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 - Mayor John Cranley issued a wide-ranging executive order Friday requiring anyone in the city who has COVID-19 or even thinks they have it to isolate at home for 14 days.
Cranley said the order applies to anyone who has:
- tested positive;
- been diagnosed by a medical professional;
- or has reason to believe they have COVID-19.
Cranley did not say what the penalty for violating the order would be.
The self-isolation period is to be measured from the onset of symptoms or diagnosis - whichever is later, he said.
"As we hope and pray that we can soon get back to some semblance of normalcy, it strikes me that we're going to need - like South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, et cetera - a long regimen of people self-quarantining when they have the illness," Cranley said.
"This isn't a death sentence or a life sentence. It's 14 days of quarantining. This is what a lot of Asian countries have done and lived a little more effectively ... There's some lessons for us to be learned there."
Cranley's order also requires anyone who believes they have COVID-19 to inform first responders and prohibits anyone from falsely reporting a COVID-19 diagnosis.
"It's only fair to first responders," Cranley said, adding that he thought Cincinnati police requested that notification.
WATCH Cranley's Friday update on the city's Facebook page.
Health Commissioner Melba Moore reported seven new confirmed COVID-19 cases, raising the city's total to 145. Deaths remained at three. Twelve are hospitalized.
Moore disclosed for the first time that the three dead include two African Americans and one white. Moore had promised at Wednesday's briefing to get a racial breakdown of the city's COVID-19 cases. She reported the breakdown of the 38 people who have recovered as 52.6% white, 18.4% black and 29% unknown or other. She said getting more data is still a work in progress.
In other announcements:
- Cranley said it is "really good news" that the Health Collaborative now expects the overflow hospital at the Duke Energy Convention Center to have 150 beds instead of 550. "The efforts to engage in prevention have really flattened the curve and there are less people getting sick than originally predicted," the mayor said.
- Cranley said Ohio and Cincinnati "have been ahead of the curve nationally." He added, "One thing I'm personally proud of is we ordered the 6-foot separation rule very early on, before the stay-at-home order." But he cautioned: "I don't think we're out of the woods yet. I don't want to declare victory too early."
- Cranley said he is "still very worried that we don't have massive testing for everybody. I do not understand why the federal government is not demanding that the reagent liquid necessary for the test is not mass-produced ... because that would much sooner allow us to reopen the economy."
- City Manager Patrick Duhaney said the Duke Energy hospital is expected to open at the end of the April.
- Cranley announced a #StayHomeCincinnati video challenge and showed one that his son had created. He asked people to submit videos that "demonstrate how you've been staying home and how you'd encourage others to do it." He said videos can be emailed to StayHome@cincinnati-oh.gov or tweeted with the hashtag #StayHomeCincinnati or #InThisTogetherCincinnati.
Check out this video my son Joseph and I came up with to demonstrate how we are staying at home and helping to flatten the curve pic.twitter.com/PVmNZWbOMZ
— John Cranley (@JohnCranley) April 10, 2020
Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:
- Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
- See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.
- State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
- See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.
- SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.