Coronavirus Outbreak 2019

An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently spreading in multiple countries, including the United States. 

As of March 30, 2020, there are currently 196 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Columbus and Worthington (Columbus Public Health's jurisdiction). There are several more confirmed cases throughout Ohio. Public health continues to monitor and respond to this outbreak at the local, state and national levels.  

The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation. If you have questions, call Columbus Public Health at 614-645-1519, or the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). 

About COVID-19

(novel coronavirus) is a respiratory illness that originated in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019. It has since spread internationally to several countries, including the United States. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing and difficulty breathing. 

Those most at-risk for COVID-19 are people who are in or have recently traveled to areas with sustained spread of the virus, or people who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

People who are 65 and older; people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility; people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, are immunocompromised including cancer treatment, and people of any age with sever obesity (BMI greater than or equal to 40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease.

What Columbus Public Health is Doing

Columbus Public Health is closely monitoring this outbreak, along with our partners at Franklin County Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health. ODH is also coordinating efforts directly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have activated the Incident Command System—a coordinated system designed for effective and efficient response to emergencies—to ensure that we are prepared to respond to cases reported in our jurisdiction. 

Our public health nurses and epidemiologists notify and quarantine close contacts of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in CPH's jurisdiction. We expect to see more local cases as this outbreak evolves, and are working diligently to respond to the situation and protect the health and safety of our community.

What You Can Do

People at higher risk of severe illness
should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others.  

Those at higher risk include people 60 and older; people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes; people with weakened immune systems; and people who are pregnant.

For the general public, the CDC recommends following the usual steps that help to prevent the spread of illness and the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your arm or your inner elbow, NOT your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 

    The general public can also help by:

    • Preventing the spread of misinformation by learning the facts about COVID-19. Understand that this is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available. Continue to visit the CDC website for the most current and accurate information.

    • Fighting fear and stigma by understanding that you cannot tell if someone is at risk for spreading COVID-19 based on how they look. Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds. Treat everyone with compassion, kindness and respect. 

    Learn More about Coronavirus

    The details around COVID-19 are rapidly changing. For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the CDC, ODH and World Health Organization websites below. 


    Visit and download these resources on COVID-19.

    Infectious Disease Reporting for Healthcare Providers 

    The Infectious Disease Reporting System is the combined infectious disease reporting system for health care provided in Franklin County, including the City of Columbus. The Columbus and Franklin County Public Health agencies have joined forces to make the reporting, tracking and investigation of infectious disease cases easier and more convenient. Health care providers may report a disease call by calling (614) 525-8888 or visiting  

    Disease Reporting for the General Public

    If you're currently having symptoms and would like to talk to someone, you can call the Infectious Disease Investigation team at Columbus Public Health at 614-645-1519.

    Learn More about Reportable Illnesses

    Last Updated: March 30, 2020