COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine has made more recommendations to help stop the spread of coronavirus, at the direction of top Ohio medical officials.
The biggest recommendations come in the worlds of sports and education: For the time being, the DeWine administration is recommending all indoor sporting events in the state of Ohio go without spectators, with the governor adding he had "just gotten of the phone" with the OHSAA and most of the state's professional sports teams. Outdoor sporting events such as Major League Baseball (which is set to begin in just over two weeks) will be allowed to continue, albeit with heightened awareness.
In addition, DeWine also made several recommendations for the state's colleges and universities, notably asking all to go to remote online classes outside the classroom until further notice. Kent State University has since heeded the governor's recommendation, and other schools are expected to follow suit.
For now, Ohio's K-12 schools can proceed as scheduled, but officials say parents should be prepared for that to change.
"We are at a critical time, and we need to get this right," DeWine said in a Tuesday press conference. "Every action each of us takes will help save lives."
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."
As far as outdoor events, DeWine was asked about Cleveland's upcoming St. Patrick's Day parade next week. Organizers had said earlier on Tuesday that the event would take place. "I don't have the authority to cancel the parade in Cleveland, but the recommendation is we not have parades," DeWine said.
You can watch DeWine's news conference in the player below:
On Monday, DeWine announced that three patients from Cuyahoga County in their mid-50s were the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. There are 15 people under investigation as of Tuesday afternoon. 14 have tested negative. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton says the agency expects the number of cases will go up.
Two of those confirmed with coronavirus are a married couple who were recently on a cruise on the Nile River and the third attended a conference in Washington D.C.
Cuyahoga County Health Director Terry Allan that none of the people with confirmed coronavirus cases are currently hospitalized. All three, as well as six close contacts to the patients, have been quarantined at home. Seniors and people with chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes are believed to be the people most at risk.
3News learned Monday that one of the three people that has been confirmed with coronavirus in Cuyahoga County is a staff member of the Jewish Education Center. As a precaution, the offices will be closed for the next two weeks.
Earlier on Tuesday, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose outlined the steps his office is taking to prepare voters for the upcoming primary election amid coronavirus concerns. This included moving 128 polling locations out of nursing homes across the state.
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