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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Morning Headlines: OH Unveils Coronavirus Alert System, Guidelines for Schools

screenshot of Coronavirus alert map
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The Ohio Department of Health has unveiled a color-coded county map to better identify coronavirus hot spots.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 3, 2020:

  • DeWine unveils new color-coded coronavirus alert system
  • Cleveland records one-day record for new coronavirus cases
  • Columbus requires masks for all in public
  • Ohio K-12 schools get guidance for the Fall
  • Ability to pay not an issue in assessing court costs
  • Overdose deaths jump in and around Columbus
  • 2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic cancelled
  • Cavs may yet take the court this year

DeWine unveils new color-coded coronavirus alert system
Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio is using a new color-coded alert system to assess which counties may be seeing flare-ups of coronavirus cases and should take additional precautions. It's based on data including the number of cases, related hospital admissions and the proportion of cases connected to congregate settings, such as prisons or nursing homes. No counties were in the most concerning level, purple, but seven including Cuyahoga and Trumbull are labeled red, indicating very high risk, and that people there should limit activity and wear masks while out.

Cleveland records one-day record for new coronavirus cases
Cleveland is confirming 84 new cases of coronavirus, a new one-day high for the city. In a press release, Mayor Frank Jackson warned that Cleveland is seeing a resurgence in cases that will only get worse unless residents take appropriate precautions like wearing a mask in public and practicing social distancing. The city also reported two new deaths bringing the total to 77.

Columbus requires masks for all in public
Columbus has joined the list of Ohio cities requiring people to wear masks in public. Mayor Andrew Ginther announced he was signing an executive order putting the new requirement in effect today. Franklin County which includes Columbus is seeing a new surge in coronavirus cases. Earlier this week, Dayton announced it was putting in place a requirement on wearing face masks in public. Akron and Cincinnati are both considering measures.

Ohio K-12 schools get guidance for the Fall
Governor DeWine unveiled guidelines for reopening Ohio’s K-12 schools in the Fall. They are divided into two groups, one focused on health, the other on learning. However the governor emphasized that there are guidelines and that it’s up to local districts to make their own choices. The release of the guidelines yesterday was delayed due to what the governor initially blamed on hacking. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted later indicated that it was due to technical difficulties. Those guidelines can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Ability to pay not an issue in assessing court costs
The Ohio Supreme Court says judges do not have to consider a defendant's current or future ability to pay when assessing court costs. The 5-2 decision issued yesterday says trial court judges already have broad discretion to waive, suspend or modify costs state law requires be imposed. Justices heard the case on appeal from the Second District Appeals Court in Dayton.  

Overdose deaths jump in and around Columbus
A coroner reports that overdose deaths in Franklin County, which includes Columbus, have jumped significantly from a year ago. Dr. Anahi Ortiz’s office reported this week that overdoses driven by fentanyl rose by 55% for the first three months of the year compared to the same time period last year. Ortiz says both methamphetamine-related and alcohol-related deaths were also up compared to last year. The data shows that most overdose victims were white men. The coroner says this year's increase in overdose deaths preceded the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic cancelled
Another big game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been put off for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Hall has announced the cancellation of the 2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic. The game, part of a weekend-long celebration the beginning of September would have featured a matchup between Grambling State University and Tennessee State University. The Hall says the safety of players, fans and volunteers remains their top priority. The game will resume next year. Last month, it decided to cancel the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in August, the pre-season NFL opener, which would have featured a matchup between the Cowboys and the Steelers.

Cavs may yet take the court this year
There still may be some time on the court for the Cavs and the seven other NBA teams left out of the league’s plan to restart the season in Florida. ESPN is reporting that it’s considering a plan for scrimmages in Chicago during the Fall. The NBA put the current season on hold back in March due to the pandemic. Only 22 teams were included in a restart in Orlando at the end of the month, which would exclude the eight teams with the worst records.