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Coronavirus In Ohio: March 3-March 23

Gov. Mike DeWine at his daily coronavirus press conference on Sunday, March 23, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine at his daily coronavirus press conference on Sunday, March 23, 2020.

This is an archived post. You can read the latest updates here.

WOSU is providing updates about the coronavirus and COVID-19 in Ohio. 

Ohio by the numbers, according to the Ohio Department of Health as of March 23, 2020.

  • 6 COVID-19 related deaths
  • 442 confirmed cases of COVID-19
  • 46 counties in Ohio reporting a case of COVID-19
  • 104 hospitalizations

All of WOSU’s coverage of the coronavirus outbreak can be found here.

If you think you have coronavirus, or have questions about the disease, Ohio's coronavirus call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Has your job been impacted by the coronavirus? You may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Visit unemployment.ohio.gov to learn more and apply.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus. Here are thelatest numberson the outbreak in the United States.

Updates March 3-March 23

This is an archived post. You can read the latest updates here.

Monday, March 23

4:25 p.m. City of Whitehall imposes a curfew restricting any "unnecessary outdoor activities" between 12-6 a.m.

2:45 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds his daily coronavirus press briefing.

  • DeWine announced that in order to prepare for the decrease in tax revenue, he is ordering a freeze in state hiring for all positions not directly working to fight the coronavirus. He is also putting a freeze on all contract services.
  • DeWine is asking his cabinet to immediately look for cost-cutting measures to trim their budgets by up to 20%.
  • Health Department director Amy Acton said that the supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) is running low, and the department will send its PPE supply to local health departments today. More supplies from the federal government are expected.
  • Acton also stressed that Ohio needs to build up its health care capacity, building hospitals and adding beds, while keeping people home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
  • DeWine said it’s up to the Ohio legislature to delay the state tax filing deadline to match the new federal tax deadline of July 15.

12:54 p.m. Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who own the NFL's Cleveland Browns and the MLS's Columbus Crew, have pledged $1.5 million to COVID-19 relief funds in the state of Ohio.

9:51 a.m. Over the weekend, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost ordered abortion clinics to stop all "non-essential" surgical procedures, prompting pushback from abortion rights groups.

6:06 a.m. COTA is making changes due to Ohio's stay-at-home order. Crosstown routes that run every 15 minutes will now every 30 minutes or every hour. COTA is not collecting fares, but is urging riders to use its buses for only essential travel.    

Sunday, March 22

9:11 p.m. The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is seeking donations of certain unopened medical supplies. Donations can be dropped off at 610 Ackerman Road between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., seven days a week. The medical center is seeking the following items:

  • Masks: N-95 masks, surgical masks, procedure masks - with or without face shields
  • Eye ware: medical or laboratory goggles and glasses
  • Gowns: medical-grade protective gowns, isolation gowns
  • Gloves: nitrile exam gloves, surgical gloves
  • Bouffant caps
  • Hand sanitizer: greater than 60% alcohol
  • Sanitizer wipes (Clorox)
  • Shoe covers: medical or laboratory boot/shoe covers

9:02 p.m. Ohio State University announced it is under a state of emergency. This declaration enables university leaders to flexibility in "making a variety of financial decisions over an extended period if necessary."

  • The emergency declaration will be revisited on a weekly basis as circumstances evolve. The university remains open with the restrictions already announced.

2:00 p.m. During Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press coronavirus press conference, the following items were announced: 

  • Ohio has issued a stay-at-home order starting Monday at 11:59 p.m. Residents are allowed to still go the grocery, pharamacies, restaurants for carry out, hardware stores and more. People can still go out side, but should maintain social distancing, however playgrounds will also be closed. 
  • Workers at essential business are still permitted to work. Essential business must maintain clean workplacess, allow six feet distancing between workers, hand sanitizer for workers and customers. 
  • Daycare business must obtain a special pandemic license from the state. Starting on Thursday, day cares can not have more than six children per room. 
  • Gov. DeWine will ask the Ohio General Assembly to waive state testing requirements for schools for the current academic year.
  • The Ohio Pharmacy Board has issued restrictions on prescriptions for experimental coronavirus treatment drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.The board barred pharmacies from dispensing the drugs unless a patient has been diagnosed with the virus. Prescription will be limited to a 14-day supply and no refills are permitted without a new written prescription.

Saturday, March 21

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports two new deaths related to COVID-19. The state also now has 247 confirmed cases.  

  • Gov. Mike DeWine is imploring on Ohioans to do everything they can to help stop the spread of coronavirus in the state. The governor received messages this morning from around the state that people treated this morning like a regular Saturday morning. “So I ask all of you, before you go to bed, I ask you to ask your self have you done everything you could do to stop this from going from one person to another,” DeWine said.
  • DeWine announced he is closing adult day services for people with developmental disabilities with the exception of home settings of people 10 or less.
  • Multiple deaths are under investigation for coronavirus, Ohio Department of Heath Director Amy Acton said.
  • Dayton, Tuscarawas County and part of Cuyahoga County have nursing home hot spots, Acton said.
  • Ohio is behind Washington and New York by days in terms of potential spread of coronavirus, Acton said.
  • The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will allow business to defer payments for March - May until June 1. Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said this will keep approximately $200 million in the state's economy.
  • Lori Criss, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services director says stress, anxiety, fear, grief are all common issues to go through during a pandemic. Criss says their office is still open and available for people who need help. 
  • Criss said if people are thinking about hurting themselves call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. 

Friday, March 20

5:24 p.m. Secretary of State Frank LaRose files response to Ohio Democratic Party lawsuit over Election Day delay. In a brief, LaRose argues that he did not "set the date" for Ohio's primary but rather extended the period of time for casting a ballot.

5:13 p.m. Ohio Secretary of State's Office reports that 523,522 early votes were cast between February 19-March 16.

4:30 p.m. Here's what churches, mosques and other religious institutions are doing to maintain support while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has announced the state's first death from COVID-19.

  • DeWine shared his condolences for the family of Mark Wagoner Sr. of Lucas County, who DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says they knew personally.
  • DeWine announced an executive order shutting down senior citizen centers effective at the end of business Monday. Food programs will now deliver directly to homes. Senior daycare centers will also close.
  • Health Department director Amy Acton announced that there are 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with an age range of 1-91 years old, comprised of 69 females and 100 males.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced an order through the Department of Insurance ordering health insurers to allow for a 60-day grace period of premium payment deferment.
  • The state has received 139,468 unemployment insurance benefit applications this week, compared to 4,815 last week.
  • Several states, including Ohio, have sent a letterto the Trump administration asking for the unlocking of the federal disaster unemployment account. This would make contract and freelance workers eligible for unemployment benefits.

10:00 a.m. Federal government orders Tax Day moved from April 15 to July 15, extending the deadline to file and make payments without interest or penalty.

5:00 a.m. Up to 20,000 barbers and beauticians in the state whose jobs were closed this week aren't eligible for unemployment benefits, because they work as independent contractors.

Thursday, March 19

5:45 p.m. Greater Columbus Arts Council announces emergency relief grants for artists to recoup losses due to cancel events, classes, exhibitions or more. Artists are eligible for up to $1,000, with more priority for those in need of shelter, food or other essentials.

3:40 p.m. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's daily coronavirus update.

  • DeWine urged all Ohioans to put up their flags as a show of solidarity during this crisis.
  • Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Maureen O’Connor stated that the courts must remain open for emergency and time-sensitive matters. She is urging all judges to work with local leaders and organizations to ensure essential access to the justice system.
  • Judges are encouraged to use their discretion to keep jail populations low, including issuing summons and lowering bonds where appropriate. They are also encouraged to release those in jail who are at high risk due to age or health conditions.
  • The Ohio Supreme Court will use $4 million to offer grants to local courts to purchase video conferencing equipment.
  • DeWine said that the grocery store supply chain is doing well and restated the there is a moratorium on all power and gas disconnects.
  • Those on vacation are encouraged to return to Ohio and stay home to practice social distancing. Those with upcoming vacation plans for Spring break are being asked to reconsider that travel.
  • The governor will issue an order to allow for expanded access to Medicaid services using telehealth technology such as video conferencing.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that the SBA has approved a request for long-term low interest loans for small businesses and nonprofits of up to $2 million.
  • Child daycare centers have not been ordered to close, but DeWine said that there has been a dramatic drop in the number of children attending those facilities.

2:25 p.m. Like many other grocery store chains, Meijer announces new store hours to allow more time for  deep cleaning and restocking of its stores. There will also be dedicated hours from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. for senior citizens, customers with chronic health conditions, and essential service workers.

  • Giant Eagle says it will open one hour early on select days at all supermarkets to "customers who are age 60 or older, differently abled or immune compromised."

