Champaign County’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 held steady at 5 as of Monday afternoon.
The state reported a total of 4,450 cases and 142 deaths. That doesn’t reflect all cases because the state limits testing to those who are hospitalized and to health care workers. One in every five cases is a health care worker.
This is the time of year that many snow birds return from southern states. Anyone coming into Ohio needs to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the Champaign Health District (CHD).
The state plans to start random coronavirus testing to better determine how widespread the virus is in Ohio, Dr. Amy Acton said. Acton said the state is analyzing why more men are dying than women so far — 64% compared with 36% — a phenomenon being seen elsewhere.
Acton’s amended stay-at-home order went into effect at midnight and will extend until May 1, 2020.
The CHD has created flyers for businesses to post regarding the new order and maximum capacity, which is to be determined by the business.
The Centers for Disease Control, Ohio Department of Health and Gov. Mike DeWine are recommending the use of cloth masks to protect others in public. The hope is wearing masks in public will be considered normal and not alarming.
Local clinic amends daily routine
Urbana Veterinary Clinic has announced it is suspending wellness exams (excluding puppy and kitten series) due to the pandemic. The clinic intends to reschedule wellness visits starting in June. Other urgent exams and services are continuing, but the lobby is closed to the public. Staff will carry animals from the customers’ vehicles into the clinic and back to the vehicle. Curbside service for medicines is available. Customers of this clinic should call before coming to the clinic so they can be informed about the procedures.
Downtown Urbana jeweler shutters store
One casualty of the pandemic is a downtown business that survived the summer of 2019’s long stretch of roundabout improvements, but will not maintain a physical location now that more adversity has struck.
According to a social media post titled “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you soon,” J. Michael Jewelry & Gold announced its storefront on the southwest part of Monument Square that has been operating for nearly 6 years is permanently closed.
“We pushed through when our corner was closed down for six straight months last year for construction,” the post stated. “We were able to regain some of what we lost during the holidays. But now, we’re forced to shut our doors by the state. Because the bills don’t stop just because we aren’t allowed to work — we’ve made the tough decision to permanently close our physical location in Urbana.”
The proprietors assured customers “if you have a repair in the shop, we will surely return your item to you repaired. If you had an item on order, it will still arrive.”
The business is considered to be in transition and will continue to accommodate customers by meetings and appointments, but not in the physical storefront on Monument Square.
Honda shut down through May 1
Honda of America is extending the production suspension previously announced for all of its automobile, engine and transmission plants in the U.S. and Canada through May 1. Honda began its automobile production suspension on March 23.
Health districts adjust meetings
The Champaign Health District board monthly meeting has been postponed. The next regular meeting will be held in May.
The Logan County Health District will conduct its monthly board meeting on Wednesday at 1 p.m. The board meeting is open to the public, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the board will be hosting the meeting by conference call. If anyone would like to attend the meeting, contact Christina Bramlage at 937-651-6209 prior to the meeting.
Other state developments
Five inmates at Marion Correctional Facility and five at Pickaway Correctional Facility in central Ohio have tested positive for COVID-19. DeWine said 27 staff members at four prisons, but most at Marion, also tested positive. Marion and Pickaway are under full quarantines, as is the Franklin Medical Center in Columbus following the transfer of a Marion inmate there. One inmate in Toledo is in isolation pending testing results.
DeWine authorized 26 members of the Ohio National Guard to go into the federal prison in Elkton in eastern Ohio to help now that seven inmates there have tested positive and three have died.
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder named 24 lawmakers to a bipartisan task force studying steps the House can take to speed economic recovery from the pandemic.
The Ohio Department of Transportation is working with food trucks to give truckers traveling in Ohio more options for food with many restaurants closed, said director Jack Marchbanks.
DeWine named six facilities that will be converted to health care facilities if needed: the Dayton Convention Center, the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Seagate Convention Center in Toledo, Case Western University’s Health Education Campus in Cleveland and the Covelli Convention Center in Youngstown.