Ohio launches coronavirus call center to help public


There are currently three people being tested for coronavirus in Ohio. A call center will answer questions about the virus and its threat.

COLUMBUS, OH — The Ohio Department of Health is opening a call center to answer the public's questions and concerns about the new coronavirus. There are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Ohio and health officials say the risk to the public posed by the virus is low.

Currently, three people in Ohio are being tested for COVID-19. More than 250 Ohioans are being monitored by the Ohio Department of Health, but no one has tested positive for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The new call center will be open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). The call center will be staffed by licensed nurses and infectious disease experts. They will answer any questions from the public and provide an update on how the state is responding to the risk.

Health officials said COVID-19 still poses a low-risk to the Ohio public.

As of Friday morning, 233 people in the United States had been confirmed with the COVID-19 virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of U.S. deaths from the virus rose overnight by two to 14, and most of them from a single nursing home in the Seattle area. Additionally, eight people in America have fully recovered from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins.

Ohio officials barred fans from attending the ongoing Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus. Governor Mike DeWine said the presence of international competitors and spectators, along with the promise of free movement throughout the city, made the presence of fans untenable.

The U.S. Senate approved an $8.3 billion measure Thursday to tackle the new coronavirus outbreak, which surged to more than 100,000 confirmed cases overnight into Friday. The money would pay for a multi-dimensional attack on the virus that is beginning to threaten major disruptions in the United States.

The Ohio Department of Health said residents should follow the same health and safety tips they practice during flu season to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

Stay home if you become sick.

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

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