Richland Public Health

Richland Public Health (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- Richland County on Thursday reported its third death attributed to COVID-19, according to Richland Public Health.

As is Richland Public Health policy, no additional identifiable information was released about the patient to respect the family’s privacy.

The county's first COVID-19 death was reported April 8 and the second on April 29. The first positive test for coronavirus in the county was reported March 19.

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The death is among 55 deaths statewide reported by the Ohio Dept. of Health, raising the total of confirmed and probably deaths to 1,836. There have been 30,167 confirmed and probably positive tests for coronavirus in Ohio since the pandemic began.

During Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefing, it was announced that bowling centers, batting cages and miniature golf courses can re-open on Tuesday, along with gyms and fitness centers, provided safety protocols are met.

It was also announced that banquet and catering halls may re-open on June 1 for wedding receptions and other events with a maximum of 300 people. Safety protocols in those businesses must also be observed.

Also on Thursday, Richland Public Health reported that local business owners, especially restaurant owners who have resumed indoor dining service, must ensure physical changes to meet COVID-19 protocols are not violating fire code regulations.

fire codes

RPH Commissioner Sarah Humphrey on Thursday emailed the following statement from Springfield Township Fire Chief Matthew Carey:

“One of our inspectors has noticed that businesses, in efforts to provide barriers for COVID-19 transmission, are inadvertently violating building and fire code regulations," the chief said, "such as, the hanging of highly flammable shower curtains in high occupancy areas, or the installation of plexiglass that now obstructs the sprinkler system.

"Before businesses take these measures, they need to check with their building and fire authorities to make sure that employees and patrons are safe," Carey said.

RPH also reported, as of Thursday, Richland County has 162 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases with five probable cases. There have been 29 hospitalizations, 13 of which spent time in ICU, and three deaths.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"