Akron and Cities Across Ohio are Quiet as the Country Waits for the Coronavirus Peak
For the first time in history, people across the country have been directed to stay home.
Schools and daycares have closed. Bars and resturants are shuttered.
Elder care facilities are in lockdown. Businesses have closed their doors to all but the most essential workers.
Groups cannot gather outside homes, and everyone is expected to stay six feet apart.
The World Health Organization declared a pandemic. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued an official “Stay at Home” order detailing the expected actions to halt the spread of the illness.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan issued his own statement supporting the order: “The Stay at Home Order is a lawful order of the Health Director, which, if necessary, will be enforced by local public safety and health officials. Violation of the order is a second degree misdemeanor.”
Akronites are taking coronavirus to heart, clearing the streets and staying home for the most part. Residents are quick to report violators to Summit County Public Health.
Coronavirus is zoonotic; it jumped from an animal to a person. Researchers are rushing to find the right treatment and a vaccine.
Because its effects are rapid and severe, older people and those with weak immune systems are at great risk. But anyone can get the virus, even some children are on life support. Researchers are learning more every day about the virus’s behavior, but much is still unknown.
Ohio’s latest numbers show 1,137 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the sickness caused by coronavirus.
So far, in Summit County there are 65 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Ohio hospitalizations number 276, including 16 in Summit. Out of 19 Ohio deaths, one person has died in Summit County.
The numbers are rising around the country. The pandemic’s peak is projected for late April or early May.
In Akron, only hospitals and safety forces are visibly active. Hospitals have taken a significant and highly visible step in preparation for the inevitable. Large tents have gone up near emergency rooms.
The tents will house the additional beds needed to care for the sick when the hospitals fill up.
Stay up on the latest coronavirus news at WKSU’s Coronavirus 411.
*These images were taken in and around downtown Akron on Thursday, March 26 at 3 p.m.