Ohio: Latest updates on COVID-19

Downtown Cleveland skyline from the lakefront in Ohio.
Downtown Cleveland skyline from the lakefront in Ohio. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Last updated May 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET.

There are 24,800 COVID-19 cases in Ohio as of May 14, according to the state's department of health. Compared with other states, Ohio ranks in the top 50% of state numbers for U.S. coronavirus cases. At least 4,718 people with COVID-19 have been hospitalized in Ohio, with 1,268 of those admitted to the ICU. 

There have been 1,534 coronavirus deaths in the state of Ohio. The first victim was Mark Wagoner, Sr., 76, a Toledo attorney who may have contracted the virus during a trip to California, according to WOSU Radio

Ohio’s state health department has declined to provide information on outbreaks and deaths in the state’s nursing homes, but local media have found that more than 100 long-term care facilities have coronavirus cases. There have been at least 820 cases and at least 88 deaths in nursing homes, The Columbus Dispatch reported April 17. On April 27, the state changed guidelines for testing within long-term care facilities, prioritizing people who have been exposed but who are not symptomatic. Previously, only the symptomatic had been prioritized.

On April 30, The Columbus Dispatch found that 74% of new coronavirus cases reported between April 22 and April 29 were in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

At least five prisons are under quarantine after cases of coronavirus have been found among inmates or employees. An outbreak is ongoing at the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, where nearly 2,000 inmates tested positive for the coronavirus as of April 20, 10TV reported. That is 78% of the prison population, according to News 5 Cleveland. One correctional officer and six inmates have died. Meanwhile, a second outbreak at the Pickaway Correctional Institution has infected 1,163 inmates and killed 21 inmates. A nurse at Pickaway named Tina Reeves died April 27 of COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Despite stay-at-home orders, 100 protestors gathered on April 13 outside the Ohio Statehouse to express opposition to the state’s coronavirus shutdown measures. State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has come under fire by protestors who have gathered at her home in Bexley, and the Ohio House has proposed legislation to limit her powers. Gov. Mike DeWine has said that he will veto any such legislation, WBNS reported.

Stores are set to open Tuesday (May 12) in Ohio. The state is launching a random test of 1,200 for active infection and antibodies to coronavirus in order to learn more about how widespread the virus has been during the pandemic so far, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Timeline of coronavirus controls in Ohio

  • May 14: Daycares in Ohio will be able to reopen May 31, Gov. DeWine announced, with strict rules on hygiene and a maximum of 9 kids in a room. Dates were also set for the opening of gyms, campgrounds and other businesses, reported Cincinnati.com.
  • May 7: Barbershops, hair salons, day spas and nail salons will be allowed to reopen May 17, Gov. DeWine announced. Bars and restaurants can open for outside dining on May 15 and for inside dining (with social distancing limits) on May 21, WBNS reported.
  • April 30: State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a modified stay-at-home order allowing general offices, distribution centers and construction companies to reopen immediately, followed by retail and some services businesses on May 12. Retail and service can resume curbside pickup or appointment-only service starting May 2, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
  • April 28: A day after issuing guidelines calling for mandatory use of face masks for customers and employees of reopening businesses, Gov. Mike DeWine reversed the requirement and instead recommended people do so, WOSU Public Media reported.
  • April 27: Gov. Mike DeWine authorized some workplaces to reopen, but announced that retail and consumer-facing businesses must stay closed until May 12, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Restaurants and hands-on services such as hair salons must also remain closed. Some elective medical procedures would be allowed to resume on Friday, April 30, DeWine said.
  • April 20: Gov. Mike DeWine extended Ohio’s school closures to the end of the academic year. DeWine also said that the state economy would begin gradually reopening May 1, with social distancing measures in place at retail establishments and other measures to control the spread of the virus, NBC4 reported.
  • April 3: Hocking Hill State Park became the first Ohio state park to close in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
  • April 2: The state’s stay-at-home order was extended until at least May 1, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
  • March 31: School closures, put into place on March 17, were extended to at least May 1, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The Trump administration approved a Major Disaster declaration for Ohio, opening up new sources of federal aid. 
  • March 27: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed an emergency relief bill to waive school testing requirements for the year, to extend professional licenses and the income tax deadline, and to fund small businesses.
  • March 25: Ohio shifted $15.6 million to the Ohio Department of Health in order to purchase supplies for front-line health workers, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
  • March 24: The Ohio State Park system closed all of its playgrounds, cabins, marinas, golf courses and campgrounds, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
  • March 23: The city of Whitehall issued a curfew to keep people at home during the duration of the order (through at least April 6)
  • March 22: Gov. DeWine issued a stay-at-home order for Ohio citizens, asking them to stay home unless providing an essential service. Essential businesses include grocery stores and pharmacies, according to The Columbus Dispatch. Daycares may stay open to care for the children of essential workers, but may only host six children per room, according to the order.
  • March 21: Gov. DeWine extends closure orders to non-essential indoor businesses such as arcades and laser tag facilities.
  • March 18: Gov. DeWine ordered the closure of businesses such as nail salons and barbershops
  • March 15: Ohio shut down in-person dining at restaurants and bars and limited mass gatherings to fewer than 50 people.
  • March 14: DeWine declared a state of emergency.
  • March 12: All public and private schools in the stated were ordered to close for at least three weeks.

