Coronavirus: Order keeping fans from NCAA First Four events is coming, DeWine says

An order that will keep spectators from attending NCAA tournament events in Dayton and Cleveland is coming, Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday.

The governor said to expect those orders to come in the next day.

“We are doing these things because we have the potential become like Italy,” DeWine explained.

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First Four games in the NCAA Tournament are scheduled for March 17-18 at UD Arena in Dayton. First- and second-round NCAA Tournament games are scheduled for March 20 and 22 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

DeWine said that people need to understand that large events put them at an increased risk due to being in close proximity to others.

DeWine asked people to make “logical decisions” and be responsible.

He asked people to consider “should I go to that event?”

The governor issued guidelines Tuesday regarding mass gatherings and public events Tuesday. Those guidelines are expected to become an order in the next 24 hours or so, he said.

DeWine did announce new rules regarding visitors at nursing homes and assisted living centers.

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Visits will be limited to one visitor per person each day, DeWine said.

“This is a particularly vulnerable population,” he said.

There will be one point of entry at nursing homes and assisted living centers and everyone will be screened for temperature and potential illnesses.

A fourth case of coronavirus and first case of community-spread coronavirus has been confirmed in Ohio, said DeWine.

The man is in his 50s and is from Stark County and he has no history of travel outside the U.S.

There are 24 people awaiting test result, according to the Ohio Department of Health website.

The Stark County man is currently in the hospital and local health official are working on the number of people he was in contact with in the weeks before he tested positive.

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Dr. Amy Acton, director of Ohio Department of Health, said precautions being taken in Ohio to keep the state’s healthcare system from being overwhelmed from cases, as has been seen overseas.

“We know this disease is spreading in the U.S.,” she said. “We have some hard months ahead with social disruption, but we know when we take these actions they make a difference.”

At this time there are no plans to cancel school for Ohio public K-12 schools, but it could get to that point, DeWine said.

He asked people to not panic, but take rational steps to protect themselves, loved ones and others.

DeWine said Ohioans should take this as a chance to come together — emotionally.

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Right now, state and local health officials are working to have the right precautions in place to keep the respiratory virus from spreading.

The goal is to prevent a spike in cases that can overwhelm hospitals and medical workers, like what happened in Italy when a handful of cases rocketed to 9,000 in short time frame.

The time when that kind of spike can be prevented is now, while the risk and the number of U.S. cases remains low. These measures don’t work as well to keep people healthy and safe if implemented after a virus is already widespread.

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On Monday, DeWine announced three Ohioans from Cuyahoga County tested positive for the virus.

The medical experts guiding DeWine administration on Tuesday afternoon recommended precautions like keeping social distance, not having large close gatherings of people like indoor sporting events, and limiting visits to nursing homes.

Dr. Amy Acton, director of Ohio Department of Health, said there’s going to be community spread. The only question is how small the spread can be, and these measures are ways to keep the spread small.


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