Winter Guard championships in Dayton canceled as part of coronavirus mitigation

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County said it is moving into the “mitigation state” of a pandemic regarding the coronavirus, which includes canceling the Winter Guard International championship, set for April, in Dayton.

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Jeff Cooper, health commissioner with Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County, said as Ohio has four positive cases and has transitioned into community spread, "our health department is charged with preventing spread of disease."

Measures include getting information to residents about family home preparedness, environmental surface cleaning, social distancing to reduce the burden on hospitals and community infrastructure.

Workplaces should evaluate sick leave plans; all should evaluate whether planned travel is necessary; parents should have alternate plans for children if school is canceled; residents should develop a family emergency plan with adequate supplies of  food, water, and medicines family members are prescribed to last a couple of days.

Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau President Jacquelyn Powell said the Winter Guard International competition will be back in Dayton in 2021.

>> WGI world championships: Cities ‘can’t replicate’ what Dayton area provides

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WGI championships bring 60,000 visitors and almost $20 million in revenue over the two weekends.

“These are unprecedented times for all of us. We fully support our state and local officials, making these decisions for the health of our community and visitors,” Powell said.

Regarding the NCAA First Four games in Dayton, Mayor Nan Whaley said they are awaiting an order for no spectators from Gov. Mike DeWine, who has said it was coming.

Whaley asked residents to have everything they need for three days.

“We’re asking people to change their behavior and that will definitely impact the economy,” Whaley said.

Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director of Public Health, said the virus seems to transmit more easily than the flu.

He doesn’t anticipate problems with testing people locally if physicians suspect they have the disease.

No health care workers in the area are being monitored for the coronavirus.

Cooper spoke earlier today to the Dayton city commission about the rapidly evolving situation with the outbreak.

“Everyone in Montgomery County and the city of Dayton should have confidence in our community’s ability to manage this issue,” Cooper said. “That’s not saying it’s easy — but we will manage this issue.”

Public Health is urging local jurisdictions to develop emergency plans, review policies, consider virtual meetings and consult the agency about planned large gatherings and events.

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People should wash hands for 20 seconds, avoid touching their face and avoid sick people.

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