Governor announces steps to slow spread of Coronavirus

Columbus, OH — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued a series of recommendations with the Ohio Department of Health Tuesday.  The governor says there are 3 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 15 more potential cases under investigation.  He said 14 people have tested negative for Covid-19.

“Coronavirus: What you Need to Know” special to air on News Center 7 Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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Amy Acton, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, says it is expected the number of cases will rise.  The state has created a coronavirus hotline at (833) 427-5634.

Governor DeWine announced a new series of steps aimed at slowing the spread of Coronavirus.  Prison visitation has been suspended, and entrance to Ohio’s prisons will be restricted.

State officials are not recommending that elementary schools close, but is advising parents to be prepared in the event schools do close.

Nursing homes are asked to screen visitors, vendors and anyone else who may enter for illness in an attempt to protect people who live there.  Early research shows the elderly are most at risk for serious illness or death from Coronavirus.

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The governor asks that religious institutions limit practices that could spread germs, and asks those who may be at risk to consider staying home.

The governor also recommends no spectators be allowed at indoor sporting events, other than athletes, parents and others essential to the game.  It was not immediately clear what implications that could have for the NCAA’s First Four, which is scheduled to be in Dayton next week.  Cleveland is also scheduled to host NCAA tournament games next week.

The NCAA had issued a statement earlier prior to the Governor’s announcement.

“NCAA member schools and conferences make their own decisions regarding regular season and conference tournament play. As we have stated, we will make decisions on our events based on the best, most current public health guidance available,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “Neither the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, made up of leading public health and infectious disease experts in America, nor the CDC or local health officials have advised against holding sporting events. In the event circumstances change, we will make decisions accordingly.”

WGI Sport of the Arts, which holds its World Championships at UD Arena, Nutter Center and other area venues said it expects to make a decision on the competition this week.

“WGI is having ongoing conversations with state and county health officials regarding the upcoming WGI Championships,” said WGI CEO Ron Nankervis.  “We expect to have a decision regarding the status of our events by the end of this week.”

The governor has also asked colleges and university to move toward remote or online learning, and to take steps to eliminate international travel.  Several Ohio colleges and universities have announced changes this week due to efforts to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

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