COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With COVID-19 case numbers rising, public health officials are urging everyone to stick to the basics, including social distancing and mask wearing.
Any other year, businesses in the Short North and other parts of Columbus would be filled with people watching the end of the Ohio State University-Maryland University football game, but that was cancelled earlier this week due to a COVID-19 outbreak among Maryland’s players.
As cases across the country and in Ohio continue to break records, everything from football games to just dining out is in danger.
One month ago, the state reported more than 2,000 new daily coronavirus cases for the first time. On Friday, Ohio reported more than 8,000 new daily cases, and Saturday, reported 7,715 new daily cases, the second highest number since the pandemic began.
With the number of new cases showing little sign of slowing down, public health officials are pointing the finger at small gatherings like weddings and football watch parties as to the reason for the rise in cases. With new cases exploding, there’s almost no way to safely have people visit.
“Within 48 hours, if they start to develop symptoms, now you’ve been exposed, and so just saying, ‘I invited everyone to my house and no one was sick at the time of the party’ is not, does not mean you’re not going to expose other people,” said Columbus Public Health Director Dr. Mysheika Roberts. “So it’s really important when you’re around other people to wear that face mask, even if they’re people you know and trust.”
Roberts also said quarantining is still necessary even if you may have been exposed and tested negative because symptoms can develop up to two weeks after exposure, meaning someone can still have the virus and spread it.