Today, during a press conference scheduled for a separate issue, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine confirmed that three people, all in their 50s, and all from Cuyahoga County, have tested positive for Coronavirus, specifically COVID-19.
Two of them are a married couple who reportedly recently returned from a cruise on the Nile River in Africa, and the third attended a conference in Washington, DC. None have reportedly required hospitalization. All are among the approximately 260 people who have been under recent public health supervision in Ohio because they were known to have possible exposure to the virus. Not all of them have been tested. Test results are still pending for five people. Eleven people have tested negative. Ohio obtained test kits for the virus last week, enabling health professionals to test people in state rather than sending samples to the CDC.
People will be tested if they have symptoms and have been to an area with an active outbreak, or those who have been in contact with someone with a positive diagnosis, or those with symptoms of the virus not attributable to another illness.
The Ohio Department of Health recommends anyone who thinks they may be showing symptoms should go to their doctor “sooner rather than later.”
Governor DeWine said, “It’s important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans. Therefore, I have declared a state of emergency in Ohio.”
The governor explained that the state of emergency is a legal necessity that allows state departments and agencies to better coordinate in their response to situations such as this one, and enables them to deploy resources to affected areas faster and to request funding from the federal government to help combat the spread of COVID-19.
Recommendations remain the same: Wash your hands well for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Cover your own coughs and sneezes with your elbow, or a tissue. And above all, remain calm. Many people worldwide have already recovered from this virus.
More on this story as it develops.