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Morning Headlines: Stay-at-Home Advisories Issued in 3 Ohio Cities, Counties; Ohio Daily COVID-19 Cases Delayed

A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Officials in Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland, along with Medina, Franklin and Montgomery counties issued stay-at-home advisories for 28 days in an effort to slow coronavirus spread.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, November 19:

  • Stay-at-home advisories issued in 3 Ohio cities, counties
  • Ohio daily COVID-19 cases delayed
  • Three Northeast Ohio hospitals selected to distribute COVID vaccine
  • House lawmakers consider new expansion of Ohio gun laws
  • 2 state House incumbents lose seats
  • Cleveland establishes new division to address racial health inequities
  • Holiday events canceled amid coronavirus surge
  • Ohio Senate advances execution ban of severely mentally ill
  • Massillon’s Affinity campus sold to business partners
  • Cavaliers take Auburn small forward Okoro with fifth pick
  • Browns place 3 more on COVID list, Garrett kept home "sick"

Stay-at-home advisories issued in 3 Ohio cities, counties
The public health directors of three Ohio cities and the surrounding counties have issued stay-at-home advisories to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Officials in Cuyahoga County and Cleveland, Medina County, along with Franklin and Montgomery counties issued stay-at-home advisories for 28 days to residents in an effort to slow coronavirus spread in those high incident areas. The advisories also recommend not having any guests in homes including on Thanksgiving Day, and to avoid traveling in and out of state. Exceptions would be for essential needs such as medical care, groceries, medicine and food pick-up. Summit County officials signal they’re not far behind in issuing the same order.

Ohio daily COVID-19 cases delayed
Daily COVID-19 numbers were delayed on Wednesday, as the state said “thousands of reports are pending review” due to technical glitches. Eight hours later, the state reported at least 6,385 cases had been verified, but still said there was “incomplete” data. Hospitalization numbers also were incomplete, but shows another roughly 50 admissions, totaling nearly 3,650 people occupying about 13.5% of beds in the state. State data also shows there were 89 nursing home residents who died with COVID-19 in the last week, pushing the total to more than 3,150 since April.

Three Northeast Ohio hospitals selected to distribute COVID vaccine
Aultman Hospital in Canton will be the first site in the 12-county region to distribute any upcoming coronavirus vaccines. Region 5 includes Summit, Portage, Medina, and Stark counties and Aultman will be one of 10 hospitals across the state to be the sites chosen for early distribution because of its ultra-cold storage capacity. Two hospitals in the Cleveland area, Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth will serve the five counties of region 2.

House lawmakers consider new expansion of Ohio gun laws
Republican House lawmakers are weighing a proposal to further expand Ohio's gun laws, including allowing guns in more places. The proposals are coming in changes to a House bill now in committee. One proposal would expand Ohioans' ability to “stand their ground” from residences and cars to businesses. Another provision would allow 18-year-olds to receive a concealed carry license and with that, to purchase firearms. An additional measure would ban schools and universities from penalizing employees or students who carry a concealed weapon legally.

2 state House incumbents lose seats
Two-term Republican state Rep. Dave Greenspan has lost his bid for reelection to Democrat Monique Smith in the Cleveland suburbs, while GOP challenger Gail Pavliga defeated first-term Democratic Rep. Randi Clites in the Akron area. Results in races too early to call on Election Night came as counties around Ohio posted their official results Wednesday. The totals still require certification by Secretary of State Frank LaRose by Nov. 28. President Donald Trump's margin of victory in the state shrunk slightly.

Cleveland establishes new division to address racial health inequities
Cleveland City Council has approved legislation creating a new division to address health disparities. Cleveland declared racism a public health crisis in June. The new Division of Health, Equity and Social Justice will work to address the inequities people face when it comes to things like finding jobs and accessing health care. The city plans to hire a commissioner to run the new division by early next year.

Holiday events canceled amid coronavirus surge
Some holiday events are being scrapped as COVID-19 cases rise. On Wednesday the Cleveland Orchestra announced its Christmas concert series at Severance Hall next month is canceled. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad also announced the cancellation of Polar Express train rides for the remainder of the season.

Ohio Senate advances execution ban of severely mentally ill
Executing the severely mentally ill would be banned under legislation pending in the Ohio Senate during this year’s lame duck session. The bill, previously passed by the House legislation, was informally passed during a Senate session Wednesday after receiving broad support from Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly. A final vote will come after Thanksgiving. A spokesman for GOP Senate President Larry Obhof says he supported the bill but believes most Ohioans support the death penalty for some cases and so he wouldn’t support abolition. Ohio is under an unofficial death penalty moratorium as the state says it can’t find an adequate supply of drugs for lethal injection.

Massillon’s Affinity campus sold to business partners
The former Affinity Medical Center in Massillon has been sold for around a half million dollars. Stark County business partners Daniel Beers and Brandon Fabris were the winning bidders in an auction Wednesday for the hospital building and related properties. Beers tells the Canton Repository that the plan is to reopen a series of medical services at the hospital site under the banner of Canton-based MediShield Solutions LTD. The Affinity complex was closed in 2018 and acquired by the city.

Cavaliers take Auburn small forward Okoro with fifth pick
The Cleveland Cavaliers have addressed their biggest need by choosing Auburn small forward Isaac Okoro with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft. Okoro was widely considered the top defensive swingman available and joins a frontcourt that features two former All-Stars in center Andre Drummond and power forward Kevin Love. Okoro averaged 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in his lone season with the Tigers, starting all 28 games as a freshman. He is the Cavaliers’ third straight lottery pick since losing LeBron James to the Lakers in free agency in 2018.

Browns place 3 more on COVID list, Garrett kept home "sick"
Star defensive end Myles Garrett stayed home feeling ill and the Browns placed three more players, including starting right tackle Jack Conklin and kicker Cody Parkey, on the COVID-19 list as the team prepares for this week’s home game against Philadelphia. Coach Kevin Stefanski said Garrett has not tested positive for the coronavirus. The team also placed dependable long snapper Charley Hughlett on the growing list. Stefanski couldn’t elaborate on whether Conklin, Parkey or Hughlett tested positive or are isolating due to close contact with an infected person. Fullback Andy Janovich and offensive lineman Chris Hubbard are already on the list after testing positive.