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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Ohio Investigating Another Possible Case Of Coronavirus

James Gathany
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to assist public health partners in responding to the novel (new) coronavirus outbreak first identified in Wuhan, China.

The Ohio Dept. of Health is investigating another potential case of novel coronavirus. The agency reiterates the risk to Ohioans of contracting the disease remains low and there are no confirmed cases in the state.

ODH isn't saying where in Ohio the person lives. Samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. According to a statement, a local health department is "monitoring the individual and their contacts."

Director Dr. Amy Acton says no additional information will be released about the person under investigation.

"This is part of public health's ever-present work to balance public interest with the privacy rights of our individual citizens," Acton says. "We are committed to ensuring they receive proper, compassionate care and to preventing any possible spread of infectious disease."

The department is also changing how it will share information about possible coronavirus cases. Starting Thursday, Feb. 6, the department says it will post numbers of confirmed cases and persons under investigation twice per week on its website. Figures will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Local health departments and persons under investigation will be notified of test results as they're received from the CDC.

"If there happens to be a confirmed case, ODH will update the local health department and the general public to provide guidance as appropriate," the statement says.

On Sunday, ODH announced two Miami University students who'd been isolated while being tested for coronavirus did not have it.

As she did with the Miami case, Acton is calling on Ohioans to act with compassion.

"Ohioans are known for treating one another, as well as visitors, with acceptance, respect, and understanding. Whether someone is ill or well, a traveler or not, they deserve to be afforded the same kindness. Please keep this in mind as we learn more about 2019 novel coronavirus."

About Coronavirus

Symptoms can include: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC says at this time that symptoms "may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure."
If you've been in China recently and are experiencing symptoms, the county health agency says you should contact your doctor before going to the office.

As with all communicable illnesses, the Ohio Health Dept. recommends:

  • Practicing proper hand-washing and hand hygiene
  • Using appropriate cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying home from work or school if you feel sick
  • Avoiding exposure to people who may be sick
Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.