More Ohio coronavirus news

The COVID-19 crisis has led to two record-breaking weeks in unemployment in the state of Ohio, according to The Columbus Dispatch. The week ending March 20 saw 187,784 unemployment claims filed, followed by another 272,117 claims the week ending March 27. The week ending April 3 saw another 226,007 claims filed. On April 23, The Columbus Dispatch reported that nearly 1 million Ohioans had lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic shutdown. As of May 14, that number was 1.2 million, Cincinatti.com reported.

The arrival of the coronavirus threw a wrench into Ohio's presidential primary, which had been set for March 17. At a press conference on March 16, the governor announced that the election would not take place, and voting would be extended. The last-minute decision created a legal battle over whether the state had standing to delay the primary. State legislators ultimately settled on a plan to limit most in-person voting, but some people did not receive absentee ballots in time, The Columbus Dispatch reported April 24. The primary ended with about 20% voter turnout, WOSU reported, down from 41% in the 2016 presidential primary.

Coronavirus cases (and deaths) by Ohio county

  • Adams: 7
  • Allen: 164 (30 deaths)
  • Ashland: 15
  • Ashtabula: 212 (26 deaths)
  • Athens: 6 (1 death)
  • Auglaize: 51 (3 deaths)
  • Belmont: 296 (8 deaths)
  • Brown: 21 (1 death)
  • Butler: 542 (16 deaths)
  • Carroll: 24 (2 deaths)
  • Champaign: 20 (1 death)
  • Clark: 122 (3 deaths)
  • Clermont: 136 (3 deaths)
  • Clinton: 37
  • Columbiana: 367 (43 deaths)
  • Coshocton: 19
  • Crawford: 89 (2 deaths)
  • Cuyahoga: 3,066 (157 deaths)
  • Darke: 95 (16 deaths)
  • Defiance: 25 (1 death)
  • Delaware: 240 (4 deaths)
  • Erie: 86 (3 deaths)
  • Fairfield: 198 (3 deaths)
  • Fayette: 23
  • Franklin: 4,227 (150 deaths)
  • Fulton: 32
  • Gallia: 6 (1 death)
  • Geauga: 206 (23 deaths)
  • Greene: 70 (5 deaths)
  • Guernsey: 22
  • Hamilton: 1,927 (105 deaths)
  • Hancock: 42 (1 death)
  • Hardin: 30
  • Harrison: 8
  • Henry: 10
  • Highland: 14 (1 death) 
  • Hocking: 29 (1 death)
  • Holmes: 10 (1 death)
  • Huron: 40 (1 death)
  • Jackson: 9
  • Jefferson: 58 (2 death)
  • Knox: 20 (1 death)
  • Lake: 210 (8 deaths)
  • Lawrence: 27
  • Licking:180 (7 deaths)
  • Logan: 23
  • Lorain: 576 (53 deaths)
  • Lucas: 1,883 (195 deaths)
  • Madison: 93 (5 deaths)
  • Mahoning: 1,174 (138 deaths)
  • Marion: 2,431 (15 deaths)
  • Medina: 207 (18 deaths)
  • Meigs: 3
  • Mercer: 109 (1 death)
  • Miami: 317 (30 deaths)
  • Monroe: 28
  • Montgomery: 468 (11 deaths)
  • Morgan: 5
  • Morrow: 93 (1 death)
  • Muskingum: 31
  • Noble: 5
  • Ottawa: 56 (2 deaths)
  • Paulding: 10
  • Perry: 15 (1 death)
  • Pickaway: 1,990 (25 deaths)
  • Pike: 5
  • Portage: 284 (51 deaths)
  • Preble: 28 (1 deaths)
  • Putnam: 77 (13 deaths)
  • Richland: 143 (2 deaths)
  • Ross: 56 (1 death)
  • Sandusky: 54 (8 deaths)
  • Scioto: 13
  • Seneca: 15 (1 death)
  • Shelby: 34 (1 death)
  • Stark: 538 (69 deaths)
  • Summit: 976 (101 deaths)
  • Trumbull: 432 (35 deaths)
  • Tuscarawas: 235 (1 death)
  • Union: 28
  • Van Wert: 3
  • Vinton: 15
  • Warren: 252 (13 deaths)
  • Washington: 116 (17 deaths)
  • Wayne: 194 (48 deaths)
  • Williams: 44 (1 death)
  • Wood: 233 (42 deaths)
  • Wyandot: 27 (2 deaths)

Originally published on Live Science. 

Coronavirus science and news

Editor's note: This article was updated to correct the name of the Ohio governor. 

Originally published on Live Science. 


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