Coronavirus in Ohio: Six months since first confirmed cases


(Watch a portion of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus news conference from Tuesday in the video player above)

CLEVELAND (WJW)– It’s been six months since the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio.

On March 9, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s first three cases were all Cuyahoga County residents in their 50s. He also declared a state of emergency.

In the days that followed, the governor and the Ohio Department of Health issued orders banning mass gatherings, shutting down bars and restaurants, and closing school buildings. The closures extended to other industries as DeWine’s stay-at-home order took effect.

For nearly two months, businesses deemed non-essential sat empty as Ohioans dealt with layoffs and furloughs, or adapted to working from home. There were protests at the Ohio Statehouse and outside the home of then-Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.

May brought gradual reopenings under DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio plan. But with more activity came more COVID-19 cases.

During a primetime address in July, the governor made a plea to Ohioans. He urged residents to keep their guard up, wear face coverings and maintain distance.

“We’ve now reached our most critical point in our battle with the coronavirus. If all of us do not take immediate action to slow this virus down, the tragedy that we see playing out on our television screens every day in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California may well be our reality in just a matter of weeks,” DeWine said.

Later that month, the state issued two orders aimed at preventing the spread. First, DeWine announced mandatory masks in public places across Ohio. Then, the state mandated alcohol sales must end at 10 p.m.

Here’s a look back at the cases, state orders, business reopenings and more as the state of Ohio handled the coronavirus pandemic:

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