photo of Ben Rancman and sons

Coronavirus and the New Normal for One Northeast Ohio Family

Living under the coronavirus umbrella has changed the daily routine of millions of Americans, including the staff at WKSU.

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Jon Ridinger / Wikimedia Commons

The View From Pluto: NCAA Eligibility Ruling Is Good For Athletes, Worrisome For Schools

The NCAA is giving all Division I college athletes an extra season of eligibility to make up for this spring that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the decision mostly affects graduating seniors who play sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf.

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Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 3:

photo of Ben Rancman and sons

Living under the coronavirus umbrella has changed the daily routine of millions of Americans, including the staff at WKSU.


University Hospitals is leading a new clinical trial to test whether an oral spray produced by Cleveland-based company ARMS Pharmaceutical can help prevent the coronavirus.

The trial’s principal investigator Dr. Robert Salata said the focus of the trial is on health care workers because they are becoming infected at a higher rate.

“We really feel strongly that this is a very important thing that we’re trying to do in terms of prevention,” he said.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the extension of the Stay At Home order saying the continued practice of social distancing and the closure of non-essential businesses gives medical staff the time they need to fight coronavirus.

This April 1 was an unusual Census Day, with coronavirus precautions freezing in-person events and outreach efforts for the 10-year survey.

The U.S. Census Bureau has suspended field operations until April 15, including visits to “group quarters” like nursing homes, according to Assistant Regional Census Manager Roxanne Wallace.

Two local researchers have developed a web tool that aims to show real-time COVID-19 risk at different locations.

Case Western Reserve University faculty members Fanny Ye and Ken Loparo have created an online mapping tool called Alpha-Satellite that attempts to show the risk of community spread of the coronavirus in any given area.

“We hope through this AI-driven system, we can help to allocate and provide the signs of how to prevent and also slow down the spread of the virus,” said Ye.

Hobby Lobby stores in Ohio are closed now after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost sent the company a cease and desist letter. The company had claimed it was operating as an essential business. But as Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports, that company isn't the only one that is being questioned about why they are operating as an essential business.

Over 468,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks – that’s nearly a third more than the total number filed last year.  The coronavirus restrictions have been a huge blow to workers who lost their jobs, and the fallout has created a tremendous strain on the system that’s set up to help them.

photo of Sherrod Brown

Unemployment numbers out Thursday show a huge spike both in Ohio and nationwide. In Ohio, more than 468,000 people have applied for benefits. That’s 100,000 more than all of last year.

Ohioans are anxiously awaiting financial help, including federal assistance of $1,200 promised to those making less than $75,000 annually. Senator Sherrod Brown tells WKSU he’s working to ensure those payments go out soon.  

an image of the stay at home order

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include additional orders issused by the state. These orders are listed in chonological order from earliest to most recent. This story was originally published on March 24, 2020. We will continue to update it as new orders are issued.

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton have signed numerous public health and executive orders since March 14 to attempt to stop the spread and keep Ohioans safe.


From NPR

Starting today, small businesses can apply for the nearly $350 billion in loans available through the economic rescue plan from Congress.

The loan program, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, is intended to support businesses so they can ride out the tough economic times and most importantly assist with either keeping current workers or rehire those that were laid off.

Three Southeast Asian nations — Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar — are using fears over the coronavirus to double down on repressive measures aimed at silencing critics or opponents.

In Thailand, general-turned-prime minister Prayuth Chan-ocha declared a state of emergency on March 26, granting him broad powers to protect the "safety of the people." It allows him to confine people to their homes, prohibits public assembly and includes additional powers of arrest and search and seizure.

Dennis Johnson fell victim last week to a new form of harassment known as "Zoombombing," in which intruders hijack video calls and post hate speech and offensive images such as pornography. It's a phenomenon so alarming that the FBI has issued a warning about using Zoom.

Like many people these days, Johnson is doing a lot of things over the Internet that he would normally do in person. Last week, he defended his doctoral dissertation in a Zoom videoconference.

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When Amol Jethwani interviewed for a job on Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign in December, the benefits were unlike anything he had heard of for political campaign field workers.

"They offered an incredible benefits package, which is unheard of for field staff, offering $8,000 a month for a regional role in addition to health care, technology, laptops, cellphones," said Jethwani.

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