12:11 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine activates the Ohio National Guard to help staff food banks around the state.

  • Guard members so far are helping transport, package and distribute food in Allen, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Hocking, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery and Summit counties.

10:22 a.m. Ohio State Wexner Medical Center will no longer allow visitors at any of its seven hospitals, with exceptions for end-of-life scenarios, maternity and patients under 18.

  • Mount Carmel and Ohio Health made similar announcements about restricitng visitors starting Friday, March 20.
  • Nationwide Children's Hospital announcedthat one employee has tested positive for the coronavirus. Their child care center is closed effective immediately and until further notice

9:59 a.m. COTA suspends fares for all transit customers, effective immediately. Customers are being asked to board through the rear doors to encourage social distancing.

9:21 a.m. Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services reports 111,055 unemployment claims filed Sunday through Wednesday. The same period last week saw just 3,895 claims.

  • Due to a high volume of calls, ODJFS is asking people to apply for benefits online: unemployment.ohio.gov.

Wednesday, March 18

10:55 p.m. Nationwide Children's Hospital closing child care center after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. They worked for two days while largely asymptomatic before calling in ill Wednesday morning.

  • Two other staffers and the families of 11 children have been notified and requested to isolate at home for 14 days.
  • Another 150 families whose children are served by the center have been notified and will be monitored.

3:53 p.m. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signs a declaration of a State of Emergency for the City of Columbus. This will allow the mayor to suspend purchase and contract requirements to make sure the city can acquire any necessary supplies. The mayor can also suspend regulations in order to meet payroll and pay vendors.

  • City employees including police, fire, public health nurses, utility plant operators, and refuse collectors will continue to work to provide critical services. Other employees have been asked to work from home.

3:30 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds daily coronavirus update.

  • DeWine stressed that testing for the virus is limited and that tests need to be reserved for those who are most sick and for healthcare workers.
  • The state will order that 181 Bureau of Motor Vehicle deputy registrar offices be closed. Five offices will remain open to issue commercial driver's licenses. Law enforcement is instructed not to give tickets for expired licenses.
  • Barbershops, hair salons, and tattoo parlors are ordered to close after end of business today.
  • Libraries are not being ordered to close but are urged to follow social distancing guidelines.
  • DeWine is calling on all businesses to have all employees take their temperatures every day before work and to be aggressive about cleaning and sanitizing work places.
  • Of the 88 confirmed cases, the age range is from 2 to 91 years-old with 33 female and 55 male cases.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that about 78,000 unemployment benefit claims have been made in the past three days. Two weeks ago, there were about 6,500 such claims.

12:57 p.m. Ohio Supreme Court sets a speedy schedule for the Ohio Democratic Party lawsuit. The Secretary of State's Office is required to respond to the complaint by Friday, March 20, and both sides will submit briefs and evidence next week.

11:15 a.m. Ohio State University announced that two members of the "university community" have tested positive for coronavirus. These are the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with the university and the two cases are not related.

9:45 a.m. Honda announces it will suspend production at all its plants in North America. In Ohio, this affects the Marysville Auto Plant, East Liberty Auto Plant, and the Performance Manufacturing Center. The company will continue to pay its employees during this time. 

7:37 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has signed an executive orderallowing state labor officials to issue "temporary pandemic child care" licenses for facilities to care for the children of health care workers and other essential employees.

Tuesday, March 17

7:45 p.m. Ohio Democratic Party files a lawsuitwith Ohio Supreme Court challenging the Secretary of State's directive to set a new election date.

3:30 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his daily coronavirus update. 

  • Ohio Department of Health will issue an order to postpone elective or non-essential surgeries to ensure adequate hospital beds, personal protective equipment and medical equipment.
  • Ohio Hospital Association CEO Mike Abrams says the state's hospitals are currently at 75% capacity. Contingency plans are being devised to use nursing homes, hotels, closed hospitals, and critical access hospitals to handle any surge of patients. Tents are being set up outside hospitals as screening areas.
  • Ohio has received its allotment of medical supplies from the national stockpile. Donations of personal protection equipment, such as latex gloves and masks, are still encouraged.
  • The Madison County Board of Elections office is closed because a worker is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is being tested.
  • Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Health Department director Amy Acton all say they have not been tested for COVID-19 yet.
  • During the press conference, members of the media observed from two seperate rooms in order to adhere to the most recent CDC guidelines on public gatherings.

