Today’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic


One of the busiest freeway interchanges in Ohio, Interstates 70, 71, and Ohio Rt. 315 appear almost empty Monday morning as business and social lives shut down due to COVID-19. The state issued a stay-at-home order to take effect at 11:59 pm March 23. (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

One of the busiest freeway interchanges in Ohio, Interstates 70, 71, and Ohio Rt. 315 appear almost empty Monday morning as business and social lives shut down due to COVID-19. The state issued a stay-at-home order to take effect at 11:59 pm March 23. (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)


ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

See more local coverage about COVID-19 at LimaOhio.com/tag/coronavirus.

Hotline

• Lima hospitals established a Community Call Center at 419-226-9000. Residents are urged to call that number before visiting a health care provider or an emergency room. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

• Call the Ohio Department of Health’s public COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH. The hotline will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Prevention tips

• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Do so after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, visiting a public place. Use soap and water or sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands after.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and avoid people altogether if the virus is spreading in your area.

Symptoms of respiratory illness

COVID-19:

• Fever

• Cough

• Trouble breathing

• Starts about 2 to 14 days after exposure

Influenza:

• Sudden onset

• Fever (sometimes)

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Muscle or body aches

• Headaches

• Fatigue

• Vomiting and diarrhea (mainly in children)

Common cold:

• Slight aches and fatigue

• Sneezing

• Chest discomfort, cough

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Sore throat

Who is considered more at risk?

• Older people.

• People with chronic health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.

What if I have symptoms?

• Call your doctor. The medical team will need to ask you questions about your symptoms and travel history. Do not visit the doctor’s office without calling ahead, as the doctor may not want you to come in and potentially expose others.

• Monitor yourself closely, especially if you get worse instead of better. If you are having trouble breathing, have persistent pain or pressure in your chest, have new confusion or have bluish lips or face, call your doctor.

• If you have symptoms and have a regular scheduled doctor appointment, call before going. Put on a mask before entering the office.

• If COVID-19 is suspected, ask your doctor to report your case to the local health department or the Ohio Department of Health.

What if I am sick?

• Stay home. Do not go to work, school or the store. Avoid public areas. Do not use public transportation. Stay away from the public until you’re told by your doctor it’s safe.

• Set up a sick room. Rest in a room separate from others in the household. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

• Limit contact with pets. Keep the family pet out of the sick room, or have someone else do your farm chores. If you must care for your animals, wash your hands before and after and wear a mask. There are no reports of animals becoming sick with COVID-19, but more information is needed.

Should I wear a mask?

• If you are sick, wear a mask to contain your coughs if you must be around others. Put it on before a person caring for you enters the sick room.

• If you are caring for someone who is sick, and that person cannot wear a mask for any reason, you should wear a mask when visiting the sick room. Stay 6 feet away from them, and do not linger.

General household tips

• Do not share dishes, towels or bedding with anyone who is sick.

• Clean and disinfect the things you touch often, like doorknobs, bathroom fixtures and phones. Clean up bodily fluids quickly and thoroughly.

Does it have a season, like flu?

• It is unknown if the beginning of warmer temperatures will have an effect on slowing down the spread of this virus.

The following will not kill/prevent this virus:

• Hot baths, hand dryers, UV lamps, alcohol or chlorine all over your body, pneumonia or flu vaccine, nose saline sprays, eating garlic, antibiotics.

Why is it called COVID-19?

• CO stands for corona, VI for virus and D for disease. The number refers to the year it started.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health, World Health Organization

Here are the latest details about the state and region’s issues with the COVID-19 pandemic:

School year

The fate of the remaining school year, including graduation requirements and state-mandated testing, are among the top issues before lawmakers planning a return to Columbus this week to address challenges posted by the coronavirus.

Freeze, cuts

Gov. Mike DeWine announced an immediate freeze in state government hiring and ordered state agencies to identify immediate budget cuts of up to 20%. He also has frozen new contract services. “The earlier we start slowing down the spending, the more impact obviously it’s going to have,” he said Monday. He expects state lawmakers will act to align the state’s income tax deadline with the adjusted federal deadline of July 15.

