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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: Summit and Lorain Counties Added to State Mask Order; Ohio Jobless Claims Fall

Map of ohio coronavirus alert levels by county.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Summit and Lorain counties are among those now on Level 3 status on the state coronavirus risk map.

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, July 10:

  • Summit, Lorain counties added to state mask requirements
  • United Airlines plans layoffs at Cleveland Hopkins
  • Ohio jobless claims continue to fall during outbreak
  • Former Akron Beacon Journal headquarters sold
  • LeBron James Foundation, Tangier to build gym on parking deck
  • Moderate algae bloom forecast for Lake Erie this summer
  • Ohio House speaker reinstates work-from-home policy
  • DeWine staff member tests positive for coronavirus
  • Cleveland Browns give season-ticket holders an opt-out option
  • Big Ten to play only conference games this fall

Summit, Lorain counties added to state mask requirements
Summit and Lorain counties are among six added to the list of Ohio’s Level 3 status based on the state’s coronavirus risk map. That means masks will be mandatory in public places as of tonight at 6. Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Butler counties are marked with a star on the state map, meaning they are approaching Level 4 conditions, which indicate severe exposure and spread of COVID-19. Huron County was Level 3 last week but was reclassified as a less severe Level 2 this week. During his daily press briefing Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state will allocate $300 million in federal CARES act funding to help schools as they work to reopen this fall with new coronavirus safety measures that are proving costly. K-12 schools will get $100 million, colleges and universities $200 million.

United Airlines plans layoffs at Cleveland Hopkins
United Airlines says it will lay off as many as 450 employees at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport this fall. The news follows United’s announcement that it will cut up to 36,000 jobs nationwide as a result of the pandemic. The layoffs will occur no earlier than October 1, when job protection requirements included in the federal CARES Act expire. Cleveland.com reports the airline currently employs about 1,200 workers at the airport.

Ohio jobless claims continue to fall during outbreak
The number of unemployment claims in Ohio continues to fall. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported around 33,500 jobless claims for last week, down about 2,000 from the week before. The total number of initial jobless claims reported for Ohio since the state's coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent closure of all nonessential businesses 16 weeks ago is more than 1.4 million. Nearly $5 billion in unemployment compensation payments have been distributed in that time to about 736,000 Ohioans.

Former Akron Beacon Journal headquarters sold
The former Akron Beacon Journal building downtown has been sold. Alabama-based Capstone Development Co. will turn the sprawling, historic building on Exchange St. into office space. The company specializes in off-campus student housing developments. The owner bought the building for around $3 million. The Beacon Journal relocated last year to the AES Building on South Main Street.

LeBron James Foundation, Tangier to build gym on parking deck
The LeBron James Family Foundation is expanding its footprint once again in West Akron. The Tangier event venue will create an open-air gym and community space for I Promise School students and families to be constructed on the upper level of the parking deck. It will be funded in part by a $1 million donation from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation. The “multi-use sports complex” is expected to include basketball courts, play areas and interactive outdoor spaces. It will be where I Promise School physical education classes are taught, and where school assemblies and other outdoor gatherings are held.

Moderate algae bloom forecast for Lake Erie this summer
The blob of pea-green algae that covers parts of Lake Erie is expected to be smaller this summer than a year ago. That's according to the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which released its annual forecast Thursday. It predicts the algae bloom will reach 4.5 on the severity index, down from 7.3 last year but higher than the 3.8 rating in 2018. The measurements indicate the amount of algae in the water for an extended period. Scientists say the drop-off is expected because there was less spring rainfall than a year ago. Rain washes fertilizers that feed algae into Lake Erie and its tributary streams.

Ohio House speaker reinstates work-from-home policy
Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder is reversing course on his chamber's work-from-home policy. On Thursday, Householder said legislative staff can go back to working remotely after an aide’s positive coronavirus test earlier this week. While lawmakers remain on summer recess, Householder had called aides back to the Riffe office tower in downtown Columbus June 1st. The new policy continues indefinitely.

DeWine staff member tests positive for coronavirus
A member of Gov. Mike DeWine’s staff has tested positive for the coronavirus. DeWine made the announcement during his Thursday press briefing, and said the person has been working from home since the start of the pandemic in March and did not get it from working at the governor's office.

Cleveland Browns offer season-ticket holders an opt-out option
The Cleveland Browns are offering season-ticket holders the opportunity to opt out of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ticket holders will be able to keep their seat location and priority for next year. It's expected that if any games are played at First Energy Stadium, there will be either no fans or reduced capacity. The Baltimore Ravens on Thursday said their games will be capped at 14,000 fans.

Big Ten to play only conference games this fall
The Big Ten conference announced Thursday that teams, including Ohio State, will play only conference opponents this fall in all sports including football. The conference says the decision allows schools to make quick decisions amid the pandemic. Ohio State this week shut down voluntary workouts following a round of COVID-19 testing.