COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio officials announced the state’s first confirmed cases of the coronavirus that has sickened people around the globe, a development Gov. Mike DeWine had been warning would come for several days.
Three people have tested positive for the virus, all in Cuyahoga County in northeastern Ohio, DeWine and Health Department Director Dr. Amy Acton said at a late afternoon news conference yesterday.
All three — a husband and wife who were on a Nile cruise, and a man who attended the America Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, D.C. — are in their mid-50s and are from Cuyahoga County. They are isolated at their homes. An investigation is underway to identify and reach out as many people as possible who have come in contact with the three people who tested positive. DeWine declared a state of emergency, an action which allows the state to buy health-related supplies without first seeking bids. He also banned unnecessary travel by state employees and canceled a state insurance fund for injured workers’ conference which was scheduled to bring 8,000 to Columbus beginning Wednesday.
Around 75 voting locations in nursing homes will be moved for the March 17 primary, DeWine said. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, a former Ohio secretary of state, urged people to vote early or by absentee ballot if possible.