‘This is a once in a lifetime pandemic’: 37 cases in Ohio, 361 under investigation

Coronavirus
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3:45 p.m. update:

WASHINGTON D.C. (WJW) -- The CDC is recommending that any event with 50 people or more be cancelled or postponed for the next eight weeks.

The new guidelines were shared on the public health agency's website Sunday.

Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies.

"Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populationshand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual," the CDC said.

The recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations like schools, institutes of higher learning or businesses. However, here in Ohio, Governor DeWine has imposed his own directives for mass gatherings, which bans more than 100 people from being in a single space.

In addition, he has also ordered all bars and restaurants to close to guests starting at 9 p.m. on Sunday. Delivery and dine-out will still be allowed.

"If you can walk in and buy a doughnut, buy coffee and walk out, that's okay. What we can't have is people congregating," the governor explained.

3:45 p.m. update:

  • Gov. Mike DeWine announces all bars and restaurants in the state of Ohio will close Sunday at 9 p.m. indefinitely
  • Carry-out and delivery will be allowed
  • He says this will apply to dine-in options only
  • 37 coronavirus cases in Ohio; 11 hospitalized
  • The ages range from 31 to 86
  • One person sick with the coronavirus in Ohio is a firefighter; Dr. Amy Acton says it is possible that single illness will make the entire department inactive because of exposure
  • The state will broaden unemployment access for people who are in quarantine
  • Gov. DeWine has advised superintendents and school districts to prepare for closures to last more than three weeks
  • DeWine wants employers to evaluate having as many people as possible work from home
  • DeWine says daycares will eventually be closed

Governor DeWine said he knew the move would put stress on workers and families, however, "Delay means more people will die," he said.

"If we do not act...our health care system in the state of Ohio will not hold up," DeWine stated.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. followed by saying, "The cases are the tip of the iceberg."

"This is not a drill. This is a once in a lifetime pandemic," Dr. Acton said.

"We have broad community spread in the state," said Dr. Acton.

Daycares will eventually be closed in Ohio as well, Gov. DeWine says.

"I'm pleading with parents: If you have children in daycare and can keep them home, please do it. To close daycares overnight won't work, but it's coming."

March 15, 2 p.m. update:

(WJW) - The Ohio Department of Health confirmed Sunday the state total of coronavirus cases has increased to 37.

11 of those people are hospitalized.

An additional 361 cases are under investigation.

  • Belmont - 2
  • Butler - 6
  • Cuyahoga - 14
  • Franklin - 3
  • Lorain - 2
  • Lucas - 1
  • Medina - 1
  • Stark - 3
  • Summit - 2
  • Trumbull - 2
  • Tuscarawas - 1

The Ohio Department of Health has a hotline open 7 days a week. Call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH to speak with a licensed nurse and infectious disease expert. They're open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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