Ohio Investigating Three People For Potential Coronavirus, No Cases Confirmed Yet

Mar 5, 2020
Originally published on March 5, 2020 3:40 pm

The Ohio Department of Health is investigating a total of three potential cases of coronavirus, as of Thursday afternoon.

Officials are currently waiting for test results. The Ohioans under investigation have symptoms of respiratory illness and either recently traveled to China or interacted with someone known to have COVID-19. 

The state health department is providing daily updates of coronavirus numbers in Ohio. So far, seven people in Ohio have tested negative. There are no confirmed cases in the state.

Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton says the state now has kits and can conduct its own coronavirus tests.

Acton says CDC guidance on what to do in these situations will be constantly changing, resulting in big decisions for the state.

On Thursday, Acton issued a directive banning spectators for most of the Arnold Sports Festival over concerns over the disease. The festival already called off its annual trade expo. No other major events in Ohio have been canceled because of the coronavirus.

"We will be making more of these - many of you lived through many epidemics over time," Acton said at a statewide summit in Columbus on Thursday. "We will be making more of these every day."

Acton says the coronavirus so far appears to be similar to the H1N1, or swine flu, pandemic in April 2009. That went on for 16 months.

Currently 255 people across Ohio are being monitored by their local health department after traveling to China. None of those individuals have reported experiencing any symptoms.

The CDC says that 10 people have died from COVID-19 so far, most of which have occured in the Seattle area.

The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands. 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. 
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
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