Warren, Ohio hospital treating patient with COVID-19 coronavirus


"This virus is changing every minute," said Warren Mayor Doug Franklin

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mercy Health St. Joseph Warren Hospital announced Wednesday it is caring for a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.

The hospital said it follows safety protocols each and every time it cares for a patient.

In this case, staff followed guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health to minimize exposure of the virus to other patients and employees.

St. Joe’s said in a release that the hospital followed CDC cleaning protocols and “remains a safe place to seek care.”

There will be visitor restrictions at the hospital. The hospital has not yet announced those restrictions.

Earlier Wednesday, Warren City Council held its regular meeting, where members talked about coronavirus. The mayor and council members said they are taking steps to prepare for it.

“This virus is changing every minute,” Mayor Doug Franklin said. “When I was preparing my mayor’s report this morning, I was reporting that we had no cases and this afternoon, everything changed.”

With the virus now local, Franklin said it’s time to take necessary protocols.

“I braced for the worst. We’re in constant contact with our schools and we’re asking everyone to be prepared for the worst. Hopefully we don’t get there, but we need to be prepared.”

Councilman Ken Macpherson said there’s no need to panic. Instead, you should just use common sense.

“Let’s just follow these procedures, it seems very simple — wash our hands, follow medical procedures.”

Franklin is encouraging everyone in the City of Warren to be attentive to the 2 p.m. press conference by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine so everyone knows what steps will be taken moving forward.

Earlier Wednesday, a fourth case of coronavirus was confirmed in Ohio. That person is a 53-year-old man from Stark County. It is the first case of community spread, meaning he has no travel history outside of the United States.

At this time, we don’t know if the Warren case is a fifth case in the state or one of the four already confirmed cases.

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