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Morning Headlines: Richland Co. Upgraded, Ashland Co. Remains Red On COVID-19 Alert Map; KSU Adjusts Spring Semester

Ohio COVID-19 Alert Map for October 1, 2020
Ohio Department of Health
Richland, Clermont, Hamilton, and Muskingum counties were upgraded to red on the state’s COVID-19 alert map this week. Ashland, Butler, Mercer, Montgomery, Pike, Putnam and Scioto counties remained red.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 2:

  • Richland Co. upgraded to red, Ashland Co. remains red on latest COVID-19 alert map
  • Nearly 450 COVID-19 cases reported in Ohio K-12 schools
  • KSU adjusts spring semester due to pandemic
  • Gov. DeWine distances himself from hate groups
  • Ohio abortion rate continues to drop
  • Summit Co. holds off on resuming trials
  • Governor, lawmakers plan aid for small businesses, renters
  • Court: Amazon not liable in teen's powdered caffeine death

Richland Co. upgraded to red, Ashland Co. remains red on latest COVID-19 alert map
11 Ohio counties are now listed as red on the state’s COVID-19 alert map. Richland, Clermont, Hamilton, and Muskingum were moved to red this week, while Stark and Delaware counties were moved from red to orange. Ashland, Butler, Mercer, Montgomery, Pike, Putnam and Scioto counties remained red. Cuyahoga, Portage and Summit counties remain orange. Geauga and Medina counties are at the lowest alert level of yellow. There were 1,327 COVID-19 cases reported Thursday. A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

Nearly 450 COVID-19 cases reported in Ohio K-12 schools
There were nearly 450 COVID-19 cases reported in Ohio’s public, private and community K-12 schools this week. The numbers include both students and staff. There have been just over 800 student cases and around 450 staff cases total statewide. Ohio now requires schools to report their cases to local boards of health, which then report them to the state.

KSU adjusts spring semester due to pandemic
Kent State University is making adjustments for spring semester due to the coronavirus pandemic. Spring break for 2021 has been moved from March 29-April 4 to April 12-18. After spring break, classes will continue remotely for 11 instructional days through the last day of instruction on Monday, May 3, and through final exams, May 6-12. The spring semester course schedule will be available Oct. 5 and will include a mixture of remote and in-person courses.

Gov. DeWine distances himself from hate groups
President Donald Trump didn't distance himself from hate groups at Tuesday night's debate in Cleveland. But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has. At a press conference Thursday, DeWine called out divisive beliefs on the right and left saying, "hate sickens me." DeWine says fringe groups on both sides don't share "our common values." He also quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying "Hate is too great a burden for this country."

Ohio abortion rate continues to drop
The number of abortions in Ohio continue to decline. Last year the state saw a one percent drop - 323 fewer abortions - from the year before, according to the latest Ohio Abortion Report. Just over 20,100 abortions were performed in Ohio last year. And nearly 9 in 10 were done in the first trimester with one half of one percent conducted after 20 weeks. Women 25 to 55 accounted for nearly 62% (61.8) of the abortions. And less than 3% were performed on patients under 17. Thirty-one women had complications but none died.

Summit Co. holds off on resuming trials
Summit County is holding off on resuming trials for another month due to concerns about the pandemic. The Summit County Common Pleas Court administrator issued an order Thursday that no trials can go forward until Nov. 6 unless authorized with safety measures in place. Other civil and criminal matters will continue to be handled by video conference or telephone. Foreclosures, evictions and judgments related to real and personal property may move forward at the discretion of the presiding judge. Details can be found here.

Governor, lawmakers plan aid for small businesses, renters
Ohio's Senate Finance Chairman says an aid package for small businesses and people struggling to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic is coming soon. Sen. Matthew Dolan is a Republican from near Cleveland. He said Wednesday the goal is to provide the money as quickly as possible to those in need. GOP Gov. Mike DeWine and lawmakers are jointly working on a plan which would also provide assistance for companies with difficulty making mortgage payments. The aid comes as claims for unemployment have ticked upward in recent days after weeks of falling from the record highs early in the pandemic.

Court: Amazon not liable in teen's powdered caffeine death
The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that retail giant Amazon is not liable in the 2014 death of a high school senior who ingested powdered caffeine. The case examined whether Amazon should be held responsible under Ohio product liability law since it was the company that shipped the product. Records show 18-year-old Logan Stiner got the product from a friend who found it on Amazon. Attorneys for Stiner’s father said the company was not a “neutral platform” in the powder’s sale but played an “indispensable role” in its sale. Amazon said the company doesn’t meet the definition of a supplier under Ohio law.