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Morning Headlines: DeWine Advises Vaccinations, Masks for Schoolchildren; Masks Now Required in Some Areas of CVNP

A picture of a face mask.
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Gov. Mike DeWine is urging that schoolchildren continue wearing masks in school at least for the beginning of the academic year to avoid more drastic measures such as quarantines or a return to online learning. School mask mandates vary widely across Ohio.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, August 18:

  • DeWine advises vaccinations, masks for schoolchildren
  • Masks now required in some areas of CVNP
  • COVID cases, hospitalizations reach February levels
  • Progressive Dem Morgan Harper enters Ohio US Senate race
  • Central Interchange traffic patterns change again
  • Yost: Ohio close to accepting opioid settlement
  • Tourism group says NFL draft was $42M windfall for Cleveland

DeWine advises vaccinations, masks for schoolchildren
(AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine is urging that schoolchildren continue wearing masks in school at least for the beginning of the academic year to avoid more drastic measures such as quarantines or a return to online learning. DeWine said Tuesday that the best way to protect students is to send children under the age of 12 to school with a mask and to ensure students 12-17 receive the COVID-19 vaccine. School mask mandates vary widely across Ohio. Columbus is requiring them. So are Cincinnati and Cleveland schools, at least for the beginning of the year.

Masks now required in some areas of CVNP
(WKSU) -- Masks will again be required in indoor spaces and crowded outdoor areas at national parks, including Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The new requirement applies to all employees, visitors, and contractors regardless of vaccination status. For now, there is no mask requirement for other outdoor spaces, aside from those where social distancing cannot be maintained, such as on narrow and busy trails. Masks will continue to be required on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad within the park unless actively eating or drinking.

COVID cases, hospitalizations reach February levels
(WKSU) -- The number of new coronavirus cases in Ohio shot up Tuesday to more than 3,200, the largest increase since February. Also yesterday, 220 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. There are currently more than 1,500 people in Ohio hospital beds with the virus. Just over half of Ohioans have received at least one vaccine shot.

Progressive Dem Morgan Harper enters Ohio US Senate race
(AP) — Progressive Morgan Harper is running for U.S. Senate in Ohio. The 38-year-old Stanford-educated attorney, who began life in foster care, announced her bid Wednesday for the seat held by retiring Republican Rob Portman. She faces 10-term Congressman Tim Ryan in the Democratic primary. Harper drew national attention last year when she won 32% of the primary vote against longtime Columbus-area Democratic U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty.

Central Interchange traffic patterns change again
(WKSU) -- More traffic headaches begin today for those commuting through Akron. The I-77 North ramp to I-76 is now closed at the Central Interchange through 2023. The detour is I-277 westbound to the reopened I-76 Kenmore Leg. The southbound Route 8 ramp to I-77 North is closed to alleviate traffic. The $80 million project to widen I-76 is expected to wrap up this year. The entire Central Interchange Project is expected to be completed in late 2023.

Yost: Ohio close to accepting opioid settlement
(WKSU) -- Attorney General Dave Yost says Ohio’s $808 million share of the $26 billion settlement with drug maker Johnson & Johnson and three opioid distributors will likely go forward. Yost says the deal reached last month with J&J and AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Columbus-based Cardinal Health has the backing of 135 local governments representing more than 96% of litigants. Yost last week warned the deal could fall through if enough municipalities didn’t sign on. The Ohio Municipal League says the holdup was mainly due to local governments having just a couple of weeks to review the deal, and that many only meet once a month during the summer. Under a state plan, 55% of the settlement money will go to a foundation to pay for addiction treatment programs, 30% to local governments, and 15% to the state.

Tourism group says NFL draft was $42M windfall for Cleveland
(WKSU) -- The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission estimates that the recent NFL draft held in Cleveland provided a $42 million boost to the city. Destination Cleveland President and CEO David Gilbert says the late April event drew around 160,000 people to Cleveland and was seen by 40 million TV viewers. The economic impact estimates were calculated using industry models from data gathered by the NFL on hotel activity, occupancy, and consumer activity tracked on the NFL’s apps for the event.