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Health Department confirms new Cincinnati case of COVID-19

Posted at 6:19 PM, Mar 21, 2020

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Health Department announced an additional confirmed case of COVID-19 in Cincinnati, bringing the city's total to four.

According to a press release from the Health Department, the new patient is a woman aged 40-60. She was tested on March 13, and the Health Department received her positive result Saturday afternoon.

Officials said the patient is recovering in quarantine at home.

Governor DeWine, in a press conference Saturday afternoon, also announced updated numbers for the state of Ohio as a whole.

The Ohio Department of Health reported an increase in statewide cases, with the total amount of cases statewide rising to 247. There are 33 counties with confirmed cases throughout the state, with the number of hospitalizations up to 58.

There have currently been three deaths in Ohio that can be attributed to COVID-19.

If you think you have the virus (fever, cough, shortness of breath are symptoms), do not go to the emergency room. Call your primary care doctor or call 513-357-7462.

Relief funds for essential services

City Council unanimously approved a measure Friday to borrow up to $150 million to ensure fire, police, sanitation and other essential services are not interrupted during the pandemic. Cranley said the money is a safeguard for the city to use only if it needs to.

"I do not want to spend this money. We do not want to spend this money," Cranley said. "I'm not worried, though if things get really bad, we might agree to spend some of it to preserve police and fire services in a true crisis."

Proceeds from the city's lease on the Cincinnati Southern Railway will be used to support the debt. The state tax commissioner and the board of health would still need to approve the funds, and a lender would need to agree.

"We're all hopeful that ... we won't even need to draw these funds," said Assistant City Manager Christopher Bigham. "But, the more we have the better, because it gives us the flexibility to do what we need to do."

Additionally, the money cannot be spent without City Council approving an appropriation ordinance.

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Find coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:

Ohio

  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.

Kentucky

  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.

Indiana

  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail epiresource@isdh.in.gov
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms, but it can be spread even at asymptomatic stages.