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Coronavirus In Ohio: DeWine Says 'Odds Are' School Closure Could Be Extended

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine gives an update at MetroHealth Medical Center on the state's preparedness and education efforts to limit the potential spread of a new virus which caused a disease called COVID-19, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak

Gov. Mike DeWine says it is "absolutely" a possibility that schools remain closed through the end of the academic year to help limit the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus.“We’ve informed the superintendents while we close schools for three weeks, that the odds are that this is going to go on a lot longer and it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year,” DeWine said on CNN’s State of the Union.

In a Sunday morning appearance on NBC’s Meet The Press, DeWine said “we’re certainly looking at” closing bars and restaurants as a means to encourage social distancing.

DeWine’s most recent comments follow a flurry of news about COVID-19 cases.

As of Sunday morning, there was one confirmed case in the city of Columbus, two others elsewhere in Franklin County and 26 statewide, although the state numbers did not include the Franklin County cases announced Sunday. State officials say the numbers are changing by the hour.

As of Sunday morning, no deaths had been reported in Ohio.

Coronvirus In Ohio: Live Coverage

The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands. 
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. 
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Ohio's coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634.