During Friday afternoon’s daily update, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed the state’s first death from the coronavirus, identifying the male patient as a 76-year-old attorney from the Toledo area who recently traveled to California. This state tally does not include a death reported in Miami County on Friday morning.
The state has 169 confirmed cases of the virus spanning 28 counties, with 39 hospitalizations. Champaign County is not among the counties with confirmed cases. The state is limiting testing to those who are hospitalized and to healthcare workers. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department ended public testing for the coronavirus only two days after it began, citing a shortage of tests.
The Ohio Health Department says people with suspected symptoms should call a medical provider first, but seek immediate help if symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
Teachers unions are lobbying lawmakers to conclude the state’s primary by late April or early May, instead of June 2, as proposed, so that nearly 100 school districts with levies on the ballot know those outcomes before making decisions about future staffing by a June 1 deadline.
Ohio now says it has received 139,468 unemployment insurance benefit applications online this week.
DeWine will push lawmakers next week, at the request of local municipalities, to permit live streaming of public meetings as long as sufficient notice is provided.
During his press conference on Friday, DeWine announced there will be a closure of senior citizen daycare centers effective at the end of the business day on Monday.
DeWine is asking businesses and workplaces to take responsibility for protecting their employees from the spread of illness, saying “reckless behavior” must stop and employers should take necessary precautions to protect employees from illness.
Mental health and addiction services continue to be available in Logan and Champaign counties, according to the Mental Health, Drug and Services Board. As of Friday, TCN Behavioral Health was open during regular weekday business hours at the Bellefontaine and Urbana locations and by appointment in Russells Point. Walk-in hours at the Bellefontaine office, 118 Maple Ave., are Monday and Wednesday, with check-in at 8:30 a.m. Walk-in hours at the Urbana office, 1522 E. U.S. Route 36, Suite A, are Tuesday and Thursday, with check-in at 8:30 a.m.
Contact the Bellefontaine office at 937-599-1975; the Urbana office at 937-653-5583; or the Crisis Line at 1-800-224-0422 or 937-376-8701.
TCN is taking strict precautions to protect the safety of clients and staff by using recommended prevention measures from the Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The MHDAS board is working with TCN Behavioral Health to expand service options in telehealth to provide treatment services by telemedicine/telephone, WebEx, Facetime or voice calling.
The Champaign County Library closed as of Friday due to guidance from the Ohio Library Council, county Health District and Gov. DeWine. This closure includes the drive-thru window. No fines will be charged and items may be returned when the library re-opens.
All online resources will remain available. Students will have access to online homework databases and the library’s wifi will extend to the parking lot while the building is closed. While people are staying home and safe, this would be a great time to learn new job skills through Lynda.com, keyword search all the past Urbana newspapers, as well as check out the usual ebooks, movies and music. Contact the library through its website to get a library card or if you have trouble accessing any of the online resources.
For updates, visit ChampaignCountyLibrary.org or the Facebook page.
Ohio Caverns temporarily has suspended operations due to recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health. For updates visit ohiocaverns.com or the Caverns’ social media pages.
Edward Jones financial advisor offices joined Security National Bank offices in limiting in-person service in lobbies. Security Bank locations with drive-thru windows will continue to serve customers in their vehicles, but bank offices not equipped with such windows will be temporarily closed.
According to a press release from Edward Jones, local financial advisors Jerome Armstrong, Zac Fiely, Brent Harder and Ben Headlee are taking steps to protect the health and well-being of clients, associates, families and communities. To help mitigate this crisis, they are suspending face-to-face visits with clients, holding virtual meetings and training sessions and ensuring office spaces are sanitized and disinfected. For customers seeking online support and portfolio guidance during turbulent market times, the website is www.edwardjones.com. (See accompanying story for advice offered by the local financial advisors during turbulent times.)