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Morning Headlines: Cuyahoga County Moves Up to ‘Substantial’ COVID Spread; More Vaccine Clinics Offered

A map of covid spread in Ohio.
CDC
A number of Northeast Ohio counties now fall under the CDC’s ‘substantial’ spread category for the coronavirus, including Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Mahoning, Stark, and Portage. Ashland is the only county in the region in the ‘high’ category.

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, August 3:

  • Cuyahoga County moves up to ‘substantial’ COVID spread
  • More vaccine clinics offered
  • Special election held today for 11th Congressional District seat
  • OSU requiring masks indoors
  • Agreement shows Ohio utility paid regulator for future help
  • Housing advocates warn of looming Ohio evictions wave
  • State’s redistricting commission to meet Friday
  • Parker-Hannifin to acquire its UK competitor

Cuyahoga County moves up to ‘substantial’ COVID spread
(WKSU) -- About a dozen Northeast Ohio counties now fall under the CDC’s ‘substantial’ spread category for the coronavirus, recommending that everyone wear a mask indoors. Those counties include Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Mahoning, Stark, and Portage. Ashland is the only county in the region in the ‘high’ category, with the sixth-highest transmission rate in the state and among the lowest vaccination rate at just under 33%. However, vaccinations are up statewide as the delta variant spreads. The state says nearly 60,000 received a first dose in the last week, the highest numbers since June.

More vaccine clinics offered
(WKSU) -- Counties are making vaccines more accessible as the Delta variant continues to spread. Summit County Public Health says it’s continuing to offer drive-thru clinics with extended hours every Wednesday at its Akron headquarters. It will also travel to administer vaccines in people’s homes to those who make an appointment online or call 330-926-5795. The Stark County Health Department has two vaccination clinics this Thursday and Friday at Belden Village Mall. The Cleveland Public Library is also hosting pop-up clinics at branches over the next two weeks: Glenville on Aug. 4 from 1 to 2 p.m.; Memorial-Nottingham on Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon; Rice on Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon and Harvard-Lee on Aug. 11 from 1 to 3 p.m.

Special election held today for 11th Congressional District seat
(WKSU) -- Today is Election Day for portions of Cuyahoga and Summit counties in the very tight race for the Democratic nomination for the 11th Congressional seat. Former state Sen. Nina Turner and Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair and county councilwoman Shontel Brown are the frontrunners among 13 Democrats and two Republicans. The winner of the Democratic primary is expected to win easily in November in the solidly blue district. The race is to replace Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, who became HUD secretary for the Biden administration. The polls are open Tuesday until 7:30 p.m.

OSU requiring masks indoors
(WOSU) -- Ohio State University will require masks to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status. In an email to the campus community on Monday afternoon, President Dr. Kristina Johnson said that masks continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated people when physical distancing is not possible. Officials say 73% of the Ohio State community is fully vaccinated, however, Johnson said in her email that "we must do better." The university is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to report their vaccination status by Thursday.

Agreement shows Ohio utility paid regulator for future help
(AP) — The Ohio Consumers' Counsel has made public a consulting agreement that resulted in a $4.3 million payment by FirstEnergy Corp. to an energy attorney and lobbyist shortly before he was appointed Ohio's top utility regulator. The contracts dating back to 2013 released to reporters on Monday show that and previous payments were made to Sam Randazzo's company, Sustainability Funding Alliance of Ohio. FirstEnergy has acknowledged in a federal deferred prosecution agreement paying Randazzo a total of $22 million from 2010 through 2019. Randazzo has denied helping FirstEnergy after he became chair of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in April 2019.

Housing advocates warn of looming Ohio evictions wave
(AP) — An Ohio organization that advocates for affordable housing and fights homelessness is warning about a possible wave of evictions following the expiration of a federal moratorium on evictions that expired this past weekend. Bill Faith is executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. He said Monday that census data show about 213,000 Ohio households are behind in rent and about 134,000 renters fear eviction in the next two months. However, one attorney representing Columbus area landlords says the moratorium’s end doesn’t mean a lot right now because there’s so much undistributed rental assistance available still.

State’s redistricting commission to meet Friday
(WKSU) -- Gov. Mike DeWine says the first meeting to redraw Ohio's congressional and legislative districts is set for Friday. The commission will begin the new redistricting process ahead of the mid-September deadline to complete the new maps. The census data will include counts of population by race, voting age, and housing occupancy status at geographic levels as small as neighborhoods. The data will be used for drawing voting districts for Congress and state legislatures. The process has been delayed months because of the pandemic.

Parker-Hannifin to acquire its UK competitor
(Bloomberg) -- Parker-Hannifin has plans for a massive acquisition. The Mayfield Heights-based fittings and hydraulics company has announced an $8.8 billion deal to buy its UK-based rival, Meggitt. Meggitt, like Parker Hannifin, makes motion and control technologies for the aerospace and defense markets. Adding Meggitt will nearly double the size of Parker's aerospace systems unit and would be its biggest deal ever.

Updated: August 3, 2021 at 9:26 AM EDT
This story has been updated.