COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton confirmed nine new cases of COVID-19 in a Friday news conference, noting that their aides were receiving text messages about new test results even as they addressed the crowd.
At the time Acton took the podium, ODH had confirmed a total of 14 known coronavirus patients in the state: Nine men and five women ranging in age from 34 to 66. They had been diagnosed in Belmont, Butler, Cuyahoga, Star, Summit and Trumbull counties.
DeWine announced a handful of new restrictions on Ohioans, including ending all visits to county jails and encouraging daycares to begin making plans to close in case of emergency. People who can afford to take their children out of daycare should do so immediately, he said. People whose children rely on the care of a person over 60 years old should find another childcare provider.
He also said the virus is likely distributed all throughout the state and the number of diagnoses will continue to multiply — eventually faster than media outlets and the health department can track in real-time. The Cleveland Clinic had gained the ability to perform hundreds of its own tests; UC Hospital, which announced four diagnoses hours before the conference, will continue to work with the state lab and LapCorp.
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 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.