1:00 p.m. Columbus-based retailer L Brands is closing all its stores through March 29. Two of Central Ohio's largest employers, J.P. Morgan Chase and Nationwide, are asking more of it employees to work remotely.

  • Amazon is seeking an additional 100,000 workers nationwide, including its Central Ohio distrbution centers to meet unprecedented demand.

12:45 p.m. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder sends letter to House members saying legislature must meet to decide date for delayed primary.

  • Householder says he and Minority Leader Emilia Sykes are reaching out to members to convene a session to "legally" adopt, change or extend primary election.
  • House will ask Attorney General to "seek relief from the limits" on gatherings of 50 people or more issued by the health department, so that the legislature can convene.
  • Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof stated that the Senate will work with Gov. DeWine and Secretary of State LaRose to determine new date for the election.

10:25 a.m. Ohio State University announced that it will postpone its spring commencement.

10:10 a.m. The Columbus Public Health Department announced the second confirmed COVID-19 case in the city. The 23-year-old female with underlying health conditions is being treated in a local hospital.

6:30 a.m. Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center is postponing elective surgeries and procedures at all its hospitals and outpatient procedure facilties starting Thursday, March 19. The hospital anticipates at least a two-week suspension of elective surgeries, but will continue to reaccess the situation as the coronavirus outbreak in the state evolves.

1:30 a.m. Ohio Supreme Court denied a legal challenge from a candidate in Wood County, who alleged that any delay of the primary violates election laws. That means Ohio will not hold an election Tuesday.

Monday, March 16

11:15 p.m. Secretary of State Frank LaRose sends directive to county boards of elections announcing the primary will be suspended until June 2. He also outlines new dates and guidelines for the primary election, including requirements around absentee ballots.

10:32 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted that a public health emergency order has been created to close the polls for Ohio's primary election, which was set for Tuesday.

  • The order is signed by Department of Health director Amy Acton.
  • It comes hours after Judge Richard Frye refused a temporary injunction from two voters asking that the primary be delayed until June 2. Plaintiffs Jill Reardon and Judith Brachman have appealed that ruling.

7:14 p.m. A Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge has ruled against a temporary restraining order that would have delayed Ohio’s primary election until June 2, saying that it sets a "terrible precedent."

5:14 p.m. Catholic Conferences of Ohio suspends public masses effective immediately, at least through the celebration of Holy Week and Easter.

5:00 p.m. Columbus City Council is voting by video, for the first time, to approve $1 million in financial assistance for residents impacted by the coronavirus.

4:44 p.m. Ohio Democratic Party, Ohio Republican Party and League of Women Voters say they support decision to delay the primary election.

3:40 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose held a press conference with updates on the coronavirus and Tuesday's election. 

  • DeWine is recommending that in-person voting be postponed, and that the voting period be extended to June 2. The governor does not have the authority to move an election, so a lawsuit will be filed today in the common pleas court.
  • By order of the Ohio Department of Health, the following will be closed by end of business today: fitness centers, bowling alleys, public recreation centers, movie theaters, water parks and trampoline parks. Additionally, gatherings of over 50 people are banned.
  • Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton said there are 50 confirmed cases in the state with an age range from 14 to 86. Of those cases, 20 are female and 30 are male.

11:45 a.m. Ohio will launch curbside voting on Tuesday.

  • People worried about exposure can remain in their cars and indicate that they'd like to vote curbside, and poll workers will come to their car and help them. Both regular and provisional ballots can be cast, and people in line by 7:30 p.m. must be permitted to vote.
  • Secretary of State orders boards of elections to accept and process absentee ballot applications for voters "unforseeably confined or hospitalized" through 3 p.m. on Election Day.

9:30 a.m. Thousands of Ohioans showed upfor the last weekend of early voting in the state. Early voting ends Monday at 2 p.m.

7:14 a.m. Ohio Health implements visitor restrictions at all locations, including limiting patients to one visitor at a time in most areas of the hospital. Behavioral health visits will no longer be permitted. Exceptions are made for end-of-life patients and patients with disabilities who need assistance.

6:38 a.m. The Franklin County Municipal Court remains open and functioning, but all scheduled hearings will be moved to a later date starting today. Eviction hearings and small claims cases will not be heard for at least three weeks. 

  • Jurors scheduled to report for jury service are requested to stay home until they are notificed their services are needed for a particular trial.

