COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that there are three positive cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Ohio.
DeWine said it is important to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans, and declared a state of emergency.
Notification to the people who tested positive is in progress.
All three individuals are Cuyahoga County residents. The two men and one women are being isolated, according to our sister station WJW in Cleveland. Two, a married couple, were recently on board a cruise on the Nile, and a third was at an AIPAC conference in Washington DC.
The board of health is in the process of tracing where exactly these people went and who may have had contact with them.
Six other people who had close contact with the three patients are also on home quarantine.
Officials from the city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the local hospitals discussed coronavirus during a news conference on Monday:
Five suspected cases remain under investigation. 11 have tested negative.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says the health department is now evaluating where those people were, where they have traveled and who they have come in contact with.
Dr. Acton describes the situation as a pandemic and says the actions taken in the next few days will make everyday live uncomfortable and says more guidance is coming.
“We will take very aggressive actions,” said Dr. Acton.
She stresses that those who are elderly, healthcare workers who may have come in contact with potential virus patients, or high-risk individuals are urged to get in contact with their doctor sooner rather than later if they begin showing symptoms.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley issued a statement following the governor’s announcement, saying: “I’m thankful Governor DeWine has taken the step of declaring a state of emergency to make sure Ohio has the necessary resources to prepare for and respond to COVID-19. We continue to monitor this situation closely, and at the moment, people should continue to take simple precautions to stay healthy like washing your hands and avoiding touching your face.”
Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein says that as a precautionary measure, the City is escalating their planning and preparedness efforts to ensure the continuation of daily operations should the outbreak reach the area.
Montgomery County officials said Monday they also have plans in place as the virus continues to spread.
“We’ve been working with public health and making sure that our emergency management center is open and working,” said Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County commissioner. “We have an incident command structure going on, and we’re part of that.”
The state is now able to test for the virus without having to send it off to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for results, meaning the results of the test will be available quicker.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Anyone with questions on coronavirus is urged to call the ODH Coronavirus Hotline at 1-833-4ASKODH (427-5634).