CINCINNATI — 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.
The 54th annual Cincinnati St. Patrick's Parade, which was going to be held Saturday, March 14, is the latest event in Cincinnati to be canceled amidst the spread of the COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
"Our committee respects the advice of Mayor Cranley, City Manager Duhaney and other local leaders regarding the health concerns of such an event of our size," Chris Schulte, chairman of the Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, wrote in a release. "The Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Parade has a long-standing tradition of not cancelling or postponing our event but we understand that all good things must come to an end."
The announcement comes less than a day after Findlay Market merchants canceled this year’s Findlay Market Opening Day parade in a post on their website.
Mayor John Cranley declared a state of emergency Wednesday so city officials could take appropriate action to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
"Information received by the City Administration has established that the number of positive cases of COVID-19 may be significantly underreported due to the lack of adequate medical testing materials made available by the federal government, adding to the scope of the potential public health threat and potential need or rapid action," Cranley said.
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.