Sunday, March 15

Gov. Mike DeWine gave a press conferenceabout the latest state efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • DeWine orders all the state's dine-in bars and restaurants closed effective Sunday night. Businesses can remain open for takeout or delivery.
  • DeWine said the state's coronavirus call center was getting 450 calls per hour. 
  • Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said bars and restaurants can return unopened high-proof liquor that was purchased in the last 30 days for the NCAA tournament and St. Patrick's Day for a refund.
  • DeWine said at some point meal programs for the elderly will end, but the state is working on a plan.
  • Day care centers remain open for now, but state will soon order them to be closed.

5:29 p.m. Ohio State will provide prorated housing and dining refunds to students being forced to leave dormitories by March 22, president Michael Drake says in campus email.

12:50 p.m. City of Columbus confirms a firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19. Firehouse 24 on Morse Road is being sanitized and 31 firefighters who had contact with the individual at the station are currently being evaluated.

11:50 a.m. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced it is temporarily closing on Monday, March 16 to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

11:28 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine told CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning that schools might not reopen during the current academic year.

11:26 a.m.  The Franklin County Public Health department announced two cases of the coronavirus in the county, outside of the city of Columbus. 

Saturday, March 14

Ohio now has 26 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 14 males and 12 females contracting the virus. Their ages range from 31-88 years old, with a mean age of 53. Seven people with the coronavirus are currently hospitalized, Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton said.

  • Counties around the state with coronavirus cases include:
    • Belmont County, 2 cases
    • Butler County, 4 cases
    • Cuyahoga County, 11 cases
    • Franklin County, 1 case
    • Lorain County, 1 case
    • Stark County, 3 cases
    • Summit County, 2 cases
    • Trumbull County, 2 cases
  • Acton said that coronavirus is amoung us. "We know that this is going to spread everywhere. Many people may have already had COVID-19. But we can still get other people sick."
  • The state’s casinos and racinos are now closed, however horses are still running at the racinos, Gov. Mike DeWine said.
  • The nursing home visitation order, which allows for one guest for each patient per day, does not include end of life visitation for family members and clergy members, DeWine clarified.
  • DeWine asks parents with children in daycare to take them out of these environments if they have the ability to do so. State agencies have been talking to more than 1,500 daycare centers to talk about guidelines and sanitation rules
  • Lori Criss, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services director, said the state is filing emergency rules to expand telehealth options for people struggling with mental health issues and substance use disorders. This includes allowing professionals and their patients to use normal cell phones and video apps to talk to each other.
  • Criss recommended to not skip mental health appointments. "We want you to stay healthy & well in all ways... if you have a mental health need or an addiction services need, we're making sure that you have access to those services."
  • DeWine is asking dentists and veterinarians to postpone elective surgeries to conserve supplies including masks and send them to hospitals treating coronavirus.

1:23 p.m. The first case of the coronavirus was reported in Columbus. A 49-year-old man tested positive after traveling on a cruise ship to Mexico from February 29-March 5. 

Friday, March 13

4:32 pm Columbus City Schools announced it will offer free lunch and breakfast to students and all children 18-years-old and younger while schools are closed. The meals will be distributed at 13 schools around the city on weekdays. View a map of all the locations.

Breakfast will be served from 8-9 a.m. and lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The meals will be served at the following schools:

  • Buckeye Middle School, 2950 South Parsons Avenue
  • Centennial High School, 1441 Bethel Road
  • Columbus Africentric Early College, 3223 Allegheny Avenue
  • Columbus Global Academy, 4077 Karl Road
  • Independence High School, 5175 E. Refugee Road
  • Linden-McKinley STEM Academy, 1320 Duxberry Road
  • Mifflin High School, 3245 Oak Spring Street
  • Sherwood Middle School, 1400 Shady Lane Road
  • South High School, 1160 Ann Street
  • Starling PreK-8 School, 145 S. Central Avenue
  • Wedgewood Middle School, 3800 Briggs Road
  • West High School, 179 S. Powell Avenue
  • Woodward Park Middle School, 5151 Karl Road

3:30 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine provides an update on the coronavirus response in Ohio. 

  • DeWine announces that the state will ban visitations to Ohio's prisons and jails.
  • The state has received waivers from the federal government that will allow schools to continue to offer free lunch and breakfast to students who depend on those services.
  • In a letter to the Trump administration, the state is submitting numerous requests for regulatory relief to limit person-to-person contact, ensure staffing of health care workers, and gain access the national stockpile of healthcare equipment.
  • Child daycare centers are not being closed, but DeWine recommends that those who are able should remove their children and others should prepare options in case daycares do close. Required student-to-teacher ratios will be relaxed to ensure daycares can stay open.

