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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.

State Running Low On Coronavirus Tests, Preserving For High-Risk Cases

Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director
Andy Chow
Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director

Hospitals and labs around the state are running low on coronavirus test kits. State public health officials say that's why they're trying to preserve the swabs for people at high-risk to the virus and health care workers.

Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director, says she understands the limit of testing can be alarming for Ohioans not considered high-risk. But she says for the large majority of cases, people should see their doctor then stay at home where they will likely experience mild symptoms.

"We don't need the test, clinicians, to know how to treat people, we just have to start treating them as if they have this disease," says Acton.

For people who think they have the virus, they're told to quarantine themselves and other people who live with that person should also stay home.

Acton says people who see symptoms worsen should call their doctor. If they start to have trouble breathing they should go to the emergency room.

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.