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Morning Headlines: New Coronavirus Cases Top 5K, Nearly a Quarter of Cases in Children; MetroHealth to Require Vaccinations for Full Staff

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Ohio reported nearly 5,400 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. The last time the daily tally topped 5,000 was late January.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, August 27:

  • New Coronavirus Cases Top 5K, Nearly a Quarter of Cases in Children
  • MetroHealth to Require Vaccinations for Full Staff
  • Ohio Dems Ask IG to Get Involved in Federal Bribery Probe
  • Ohio School Districts Received Billions in Federal Pandemic Aid
  • Lordstown Motors Names New CEO
  • Akron Pride Festival Returns, Moves to Downtown
  • Akron Marathon to Require Vaccinations, Negative COVID-19 Test

New Coronavirus Cases Top 5K, Nearly a Quarter of Cases in Children
(WKSU) — Ohio reported nearly 5,400 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. That’s nearly double the number of cases just four days ago and a stark warning that the pandemic is far from over. The last time the daily tally topped 5,000 was late January. 2,100 people remain hospitalized, a number that’s likely to rise as new cases increase. The percentage of cases among children in Ohio is the highest it’s been since the start of the pandemic, at nearly 23% of all cases.

MetroHealth to Require Vaccinations for Full Staff
(WCPN) — MetroHealth announced Thursday it will require employees to be fully vaccinated by October 30 or face termination. WCPN reports the mandate applies to all MetroHealth employees, including those who work remotely. It also includes vendors, contracted workers, volunteers, students, and trainees. Officials said there will be some religious and health exemptions. Both University Hospitals and the Cleveland Clinic have not yet mandated the vaccine for employees, but other Northeast Ohio hospitals have, including Summa Health and Akron Children's Hospital.

Ohio Dems Ask IG to Get Involved in Federal Bribery Probe
(AP) — Two Ohio House Democrats asked the state watchdog Thursday to investigate the involvement of several DeWine administration officials and others in a $60 million bribery scheme alleged by federal prosecutors. A complaint filed by state Reps. Jeffrey Crossman, of Parma, and Casey Weinstein, of Hudson, asks Inspector General Randall Meyer to investigate four DeWine staffers: legislative director Dan McCarthy; then-chief of staff Laurel Dawson; then-policy director Michael Hall; assistant policy director Anne Vogel; former Public Utilities Commission Chair Sam Randazzo, whom DeWine appointed; and Scott Elisar, the PUCO’s legislative and policy director. DeWine's spokesman said the complaint is politically motivated.

Ohio School Districts Received Billions in Federal Pandemic Aid
(AP) —A data analysis shows that Ohio schools have received more than $6 billion in federal pandemic relief dollars. The average received per district in Ohio is around $2.7 million and the median spending per student is over $3,200. Columbus city schools received the most of any district, followed by Cleveland and Cincinnati. Many schools used the money to hire more teachers and counselors, purchase equipment, and offer summer programs. The superintendent at Washington Local Schools in northwestern Ohio calls the money a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Lordstown Motors Names New CEO
(WKSU) —Struggling electric vehicle maker Lordstown Motors has named its new CEO. Daniel Ninivaggi most recently led Icahn Enterprises automotive parts division. Ninivaggi takes the reins as the startup overcomes turnover at the top, ongoing legal challenges, and a cash crunch. Earlier this year founder and former CEO Steve Burns resigned after a short-seller launched a lawsuit saying the company exaggerated pre-orders for its electric pickup. Last month a hedge fund had committed to purchasing up to $400 million of the startup's shares over a three-year period. Ninivaggi said Lordstown will begin limited production of its electric pickup truck next month.

Akron Pride Festival Returns, Moves to Downtown
(Beacon Journal) — After canceling last year's event due to the pandemic, Akron's Pride Festival is back Saturday in a new location. The Beacon Journal reports the festival has moved from Akron's Hardesty Park to the city's downtown in and around Lock 3 Park. Organizers said the move downtown will allow acts and vendors to spread out on different stages. Masks are not required, but organizers say they hope most people will wear them, especially in places where social distancing will be difficult. The festival, along with the Akron Equity March scheduled for 10 am Saturday, could be the largest public gathering in downtown Akron since the pandemic began. In 2019 the festival attracted around 20,000 people.

Akron Marathon to Require Vaccinations, Negative COVID-19 Test
(WKSU) — The Akron Marathon Race Series has announced both runners and volunteers are now required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result before race events in order to participate. The series said the protocols for the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, and Team Relay were updated because of the surge in COVID-19 cases across the state. The events are Sept. 25.