Ohio, Louisiana announce first cases of coronavirus
Both Ohio and Louisiana announced their first cases of coronavirus Monday, as the number of cases across the country grows, with at least 36 states and Washington, D.C., reporting cases.
Three people in Ohio and one person in Louisiana have tested positive for COVID-19, the states’ governors confirmed in press conferences and tweets Monday.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced at a press conference that he has declared a state of emergency and limited all state officials’ travel unless it is “absolutely necessary and essential.” The governor later confirmed on Twitter that the three cases involved people all from Cuyahoga County.
“From what we see around the world and in the United States, this disease will for a period, will for a period significantly … disrupt our lives,” he said, during the press conference.
This afternoon we learned that three Ohioans have tested positive for #COVID19. It’s important for us to take aggressive action to protect Ohioans, and therefore, I have declared a state of emergency in #Ohio.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 9, 2020
The three Ohioans are all in their mid-50s. Two are a married couple who traveled on a cruise on the Nile in Africa.
The other case involves a man who attended the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in Washington, which was attended by others who later tested positive for the virus, according to Cleveland.com.
Five other suspected cases in Ohio are under investigation while 11 have tested negative, according to NBC4 in Columbus.
The Louisiana Department of Health also confirmed the state’s first “presumptive” case of coronavirus involving a Jefferson Parish resident, who is currently hospitalized in Orleans Parish, Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) tweeted.
The Louisiana Department of Health has reported Louisiana’s first presumptive positive case of COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, a Jefferson Parish resident who is hospitalized in Orleans Parish. #lagov #lalege
— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) March 9, 2020
The case is designated as “presumptive” because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) needs to confirm all cases.
The governor made the announcement during his scheduled speech at the opening legislative session in Baton Rouge.
“While today is the first time that we can confirm that we have a presumptive positive coronavirus case, Louisiana has been preparing for this moment for many weeks,” Edwards said. “The CDC still believes the risk to the general public is low, but we will work quickly and decisively to assess the risk to those around this patient.”
There have been more than 600 coronavirus cases in the U.S., causing 22 deaths, most of which were in Washington state. Eight people have recovered so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.