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COVID-19 and Community Spread

COVID-19 and Community Spread

Ohio public health experts have estimated that a significant portion of the population could be infected with COVID-19 due to community spread across the state.

Infection rate estimates consider that:

  • Testing is limited.
  • Most individuals that have the disease are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.
  • The incubation period can be up to 14 days so people who are incubating the illness also aren’t showing symptoms.
  • The virus is highly transmissible.

Based on how quickly the virus multiplies and infects people and based on the modeling, we can extrapolate that there are thousands of Ohioans who may have been infected and not know it.

We know that sounds extremely scary but please consider:

  • The majority of people who have this illness will experience mild or moderate symptoms. They won’t require testing. And they will be prescribed treatment to help ease their symptoms. For fever, we will give Tylenol or acetaminophen. For coughs, they likely will take cough medicine and cough drops.

A smaller number of cases will have severe infections that will require hospitalization. That’s why individuals need to be vigilant in monitoring symptoms and reach out to a healthcare provider if symptoms worsen. Individuals with shortness of breath or a high fever should see a provider.

That healthcare provider will use clinical judgment combined with a medical evaluation and history to decide if testing is necessary. Testing requires a doctor’s order.

Not everyone needs to be tested.

As part of efforts to stem the spread of the virus, the state of Ohio has implemented multiple preventive measures, including the issuance of a Stay at Home order, to help reduce the impact of COVID-19. These measures will slow the spread of the virus and will reduce the impact on our healthcare system.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.  

Prevention Infographic

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.

  • Stay home 
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits 

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)


High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

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