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Ohio announces first novel coronavirus death

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Photo courtesy Good Free Photos.

Gov. Mike Dewine announced Friday that Ohio experienced its first novel coronavirus death: a 76-year-old Toledo man.

Mark Wagoner Sr., an active member of the Republican Party and lawyer who previously served on the Lucas County Board of Elections, died Thursday, according to The Columbus Dispatch. DeWine said he personally knew Wagoner and expressed how saddened both he and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted were when they received word of his death.

“We’ve reached a new phase in our battle against the coronavirus,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said prior to announcing the death.

Including Wagoner, 169 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio as of Friday, up from 119 on Thursday. People of all age groups, including a one-year-old and a 91-year-old, tested positive for the virus. There have been no confirmed cases in Athens County.

DeWine also announced that he would sign an executive order to close senior citizen centers across the state beginning at the end of Monday’s business day. Centers will, however, still be permitted to transport residents to essential locations such as grocery stores and doctor’s appointments, he said.

The order will affect senior daycare centers — social spaces for senior citizens who can’t care for themselves while family members are out during the day — which are required to close at the end of Monday’s business day.

Dewine applauded Ohio businesses for ramping up their efforts to protect customers, including providing hand sanitizer and checking employees’ temperatures. He, however, also condemned some businesses that he believes are not complying with public safety.

“I implore you, please do what’s right,” the governor said.

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