Coronavirus In Ohio: A Timeline

In just a few weeks, coronavirus and COVID-19 have drastically changed life in Ohio. 

Jan 26
Miami University students who’d recently traveled to China report symptoms of COVID-19

Feb 3
Miami students test negative for coronavirus

Miami University students suspected of having coronavirus tested negative. [Miami University]

Mar 4
DeWine announces Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus is canceled

Crews were setting up for the Arnold Sports Festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. [Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 5
After pushback, DeWine signs order canceling Arnold Sports Festival; three coronavirus cases under investigation but no confirmed cases

Mar 6
State’s coronavirus call center opens

Coronavirus hotline call center. [Dan Konik/Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 8
State announces it can test for coronavirus; creates protocol on who will be tested

Mar 9
First confirmed case of coronavirus; state of emergency declared

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency on March 9. [Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 10
State moves polling places out of nursing homes; recommends no spectators at sports events; OHSAA says it will hold tournaments with no spectators; Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders cancel Ohio rallies

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose moved polling places from nursing homes. [Andy Chow/Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 11
Four confirmed cases; NBA suspends season

Mar 12
Order to close K-12 schools, ban on gatherings of over 100 people, ban on visitors at nursing homes and psych hospitals; NHL, MLS suspend season, and NCAA cancels spring championships including March Madness

Mar 13
13 confirmed cases; MLB suspends operations

Mar 14 
26 confirmed cases; Cleveland Clinic offers drive-thru testing

Drive-thru testing at Cleveland Clinic began on March 14. [Kabir Bhatia/WKSU] 

Mar 15 
Bars ordered closed, restaurants carry out only; last Sunday of early voting for March 17 primary

Signs in a window at a restaurant annouce they are open for take-out. [Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 16
Gyms, cinemas, bowling alleys, other entertainment venues ordered closed; delay in primary till June 2 proposed; order to close polls issued

Mar 17
Primary date passes with no voting; Ohio Democratic Party files lawsuit; state orders elective surgeries postponed

A sign at a polling place in Powell reads "No Voting Today," after a public health order closed all polling locations on March 17. [Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 18
State orders hair, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors closed; Ohio BMV offices closed; employers told to monitor employees’ health

Mar 19
Chief Justice asks courts to limit jail crowding, evictions

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor [Liesl Bonneau]

Mar 20
First COVID-19 death; senior centers ordered closed; ODJFS reports 139,468 people filed unemployment claims from Mar 15-Mar 19

Mar 21
Three COVID-19 deaths; EOC opened; centers for people with disabilities closed; Yost orders clinics to stop surgical abortions; ODJFS reports a one-week state record of 187,780 people filed for unemployment in the last week, topping all but the worst month in the recession of 1981-1982

Mar 22
“Stay at home” order issued; state limits prescriptions of two anti-malaria drugs touted as COVID-19 treatment

I-71 after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued "stay at home" orders. [Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 23
Six COVID-19 deaths; Agency directors ordered to propose spending cuts up to 20%; hiring freeze ordered; National Guard personnel deployed to 12 food banks

Members of the Ohio National Guard's 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team out of Columbus package food at the Mid-Ohio Food Collective. [Karen Kasler/Statehouse News Bureau]

Mar 24
Eight COVID-19 deaths; peak predicted for May 1

Mar 25
Ten COVID-19 deaths; lawmakers unanimously pass coronavirus package which waives required school testing, sets primary for April 28 and tax deadline for July 15

Mar 26
15 COVID-deaths; new ODH dashboard unveiled; ODRC starts releasing numbers on testing; Ohio Democratic Party drops primary voting lawsuit

Mar 27
19 COVID-19 deaths; ODH predicts 10,000 cases a day at peak, predicted for mid-May

Mar 28
25 COVID-19 deaths; state calls for “most wanted” list of medical equipment

Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Governor Mike DeWine hold up a list of Ohio's most need medical equipment. [The Ohio Channel]

Mar 29
29 COVID-19 deaths; Battelle gets FDA approval to sterilize 80,000 masks per machine per day

Battelle employees process N-95 masks in the Critical Care Decontamination System. [Battelle]

Mar 30
39 COVID-19 deaths; order to close K-12 schools extended till May 1; judge sides with ACLU, Planned Parenthood to keep abortion clinics open; voting rights group files lawsuit over primary extension; Battelle and OSU announce new test for COVID-19

Mar 31
55 COVID-19 deaths; state mandates reporting of ventilators to database; minimum wage ballot issue group files to extend signature deadline

Dr. Amy Acton speaks at the coronavirus press briefing on March 31. [Statehouse News Bureau]

Apr 1
81 deaths from COVID-19; President Trump approves Ohio’s disaster declaration; “stay at home” order extended to May 1 and expanded


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