CLEVELAND — One of the earliest cases of note when the coronavirus pandemic began last month in Northeast Ohio was Cleveland State University's women's basketball coach Chris Kielsmeier.
Just over a month after testing positive, Kielsmeier is on the road to recovery and recorded a message on YouTube to say thank you to fans, his caregivers, Cleveland State staff, and Gov. Mike DeWine for all of their support.
"Thanks to everyone who has reached out with their well-wishes over the last few weeks. Your support has meant a lot to me as I'm continually getting better day by day and returning to normal after battling COVID-19 since March 11," Kielsmeier says in the message.
Cleveland State officially announced that Kielsmeier had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 14. CSU officials did not specify how Kielsmeier may have contracted the illness, but emphasized they were doing "everything possible to support Chris in his recovery and ensure that all who came into close contact with him are being contacted and given the best in medical advice and support." School President Harlan Sands said Kielsmeier alerted administrators "as soon as he started feeling ill," and that the coach's actions "were helpful in limiting exposure to the CSU community."
Those who had been in recent close contact with Kielsmeier were asked to self-quarantine, per CDC protocols. That included players, staff and officials from other Horizon League schools, as the Vikings had just finished playing in the league's women's basketball tournament days earlier in Indianapolis.
In his message, Kielsmeier gave a special shout-out to Cleveland Clinic doctors, nurses, and staff who treated his case of coronavirus. "Thank you for the tremendous care! I would not be well on my road to recovery without the incredible care you provided me," he added.
In two seasons at Cleveland State, Kielsmeier has a record of 31-31, including a 21-11 mark this past season that was an 11-win improvement from his maiden campaign. He led the Vikings to the Horizon League semifinals, where they lost to IUPUI.
"Now more than ever, we need to come together," as Kielsmeier closed his mesage. "Stay home, stay safe, and go Vikes."
You can watch Kielsmeier's full message in the player below: