenue. Know more about these changes before you wait in line. More here.

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

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.
Governor's Orders
Governor's Orders
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.
-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:
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

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.

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

Travel

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
Don’t go to work or school if you are sick
Please contact your medical provider with any questions.

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

Additional Resources

Cuyahoga County: See the CCBH page on coronavirus here.

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
Resources and information
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.
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.
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.
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.

Homepage for COVID-19 materials and information
Fact sheet
Fact sheet
What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19
What you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19
If you are sick with COVID-19 – English
If you are sick with COVID-19 – English
Preventing spread of COVID-19 at election/polling/voting locations
Preventing spread of COVID-19 at election/polling/voting locations
Prevention and treatment
Prevention and treatment
Symptoms – overview
Symptoms – overview
Symptoms – overview
Symptoms – overview
Symptoms – overview
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 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?
Video – How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
Video – How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

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