Coronavirus: A timeline of rapid change in southwest Ohio

The playgrounds at Smith Park in Middletown has caution tape and signs indicating it is closed due to COVID-19. Many playgrounds in Butler County are off limits as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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The playgrounds at Smith Park in Middletown has caution tape and signs indicating it is closed due to COVID-19. Many playgrounds in Butler County are off limits as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The first reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus were in December in Wuhan, China, but it rapidly spread across the world. The first reported case in the U.S. was on Jan. 20 in Washington State.

 

Here’s how it’s affected the state and Southwest Ohio:

WEEK OF MARCH 22

March 26: Reported 867 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 20 were in Butler County. There were 15 confirmed deaths statewide. There were 223 people hospitalized, and 91 are in intensive care units.

March 25: Ohio General Assembly unanimously passes a comprehensive COVID-19 bill that, among other things, makes Ohio's 2020 presidential primary all vote-by-mail and cancels all state-mandated testing for K-12.

March 25: DeWine officially closes child care facilities beginning March 26, outside those with the Temporary Pandemic Child Care license.

March 25: Reported 704 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 19 of which were in Butler County. There were 10 confirmed deaths statewide.

March 25Miami University announces that a "member of the Miami community" tested positive for COVID-19. That person was last on campus on March 19 and is self-isolating in a different state.

March 24: Reported 564 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 17 of which were in Butler County. There were eight confirmed deaths statewide.

March 23: The Ohio National Guard begins assisting foodbanks and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine activated 300 guardsmen on March 19 to assist with food distribution.

March 23: Reported 447 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 17 of which were in Butler County. There were six confirmed deaths statewide.

March 22: Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Action issues a "Stay at Home" order restricting all non-essential businesses to shut down, and limiting Ohioans to travel.

March 22: Reported 351 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 17 of which were in Butler County. There were three confirmed deaths statewide.


WEEK OF MARCH 15

March 21: Reported 247 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 16 of which were in Butler County. There were three confirmed deaths statewide.

March 20: Reported 119 confirmed COVID-19 cases, eight of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 20: The Internal Revenue Service pushes its tax-filing day back to July 15, though people needing to file taxes by Oct. 15, must file an extension by April 15.

March 19: Reported 88 confirmed COVID-19 cases, eight of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 19: The Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order closing hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations and massage therapy locations.

March 18: Reported 67 confirmed COVID-19 cases, six of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 17: Reported 50 confirmed COVID-19 cases, six of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 17: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says only child daycares with a temporary pandemic child care license can operate, and are restricted to a six child-to-one teacher ration, and must adhere to strict cleaning protocols. The governor also lifted certain unemployment compensation benefit restrictions to support those Ohioans who lost jobs or could not work due to closing businesses.

March 17: Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order for the management of non-essential surgeries and procedures throughout Ohio. Many elective surgeries were canceled or postponed.

March 17: The Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton amended an order to limit and/or prohibit mass gatherings and the closure of venues in the state.

March 16: Reported 37 confirmed COVID-19 cases, six of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 16: After a judge ruled against the state, the Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, declared a statewide public health emergency. She ordered the closure of all polling locations for the presidential primary on March 17. The state subsequently moved the date for in-person voting to June 2.

March 15: Reported 36 confirmed COVID-19 cases, six of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 15: The Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order to limit access to Ohio's jails and detention facilities.

March 15: The Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order to limit the sale of food and beverages, liquor, beer and wine to carry-out and delivery only.

March 15: The CDC issued Interim Guidance for mass gatherings or large community events, stating that such events that consist of 50 or more people should be canceled or postponed.


WEEK OF MARCH 8

March 14: Reported 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases, four of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 14: DeWine declares a state of emergency related to the novel coronavirus.

March 13: Hospitals in Butler and Warren counties were working to prepare for an increase in COVID-19 cases, and how to inform the public about prevention of the spread.

March 12: DeWine announces Ohio schools will shut down for three weeks, through April 3, to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Schools were ordered to close its buildings at the end of March 16, though many closed prior to that deadline.

