Morning Headlines: Vaccinations Begin in Ohio Schools; Daily COVID-19 Cases Remain Below Average
Here are your morning headlines for Monday, February 1:
- Vaccinations begin in Ohio schools
- Daily COVID-19 cases remain below average
- Portman among 10 GOP Senators to negotiate stimulus bill at the White House
- Biden to nominate two new federal judges in Cleveland
- Following complaints, Stark commissioners will meet to discuss Dominion Voting Machines
- DeWine has $3.6 in campaign cash for 2022
- Ohio’s Lead Advisory Committee’s issues final report, recommendations
Vaccinations begin in Ohio schools
Some school districts in Ohio will begin vaccinating teachers and staff Monday. However, Gov. Mike DeWine has said the state doesn't have enough COVID-19 doses for everyone, and won't be able to administer two doses to everyone by the goal to return to in-person learning by March 1. Ohio is allocating about 55,000 shots per week to school employees to vaccinate about 334,000 K-12 teachers and staff this month. Those in the first group this week include districts in Summit, Medina and Mahoning counties. Next week, schools in Cuyahoga and Stark counties will begin. Starting February 15, Portage, Ashland, Ashtabula, Carroll and Richland county schools will get doses. Those in Tuscarawas, Geauga, Lorain, Trumbull and Wayne will wait until Feb. 22.
Daily COVID-19 cases remain below average
Ohio’s daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to remain below three-week averages. The state on Sunday reported around 3,000 new cases and 54 deaths. Currently, 21-day averages stand at around 5,600 for cases and 74 for deaths. The state also reported 80 hospitalizations Sunday, also below the three-week average of 241. Meanwhile, Summit County extended its stay-at-home advisory through Feb. 28. Health officials say it’s important to continue to work to curb the spread of the virus.
Portman among 10 GOP Senators to negotiate stimulus bill at the White House
Rob Portman is among 10 Senate Republicans calling on President Biden to work on a bipartisan coronavirus relief bill. The move comes as the president signaled he could move to pass a new $1.9 trillion aid package with all Democratic votes. In a statement last night, Portman said Biden has agreed to meet with the lawmakers at the White House Monday. Republicans argue their proposal, which they promised to release in full today, would be able to receive bipartisan support, given that it mirrors Biden’s call for $160 billion for coronavirus testing, tracing, treatment, and protective supplies. Portman said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that direct payments to Americans should be capped at individuals earning $50,000 rather than $75,000 in Democrats’ proposal.
Biden to nominate two new federal judges in Cleveland
President Joe Biden will nominate new federal judges in Cleveland, as two have elected to take senior status this week. Judges James Gwin and Dan Polster will continue to hear cases on senior status. They likely waited to make the move until Biden was inaugurated, ensuring Biden and not former President Donald Trump would fill the seats. Polster said he will continue to oversee the nationwide opioid litigation, which involves more than 2,500 federal lawsuits.
Following complaints, Stark commissioners will meet to discuss Dominion Voting Machines
Stark County Commissioners will meet with county elections officials Tuesday to discuss a plan to buy voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems. A flood of county residents have been calling the commissioners, voicing concerns about the move in December to buy the equipment. Dominion was criticized by supporters of former President Donald Trump who baselessly claimed the company’s technology led to Trump’s loss. The Canton Repository reports none of the people who have complained to the commissioners submitted any evidence to back their claims.
DeWine has $3.6 in campaign cash for 2022
Gov. Mike DeWine has $3.6 million in campaign cash on hand ahead of his 2022 re-election bid. The latest campaign finance reports show DeWine-Husted for Ohio, which includes Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, raised nearly $1.7 million in the second half of last year. DeWine spent a record $35.6 million on his 2018 race in beating Democrat Richard Cordray by 3.7 percentage points.
Ohio’s Lead Advisory Committee’s issues final report, recommendations
Gov. Mike DeWine over the weekend released the Lead Advisory Committee's final report that includes 21 recommendations on how to protect children from lead poisoning. The committee was formed in 2019, the same year more than 3,500 Ohio children were found with elevated levels of lead in their blood. The recommendations include informing Ohioans about the dangers of lead poisoning, increasing testing for children to determine if they have lead poisoning and having the Ohio Department of Health work with families who have children with lead poisoning. The report also recommends landlords and property owners enroll in the Lead Safe Rental Registry and identify lead hazards on their properties.