Dr. Amy Acton, director Ohio Department of Health

Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Ohio’s top health official said she projects that 100,000 people in the state already are carrying the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said in a new conference Thursday the virus is already in the population.

“I know this is hard,” Acton said, “because this virus is among us, but we can’t see it yet.”

“Just the fact of community spread says that ... at the very least 1% of our population is carrying this virus in Ohio today,” Acton said. “We have 11.7 million people ... so the math is over 100,000. So that just gives you a sense of how the virus spreads, and is spreading quickly.”

Ohio officials said five people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday ordered every school in Ohio to close for three weeks beginning at day's end Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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