One year later, looking back at ODH’s first step in fighting coronavirus


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – It’s been one year since doctors and medical professionals in Ohio were told they had to report possible or confirmed cases of the coronavirus immediately.

That declaration came from the Ohio Department of Health on Jan. 24, 2020.

Both doctors and the community at large have learned quite a bit since that time.

At the time, ODH said making COVID-19 a Class A reportable disease was a proactive measure.

One year ago Sunday, there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, and there were only two confirmed cases in the United States.

Back then, a lot of focus was on figuring out if anyone had been in Wuhan, China, where the first cases were detected.

Declaring COVID-19 a Class A disease meant that healthcare providers had to immediately report possible or confirmed cases to local health departments.

On the same day she made that declaration, now former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said everyone will continue to learn more about the virus, and everyone certainly has.

Now there are more than 400,000 deaths and 25 million cases of the virus reported in the United States.

OhioHealth Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Joseph Gastaldo said from testing to treatment to vaccines and more, it’s amazing how much has happened and what has been learned in only a year.

“It really kind of takes your breath away to think that was over a year ago,” he said. “Because our world, our country, our community has really changed a lot since then.”

It’s also been a year since Wuhan went into lockdown because of the pandemic.

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