What is the Coronavirus?

Normally, the Coronavirus typically causes the common cold or other mild respiratory viral illnesses, but this new strain can cause much more serious illness, even death, in some patients. Previous novel coronavirus strains include SARS and MERS that occurred in other areas of the world in recent years.  

The latest information about COVID-19 in Ohio and beyond

(Updated 3/30/20) 

A significant viral outbreak of a new type of coronavirus named “2019 Novel Coronavirus” or “COVID-19” is affecting a large number of countries around the world, including the United States.

  • As of March 30, there are 1,933 confirmed cases in Ohio.

  • The Ohio State University has issued travel restrictions for all university-sponsored international travel. University-sponsored domestic air travel is limited to business essential travel and is approved on an as-needed basis. Ohio State has suspended face-to-face instruction and moved to virtual instruction through the remainder of Spring semester.

  • Call the ODH Hotline for questions about Coronavirus: 1-833-4ASKODH or 1-833-427-5634
  • We're taking precautions to ensure a safe environment for all patients, visitors and staff. If you have flu-like symptoms, including fever or cough, and have an upcoming appointment, please call your provider to let them know. Please avoid visiting the hospitals or ambulatory locations if you have flu-like symptoms, including fever or cough.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve implemented new visitor restrictions at our hospitals.

Related COVID-19 information

Related COVID-19 information

How is the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center prepared for COVID-19?

The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center team routinely works closely with local and state public health officials to coordinate our response to these types of outbreaks based on recommendations from the CDC.

  • If a recent traveler to an affected area develops symptoms of COVID-19, the local health department who is working with the patient will alert the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center team that the patient is ill.
  • The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is prepared to care for these patients in private treatment rooms with special ventilation (negative airflow) to prevent the spread of any infection.
  • Our clinicians and staff wear special protective equipment when gathering samples for viral testing and treating the patient.
  • These patients will also be tested for influenza and other viral illnesses that can have similar symptoms and are currently much more common in the U.S.
  • Testing for COVID-19 can be performed only with the approval of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC.
  • In the event of a local COVID-19 outbreak, the medical center will implement our emergency preparedness plan in accordance with the standardized Hospital Incident Command System.
  • Staff have begun screening all visitors and patients at many medical facility entrances to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Health care food service operations are exempt from the government order to close dining spaces in restaurants and bars, so our hospital café seating areas remain open. However, most chairs have been removed from tables to encourage social distancing, self-serve stations are closed, and we’ve increased the number of single-serve and grab-and-go options for faculty, staff, patients and visitors.
  • Ohio State University and Ohio State Wexner Medical Center staff who are able have moved to working from home, and, where possible, in-person meetings have been canceled, postponed or moved to over-the-phone meetings.

Download: How Ohio State is preparing and what you can do
Additional COVID-19 resources

Additional COVID-19 resources