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Coronavirus In Ohio: 13 Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19

Ohio has eight new confirmed cases of the coronavirus according to the Ohio Department of Public Health on Friday. The Cleveland Clinic and UC Health's West Chester Hospital near Cincinnati each have confirmed four cases of COVID-19.

The new cases raise the number in Ohio to 13 and more than doubles the amount of cases in the state. The state also has 52 people under investigation for the coronavirus.

A total of nine males and four females have tested positive for the virus, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said. Their ages range from 34 to 66-years-old. Four of the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus are currently hospitalized. 

The cases are in Belmont, Butler, Cuyahoga, Stark, Summit and Trumbull counties.

Their illnesses started as far back as February 25 and as recently as March 11.

The Ohio Department of Health estimates that about 100,000 people in Ohio have already contracted COVID-19.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine expects there to be many more cases in the state.

“None of this should surprise us, none of this should alarm us. We believe there are many people in Ohio today who are carrying the virus,” he said.

The Cleveland Clinic started testing for COVID-19 on Friday and can perform 500 tests a day, Acton said.

DeWine has ordered prisons and jails to be closed to visitors. The order will also requires essential people entering the facilities to have their temperature check before entering.

Coronavirus In Ohio: Live Coverage

The governor said there will be no exceptions to the K-12 school closure that was announced on Thursday. He hopes schools will find ways to continue to educate students during the three-week closure.

"We will work with school leaders to make sure they have the flexibility that they need, every school is different, we want to be as adaptable as humanly possible," DeWine said.

Ohio has received waivers from the federal government that will allow schools to continue to offer free lunch and breakfast to students who depend on those services. 

The state will not be closing daycare centers, but is asking for parents and guardians to begin looking into alternative options in case they are closed in the future.

DeWine also said the state is relaxing some regulations on teacher to student ratio at daycares to help weather the storm.

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.
This article will be updated with more information as the story develops.