26 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio; Gov. Mike DeWine provides update

Mike DeWine
Posted at 10:30 AM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-14 17:04:02-04

COLUMBUS — New numbers from the Ohio Department of Health released Saturday show that the number of coronavirus cases have risen to 26. Currently, there are 264 persons under investigation (PUIs). Eighty-five PUIs have tested negative for COVID-19.

New Cases

The following counties have confirmed cases:

Belmont — 2
Butler — 4
Cuyahoga — 11
Franklin — 1
Lorain — 1
Stark — 3
Summit — 2
Trumbull — 2

In Cleveland, Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s office announced that a man in his 30s recently tested positive for COVID-19 after returning traveling internationally. The Cuyahoga County Department of Health is working to determine who the man came in contact with.

“We knew that it wasn’t a matter of if, but when we would have a confirmed case in Cleveland,” said Jackson. “We have been planning and working in partnership with health officials to ensure that we are as prepared as possible, not only to handle these cases, but to lessen the impact to the community.”

During an afternoon news conference, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that the rising numbers should not alarm people, that it is something health officials knew would happen and have been actively preparing for.

“We are in this for the long run. It’s not going to end overnight,” DeWine said. “We have to start looking at this as it is going to be here for a while.”

Mental Health

Lori Criss, the director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said that Ohioans need to take measures to not only ensure they can stay physically healthly but mentally healthy.

“These are really trying times for all of us. We are experiencing new stress, new anxiety and some grief as well,” Criss said.

Criss reminded everyone that what while we are dealing with a new way of living, in the long run, it’s only temporary.

According to Criss, Ohio recently partnered with Medicaid to expand telehealth services across the state for mental health treatment. The requirement that a new patient visiting a mental health professional for the first time has also been temporarily eliminated, allowing patients who have never been seen before to get help should they need it.

The state is also working with pharmacies to ensure that Ohio residents get the medication they need for behavioral or addiction issues.

Criss acknowledged that constantly hearing about coronavirus can be overwhelming and it’s a good idea to take some time to yourself and limit exposure to the media so you don’t get oversaturated with information.

During the news conference, health officials said Ohioans should continue to do things to help with stress management, such as exercising, getting enough sleep or even just watching a favorite movie.

“Pay attention to signs of stress. If you worry a lot or have thoughts you can’t get rid over a couple of days, it’s time to reach out.”

The Ohio Department of Health has a hotline you can call to have questions answered about coronavirus, physical and mental health issues. The number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). If you ever feel hopeless or helpless, reach out right away.

We are all in this together

Lt. Governor Jon Husted said that everyone’s lives have been changed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In our society today, we have become accustomed to on-demand everything. We are not accustomed to waiting and being inconvenienced,” Husted said. “We are in a time now where that will occur.”

Husted said it as a call to action, for people to come together. “We need everyone to rise to the occasion to collectively overcome the challenges we are facing.”

Have patience and understanding with each other, he said.

What you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Ohio Board of Health Director Amy Acton assured Ohioans that despite some rumors to the contrary, the state and health officials “are not flying blindly. We have science behind us. We have pandemic plans.” While the state does have plans, it needs its residents to actively practice things such as social distancing—staying 3 to 6 feet away from people if possible.

Acton refers to some of the plans as intervention layers. During a news conference on Friday, Acton presented some of the intervention layers:

Acton laid out four “interventions” that are being used:

  • If you are sick, just stay at home and isolate yourself.
  • If you someone in your home is sick, stay home and self-quarantine.
  • Practice social distancing. Stay at least six feet away from people and avoid mass gatherings. Currently, gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned by the Governor’s office through an order issued on Thursday.
  • Schools have been ordered closed for three weeks starting on Monday. During this time, schools are urged to continue to educate students through remote classes or other means. While not currently closed, daycares are being looked by the state and could be closed at some point in the future. Parents with children in daycare are asked to consider removing their children from daycare facilities as a precaution.

Acton described each intervention as a layer of Swiss cheese. If you look at each layer individually, you can hold up the cheese and see that it has holes in it. But if you stack the layers on top of each other and hold them up—many of the holes will be covered by different layers.

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 Friday, March 13, there were 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio — 6 are in Cuyahoga County, 2 in Stark County, 2 in Belmont County, 1 in Butler County, 1 in Summit County and 1 in Trumbull County. A total of 159 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:

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

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


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 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

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?