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COVID-19 Cases Decreasing In Summit But Rising In Portage Counties

Sep 17, 2020

Updated: 5:35 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

Summit County has dropped from coronavirus alert Level 3, or red, down two levels to Level 1, or yellow, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday during his regular virus briefing.

But more counties are moving up from Level 1 to Level 2, and in the case of Portage County, the increase in COVID-19 cases has taken the county up from Level 2 to Level 3.

A photo of MetroHealth main campus.

A recent study has found that heart attack cases in the U.S. have fallen by 50 percent during the pandemic. However, the death rate from heart attacks has doubled in some locations. Fear of going to the hospital because of COVID-19 could be causing greater health consequences.

A study from JAMA Cardiology that looked at 1,400 patients in six states found a significant increase in the death rate from heart attacks.

A photo of the Summit County Nursing Home Task Force from their meeting.

The local agency on aging is piloting a program to provide devices and internet access to older people. The goal is to reduce social isolation and help people stay connected to loves ones and caregivers.

Direction Home chief operating officer Abby Morgan described the program to the Summit County nursing home task force today. Morgan says so far they’ve made 37 devices available to community members living on their own.                              

a graphic of COVID deaths

Cuyahoga County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 12.9%. That statistic has led the state to pilot a new program there to help connect people to training and available jobs.

Called Ohio to Work, the program has been developed by the state’s JobsOhio agency, which its director J.B. Nauseef said today during the governor’s coronavirus briefing is uniquely capable of doing this quickly because of its structure.

photo of Chapel Hill Sears coronavirus testing

Summit County Public Health officials held their second coronavirus mass testing event over the weekend – with expanded capacity thanks to the Ohio National Guard.

Cars were lined up for at least a mile as testing began outside of Chapel Hill Mall on Saturday morning. It comes two days after the county was upgraded to Level 3 on the state's public health advisory system.

Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says that increase is coming from a number of sources.

An unexplained illness in the United Kingdom has put a pause on the COVID-19 vaccine trial that Ohio State was slated to help administer.

Gov. Mike DeWine says he generally doesn’t address rumors. But he says he’s hearing from Ohioans who are worried about one that’s spreading on the internet and even being repeated by some Ohio lawmakers. He said it’s important to set it straight. 

For many around Ohio, life is beginning to resemble what it was pre-pandemic, with some returning to places like the office or the classroom. As Ohioans venture out more for both work and play, the Cleveland Clinic is sharing a matrix to help people assess the risk of contracting the virus when participating in any one activity.

Many Ohio day cares have remained open for much of the pandemic, with protections in place to help limit the risk of an outbreak. Staff and children have to wear masks and wash their hands more frequently, many centers have taken additional steps to sanitize buildings, and the number of children in one room has been reduced.

But all that extra work doesn’t erase Northeast Ohio parents’ concerns about sending children to day care.

Schools and parents will need to follow new requirements for reporting COVID-19 cases beginning September 8, Gov. DeWine said at his coronavirus briefing on Thursday.

Parents and school staff should notify their school within 24 hours after receiving a positive coronavirus diagnosis. Schools are then required to notify other parents about reported cases in writing within 24 hours. Schools must also notify their local health department.

Men tend to be less likely than women to go to the doctor, according to health officials, and a new survey released by the Cleveland Clinic found the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated this ongoing problem.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the fact that the vast majority of people who died of COVID-19 had an underlying condition, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease should not come as a surprise.

Gov. Mike DeWine has said the state will soon require schools to regularly report positive COVID-19 cases to the public.

But the move has local infectious disease experts concerned about patient privacy.

Drs. Amy Ray at MetroHealth and Joan Zoltanski at University Hospitals agree that schools should be transparent about numbers of new cases in order to keep the public informed – but should take care not to give any information that could identify individuals.

CDC Data Misinterpreted On Social Media

Sep 1, 2020

Last week, the U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data that shows 6 percent of coronavirus deaths had COVID-19 listed as the only cause of death.

Over the weekend, misinformation spread on social media, retweeted by President Donald Trump, misinterpreting the data to mean that only 6 percent of coronavirus deaths were caused by the virus.

A lawsuit has been filed in federal court, asking it to remove the state of emergency declared in March that led to restrictions imposed on the state’s businesses to prevent coronavirus spread. 

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is already seeing an increase of of COVID-19 cases as schools and colleges bring students back to campus.

A photo of Re'Ona O'Neal's ultrasound.

COVID-19 disproportionately impacts black families, causing a wide range of concerns among people already facing racial unrest, bias in health care, and an infant mortality rate at least twice the rate of white infants statewide. 

an image of human heart

Doctors in Cleveland have found a new way to treat a common heart condition without drugs.

It’s a procedure where veins that lead to the heart are frozen in order to prevent irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation, or Afib.

Home Is Where The Future Of COVID Testing May Be

Aug 31, 2020

The Cleveland Clinic recently started using COVID-19 tests that patients can administer themselves at a drive-through testing site, supervised by a healthcare professional.

The nasal swab testing method is meant to be more comfortable for patients and safer for health care workers. 

But the future of testing might put even more power in the hands of the patient, according to Dr. Dan Rhoads, section head of microbiology at the Cleveland Clinic.

A photo of a pregnant woman sitting.

Greater Akron’s Full Term First Birthday is encouraging black pregnant women to be especially vigilant to avoid contracting COVID-19.

Very little is known about the impact of the virus on pregnancy or infants.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that schools will be required to notify parents and local health departments of any COVID-19 cases among students or staff.

Most administrators across the state find the order to be “reasonable,” Kevin Miller, director of government relations for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, told ideastream Friday.

The state is pausing a widespread COVID-19 testing program at assisted living facilities due to what Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) called "inconsistent results" with the baseline saliva kits.

woman in face mask.

Summit County Public Health has passed an order mandating that masks be worn in public, even though a statewide order remains in place. Health Commissioner Donna Skoda says the county wanted to pass its own order just in case the state order is lifted.

If you are grieving from the loss of an infant or pregnancy, you are not alone. There is hope and help in Northeast Ohio, particularly for African-American parents, who are, unfortunately, more likely to experience this type of suffering. As part of our Informed Communities’ focus on infant mortality, WKSU introduces people and groups standing by to help you.


The state is requiring every school district in Ohio to come up with a reporting system to notify the community and health officials about COVID-19 cases in the classroom. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says this is another resource to help school stay open for in-person learning.