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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.

Coronavirus In Ohio: Nursing Homes Report 276 Deaths

A sign at the Mill Run nursing home in Hilliard.
A sign at the Mill Run nursing home in Hilliard.

The state has now added deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes to its coronavirus tracking website,  confirming that nearly 300 people have died of the disease in those facilities.

A total of 276 conornavirus deaths are reported in nursing homes in 29 counties. The most deaths were reported in Lucas County, with 33, while Cuyahoga County reported 29 and Franklin County reported 28.

Pete Van Runkle with the Ohio Health Care Association, which represents long-term care facilities, had said two weeks ago that residents and staff at nursing homes had died of COVID-19. But until this week, the state wasn’t confirming that.

Van Runkle said it was not pressure from his group but rather the governor’s call to break down the list of deaths now posted by county.

“If the decision had been to report it by facility, it would have been reported by facility and we wouldn’t have complained about that," Van Runkle said.

Van Runkle said operators of long-term care facilities want mass testing, as was done in three Ohio prisons. As many as three quarters of inmates at one prison were found to have COVID-19, and many had no symptoms.

Do you have questions about the coronavirus in Ohio? Ask below as part of our Curious Cbus series._

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