Columbus Public Health votes to declare public health emergency

Coronavirus

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UPDATE: Columbus Public Health and Mayor Ginther will provide an update on coronavirus response in the city at 11 a.m. Saturday.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus Public Health declared a public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus in Ohio.  

During a news conference Friday, Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said Columbus Public Health will hold the meeting at 2pm. 

The health commissioners voted unanimously to declare the emergency.

Roberts said the public health emergency would mean the city could takes steps it deems necessary to keep the public safe.  

This could include issuing an order for a person into quarantine. 

“As a last resort, and I must say, as a last resort, it could also include placing a police officer at the door to ensure that the person complies with our order,” said Roberts. 

Roberts also said the order could help get people the care they need.  

Mayor Ginther says he has the power to make an emergency declaration in the city, but does not intend to do so at this time.

Roberts said 25 people in the Columbus and Worthington area are being tested for COVID-19 coronavirus.

On Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a fifth confirmed case of the virus in the state.

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