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3 Confirmed Cases Of Coronavirus In Cuyahoga County

Updated 5:46 pm on Monday, March 9, 2020

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday there are three Ohioans with confirmed cases of COVID-19, or coronavirus. All three patients are from Cuyahoga County and in their mid-50s.

He declared a state of emergency, which he said will help the state procure medical supplies.

Just as the governor made the announcement from Columbus, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials were about to start a news conference. The event was delayed about 30 minutes as officials had to regroup in light of the news.

“We are prepared and we are ready,” said Mayor Frank Jackson as he opened the news conference before turning the event over to the health professionals to speak.

Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan said they had just learned about the confirmed cases in Ohio. He said they include two men and one woman, all between the ages 54 to 56.

“They are the first in the state,” said Allan. “These folks traveled outside of Ohio and that’s where the exposure occurred,” he said.

One man and the woman had traveled together to Egypt. The other man had recently traveled to a conference in Washington, D.C., he said.

All three live outside of the city of Cleveland, but officials at the news conference declined to give the names of the communities where the three who have tested positive for coronavirus reside.

All three are being monitored by health officials and are self-isolating in their homes, not hospitalized, Allan said.

“You don’t want to be in the hospital if you don’t need to be there,” he said.

There are six other people in Cuyahoga County who came into close contact with those who have tested positive for the virus. All six are in self quarantine at home and are being monitored by local health officials.

DeWine, at the Columbus news conference, said the next step will be further investigating the contacts of those infected and determining if more people should be in self quarantine. County officials agreed, saying they will continue to work to identify who else might have come in contact with the virus.

Coronavirus has been an abstract thing for people across Ohio until today said Allan, but he urged people to be ready, not nervous. 

He recommended people follow the CDC's guidance on how to protect yourself, including covering coughs, frequent hand-washing, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. 

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