Downtown Cleveland skyline from the lakefront in Ohio.
Last updated May 2 at 9:45 a.m. ET.
There are 17,962 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio as of May 1, and another 781 probable cases that have not been confirmed by testing, according to the state’s department of health. Compared with other states, Ohio ranks in the top 50% of state numbers for U.S. coronavirus cases. At least 3,634 people with COVID-19 have been hospitalized in Ohio, with 1,056 of those admitted to the ICU.
There have been 922 coronavirus deaths confirmed by testing and another 80 probable COVID-19 fatalities 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.
Ohio’s state health department has declined to provide information on outbreaks and deaths in the state’s nursing homes, but local media have found that more than 100 long-term care facilities have coronavirus cases. There have been at least 820 cases and at least 88 deaths in nursing homes, The Columbus Dispatch reported April 17. On April 27, the state changed guidelines for testing within long-term care facilities, prioritizing people who have been exposed but who are not symptomatic. Previously, only the symptomatic had been prioritized.
On April 30, The Columbus Dispatch found that 74% of new coronavirus cases reported between April 22 and April 29 were in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
At least five prisons are under quarantine after cases of coronavirus have been found among inmates or employees. An outbreak is ongoing at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, where nearly 2,000 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus as of April 20, 10TV reported. That is 78% of the prison population, according to News 5 Cleveland. One correctional officer and six inmates have died. Meanwhile, a second outbreak at the Pickaway Correctional Institution has infected 1,163 inmates and killed 21 inmates. A nurse at Pickaway named Tina Reeves died April 27 of COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Despite stay-at-home orders, 100 protestors gathered on April 13 outside the Ohio Statehouse to express opposition to the state’s coronavirus shutdown measures.
Timeline of coronavirus controls in Ohio
- April 30: State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a modified stay-at-home order allowing general offices, distribution centers and construction companies to reopen immediately, followed by retail and some services businesses on May 12. Retail and service can resume curbside pickup or appointment-only service starting May 2, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
- April 28: A day after issuing guidelines calling for mandatory use of face masks for customers and employees of reopening businesses, Gov. Mike DeWine reversed the requirement and instead recommended people do so, WOSU Public Media reported.
- April 27: Gov. Mike DeWine authorized some workplaces to reopen, but announced that retail and consumer-facing businesses must stay closed until May 12, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Restaurants and hands-on services such as hair salons must also remain closed. Some elective medical procedures would be allowed to resume on Friday, April 30, DeWine said.
- April 20: Gov. Mike DeWine extended Ohio’s school closures to the end of the academic year. DeWine also said that the state economy would begin gradually reopening May 1, with social distancing measures in place at retail establishments and other measures to control the spread of the virus, NBC4 reported.
- April 3: Hocking Hill State Park became the first Ohio state park to close in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
- April 2: The state’s stay-at-home order was extended until at least May 1, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
- March 31: School closures, put into place on March 17, were extended to at least May 1, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The Trump administration approved a Major Disaster declaration for Ohio, opening up new sources of federal aid.
- March 27: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an emergency relief bill to waive school testing requirements for the year, to extend professional licenses and the income tax deadline, and to fund small businesses.
- March 25: Ohio shifted $15.6 million to the Ohio Department of Health in order to purchase supplies for front-line health workers, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
- March 24: The Ohio State Park system closed all of its playgrounds, cabins, marinas, golf courses and campgrounds, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
- 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)
- March 22: Gov. 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.
- March 21: Gov. DeWine extends closure orders to non-essential indoor businesses such as arcades and laser tag facilities.
- March 18: Gov. DeWine ordered the closure of businesses such as nail salons and barbershops
- March 15: Ohio shut down in-person dining at restaurants and bars and limited mass gatherings to fewer than 50 people.
- March 14: DeWine declared a state of emergency.
- March 12: All public and private schools in the stated were ordered to close for at least three weeks.
More Ohio coronavirus news
The COVID-19 crisis has led to two record-breaking weeks in unemployment in the state of Ohio, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The week ending March 20 saw 187,784 unemployment claims filed, followed by another 272,117 claims the week ending March 27. The week ending April 3 saw another 226,007 claims filed. On April 23, The Columbus Dispatch reported that nearly 1 million Ohioans had lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown.
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. The last-minute decision created a legal battle over whether the state had standing to delay the primary. State legislators ultimately settled on a plan to limit most in-person voting, but some people did not receive absentee ballots in time, The Columbus Dispatch reported April 24. The primary ended with about 20% voter turnout, WOSU reported, down from 41% in the 2016 presidential primary.
Coronavirus cases (and deaths) by Ohio county
Originally published on Live Science.
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Editor’s note: This article was updated to correct the name of the Ohio governor.
Originally published on Live Science.