More than 100,000 people are believed to be infected with the coronavirus in Ohio, according to statements by officials during a Thursday afternoon news conference.
That number accounts for around 1% of Ohio’s population.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 12, 2020
“We know now, just the fact of community spread, says that at least 1 percent, at the very least, 1 percent of our population is carrying this virus in Ohio today,” Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said. “We have 11.7 million people. So the math is over 100,000. So that just gives you a sense of how this virus spreads and is spreading quickly.”
There are five confirmed cases of the virus in Ohio: three in Cuyahoga County, one in Stark County and one in Trumbull County. There are 52 people under investigation and 333 under health supervision.
On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a series of orders, including a ban on mass gatherings and closing K-12 schools.
The Trump administration has come under intense criticism for the slow rollout of tests. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top National Institutes of Health official, acknowledged earlier Thursday it is “a failing” that people cannot easily get tested for coronavirus in the United States.
“This is certainly an unprecedented time. It is this one in 50 years pandemic that we have been planning for that we talk a lot about in my over 30 years in public health,” Acton said. “We have never seen a situation exactly like this.”
More than 1,300 people in the U.S. have currently tested positive for the illness, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while about three dozen people in the country have died.
ODH is urging people to stay at home. Slowing down the spread of the disease over the next few days is “crucial,” Acton said.