Health officials: 142 cases of coronavirus in Columbus, Worthington

A laboratory technician prepares COVID-19 patient samples for semi-automatic testing at Northwell Health Labs, Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Lake Success, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Columbus Public Health says there are 142 cases of coronavirus in Columbus and Worthington.

As of Saturday, the Ohio Department of Health confirmed 1,406 cases of COVID-19 statewide. A total of 25 people have died.

Earlier this month, officials announced the first case of COVID-19 in Columbus. A second confirmed case of COVID-19, a 23-year-old woman with underlying health conditions, was announced in the city and officials said it appeared the case was community spread.

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Two more cases in Columbus were announced in a press call with officials — just after Mayor Andrew Ginther declared a State of Emergency. During that call, officials said Columbus Public Health was conducting a case investigation on a total of four confirmed cases in its jurisdiction.

Of those two cases, one is a 41-year-old woman and another is a 47-year-old man. Both were hospitalized.

In a video message announcing the State of Emergency, Ginther said he can suspend their purchasing and contracting requirements and can enter into contracts for whatever supplies or services are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of Columbus residents.

He can also suspend all regulatory provisions of the Columbus city code as necessary to allow for the city to continue to meet payroll, process insurance benefits and pay vendors during the time of the emergency.

This finally allows him to require city employees to remain at home to protect their health and the health of residents.

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