Coronavirus: Daycares to stay open for now, schools to continue providing lunch for kids

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Gov. Mike DeWine said that daycare facilities will remain open, but that it could change in the future as the state works to contain coronavirus.

He suggested that parents should begin to consider alternatives to prepare for any possible changes.

The governor also asked that parents remove children from daycare if possible, because they are potential carriers.

>> Coronavirus: Complete Coverage

DeWine said that because children can carry coronavirus, that families may want to reconsider having grandparents or others who are older from babysitting.

“We will get through this,” he said.

DeWine also announced that waivers have been approved that would allow schools in Ohio to continue providing lunch to students during the mandated three-week break.

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President Trump approved the two USDA waivers that will continue school lunch and breakfast programs.

While the school building will be closed during those three weeks, DeWine said he hopes schools will continue to educate students remotely and online throughout the break.

He acknowledged that online learning isn’t possible with every school and student and said he’s reaching out to school officials and will be “flexible” as they navigate the break.

He also said that learning is possible offline, suggesting that children explore the outdoors and read.

DeWine also announced no visitors will be allowed at Ohio jails as part of the state’s effort to contain coronavirus.

He asked the jails and correction facilities screen vendors and contractors as well.

>> Coronavirus: UC Health confirms 4 cases in Southwest Ohio

Thirteen cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

There are 159 people awaiting test results in the state.

Eight males and four females have tested positive for coronavirus, said Acton.

Their ages range from 34 to 66, with a median age of 48.

The following counties have confirmed cases of the virus:

  • Belmont: 2
  • Butler: 1
  • Cuyahoga: 6
  • Stark: 2
  • Summit: 1
  • Trumbull: 1

Cleveland Clinic and UC Health West Chester reported four positive cases each, DeWine said.

The governor said the increase in cases isn’t a surprise and that the virus is expected to be all over the state at this time.

UC Health confirmed Friday that four people tested positive for the virus and were treated at their West Chester hospital.

All four patients have since been released.

>> Coronavirus: President Trump to hold news conference as he seeks to calm virus fear

On Thursday, DeWine and Acton announced orders closing all Ohio K-12 schools for three weeks starting Tuesday, March 17, and banning public events and gatherings with more than 100 people.

Exemptions to the public gatherings order included malls, retail and grocery stores, work offices, religious services and polling places.

DeWine also barred visitors from nursing homes, assisted living centers and psychiatric hospitals.

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