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Antibody testing shows coronavirus has been in Ohio since January

According to new antibody testing, the coronavirus first appeared in Ohio in January.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — New antibody testing shows that symptoms for at least five cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) were present in Ohio in January, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said on Monday.

The previous earliest onset date for the virus in Ohio was in the beginning of February. According to Acton, the state is now working to confirm whether or not the earliest cases of the virus were associated with travel outside the state. The new onset date for the virus could provide additional details as to how widespread and prevalent it has been in Ohio, with the first confirmed positive test coming on March 9.

As of Monday, Ohio has 24,777 confirmed and probable positive coronavirus cases, including 4,413 hospitalizations, 1,217 ICU admissions and 1,357 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of the state's first coronavirus case, DeWine put a number of measures in place to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order on March 23.

Earlier this month, Ohio began the process of reopening its economy, with retail stores set to reopen on Tuesday, May 12, and hair salons and bars and restaurants outdoor dining set to reopen on Friday, May 15. Indoor dining at bars and restaurants will be permitted beginning on May 21.

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