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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.

Two More Ohio COVID-19 Deaths Recorded

Gov. Mike DeWine gestures at his daily news conference on March 25, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine gestures at his daily news conference on March 25, 2020.

The number of coronavirus cases has grown 25% in the last day, with two more deaths added to the eight announced yesterday. And the state is starting to release more information about the data they're getting on COVID-19 in Ohio.

There are 10 COVID-19 deaths: two in Cuyahoga, Franklin and Stark Counties, and one each in Erie, Gallia, Lucas Miami Counties. There are 704 confirmed coronavirus cases in 55 counties, with a median age of 51 years old. 116 of those are health care workers, which comprises 16% of the total.

182 of those cases involve hospitalization. The real concern for health officials is that 11% of total cases required intensive care - meaning half of those who are hospitalized are in the ICU.

While males have significantly outnumbered females in other areas of the world, in Ohio it's a closer split, with 53% of cases in males and 47% in females.

And the state said a total of 14,764 tests for coronavirus have been administered. But Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said the state is still having trouble coming up with the number of tests that have come up negative.

The state's coronavirus call center hotline at 833-4-ASK-ODH has recorded a huge number of calls. But officials caution it’s not for questions about what constitutes an essential business and for employees to report feeling unsafe at work.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said businesses need to interpret the "stay at home" order to determine whether they are essential. And he said they should get used to the new coronavirus safety standards for a while.

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.
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.