Morning Headlines: Salons, BMVs Close; State Limits COVID-19 Testing; Red Cross Faces Blood Shortage
Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, March 19:
- DeWine orders salons, BMVs to close;
- State limits who receives coronavirus testing;
- American Red Cross asks for donations;
- NE Ohio organizations launch $4M relief fund;
- Employees must take temperature on the job;
- Parma teacher tests positive for COVID-19;
- 78,000 Ohioans file for unemployment;
- CRWU drops ACT, SAT requirements for Fall 2021;
- West Side Market remains open;
- Utility companies suspend disconnections;
- Amazon to fill 4,600 jobs in Ohio;
- Cuyahoga, Summit asking for protective equipment donations;
- Goodyear shuts down plants
DeWine orders salons, BMVs to close
Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered hair and nail salons, barbershops, spas and tattoo parlors to close until further notice amid the coronavirus outbreak. More than 180 Bureau of Motor Vehicle locations will also close. Five will remain open to distribute licenses. The Northeast Ohio location is in Bedford — 22125 Rockside Road. Law enforcement including State Highway Patrol are directed not to issue tickets for expired licenese. There are now 88 confirmed cases in Ohio in 19 counties.
State limits who receives coronavirus testing
Coronavirus testing will now be given only to those with worsening symptoms or high-risk populations. Dr. Amy Acton of the Ohio Department of Health said there are limited supplies. She said if you believe you have the symptoms, the best thing to do is to stay inside and away from others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends quarantining for 14 days. If symptoms worsen, call your doctor. If you're having trouble breathing, call the emergency room, tell them your symptoms and that you're on your way. Acton said COVID-19 is twice as contagious and 20 times more deadly than the flu.
American Red Cross asks for donations
The American Red Cross is facing a large shortage of blood amid the pandemic and is asking healthy individuals to donate. More than 200 blood drives have been canceled across the region, which the Red Cross says amounts to around 6,500 fewer blood donations. The organization says it's taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including taking the temperature of donors and placing people six feet apart. Redcross.org has information.
NE Ohio organizations collaborate for $4M relief fund
Eighteen Northeast Ohio organizations have created a nearly $4 million coronavirus relief fund. They include the Cleveland Foundation, George Gund Foundation and United Way. The money will go toward agencies who on the front lines of pandemic, helping those in need. It will also support nonprofit organizations that serve people 60 and older, low-income residents and the homeless. Contributions can be made at ClevelandFoundation.org/response.
Employees must take temperature on the job
Starting Thursday all employees who still are reporting to their workplaces must have their temperature taken. Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered that all retailers, nonprofits and manufacturers take the precautionary measure to prevent spreading COVID-19. He's also encouraging employees to take their own temperature every day. If it's elevated, the employee must be sent home. Fever is one of three common symptoms associated with COVID-19, including coughing and respiratory distress.
Parma teacher tests positive for COVID-19
A Parma City School teacher has tested positive for COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports the employee works at John Muir Elementary School and is in self-quarantine. All Ohio school districts are closed until April, and the state expects to extend that timeframe. Ohio now has 88 confirmed COVID-19 cases. More than 30 are in Cuyahoga County.
78,000 Ohioans file for unemployment
More than 78,000 requests have been filed for unemployment in Ohio. There were 6,500 applications two weeks ago. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted says up to 20% of the population could be unemployed during the pandemic. He's asking anyone affected to file for unemployment after the state recently extended benefits. For small businesses who need relief, visit sba.gov/disaster.
CRWU drops ACT, SAT requirements for Fall 2021
Case Western Reserve University has dropped SAT and ACT requirements for fall 2021 applications. Testing dates have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Students will still be able to submit their scores if they wish. Case Western is one of dozens of Ohio schools that switched to online classes only to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
West Side Market remains open
Cleveland's West Side Market remains open for in-person shopping during the coronavirus pandemic. Customers can contact individual vendors to place an order and pick it up. Pick up areas will either be at the loading dock behind the main building or on Lorain Avenue along the side of the building. The market says it's taking extra precautions, such as using extra food service sanitizers and disinfecting areas multiple times a day.
Utility companies suspend disconnections
Ohio utility companies have suspended all service disconnections for customers whose bills are overdue. This includes water, gas, electric, sewer and landline telephone companies. The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio issued an order last week prohibiting cutting off services that would create the risk of human contact and cause more harm during the pandemic.
Amazon to looks to fill 4,600 jobs in Ohio
Amazon is hiring 4,600 workers in Ohio and 100,000 nationwide because of an increased demand for products amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Jobs are in Twinsburg, Akron and in Greater Cleveland. The company says its job portal has been overwhelmed with applications, and not all jobs may appear. They encourage Ohioans to keep checking the site every day for new openings.
Cuyahoga, Summit asks for protective equipment donations
Cuyahoga County is asking people and businesses — including doctors, dentists, veterinarians and others -- to donate surplus protective equipment that can be used in the fight against the coronavirus. They're looking for things like unopened boxes of N-95 masks, surgical masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. They can be dropped off at the Cuyahoga County Public Works Garage. Summit County is making a similar plea, asking people to contact the county’s public health COVID-19 Call Line (330-926-5795).
Goodyear shutters plants
Akron-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has halted operations in North, Central and South America because of the coronavirus outbreak. The company has shut down plants until early April and says it's following CDC guidelines. Goodyear has limited visitor access, and most employees are working from home. Goodyear had already closed its Peru and China plants.
For more updates on COVID-19 in Ohio, click here.