TOLEDO, Ohio — Local health and legislative leaders updated the community on Thursday on the response to the COVID-19 presence in the state, echoing Gov. Mike DeWine's recent recommendations.
Lucas County Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak announced that events at the Huntington Center and the SeaGate Convention Center are canceled, with the exception of Walleye games, which will go on with limited audience.
She also said a virtual incident command center has been set up that will allow officials to talk with as many people as possible simultaneous to help plan the days ahead. The incident command system will be coordinated by three key individuals. Toledo Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski will be the incident commander, supported by retired Dep. Chief Tom Wiegan and Matt Hireman.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz noted that there will now be daily updates moving forward to inform the community of the response to the novel coronavirus in the state and community. No cases are confirmed in the Toledo area. As of 2 p.m. Wednesday, four cases were confirmed in the state.
Kapszukiewicz said, "We have entered a new phase with these additional cases that have popped up in Ohio - there is evidence that this is spreading. Locally, too, we are in a difference stage, even though we don't have cases. We will be communicating in some form every day. We have moved to the point where we believe daily updates are what are important."
Zgodzinski said that they are working to alleviate difficulties with testing, and urges rumor control, saying if and when a positive test comes in our area, he will immediately notify the community. People in Lucas County have been tested and the most recent test was Wednesday. All results have come back negative.
As far as whether K-12 schools will close, Kapszukiewicz said the decision will come from the state. That is not a decision that will be made locally.
Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context
WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit wtol.com/section/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.
Protect yourself from coronavirus
- Cover: Cover your mouth and nose wiht a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.