COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A look at developments related to the new coronavirus as Ohio tests for additional cases after confirming its first three.
Health officials said three people have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 and are isolated at home. All three — a husband and wife who were on a Nile cruise, and a man who attended the America Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C. — are in their mid-50s and are from Cuyahoga County. Ohio is currently testing 15 people who have shown symptoms of respiratory distress and has cleared another 14 people through testing.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus.
Gov. Mike DeWine has “strongly” recommended that spectators be prohibited from attending large indoor gatherings, including high school, college and professional sports games. The Ohio State High School Athletic Association said it will comply and have “limited spectators” at upcoming state tournament games. In response, Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden both canceled rallies scheduled in Cleveland Tuesday night. The governor has also cancelled visitations at the state’s adult and youth prisons, and has encouraged state employees to work from home when feasible.
“The decisions we make as individuals in the next few days, the next several weeks, will really determine how many lives will be lost in Ohio. It will also determine how long this is going to last,” DeWine said.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday that 128 polling locations will be moved out of nursing homes for the March 17 primary. He also suggested people vote by mail if possible, and ordered Ohio’s boards of elections to make curbside drop-off available for absentee ballots on Election Day. LaRose said he’s working with boards of elections on best practices for cleaning voting machines and making sure elections officials have enough supplies.
Public universities Miami University, Ohio State University, the University of Akron, the University of Toledo and Kent State University and private colleges Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University and Otterbein University were among schools canceling in-person classes and moving instruction online at least through March. The Jewish Federation of Cleveland said a staff member was one of the people diagnosed with coronavirus and is closing its education center for two weeks.