First Ohio case of COVID-19 was earlier in the year than thought

Posted at 6:12 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 10:16:56-04

In March, three people from Cuyahoga County, Ohio, were thought to be the first in the state to contract the coronavirus, but officials are now saying the first cases in the state were actually at the beginning of the year.

Dr. Amy Acton said the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Ohio was on January 7, and the first case in the Tri-State was in Warren County on January 24.

This new information comes thanks to the new contact tracing tool, which was started in April. The tool tracks the people a patient who has contracted COVID-19 has come into contact with.

With this, officials hope to better understand how long the virus has been spreading, how long it can be spread from person to person and how long immunity from the virus lasts once you have recovered from it.

"When you are tested or not, whether you've recovered or not, we don't know how long immunity lasts," Acton said.

Because we don't know the answers to these questions yet, Acton suggested people continue to wear masks in public as Ohio begins to reopen.