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Morning Headlines: Ohio Ramps Up Mask Rules and May Close Bars, Restaurants; DeWine Signals Ohio Colleges May Be Remote in January

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STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Gov. Mike DeWine beseeched Ohioans to take the surging coronavirus spread seriously, issuing new orders on mask enforcement in businesses, gatherings across the state and threatening to close bars, restaurants and fitness centers if cases continue to rise.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, November 12:

  • Ohio ramps up mask rules and may close bars, restaurants
  • DeWine signals Ohio colleges may be remote in January
  • Some Northeast Ohio schools move online as cases climb
  • Cleveland Clinic halts elective surgeries this Friday and Monday
  • Officer suspended for actions after Tamir Rice's shooting
  • Cleveland's Bieber, Cincinnati's Bauer win Cy Young Awards
  • Mayfield practices with Browns after stay on COVID-19 list

Ohio ramps up mask rules and may close bars, restaurants
Gov. Mike DeWine beseeched Ohioans to take the surging coronavirus spread seriously, issuing new orders on mask enforcement in businesses, gatherings across the state and threatening to close bars, restaurants and fitness centers if cases continue to rise. DeWine shifted the authority of mask enforcement from the local counties to the state. If a business receives more than one violation it will have to close for 24 hours. But the governor’s orders Wednesday were not as far-reaching as in March, when Ohio became one of the first states to go into lockdown. Regarding another shutdown, DeWine said he’ll reevaluate the situation in one week.

Details of Ohio’s revised mask order:

  • Each store will be required to post a sign outlining face-covering requirements at all public entrances to the store;
  • Each store will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks; and
  • A new Retail Compliance Unit, comprised of agents led by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, will inspect to ensure compliance. A first violation will result in a written warning and a second violation will result in closure of the store for up to 24 hours.

DeWine signals Ohio colleges may be remote in January
Gov. Mike DeWine signaled during his Wednesday address that if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, college may have to conduct class remotely for the spring semester beginning in January. Most schools currently have at least 60% of classes online, and will be going entirely remote for the final two weeks of the fall semester after Thanksgiving. However, cases on campuses continue to rise. Kent State on Tuesday reported 81 new cases for the past week. Shortly after DeWine’s speech, the University of Akron announced classes will move online one week earlier, beginning Monday. The campus, including dorms and dining halls, will remain open. The school is also offering rapid COVID testing by appointment beginning Thursday, Nov. 19 through Nov. 25, before students living on campus return home.

Some Northeast Ohio schools move online as cases climb
Some schools in the region are adjusting plans after a spike in COVID-19 cases. The Beacon Journal reports Coventry Local Schools is moving all classes online beginning Thursday for at least the next few weeks. Also on Wednesday, Medina announced that classes are canceled for high school and middle schools Thursday and Friday after a rise of cases and quarantines among staff and students, mostly attributed to social gatherings outside of school. The Canton Repository reports Louisville High School will switch to remote learning beginning Thursday for the next week and a half after seven reported COVID cases.

Cleveland Clinic halts elective surgeries this Friday and Monday
The Cleveland Clinic is postponing nonessential surgeries Friday and Monday to free up bed space. This affects only surgeries that require a hospital stay and that can be safely rescheduled. This comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record highs. There are currently nearly 3,000 people in the hospital in Ohio, including more than 700 people in the ICU. The Clinic says it will reassess the situation over the weekend to determine whether it needs to put off elective procedures longer.

Officer suspended for actions after Tamir Rice's shooting
A Cleveland police supervisor is being suspended for detaining the sister of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on the day he was shot and killed by a police officer six years ago. Tamir Rice was playing with a pellet gun at a Cleveland park when he was shot in 2014. The city's safety director on Wednesday ordered Sgt. Janell Rutherford suspended for two days without pay over the decision to hold Rice’s 14-year-old sister in the back of a police cruiser for over an hour after the shooting. Cleveland's police chief decided against a suspension earlier this year. The police union's president vows an appeal.

Cleveland's Bieber, Cincinnati's Bauer win Cy Young Awards
Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber is the unanimous winner of the American League Cy Young Award. Bieber went 8-1 led the majors with 122 strikeouts. Former Tribe pitcher Trevor Bauer won the National League honor, becoming the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher to win.

Mayfield practices with Browns after stay on COVID-19 list
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield returned to the team after being placed on the COVID-19 list. He practiced Wednesday and expects to play Sunday against Houston. Mayfield had to isolate for several days after he had close contact with a staff member who tested positive for the coronavirus.