COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health has released the latest number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
As of Wednesday, August 19, a total of 110,881 (+958) cases were reported in Ohio since the pandemic began, leading to 3,907 (+36) deaths and 12,529 (+93) hospitalizations.
The Department of Health adds the data when it is informed of a case or death. The information is backdated to the actual date the person started exhibiting symptoms or the date the person died.
Governor Mike DeWine said he will be releasing an order on how sports in Ohio should be conducted. He says the order will include high school, college and professional sports.
The governor says just as going back to school in person increases the risk of spread, sports (especially contact) do as well. He says the spread in the community the more risk for students and athletes. DeWine also acknowledged the importance of sports in giving athletes joy and structure.
“Sports matter, it makes a difference,” said DeWine.
All sports may go forward in the fall, both contact and non-contact. Schools that want to move their seasons to the spring are free to do so.
The order will contain safety guidelines.
No spectators will be allowed, other than family members or those ‘very close’ to the particular child.
Gov. DeWine said there are no ‘big surprises’ in the order. He says he hopes the desire to have a season will inspire young people to be as careful as they can be.
Leading up to the announcement on fall sports in the state, Governor DeWine spoke with Dr. James Borchers from Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center.
Dr. Borchers says when we are able to provide athletes a healthy environment and when they follow proper procedures around the facilities it makes a big difference. They’ve found it’s difficult to have organized sports when the community is not a healthy environment.
There is concern about myocarditis for athletes who contract and recover from COVID-19. Governor DeWine says the order will include precautions for myocarditis. Dr. Borchers says they are learning quite a bit about this and prevention by having healthy communities will be key.
Dr. Borchers says if an athlete has been COVID-19 positive they should meet with their doctor and have an assessment before they return to sports.