COLUMBUS (WCMH) — FRIDAY UPDATE: 25 people in Columbus and Worthington are currently being tested for COVID-19, Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus Health Commissioner said. There are no confirmed positive cases at this time.
THURSDAY UPDATE: A fifth case has been confirmed in Ohio. Three cases are in Cuyahoga County. One case of “community spread” is in Stark County. The fifth one, confirmed on Thursday, is in Trumbull County. Gov. DeWine has ordered no mass gatherings in Oio over 100 people. K-12 schools will go on a mandated 3-week spring break starting at the end of the school day Monday. Watch the governor’s press conference live here.
The fourth case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Ohio — a 53-year-old man in Stark County. The Ohio Department of Health says this case is the first evidence of community spread, as the man has no travel history outside the US.
Gov. DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health will hold a press conference to update the public Thursday at 2pm. Stream live on NBC4i.com.
In Ohio, 24 people are currently under investigation. 21 people have tested negative. 255 people are under health supervision.
“Community spread is a game-changer. You’re going to see us taking more aggressive actions now. Please know that we’re doing this to protect Ohioans and protect our healthcare system,” Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said.
A Facebook post by Columbus Mayor Ginther earlier Wednesday initially said cases of COVID-19 had been “identified in Columbus.” The mayor’s office then clarified that the cases were identified in Ohio, and later edited the post.
Two people are under investigation in Franklin County as of Tuesday.
Public Health Director Dr. Mysheika Roberts revealed the number of tests in the county during a conference call with Mayor Andrew Ginther and public health officials.
Dr. Roberts expects to see results by the end of the week.
“We know its arrival in Columbus is not if but when. We started preparations weeks ago. Disruption is coming and we are prepared,” said Mayor Ginther. “The current situation is changing by the hour. We’ll continue to evolve in real time to keep visitors and residents healthy.”
The city is working with employers on preventative measures like telecommuting and limiting travel.
OhioHealth Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the four medical centers in Columbus have been preparing for years to be ready for an infectious disease like COVID19.
Dr. Roberts said the state’s capacity to test for the virus is expanding.
“We are expecting more testing kits from the CDC at state labs this week. Other facilities like Labcorp and Quest can also test right now,” said Roberts.