March 12: After strong recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Ohio government officials, Butler County organizations began rescheduling, postponing or canceling large-scale public events

March 12: Reported five confirmed COVID-19 cases, none of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 11: Reported four confirmed COVID-19 cases, none of which were in Butler County. There were no confirmed deaths statewide.

March 11: Lakota Local Schools announces its intent to schedule closing all 22 of its school buildings for one day as practice in preparation for possible remote learning.

March 11: The head of the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

March 11: Testing by the Ohio Department of Health confirmed that one more patient was positive for COVID-19 in Ohio.

March 11: The Ohio Departments of Health and Veterans Services issued a Joint Directors' Order to limit access to Ohio nursing homes and similar facilities.

March 10: DeWine recommends colleges and universities screen students returning from international travel cruise ships, and eliminate international travel cancel or postpone university-sponsored travel and large meetings, and move toward online or remote learning. Universities in Southwest Ohio were already stressing the importance of good hygiene and many had canceled large events or international trips out of precaution.

March 9: Testing by the Department of Health confirmed that three patients were positive for COVID-19 in Ohio. This confirms the presence of a potentially dangerous condition which may affect the health, safety and welfare of citizens of Ohio.

March 9: The Ohio Emergency Management Agency activated the Emergency Operations Center.

March 9: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared a State of Emergency.


WEEK OF MARCH 1

March 6: The Ohio Department of Health opened a call center to answer questions from the public regarding COVID-19.

March 5: The Ohio Department of Health hosted the Governor's Summit on COVID-19 Preparedness, a meeting with the Governor, cabinet agency directors, local health department commissioners, and their staff.

March 2: The Ohio Department of Health activated a Joint Information Center to coordinate COVID-19 communications.

March 2: Kroger, the region's largest grocery chain, took precautionary steps to limit the number of cold, flu and sanitary products to ensure access.

CORONAVIRUS: See the complete Journal-News, Dayton Daily News and Springfield News-Sun coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic


WEEK OF FEB. 23

Feb. 28: The "Governor DeWine, Health Director Update COVID-19 Prevention and Preparedness Plan" was sent to a broad range of associations representing healthcare, dental, long-term care, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, business, public transit, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, and local governments.

Feb. 27: The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency briefed the directors of State agencies during the Governor's cabinet meeting regarding preparedness and the potential activation of the Emergency Operations Center.


WEEK OF FEB. 9

Feb. 14: The Ohio Department of Health held a conference call with health professionals across the state. The purpose of the call was to inform and engage the healthcare community in Ohio. Presentations were provided by the Department of Health, Hamilton County Public Health, and the Ohio State University.

Feb. 13: The Ohio Department of Health conducted a Pandemic Tabletop Exercise with State agencies to review responsive actions should there be a pandemic in Ohio.


WEEK OF FEB. 2

Feb. 7: The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency met to conduct advance planning for COVID-19.

Feb. 6: The Ohio Department of Health updated all agency assistant directors and chiefs of staff on COVID-19 preparedness and status during the Governor's cabinet meeting.

Feb. 5: The Ohio Department of Health began updating and notifying the media of the number of PUIs in Ohio every Tuesday and Thursday.

Feb. 3: The Ohio Department of Health trained more than 140 personnel to staff a call center for COVID-19, in the event it was needed.


WEEK OF JAN. 26

Feb. 1: The Ohio Department of Health issued a statewide Health Alert Network to provide local health department and healthcare providers with updated guidance for COVID-19 and revised Person Under Investigation (PUI) criteria.

Jan. 31: Health and Human Services declares a public health emergency for the United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.

Jan. 30: The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern.

Jan. 28Miami University in Oxford reports two students, who recently traveled to China, were suspected to have COVID-19. The students were in self-quarantine.

Jan. 28: The Ohio Department of Health hosted the first statewide call with local health departments and healthcare providers regarding COVID-19.


WEEK OF JAN. 19

Jan. 23: The Ohio Department of Health made the COVID-19 a Class A reportable disease in Ohio.

 

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