Coronavirus Pandemic: 3-week school break for all students; no gatherings over 100 people

Coronavirus Pandemic: Thursday Update

Ohio has confirmed a fifth case of the COVID-19 coronavirus while 52 people await test results, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The latest confirmed case involved a 55-year-old man from Trumbull County in Northeast Ohio.

DeWine said the coronavirus outbreak is “a crisis we have not seen, most of us in our lifetime.”

LIVE UPDATES: WHO confirms over 124,000 global cases, over 4,600 deaths

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Montgomery County Public Health Department is investigating two people for the coronavirus, according to a spokesperson.

Mercer County officials are also awaiting results for one person under investigation for possible coronavirus.

Medical experts told DeWine they expect the number of COVID-19 cases to double in six days and will continue to do so.

The governor made the following announcements/orders:

  • Indefinite ban on mass gatherings of 100 of more people, including stadiums, arenas and conference centers. There is not a scheduled end to the ban. This does not include daycares, airports, bus stations, schools, casinos, religious gatherings or shopping malls.
  • All schools will have extended spring breaks beginning close of business Monday for three weeks. Schools will be able to make their own decisions on alternative teaching methods.  That will last until at least April 3.
  • Nursing homes: Amending order to include no outside visitors.
  • State psychiatric hospitals: No visitors
  • Price gauging will be enforced by the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

DeWine said he knows the coming days will have messy moments.

“This is a crisis and we have to get the job done,” DeWine said.

So far, Ohio has reported 30 negative tests, including one person in Montgomery County who received negative results Wednesday.

Acton said she estimates at least one percent of Ohioans, or more than 100,000 people, are carrying the virus.

“This will be the thing this generation will remember,” Acton said.  “We know we have a couple long months ahead.”

Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper said the county is treating the situation as if there are case in the county.
"Our assumption is we have cases whether they are confirmed or not," Cooper said.  "Let's limit how much it spreads."

The city of Dayton has declared a state of emergency amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Declaring an official State of Emergency allows the City the ability to respond quickly to enact measures that protect public health, safety and welfare within the city limits,” the city said.

ELECTIONS:

Elections will continue Tuesday as planned, said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

Husted said elections do not fall under the mass gathering mandate.

“Early voting is an option for you. Take advantage of it,” Husted said.

Ohio's Secretary of State Frank LaRose is working to secure additional poll workers at vote.ohio.gov/defenddemocracy

Officials from Montgomery County and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are also expected to hold press conferences and updates today.

  • Public Health has opened a call center that will be staffed Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm. The public may call for general COVID-19 related questions at 937-225-6217. The call center will not be able to offer personal healthcare advice. This is in addition to the Ohio Department of Health's Hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH which is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 8 pm.
  • The NCAA has cancelled the men's and women's basketball championship tournaments.  NCAA also cancelled all other remaining winter and spring NCAA championships.
  • At Wright Patterson Air Force Base, 8 people have been tested for coronavirus. 7 of those tests have come back negative, and the 8th test is pending, according to Col. Michael Foutch, the 88th medical group commander. The base is not closed, and some personnel are able to telecommute. Briefings have been held for base personnel as changes in procedure are considered. Col. Foutch says, "Our team is closely engaged with the CDC and Ohio Department of Health."
  • Montgomery County Education Service Center Superintendent Shannon Cox said local school districts will announce plans for online learning and alternative teaching methods on an individual basis.
  • During a nationwide address from the Oval Office Wednesday night, President Donald Trump announced multiple measures to combat the virus, including a limit on travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days.