Skip to main content

ByLaura Johnston,

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Michigan reported its first two coronavirus cases March 9, the day after Ohio reported its first three.

While both Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine governors closed schools on March 12, the number of confirmed cases in the neighboring states had diverged radically a week later. Michigan reported 1,035 cases Sunday, with eight deaths, while Ohio reported 351 cases and three deaths.

There are lots of variables, obviously. One is the number of tests given. Ohio, which has 11.7 million residents, has not released its number of negative tests, though University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic alone tested more than 2,200 in four days. The independent COVID Tracking Project says Michigan, with 10 million residents, has 2,069 negative tests.

See the restrictions all 50 states have implemented in the fight against coronavirus

Ohio has been a little lucky, said Case Western Reserve University Professor Mark Cameron. But the state also been able to watch the progression of COVID-19 in states like Washington and New York and decide how to restrict public interaction.

... See how the states’ timelines compare:

Monday, March 9

Michigan: 0 cases

Ohio: 3 cases

Ohio declares state of emergency. Ohio State University suspended face-to-face classes

Tuesday, March 10

Michigan: 2 cases

Ohio: 3 cases

Michigan declares state of emergency. Michigan holds presidential primary election.

Wednesday, March 11

Michigan: 12 cases

Ohio: 4 cases

Michigan colleges begin shutting down.

Ohio colleges announce colleges suspend classes on campus. Cleveland cancels St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Thursday, March 12

Michigan: 16 cases

Ohio: 5 cases

Michigan announces school closures starting March 16.

Ohio closes schools starting March 17. Most mass gatherings of 100 or more people in the state will be banned, including in theaters, sports arenas and more.

Friday, March 13

Michigan: 25 cases

Ohio: 13 cases

Michigan bans gatherings of 250 people or more.

Saturday, March 14

Michigan: 33 cases

Ohio: 26 cases

Ohio recommends all elective surgeries be postponed, to conserve surgical masks and gloves.

Sunday, March 15

Michigan: 53 cases

Ohio: 37 cases

Ohio orders all restaurants and bars to close at 9 p.m.

Monday, March 16

Michigan: 54 cases

Ohio: 50 cases

Nationally, President Trump suggests gatherings should be limited to no more than 10 people.

Michigan limits groups to 50, shuts dine-in service at bars and restaurants and ordering the closing of coffee shops, gyms and other places.

Ohio postpones the primary election. It limits groups to 50, and closes gyms, bowling alleys, recreation centers, movie theaters, water parks and trampoline parks. Locally, the Cuyahoga County Probate Court largely stops issuing marriage licenses.

Tuesday, March 17

Michigan: 65 cases

Ohio: 67 cases

The U.S.-Canadian border closes.

Ohio mandates all elective surgeries be postponed.

Wednesday, March 18

Michigan: 80 cases, including first death

Ohio: 88 cases

Michigan Department of Natural Resources closes shooting ranges and will restrict general public walk-in traffic at facilities statewide.

Ohio closes Bureaus of Motor Vehicles, state parks, barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, nail salons and spas.

Thursday, March 19

Michigan: 334 cases

Ohio: 119 cases

Ohio asks all businesses to respect social distancing and take employees’ temperatures before they arrive to work.

Friday, March 20

Michigan: 549 cases

Ohio: 169 cases, including first death

Michigan postpones all non-essential medical and dental procedures, including routine checkups, until at least March 21.

Ohio closes senior daycares, warns that it could close nonessential businesses if they do not comply with social distancing requirements. ...
Read full report and see full timeline at