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Morning Headlines: COVID-19 Cases Top 7,000 with 1K Backlog; More Schools Issue Temporary Mask Mandates

Coronavirus surrounding a masked woman.
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The state on Wednesday reported more than 7,000 COVID-19 cases, which includes a backlog of 1,000 from a COVID-19 testing lab. There are currently around 2,500 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, September 2:

  • COVID-19 cases top 7,000 with 1K backlog
  • More schools issue temporary mask mandates
  • I-X Center set to reopen
  • Ohio repays Treasury $1.5B for federal unemployment loan
  • Bishop Sycamore accused of passing bad checks
  • Former state lawmaker dies of COVID-19
  • Summit County offering free at-home COVID tests

COVID-19 cases top 7,000 with 1K backlog
(WKSU) -- Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to trend upward in Ohio. The state on Wednesday reported more than 7,000 cases, which includes a backlog of 1,000 from a COVID-19 testing lab. There are currently around 2,500 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and hospital capacity is at around 76%. As of Wednesday, 52% of Ohio’s population has at least started the vaccine.

More schools issue temporary mask mandates
(Cleveland.com) — Wadsworth schools is implementing a temporary mask mandate after 74 students tested positive for COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports more than 540 students are now in quarantine, that's just over 12% of the student body. The district says all students and staff will be required to wear masks through Sept. 20. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Cuyahoga Falls and Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools became the latest districts in Summit County to approve four-week mask mandates.

I-X Center set to reopen
(Cleveland.com) — A new management team will take over operations at Cleveland's I-X Center. Cleveland.com reports Industrial Realty Group is purchasing I-X Center stock from parent company Park Corporation, which operated the venue for 35 years, but closed it last year amid the pandemic. Shortly after the announcement Wednesday, the Cleveland Auto Show, the Great Big Home + Garden Show, and the Ohio RV Supershow all announced plans to return to the I-X Center next year.

Ohio repays Treasury $1.5B for federal unemployment loan
(AP) — Ohio has repaid the U.S. Treasury nearly $1.5 billion the state borrowed for unemployment benefits to residents during the pandemic. Gov. Mike DeWine says the reimbursement to the Treasury, using funds dispersed through the federal COVID-19 rescue package, will prevent employers from facing future tax increases in order to pay off the loan. The repayment comes just days before the Sept. 6 deadline when the federal government would have begun charging interest on the debt. Ohio made about a total of $2.1 billion in unemployment insurance overpayments during the pandemic. The state says included in that figure were overpayments that resulted from fraud or errors.

Bishop Sycamore accused of passing bad checks
(Canton Repository) -- There’s more trouble for a Columbus-based football program that’s been in the national headlines. Canton police are now investigating Bishop Sycamore for allegedly using two bad checks to cover a more than $3,500 hotel stay for its nationally-televised blow-out game against an elite Florida school. The Canton Repository reports they were written on an account listed to Education Resources Group of New York, New York. Gov. Mike DeWine this week called on the state education department to investigate Bishop Sycamore’s legitimacy. The supposed school in Columbus is not recognized by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and the Department of Education lists no charter school with its name

Former state lawmaker dies of COVID-19
(Cincinnati Inquirer) -- A former Cincinnati-area state lawmaker has died from COVID-19. The Cincinnati Inquirer reports former Rep. Doug Green died after being treated for COVID for several weeks. The 66-year-old of Brown County was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 2013 through 2020.

Summit County offering free at-home COVID tests
(WKSU) -- Summit County health officials are offering free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests as cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. The department will give out one BinaxNOW per person at its walk-up window at its W. Market St., Akron, location. The test, which gives results in 15 minutes, can be used for anyone age 4 and over.

Deputies called to Nordonia school board meeting
(The Beacon Journal) — Summit County sheriff's deputies were called to a Nordonia school board meeting Monday because several people refused to wear masks. The Beacon Journal reports those who refused to put on masks were escorted from the building by police. No arrests were made. Several showed up to the meeting to protest the mask mandate the district passed last week. One school board member left the meeting in protest.