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Morning Headlines: Gyms, Day Cares to Reopen; 1.1M Unemployed; COVID-19 Cases Exceed 26,000

Ohio Department of Health's COVID-19 trends

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, May 15:

  • Ohio gyms, day cares to reopen;
  • 1.1 million Ohioans file for unemployment;
  • COVID-19 cases exceed 26,000;
  • Salons, barber shops resume operations;
  • Nursing home coronavirus cases spike;
  • Self-employed, part-time workers can file for unemployment;
  • Cleveland man who killed 11 women won't have conviction overturned;
  • 20 year old accused of plans to kill officers;

Ohio gyms, day cares to reopen
Gov. Mike DeWine said day care centers, gyms and activities such as low-impact sports leagues and horse racing will reopen this month. DeWine said the decisions were made as groups studying various industries finished their reports on reopening strategies. DeWine said the state's day care centers can reopen May 31. The centers will have reduced numbers in each classroom and require extra cleaning and hand washing. Day camps can also reopen May 31. Gyms and public pools can reopen May 26.

1.1 million Ohioans file for unemployment
More than 1.1 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment in the last eight weeks, exceeding the total number of claims filed in the last three years. Ohio has distributed more than $2 billion to more than 587,000 people. Across the U.S., 36 million people have filed for unemployment. Last month, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the highest it’s been since the Great Depression.

COVID-19 cases exceed 26,000
Ohio's total COVID-19 cases has exceeded 26,300 with more than 1,500 deaths. Nearly 680 of those deaths were in long-term care facilities, up from nearly 500 last week.More than 4,700 Ohioans have been hospitalized and 1,200 have been admitted to the ICU. The Ohio Department of Health's website shows COVID-19 cases and deaths trending upward over the last three weeks.

Salons, barber shops resume operations
Nearly two months after hair salons, barbershops and tattoo parlors were ordered to close, they can reopen Friday under new protocols. Spas and outdoor seating for restaurants can also open. Employees must do daily temperature checks, wear face masks and limit patrons in buildings.

Nursing home coronavirus cases spike
Cuyahoga and Summit counties have some of the highest nursing home deaths with about 50 each. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities account for 70% of all COVID-19 related deaths in Summit County compared to 44% of the state's total deaths. The Beacon Journal reports half of all new confirmed cases statewide within the past three weeks are from long-term care facilities, as well. For privacy, the Ohio Department of Health is not disclosing names of facilities where residents have died from COVID-19.

Self-employed, part-time workers can file for unemployment
Ohio self-employed and part-time workers can now apply for unemployment through the federal stimulus package. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services began accepting applications on Tuesday. The department's director said some payments will begin going out by the end of the week. Many people who were denied regular unemployment benefits may be eligible payments through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. It allows for up to 39 weeks of benefits. Meanwhile, Ohio’s Department of Aging has a new phone call-in program to check the well-being of residents who are 60 and older during the pandemic.

Cleveland man who killed 11 women won't have conviction overturned
A Cleveland man sentenced to death for killing 11 women has lost his latest attempt to overturn his conviction. In a ruling issued Thursday, a three-judge panel with the 8th District Court of Appeals unanimously held Anthony Sowell failed to present enough evidence of an unfair trial. They also rejected several other arguments, including claims that his trial attorneys ineffectively represented him during the penalty phase. Sowell was convicted in 2011 and currently sits on death row at a prison in Chillicothe.

20 year old accused of plans to kill officers
The FBI said a Cleveland man accused of planning to make a false distress call and kill any responding officers has pleaded not guilty to attempted kidnapping. Investigators said Christian Stanley Ferguson, 20, made several posts on social media about how he wanted to make a false report about a crime in progress in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to attract federal law enforcement. Officials said Ferguson planned to kill the officers, steal their weapons and “start an uprising." It was unclear whether Ferguson had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.