Elections

Over the weekend, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose proposed a plan by which postage-paid absentee ballots would be sent to every Ohioan who hadn’t already voted in the March 17 primary, along with postage to return the form. LaRose also wants continued discretion to allow in-person voting on June 2 if Gov. Mike DeWine’s “stay at home” order is no longer in place.

Daycares

Beginning Thursday, all child care centers in Ohio must operate under a temporary Pandemic Child Care license and follow guidelines including no more than six children in a class and one teacher to no more than six children. Available slots will go to the children of health, safety and other essential workers first.

Economy

Last week, nearly 140,000 Ohioans filed unemployment insurance claims in one week. State officials say these numbers dwarf any previous unemployment claims. The previous high for a month came during the recession in December 1981, when 205,159 claims were filed for the entire month, according to the Department of Job and Family Services.

The region:

• There are 442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio in 46 counties. There are 104 hospitalizations, and six have died.

• Counties with recorded cases include Ashland (1), Ashtabula (3), Belmont (2), Butler (17), Carroll (2), Clark (1), Clermont (5), Clinton (1), Columbiana (2), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (149), Darke (1), Defiance (2), Delaware (7), Erie (1), Franklin (44), Gallia (1), Geauga (2), Greene (1), Hamilton (26), Hancock (1), Highland (1), Huron (1), Knox (1), Lake (8), Licking (1), Logan (1), Lorain (24), Lucas (9), Madison (1), Mahoning (23), Marion (3), Medina (15), Miami (17), Montgomery (7), Portage (2), Richland (1), Sandusky (1), Stark (12), Summit (28), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (2), Union (1), Warren (5), Washington (1) Wood (2).

• Following Congress’ passage of a bipartisan funding package to support COVID-19 preparedness and response efforts across the country, U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) led 11 of their Ohio delegation colleagues, including Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), in urging the Trump administration to ensure that this funding be made immediately available for the research, development and review of products and treatments to help people suffering from COVID-19-related complications.

• The Veterans Memorial Civic Center announced that “The Color Purple,” slated for April 29, has been canceled. All tickets will be fully refunded. For more information, contact the box office at 419-224-1552.

• The Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert has canceled all shows through May 3. This includes “The Isaacs and Terry Bradshaw” April 17, “Here Come the Mummies” April 25, speaker Paul Keels April 26 and “Earth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” on May 3. Refunds will be dispersed by mail. For more information, contact the box office at 419-238-6722.

• Charter Communications Inc. announced it will provide SHOWTIME and EPIX premium channels at no additional charge to Spectrum TV customers who do not currently receive those channels through April 19.

• Hilty Preschool and Childcare Center in Pandora has been approved as a temporary pandemic child care center. Normal operations will cease Tuesday and the center will reopen as a pandemic center Thursday. The children of healthcare workers will be given priority. To enroll a child, call 419-384-3220 or message the Hilty Preschool and Child Care Facebook page.

• The Van Wert Chamber of Commerce will be closed to the public until April 6. For details, contact 419-238-4390 or chamber@vanwertchamber.com.

• The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce and affiliated support groups will host a webinar at 11 a.m. Wednesday to help local businesses understand the governor’s “stay home” orders and navigate small business loan and support programs.

The Chamber has also designated Wednesday as Local Restaurant Eat Out Day in Lima. Residents are encouraged to use drive-through or curbside pickup service to support local restaurants.

• American Township Trustees will hold an emergency meeting at 8:30 a.m. April 13 on township operations. There will be no public seating. Copies of the minutes and recordings of the meeting can be found at www.amertwp.us on the Trustee and Fiscal Officer tab. Office hours and information concerning American Township operations can also be found on that website.

• The Allen County Child Support Enforcement Agency lobby is closed but limited staff remain to do business. A drop box at the entrance is available for payments. To do payment by phone, call 419 224-7133, Opt. 6, or 1-888-965-2676, Option 5. Online payments may be made at https://oh.smartchildsupport.com. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Ohio CSPC P.O. Box 182372, Columbus, OH 43218-2372. Please make sure to include your case number, order number and last four digits of your Social Security Number on your check/money order. Pay records may also be requested at the local number or https://childsupport.ohio.gov/login.jsf.

• Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Judge Martin Burchfield announced Monday that all jury trials in the general division of the court have been continued until further notice. As many hearings and conferences as possible are to be done by telephone or video link, the judge said.

Share your information at info@limanews.com.

One of the busiest freeway interchanges in Ohio, Interstates 70, 71, and Ohio Rt. 315 appear almost empty Monday morning as business and social lives shut down due to COVID-19. The state issued a stay-at-home order to take effect at 11:59 pm March 23. (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/03/web1_OhioHighway-2.jpgOne of the busiest freeway interchanges in Ohio, Interstates 70, 71, and Ohio Rt. 315 appear almost empty Monday morning as business and social lives shut down due to COVID-19. The state issued a stay-at-home order to take effect at 11:59 pm March 23. (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2020/03/web1_coronavirus-141.jpg

ONLY ON LIMAOHIO.COM

See more local coverage about COVID-19 at LimaOhio.com/tag/coronavirus.

Hotline

• Lima hospitals established a Community Call Center at 419-226-9000. Residents are urged to call that number before visiting a health care provider or an emergency room. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

• Call the Ohio Department of Health’s public COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH. The hotline will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Prevention tips

• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Do so after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, visiting a public place. Use soap and water or sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands after.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and avoid people altogether if the virus is spreading in your area.

Symptoms of respiratory illness

COVID-19:

• Fever

• Cough

• Trouble breathing

• Starts about 2 to 14 days after exposure

Influenza:

• Sudden onset

• Fever (sometimes)

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Muscle or body aches

• Headaches

• Fatigue

• Vomiting and diarrhea (mainly in children)

Common cold:

• Slight aches and fatigue

• Sneezing

• Chest discomfort, cough

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Sore throat

Who is considered more at risk?

• Older people.

• People with chronic health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.

What if I have symptoms?

• Call your doctor. The medical team will need to ask you questions about your symptoms and travel history. Do not visit the doctor’s office without calling ahead, as the doctor may not want you to come in and potentially expose others.

• Monitor yourself closely, especially if you get worse instead of better. If you are having trouble breathing, have persistent pain or pressure in your chest, have new confusion or have bluish lips or face, call your doctor.

• If you have symptoms and have a regular scheduled doctor appointment, call before going. Put on a mask before entering the office.

• If COVID-19 is suspected, ask your doctor to report your case to the local health department or the Ohio Department of Health.

What if I am sick?

• Stay home. Do not go to work, school or the store. Avoid public areas. Do not use public transportation. Stay away from the public until you’re told by your doctor it’s safe.

• Set up a sick room. Rest in a room separate from others in the household. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

• Limit contact with pets. Keep the family pet out of the sick room, or have someone else do your farm chores. If you must care for your animals, wash your hands before and after and wear a mask. There are no reports of animals becoming sick with COVID-19, but more information is needed.

Should I wear a mask?

• If you are sick, wear a mask to contain your coughs if you must be around others. Put it on before a person caring for you enters the sick room.

• If you are caring for someone who is sick, and that person cannot wear a mask for any reason, you should wear a mask when visiting the sick room. Stay 6 feet away from them, and do not linger.

General household tips

• Do not share dishes, towels or bedding with anyone who is sick.

• Clean and disinfect the things you touch often, like doorknobs, bathroom fixtures and phones. Clean up bodily fluids quickly and thoroughly.

Does it have a season, like flu?

• It is unknown if the beginning of warmer temperatures will have an effect on slowing down the spread of this virus.

The following will not kill/prevent this virus:

• Hot baths, hand dryers, UV lamps, alcohol or chlorine all over your body, pneumonia or flu vaccine, nose saline sprays, eating garlic, antibiotics.

Why is it called COVID-19?

• CO stands for corona, VI for virus and D for disease. The number refers to the year it started.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio Department of Health, World Health Organization

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