Akron and Cities Across Ohio are Quiet as the Country Waits for the Coronavirus Peak

Mar 27, 2020

For the first time in history, people across the country have been directed to stay home.

A row of popular restaurants and bars now shuttered on South Main Street in Akron.
Credit JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Schools and daycares have closed. Bars and resturants are shuttered.

Akron Children's Hospital erected a tent to add capacity.
Credit JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Elder care facilities are in lockdown. Businesses have closed their doors to all but the most essential workers.

Groups cannot gather outside homes, and everyone is expected to stay six feet apart.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued an official “Stay at Home” order detailing the expected actions to halt the spread of the illness.

A view of Akron Children's Hospital from across Route 59 downtown.
Credit JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan issued his own statement supporting the order: “The Stay at Home Order is a lawful order of the Health Director, which, if necessary, will be enforced by local public safety and health officials. Violation of the order is a second degree misdemeanor.”

Akronites are taking coronavirus to heart, clearing the streets and staying home for the most part. Residents are quick to report violators to Summit County Public Health.

Coronavirus is zoonotic; it jumped from an animal to a person. Researchers are rushing to find the right treatment and a vaccine.

A view of North Main Street going into North Hill.
Credit JENNIFR CONN / WKSU

Because its effects are rapid and severe, older people and those with weak immune systems are at great risk. But anyone can get the virus, even some children are on life support. Researchers are learning more every day about the virus’s behavior, but much is still unknown.

Ohio’s latest numbers show 1,137 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the sickness caused by coronavirus.

A tent added to increase capacity at Summa Health, Akron City Hospital.
Credit JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

So far, in Summit County there are 65 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Ohio hospitalizations number 276, including 16 in Summit. Out of 19 Ohio deaths, one person has died in Summit County.  

Overflow parking for the ER across from Akron City Hospital.
Credit JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

The numbers are rising around the country. The pandemic’s peak is projected for late April or early May.

In Akron, only hospitals and safety forces are visibly active. Hospitals have taken a significant and highly visible step in preparation for the inevitable. Large tents have gone up near emergency rooms.

Bowery Street about a block from Akron's City hall.
Credit JENNIFER CONN / WKSU

The tents will house the additional beds needed to care for the sick when the hospitals fill up.

Stay up on the latest coronavirus news at WKSU’s Coronavirus 411.

*These images were taken in and around downtown Akron on Thursday,  March 26 at 3 p.m.

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