Gov. Mike DeWine confirmed Ohio’s fifth case of COVID-19 at a March 12 press conference at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, where he also prohibited mass gatherings of more than 100 people in the state.

“(A) 55-year-old male from Trumbull County,” DeWine said. “Has no travel history outside the state of Ohio. He has been hospitalized, fortunately he did not go to work when he developed these symptoms.”

Promising this is a temporary situation, DeWine said eventually “we’ll get back to normal in Ohio. It’s not going to be done overnight, but we will.”

He also said to expect more cases.

“Whatever the number is today, it will double in six days and that will go on and on and on,” he warned, adding each infected person is expected to infect “at least two other individuals.”

“This is an attempt to make sure that everybody understands that we cannot be gathered together, we cannot be in close proximity to each other,” DeWine said, recommending the “social distancing” of at least six feet between people.

DeWine also announced children in the state will have an “extended spring break” beginning March 16. Each school will determine access to the building after that.

“Spring break will be a duration of three weeks and we will review it at the end of that,” DeWine said.

Noting the state needs to set an example, DeWine said, “Almost by the hour I get an alert where a business has decided everyone should work from home, so I have instructed our members of our cabinet to make that assertion to determine among their employees who can work from home.”

He also made a public plea for individuals to refrain from entering the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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