1:15 p.m. The Columbus Museum of Art will close for three weeks after the end of business on Saturday, March 14.

YMCA of Central Ohio annouces that centers will remain open but all group fitness classes and programming will be postponed for the remainder of the month.

12:21 p.m. UC Health has confirmed the first four cases of COVID-19 in Cincinnati

The patients were initially seen at UC Health's West Chester Hospital, have been treated and released. 

10:45 a.m. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther holds press conference and announces that all city recreation centers will close through April 3. The city will also suspend all water shutoffs and power shutoffs through April 15.

The Columbus Board of Health will vote this afternoon to declare a local public health emergency, which would give Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts the power to issue quarantine and testing mandates.

9:52 a.m. Columbus Metropolitan Library closes all library locations effective at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 13, and will remain closed through at least April 6.

9:22 a.m. The Ohio History Center and Ohio Village in Columbus, will be closed beginning today.

Thursday, March 12 

6:04 p.m. Ohio State is extending virtual classes through the end of the semester, extending spring break by a week and requiring students to move out of residence halls, university president Dr. Michael Drake said in an email. 

OSU had previously canceled in-person classes through March 30. Exceptions will be made for some clinical experiences or field work where students serve patients or clients.

A special website, keeplearning.osu.edu, has been created to help students adapt to online learning.

Ohio State is extending its spring break through Sunday, March 22. 

Undergraduate students living in on-campus housing will be required to move out between Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 22. Students living in on-campus family housing can remain in their housing.

6:02 p.m. COSI is closing for three weeks starting Friday, March 13.

4:16 p.m. The NCAA cancels the men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments and all other remaining winter and spring chamionships.

3:15 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine made several announcements about the state's response to coronavirus during today's press conference.

  • DeWine announced that schools will have an extended spring break and be closed for three weeks starting Monday.
  • The Ohio Department of Health is issuing an order banning all gatherings of over 100 people with exceptions for airports, workplaces, and religious services. Psychiatric hospital visitations are also banned.
  • A new confirmed case is a 55-year-old male from Trumbull County with no history of travel outside the state.
  • The Ohio Department of Health call center has been moved to a larger space so workers do not have to sit in such close proximity to each other.

3:10 p.m. Major League Baseball suspends Spring Training games and delays the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.

1:37 p.m. The National Hockey League suspends its season. The Columbus Blue Jackets were scheduled to play at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

12:56 p.m. The Ohio High School Athletic Association postpones all winter tournaments, which includes boys and girls basketball, ice hockey and wrestling.

11:50 a.m. Major League Soccer suspendsseason for 30 days. Columbus Crew SC and FC Cincinnati games will be affected.

11:45 a.m. Big Ten Conference cancelsremainder of its men's basketball tournament.

10:58 a.m. Libraries in Columbus, Cleveland Cuyahoga County planto stay open for patrons, but cancel meetings and events.

10:00 a.m. The viewfrom inside Ohio's cramped and busy coronavirus call center (hotline number is 833-427-5634 or 833-4-ASK ODH)

9:56 a.m. Columbus Blue Jackets canceledtheir morning skate and media availability. The NHL advised all clubs to not hold practices or team meetings.

9:46 a.m. City of Cincinnati has canceledits St. Patrick's Day parade and the Findlay Market Opening Day parade.

12:40 a.m. NBA has suspendedits season after a Utah player tested positive for COVID-19.

Wednesday, March 11

Ohio State has canceled its spring football game which was set for April 11 at Ohio Stadium. 

  • The school is also closing all athletic events to the public through the remainder of the academic year, according to Ohio State Athletics Department spokesman Jerry Emig. Immediate family members, team coaches and staff, event staff and media members will be allowed to attend the events.
  • Spring game tickets and other Ohio State sporting events will be refunded.
  • Football coach Ryan Day announced that the team is suspending all on-campus recruiting visits as well as off-campus recruiting trips to abide by the university's temporary travel restrictions. 

Cincinnati mayor John Cranley declared a state of emergency Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Mike DeWine gave a press conferenceat 2 p.m. on the state's responses to coronavirus.

