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Morning Headlines: Ohio’s COVID transmission rate rises; House approves anti-vaccine mandate legislation

A rendering of the coronavirus.
PIRO4D
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PIXABAY
New COVID cases continue to rise with a 50% increase over the three-week average and the highest rate seen since late September. State health officials say hospitalizations have increased by 23% in the last three weeks.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, November 19:

  • Ohio’s COVID transmission rate rises
  • House approves anti-vaccine mandate legislation
  • GOP-led Ohio Legislature OKs fast-tracked congressional map
  • Ohio House approves bill allowing cameras in nursing home rooms
  • Ohio Supreme Court decides gun access case under Marsy's Law
  • Smucker Co. to build $1.1B sandwich factory near Birmingham

Ohio’s COVID transmission rate rises
(WKSU) -- New COVID cases continue to rise with another jump on Thursday of more 6,600. That’s a 50% increase over the three-week average and the highest rate seen since late September. The state’s transmission rate has also increased to just under 500 cases per 100,000 residents. It’s been on the rise following seven straight weeks of declines. The CDC defines a high rate of transmission at 100 cases per 100,000 residents. State health officials say hospitalizations have increased by 23% in the last three weeks.

House approves anti-vaccine mandate legislation
(AP) — House Republicans have approved anti-vaccine mandate legislation that would prohibit private companies and public entities from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of entering facilities or conducting business. The measure would also ban schools from restricting students' activities based on their vaccination status, and require hospitals to accommodate intensive care workers who don't get the vaccine. The GOP-controlled House voted in favor of the bill along party lines Thursday after a committee vote hours earlier. Commerce and Labor Committee Chairman Dick Stein, a Republican from Norwalk, said the legislation was about personal choice and individual freedom. The bill goes next to the Senate.

GOP-led Ohio Legislature OKs fast-tracked congressional map
(AP) — Ohio’s new congressional district map has cleared the Republican-controlled state Legislature at a breakneck pace. The plan heads next to GOP Gov. Mike DeWine, who is under pressure to veto it. The map’s latest iteration emerged late Monday and passed through two committees and two chambers in less than three days. Lacking Democratic support, it is on track to last only four of the 10 years until the next census, the results of which trigger the once-per-decade map-drawing process. Republicans call it competitive, constitutional, and not unduly favorable to either party. Democrats, voting-rights groups, and scholars say the map is gerrymandered.

Ohio House approves bill allowing cameras in nursing home rooms
(Cleveland.com) — The Ohio House has approved legislation that will allow nursing home residents or their guardians to install cameras in residents’ rooms. The bill is known as Esther’s Law, named after a woman at a Cleveland nursing home. Cameras placed in her room by family members showed aides physically abusing her. The legislation now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature.

Ohio Supreme Court decides gun access case under Marsy's Law
(AP) — An Ohio woman has successfully challenged her ex-husband’s right to possess a gun using a provision of Marsy's Law. In a 4-3 decision Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Jamie Suwalski could invoke the crime victims' rights law in a case against the ex, Roy Ewing, convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence against her. The court determined a Warren County Common Pleas Court judge had lacked the authority under state law to grant Ewing’s request to have a federal firearms restriction triggered by his conviction lifted. Dissenting justices said Marsy’s Law did not provide Suwalski the right to challenge Peeler’s orders.

Smucker Co. to build $1.1B sandwich factory near Birmingham
(AP) — Orville-based J.M. Smucker Co. plans to spend $1 billion on a factory and warehouse near Birmingham, Ala. that will produce frozen sandwiches. Construction is expected to begin by January with production of its Uncrustables set to start in 2025. The company says the brand has about $500 million in annual net sales. The plant is expected to create 750 jobs.