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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 COVID-19 Cases Jumps To 13, DeWine Warns Possible Orders For Daycare

Gov. Mike DeWine provides update on the coronavirus outbreak in Ohio.
Andy Chow
Gov. Mike DeWine provides update on the coronavirus outbreak in Ohio.

Gov. Mike DeWine is warning families that new public health orders could come in the future that end up closing daycare facilities. At this point, that hasn't happened and the state is taking other steps to help relieve the pressure on those centers.

DeWine says anyone with a child in daycare should start thinking about alternatives in case the state decides to close them down during the coronavirus outbreak.

In the meantime, he says there are many daycares that are seeing an uptick in staff calling off sick. So the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is relaxing the adult to child ratio.

DeWine says the coronavirus is a storm that the entire state will get through.

"What we want is that the daycare providers continue to exist and that they make it through that storm because when we're done they're gonna need to be there," says DeWine.

Details were not provided but state officials hinted at an over 20% increase in the ratio.

DeWine made the announcement as the Ohio Department of Health announced eight new cases of confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 13.

It had been about 24 hours since he announced that K-12 schools would close for three weeks. He says he's calling on local school districts to continue educating students.

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

The new confirmed cases now show the coronavirus in six counties, Belmont, Butler, Cuyahoga, Stark, Summit, and Trumbull. DeWine once again urged people to practice social distance in order to slow the spread of the virus.

"Tough decisions have been made. Unpleasant decisions about closing schools, unpleasant decisions about nursing homes, unpleasant decisions about many, many things. But now our job is to do everything that we can to help people get through this and to create systems that are there for support," DeWine says.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.