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A rundown of how coronavirus has affected Central Ohio

614now Staff

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Arnold Sports Fest partially cancelled

Gov. DeWine announced that the athletic competition will still go on but without spectators or the trade show because of coronavirus fears, the state and city announced Tuesday. Spectators will only be allowed to attend the Arnold Classic finals.

“Things are rapidly evolving, and given the uniqueness of this particular event, we must do anything we can to slow the spread of the disease into Ohio and keep our guests and citizens as safe as we can,” DeWine said, according to The Dispatch.

Health officials screening Arnold athletes at airport

More than 22,000 athletes from 80 different countries will begin competing in the Arnold Classic starting Thursday. Columbus Public Health Department has set up a booth in the John Glenn Columbus International Airport to screen all Arnold athletes, judges, sponsors, and performers to mitigate the risk of the coronavirus spreading in Columbus, reports ABC6.

Testing kits

The Centers for Disease Control is expected to provide the Ohio Department of Health with coronavirus testing kits this week, reports ABC6. After validating the kits, the health department will begin testing patients.

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Monitoring elderly population

With five of the nine coronavirus deaths in the USA occurring in an assisted living facility near Seattle, local nursing homes are preparing by issuing informative memos to staff, posting CDC guidelines around the buildings, purchasing more medical supplies, ordering protective equipment for employees, and even setting up a coronavirus hotline. Read more at ABC6.

Kroger begins rationing healthcare products

According to a notice posted on the company website, Kroger is setting a limit on the number of products consumers can purchase amid flu and coronavirus concerns. See below for the statement.

“Due to high demand and to support all customers, we will be limiting the number of Sanitization, Cold and Flu related products to 5 each per order. Your order may be modified at time of pickup or delivery.”

Ohio Department of Health continues to test potential cases of coronavirus in Ohio

So far, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, but the Ohio Department of Health is currently waiting on test results for one potential patient. Officials per WKSU say the Ohioan under investigation exhibits symptoms of respiratory illness and either recently traveled to China or interacted with someone known to have the virus.  Seven people in Ohio have been tested for coronavirus, but all have been negative.

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COVID-19 puts Columbus Arts Festival on hold until next year

Mitch Hooper

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Citing the COVID-19 outbreak, the Greater Columbus Arts council board has voted to cancel the 2020 Columbus Arts Festival, formerly scheduled for June 12-14.

"As much as we desperately want to go on as planned, we recognize that we must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first," said Tom Katzenmeyer, President & CEO of GCAC, in a press release. "As we’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, with all the uncertainty it holds for the near future, we could not in good conscience hold a festival that would bring artists and visitors from 38 states and four countries, and more than 500,000 people within close proximity to each other on the downtown riverfront."

In past press conferences, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, has said that we could see the impacts of COVID-19 lasting into May with a gradual drop-off. Currently, Columbus has seen many events in May be canceled including Taco Fest and Six One Pour, both citing public health taking priority over the festivals.

This announcement comes as one of the first events in June to officially cancel due to the Coronavirus. Though it won't be taking place this year, Katzenmeyer remains hopeful for the future of Arts Fest.

"I will miss this energy. I will miss these people. I will miss being a part of this experience, and yes, I will miss fresh lemonade shake ups. But we made this decision to ensure that we all remain healthy and able to enjoy all these wonderful experiences at next year’s Arts Festival. And that is where I have my heart set."

In Central Ohio, June also plays host to the Memorial Tournament, the Pride Parade and Festival, and the Creekside Jazz and Blue Fest. 614Now will have more updates about upcoming events as they become available.

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Aunt Flow pivots manufacturing to help with the COVID-19 outbreak

Mitch Hooper

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Of the many things COVID-19 has exposed a need for, one of the largest topics of conversation has been face masks. From nurses in hospitals to grocery store clerks, these are becoming equally important as they are difficult to find. However, Claire Coder, founder and CEO of Aunt Flow, is pitching in her manufacturing resources to assist in the crisis.

In a Facebook post on March 26, Aunt Flow announced that it has been working around the clock to produce FDA-approved face masks for those in need.

"We are here for YOU. People helping people. PERIOD," the post stated.

https://www.facebook.com/goauntflow/posts/2641440882845957?__xts__[0]=68.ARBUMS95oPw2ZCc9mPy8pgjRK0I51qu-SBsit1FXkGvUkkR2p82F4yiscUHdZ2-ZG-rPDXhpsr75Lb6dfWhaC8TlLSko_Ny5MMYnY_z37TwaEm2CZoHkPA-YHSo3E2e9HpiyGPpzd7kocPW-tx676xDTWWcAtmQC1Vcc6Io_-JPyWSGnpqCYNfpc-5kG6VbjwpXRdnJ6TSAE0sN277g8-DvBZOs0n4WtEKb_sADA6aOA6Gw1FLlzhVXhsoBHtGpbcEFBrK8Xk7IRd_nxbFgBBI_4ZH5avE1kzTtv2ATlJcAdZHgInmjkcz5sG4deeIJeUN2NZP-jaIL_6doeThzbtO4iJtHf&__tn__=-R
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By The Numbers: How COVID-19 has impacted Ohio thus far

Mitch Hooper

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While these numbers are subject to fluctuate and grow throughout the upcoming days and weeks, Ohio.gov has released its current numbers on COVID-19 and its impacts.

Currently, as of March 31, 2020, here are the reports:

  • 2,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio
  • 585 total hospitalizations
  • 198 ICU admissions
  • 55 total deaths

The median age of these cases was reported at 53 with a sex split at 49% males and 51% females with a less than 1% not reporting their sex. The age range, however, goes from one year olds to 99-years-old.

614Now will update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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