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Morning Headlines: Omicron has peaked in Cleveland area; Cleveland Clinic begins study into neurological disorders

Pictured is the OHA COVID-19 hospitalizations dashboard.
OHIO HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION
The Ohio Hospital Association says COVID hospitalizations are down 30% in the last three weeks in Cuyahoga and surrounding lakeshore counties. The number of ICU patients has also been declining. Still, hospitals remain overwhelmed.

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, January 20:

  • Omicron has peaked in the Cleveland area
  • Cleveland Clinic begins study into neurological disorders
  • Judge says he’ll approve dropping some counts in Husel case
  • Otto Warmbier's parents to get $240K seized from North Korea

Omicron has peaked in the Cleveland area
(Ideastream Public Media) -- The omicron surge appears to have peaked in Cuyahoga County. The Ohio Hospital Association says COVID hospitalizations are down 30% in the last three weeks in Cuyahoga and surrounding lakeshore counties. The number of ICU patients has also been declining. Health officials say the county's COVID positivity case rate is at 17%, about half of where it was at the peak. Still, hospitals remain overwhelmed. On Wednesday, a team of 20 U.S. Air Force medical personnel arrived at the Cleveland Clinic to help with the coronavirus response. The group includes nurses, doctors, and respiratory therapists.

Cleveland Clinic begins study into neurological disorders
(Ideastream Public Media) -- The Cleveland Clinic has launched the largest ever clinical study to better understand why millions of people, about one in every six, around the globe suffer from neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or epilepsy. The clinic on Wednesday announced the longitudinal multi-year study that will collect data from 200,000 neurologically healthy individuals over the course of 20 years to identify brain disease biomarkers and targets for preventing and curing neurological disorders. Researchers hope to discover the causes of neurological disorders and what happens before symptoms become obvious.

Judge says he’ll approve dropping some counts in Husel case
(WOSU) -- The judge in the case of a former Columbus-area doctor accused of murder says he’ll likely approve prosecutors' plan to dismiss nearly half of the counts. William Husel is accused of intentionally prescribing fatal doses of the opioid fentanyl to 25 intensive care patients at Mount Carmel West Hospital. Judge Michael J. Holbrook said he will likely approve prosecutors' plan to dismiss 11 of the 25 murder counts against Husel. Prosecutors are expected to make their intentions known at a hearing today. His trial is set to begin next month.

Otto Warmbier's parents to get $240K seized from North Korea
(AP) — A federal judge has ruled that the parents of suburban Cincinnati man Otto Warmbier, who died after being imprisoned by North Korea, should receive about $240,000. The 22-year-old was returned to the United States in a vegetative state and died shortly after. The payment will come from money seized from a North Korean bank account. It's a partial payment toward the more than $501 million Fred and Cindy Warmbier of Wyoming, Ohio, were awarded in 2018 by a federal judge. The couple claims their son was tortured by North Korea after being convicted in 2016 of trying to steal a propaganda poster.