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First Ohio COVID-19 death confirmed, 169 have tested positive in state

Ohio has suffered its first coronavirus death, the state health department announced today  (Source: “Coronavirus: First Ohioan dies, 169 cases confirmed statewide,” March 20, 2020).

Gov. Mike DeWine said the death of a Toledo man means Ohio has entered a “new phase” in its battle against COVID-19.

It’s possible that Ohioans will hear of more deaths in the coming days and they will be investigated and confirmed by the state, said Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health.

There are 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio across 28 of the state’s 88 counties. There are 39 Ohioans who have been hospitalized for the virus.

DeWine said he would issue an order Friday to close senior citizen centers across the state at the close of business Monday. He encouraged that some services provided by local senior centers would still be provided, including transportation to doctor’s appointments. The governor has already shuttered Ohio’s schools, bars, restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters and more in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

With the status of the COVID-19 pandemic changing quickly and policy changes and recommendations issued frequently in Ohio, HPIO last week launched a resource page with links to Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and other sources.