COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike Dewine and Ohio Department of Health confirmed a fourth case of coronavirus in Ohio during a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday.
The patient is a 53-year-old man from Stark County. He is the state's first " community spread" case. The man has no history of travel outside of the U.S. and has had no known contact with anyone diagnosed with coronavirus.
Also on Wednesday, DeWine revealed that he will soon issue an order across the state regarding mass gatherings in wake of the first positive cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to be found in Ohio. DeWine said that at a minimum, his recommendation will become an order, which would lead to drastic changes to the NCAA Tournament, the NBA, MLB, the OHSAA state tournaments and all sports and entertainment events across the Buckeye State.
"I thank those who have already chosen to limit large events in response to yesterday's recommendation. For the others, there will be an order," DeWine told the gathering.
On Monday, DeWine announced that three patients from Cuyahoga County in their mid-50s were the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton says the agency expects the number of cases will go up.
One day later, DeWine issued several advisories and recommendations, including having all colleges and universities in the state go to online learning. Also, he recommended that all high school, college, and professional sports held indoors to be played without spectators.
In addition, DeWine announced that the state has ended prison visitation for the time being. Entrance to the Ohio's prisons will be restricted. Also, nursing homes are being asked to screen visitors, vendors, etc. for illness in an effort to protect the at-risk populations residing there.
"These are horrible decisions," said DeWine. "But we don't want look back and say 'Oh my God we could have saved a bunch of lives but we didn't learn from history, we didn't learn from what happened in other countries.' We have to listen to the experts and they are saying do not have large events."
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