Ohio to use ‘disease detectives’ if coronavirus spreads into state

Officials outline state response as US Senate approves billions for Coronavirus

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Governor Mike DeWine met with health officials, business owners, and school administrators from across the state Thursday to discuss response plans if coronavirus should spread into the state.

Officials say they are learning lessons from two suspected cases of coronavirus investigated at Miami University in February. Both tests came back negative, but officials say they learned communication is key between first responders, hospitals, county health officials and the community.

Moving forward, the state will utilize established plans for quarantines if someone contracts coronavirus or are suspected of having it.

A key aspect of that protocol will be disease detectives that will help determine if a person with a suspected case of the virus could have spread it to others.

Dr. Amy Acton is director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Acton described the work of these disease detectives as taking a “very elaborate, very detailed look” at everyone with whom a person may have come into contact, including contact made in public spaces like malls and movie theatres.

“That is the information we will always share with people who came into contact,” Acton said. “You will know if you came into contact with someone, and we will also let you know if there was some general exposure, someplace like a movie theatre.”

Gov. DeWine and state health officials stressed people should continue to live their lives as normal while using extra sanitary steps like using hand sanitizer and frequently washing your hands with soap.

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