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 said Tuesday he had no plans to cancel the March 26 Reds Opening Day parade despite Gov. Mike DeWine’s recommendation that leaders at all levels work to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by discouraging large crowds.
“We are not canceling any events at this time, but we reserve the right to make a day-to-day determination,” Cranley said.
He added he had been in touch with the Reds and FC Cincinnati to discuss precautions. He was satisfied both teams were prepared to deal with possible health concerns, he said.
“Since we’re still in the period where we don’t have a confirmed case, it is smart to get ahead and think through those logistics,” he said.
Only three cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio, and none are in the Cincinnati area. All three patients are Cuyahoga County residents in their 50s, according to Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton.
Still, DeWine on Tuesday encouraged sports teams, universities and places of worship across the state to begin taking precautions that would prevent transmission of the virus. For universities, he recommended switching to online-only instruction; for teams, eliminating most in-person spectators and playing in near-empty arenas; for religious spaces, reducing person-to-person physical contact and the sharing of food.
The city of Cincinnati made its own recommendations: Stay six feet away from the nearest person in your office, don’t shake hands and stay home if you feel sick.
A spokesperson for Findlay Market said in a statement that its vendors would defer to the city’s guidance about future events.
“At this point, the city is not recommending or requiring the cancellation of any major events in Cincinnati and we will continue to follow instructions from them,” the spokesperson said.
Find 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 email@example.com
- 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.