Ohio Officials Estimate 100K Have Coronavirus

'So that just gives you a sense of how this virus spreads and is spreading quickly'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2020 2:29 AM CDT
Updated Mar 13, 2020 6:26 AM CDT
Ohio Officials Estimate 100K Have Coronavirus
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signs an order banning groups of 100 or more people, along with Dr. Amy Acton, left, the head of the Ohio Department of Health, during a press conference updating the public on COVID-19 on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.   (Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world is now around 135,000. Health officials in Ohio believe there could be almost that many unconfirmed cases in their state alone. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton said Thursday that she estimates that around 1% of the state's 11.7 million people have now been infected, the Hill reports. "We know now, just the fact of community spread, says that at least 1%, at the very least, 1% of our population is carrying this virus in Ohio today," Acton said. "We have 11.7 million people. So the math is over 100,000. So that just gives you a sense of how this virus spreads and is spreading quickly."

Acton—speaking at a press conference alongside Republican Gov. Mike DeWine—said the delay in being able to test has prevented authorities from getting more accurate figures. Currently, only five infections in the state have been confirmed, News 5 Cleveland reports. "This is certainly an unprecedented time. It is this one in 50 years pandemic that we have been planning for that we talk a lot about in my over 30 years in public health," Acton said. "We have never seen a situation exactly like this." Acton and DeWine signed an order Thursday banning gatherings of more than 100 people. The state will also close all schools from Monday until April 3 at the earliest. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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