Coronavirus in Ohio | The third case from Stark County; State Positive Tests Double – News – The Repository
There are at least 27 cases in Ohio as Stark County now has three positive tests and Tuscarawas County is getting its first case.
WATCH: VIDEO EXPLAINING CORONAVIRUS SPREAD
For the third time in four days, Stark County has another positive coronavirus case. The number of confirmed cases in Ohio also continues to grow, doubling to 27 from Friday through Saturday.
Governor Mike DeWine said Saturday the state has asked dentists and veterinarians to postpone elective surgeries. The governor said it would be great if all healthcare providers could postpone elective surgeries to release medical supplies and beds.
“We’re in for the long term,” said DeWine. “This won’t end overnight, so people need to understand that … I think we all need to start looking at this like it’s going to be here for a while.”
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Ohio hospitals are working together to create a set of criteria by which surgeries can be postponed, said Dr. Andrew Thomas, Senior Associate Vice President of Health Sciences and Chief Clinical Officer at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said there is a real shortage of surgical masks and accessories.
Acton said the state is trying to tap a national supply of medical devices and masks, but she said that still won’t be enough. The coming days are likely to “tax every modern healthcare system,” Acton said.
According to Acton, patients in Ohio will show symptoms of the coronavirus as early as February 7 and only on Friday.
Of the confirmed cases, people are between 31 and 86 years old, with an average age of 53 years. 12 women and 14 men were diagnosed with COVID-19. Seven Ohioans were hospitalized but there were no deaths, Acton said.
“We’re on the up and a week or two makes all the difference … we have to save lives and keep people from getting sick,” Acton said.
The cases span eight counties: Belmont 2, Butler 4, Cuyahoga 11, Franklin 1, Lorain 1, Stark 3, Summit 2, Trumbull 2. Excluding a positive test in Tuscarawas County. The 38-year-old man is recovering well, according to the Tuscarawas County Health Department.
Tuscarawas County officials made the announcement that they would brief the public there. The Ohio Department of Health will include the positive test in the next round of updates so that the state positive cases are at least 27.
In Stark County, health officials have said they will no longer post details about people who test positive for coronavirus to avoid stigmatizing the person and the facility where the person is being treated.
A 53-year-old man was confirmed as Stark’s first positive case by the canton’s health department on Wednesday. On Friday, the Stark County Health Department confirmed the second case.
The third confirmation came on Saturday during the governor’s daily meeting at the statehouse.
More contagious, more deadly
Many people probably don’t know they have the virus and are spreading it across Ohio, DeWine said. The virus is considered twice as contagious as the flu and 20 times more deadly, the governor said.
DeWine set up childcare facilities again on Saturday, but have not closed them yet. He said health experts recommend parents get their children out of day care whenever possible.
DeWine also approached people struggling with mental health problems. He encouraged people who may need to isolate themselves due to the virus to reach out digitally or in a way that can avoid face-to-face contact.
The governor also suggested that doctors rely more on telehealth services as COVID-19 spreads.
Lori Criss, director of the Ohio mental health and addiction department, announced that the state will relax its telehealth regulations so people can seek treatment without meeting face-to-face. State mental health facilities are also offering patients the opportunity to video chat with family members as visitors have been banned from the facilities, Criss said.
Despite the outbreak, Criss asked patients not to skip appointments if they needed them. She asked them to call the state call center if they had any questions.
“We are all faced with a new way of life that is temporary but affects us in very personal ways,” said Criss.
The Canton Repository staff contributed to this report.