  • DeWine said the state will be issuing an order in the coming days to limit mass gatherings around the state.
  • Ohio will issue an order Wednesday restricting access to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Residents of these facilities will be limited to one person per day. Anyone entering a care facility will have their temperature taken and asked a series of health questions.
  • A 53-year old male from Stark County has tested positive for Coronavirus. This the first case of virus being transmitted through community spread, which means the man did not contract the virus due to traveling to an infected area.

Following DeWine's announcement, NCAA president Mark Emmert saidin a statement that the upcoming tournamnets would be held with "only essential staff and limited family attendance."

The Columbus Blue Jackets announcedthat Thursday and Saturday's home games will be closed to the public, and only team personnel, media, officials and essential staff will be allowed.

While DeWine won't close K-12 schools just yet, school administrators say they're canceling events and taking other proactive steps to stop the spread of disease.

The World Health Organization officially declaresCOVID-19 a pandemic after more than 4,000 deaths were reported worldwide.

Hundreds of students at the University of Dayton protested an announcement that the school was shutting down student housing. Early Wednesday, police launched "pepper balls" with an irritant to disperse gatherings. University officials deny that the protest was in response to its coronavirus measures.

More cancellations around the state:

Tuesday, March 10

Gov. Mike DeWine recommendsthat indoor sporting events be held without spectators.

  • The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced they are limiting spectators for regional and state championships in wrestling, ice hockey and girls and boys basketball over the next two weeks. Previously purchased tickets are now void and eligible for a refund.
  • City of Dublin cancels St. Patrick's Day parade and postpones the public opening of its new pedestrian bridge.
  • Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders cancel rallies in Cleveland scheduled for Tuesday night.
  • Columbus Blue Jackets announce plansto hold games on Thursday and Saturday night anyways.
  • Ohio Statehouse suspendsall guided tours through March 25, but still allowing self-guided d cell phone tours.

DeWine also urges universities to screen all students coming back to campus from abroad or from cruise ships, and announces that Ohio has stopped visitations at state prisons.

  • University of Dayton suspendsin-person classes through at least April 6, and announcesuniversity housing will close March 11 at 6 p.m.
  • University of Akron cancels classes through March 29, after which classes will be held remotely.
  • Miami University of Ohiosuspends face-to-face classes through April 12, but says residence and dining halls will remain open.
  • The University of Toledo, Ohio Wesleyan Universityand Case Western Reserve University cancel classes for March 16-17, plan to resume courses on March 18 with remote delivery.
  • Baldwin Wallace University and Kenyon College extending spring break, moving to remote instruction starting March 23.
  • Otterbein University in Westerville suspends all in-person classes through the end of the week as it move to alternative delivery methods.
  • Oberlin Collegeending classes March 18, two days earlier than scheduled, still determining whether to conduct classes remotely.
  • Wright State Universityand Ohio University suspends in-person classes through March 30 and urges students who traveled over spring break not to return to campus.
  • Kent State University, Xavier University, the University of Cincinnatisuspend face-to-face classes through April 13.
  • Capital University in Columbus cancelsclasses until March 16, after which courses will be moved online.

Secretary Of State Frank LaRose orders all 88 counties to move polling places away from nursing homes and residential senior citizen facilities. The order affects 128 polling places.

Ohio investigating 15 possible cases of coronavirus. Only three cases confirmed so far, while 14 people have tested negative.

  • Six University Hospitals staff members in Cleveland are among those being monitored after having close contact with the three people diagnosed with coronavirus.

Monday, March 9

  • Ohio State University suspends in-person classes through at least March 30.
  • Shawnee State University in Portsmouth investigatingthree suspected cases of coronavirus.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine declares a state of emergency.
  • Ohio confirms first three cases of COVID-19 in the state. All three patients live in Cuyahoga County and are in their mid-50s.

Sunday, March 8

  • Ohio begins conductingits own tests for coronavirus.

Thursday, March 5

  • The Ohio Department of Health issues public health orderbarring spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival, except for the finals.

Tuesday, March 3

  • Gov. Mike DeWine announcesthe Arnold Fitness Expo will be canceled over concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.
Nick Houser leads the digital media team and oversees all things digital, including wosu.org, digital content, the WOSU Public Media Mobile App, social media, enewsletters, podcasts and on-demand video.
Michael De Bonis develops and produces digital content including podcasts, videos, and news stories. He is also the editor of WOSU's award-winning Curious Cbus project. He moved to Columbus in 2012 to work as the producer of All Sides with Ann Fisher, the live news talk show on 89.7 NPR News.