(Image via the Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine)
Three confirmed cases of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) were announced on March 9, 2020 by Gov. Mike DeWine, just two days after testing for the virus became available in Ohio.
Gov. DeWine first made the announcement of the three confirmed COVID-19 cases via Twitter, where he also declared a state of emergency for all of Ohio prior to signing the Executive Order 2020-01D.
Declaring a state of emergency allows for different state departments and agencies to respond quicker and more efficiently, according to a news release from the office of Gov. DeWine.
This afternoon we learned that three Ohioans have tested positive for #COVID19. It’s important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans, and therefore, I have declared a state of emergency in #Ohio.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 9, 2020
During a press conference with Dr. Amy Acton, director of health for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Gov. DeWine said COVID-19 will disrupt the day-to-day lives of Ohioans for some period of time.
“This is certainly no ordinary time,” Gov. DeWine said. “It’s important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans. And the actions we take now will in fact save lives.”
The three people confirmed to have COVID-19 are two men and one woman between the ages of 54 to 56, according to Terry Allan, commissioner of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
Currently, all three are self-quarantined in their homes and being monitored by health officials.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), coronaviruses are a large group of viruses common in people and different animal species, such as MERS-Cov and SARS-Cov, that can cause respiratory disease.
Currently, reported illnesses associated with COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and even death. The symptoms, which may occur up to 14 days after exposure, include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
“There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the CDC website said. “The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.”
A complete list of preventative actions suggested by the CDC can be found online.
For real-time and up-to-date information about COVID-19, Gov. DeWine and Dr. Acton have announced a new website for Ohioans to visit.