Ohio: Latest updates on coronavirus

Last updated March 26 at 7 p.m. ET.

There are 867 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio as of Thursday, March 26, according to the state’s department of health. Compared with other states, Ohio ranks 16 for the most U.S. coronavirus cases. Two hundred and twenty-three people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in Ohio, with 91 of those admitted to the ICU. 

There have been 15 coronavirus deaths in the state of Ohio. The first victim was Mark Wagoner, Sr., 76, a Toledo attorney who may have contracted the virus during a trip to California, according to WOSU Radio. His was the first of two deaths in Lucas County. The other deaths have occured in Cuyahoga County (2), Erie County (1), Franklin County (2), Gallia County (1), Miami County (2), Mahoning County (1), Stark County (2), Trumbull County (1), Columbiana County (1).

More than 180,700 Ohioans filed unemployment claims the week ending with March 21, an all-time record, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

On Wednesday (March 25), the state shifted $15.6 million to the Ohio Department of Health in order to purchase supplies for front-line health workers, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

On Sunday (March 22), Ohio's Governor Mark DeWine issued a stay-at-home order for Ohio citizens, asking them to stay home unless providing an essential service. Essential businesses include grocery stores and pharmacies, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Daycares may stay open to care for the children of essential workers, but may only host six children per room, according to the order. On Monday (March 23), the city of Whitehall issued a curfew to keep people at home during the duration of the order (through at least April 6). On Tuesday (March 24), the Ohio State Park system closed all of its playgrounds, cabins, marinas, golf courses and campgrounds, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

DeWine previously declared a state of emergency on March 14. On Thursday (March 12), DeWine announced that all public and private schools in the state would be closed for at least three weeks.

On March 15, the state shut down in-person dining at restaurants and bars and limited mass gatherings to fewer than 50 people. On Wednesday, March 18, DeWine ordered the closure of businesses such as nail salons and barbershops.The governor's office issued an order on Saturday (March 21) closing non-essential indoor businesses such as laser tag facilities and arcades.

Cases by county:

  • Ashland: 1
  • Athens:1
  • Ashtabula: 3
  • Belmont: 3
  • Butler: 21
  • Carroll: 3
  • Champaign: 2
  • Clark: 2
  • Clermont: 6
  • Clinton: 2
  • Columbiana: 5
  • Coshocton: 4
  • Crawford: 1
  • Cuyahoga: 259
  • Darke: 1
  • Defiance: 2
  • Delaware: 15
  • Erie: 3
  • Fairfield: 6
  • Fayette: 1
  • Franklin: 108
  • Gallia: 1
  • Geauga: 7
  • Greene: 3
  • Hamilton: 53
  • Hancock: 2
  • Highland: 1
  • Huron: 3
  • Jefferson: 1
  • Knox: 2
  • Lake: 19
  • Lawrence: 1
  • Licking: 5
  • Logan: 2
  • Lorain: 44
  • Lucas: 35
  • Madison: 3
  • Mahoning: 51
  • Marion: 4
  • Medina: 24
  • Mercer: 1
  • Miami: 20
  • Montgomery: 14
  • Muskingum: 1
  • Pickaway: 2
  • Portage: 8
  • Richland: 3
  • Sandusky: 1
  • Seneca: 1
  • Shelby: 1
  • Stark: 16
  • Summit: 50
  • Trumbull: 12
  • Tuscarawas: 3
  • Union: 3
  • Warren: 10
  • Washington: 1
  • Wayne: 1
  • Wood: 6
  • Wyandot: 1

(Cleveland is located in Cuyahoga County; and Columbus, the state capital and the location of The Ohio State University, is in Franklin County.) 

On Wednesday (March 18), the mayor of Columbus, in Franklin county, declared a state of emergency in the city, sending home non-essential city workers with pay and giving health commissioners power to quarantine areas in the city, according to The Columbus Dispatch. On Thursday (March 19), the state announced that about 300 members of the Ohio National Guard would be deployed to the state's food banks to help distribute food to vulnerable residents.

The arrival of the coronavirus threw a wrench into Ohio's presidential primary, which had been set for March 17. At a press conference on March 16, the governor announced that the election would not take place, and voting would be extended to June 2. The last-minute decision created a legal battle over whether the state had standing to delay the primary. State officials are now trying to work out whether the Ohio executive branch can set a new date for in-person voting or legally make the election absentee-only, Cleveland.com reported.

Ohio is conserving COVID-19 testing for hospitalized patients and front-line medical workers, Ohio Department of Health director Amy Acton told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Saturday (March 21). The limitation is a shortage of a reagent used in the testing process.

Originally published on Live Science. 

Coronavirus science and news

Originally published on Live Science.