photo of METRO RTA shuttle

Akron’s mass transit system is reducing service in response to the coronavirus pandemic – which is also impacting ridership in Canton and Cleveland.

Metro RTA will be reducing the number of buses on some routes in Akron starting today. Saturdays will be unchanged, but Sunday service will be eliminated.

Executive Director Dawn Distler says, since the pandemic started, her staff has been keeping buses fueled up, operating, and extra clean. But now, they’re becoming short-staffed due to coronavirus.

photo of Jon Husted

The surge in COVID-19 cases may be yet to come in Ohio but when it comes to unemployment claims, Lt. Governor Jon Husted says that happened happened immediately. During Saturday’s coronavirus briefing, Husted said that the Department of Jobs and Family Services has added 20 times its normal capacity. However he acknowledges that hasn’t been enough, and they’re still adding staff.



A photo of the Everett Covered Bridge

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 6:

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It’s been another week of closed businesses, self-quarantine and “Wine with DeWine” in Ohio. And another week of changes in the state’s battle against coronavirus. Here are answers to questions you've submitted to “OH Really?”

photo of Mike DeWine

It’s not a requirement yet, but Ohio officials are urging all Ohioans to start wearing protective masks when they have to go out in public. During the daily Ohio coronavirus briefing Saturday, the head of the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton stressed the importance of wearing masks that anyone can make in their own home.


book cover
Robert Giles

The 50th anniversary commemoration events for the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University were canceled because of the new coronavirus, but some are still working to make sure the tragedy is not forgotten.

“When Truth Mattered: The Kent State Shootings 50 Years Later” is a new book from Robert Giles, a former managing editor of the Akron Beacon Journal.

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In the lead-up to the projected peak of coronavirus cases in Ohio, Akron’s safety forces are preparing. The city established a temporary self-quarantine facility for all its safety workers at the city-owned Balch Street Fitness Center.

City workers, from firefighters and cops to dispatchers and call center workers, can use the gym if they test positive for COVID-19. The facility has sleeping quarters, showers and a kitchen.

a photo of DeWine

The Ohio Department of Health has teamed up with Ohio State University to try to increase the capacity for COVID-19 testing across the state. They're producing their own kits with the items needed to conduct the tests--swabs, tubes, and the liquid in the tubes. "We need more testing and we need results quicker," Governor Mike DeWine said in his briefing Friday. 


Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 3:

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Living under the coronavirus umbrella has changed the daily routine of millions of Americans, including the staff at WKSU.


University Hospitals is leading a new clinical trial to test whether an oral spray produced by Cleveland-based company ARMS Pharmaceutical can help prevent the coronavirus.

The trial’s principal investigator Dr. Robert Salata said the focus of the trial is on health care workers because they are becoming infected at a higher rate.

“We really feel strongly that this is a very important thing that we’re trying to do in terms of prevention,” he said.

photo of Sherrod Brown

Unemployment numbers out Thursday show a huge spike both in Ohio and nationwide. In Ohio, more than 468,000 people have applied for benefits. That’s 100,000 more than all of last year.

Ohioans are anxiously awaiting financial help, including federal assistance of $1,200 promised to those making less than $75,000 annually. Senator Sherrod Brown tells WKSU he’s working to ensure those payments go out soon.  

an image of the stay at home order

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include additional orders issused by the state. These orders are listed in chonological order from earliest to most recent. This story was originally published on March 24, 2020. We will continue to update it as new orders are issued.

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton have signed numerous public health and executive orders since March 14 to attempt to stop the spread and keep Ohioans safe.

a screen shot of Amy Acton

Ohio will be extending its stay-at-home order to May 1. The new order will go into effect Monday night when the old order expires. 

"We're not going to be able to go back normal," Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday. 

The new projected peak for a surge in COVID-19 cases is between April 15 and May 15. Ohio has more than 2,900 cases as of Thursday, and 81 deaths have been confirmed — 16 more than Wednesday. 

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Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, April 2:

Wuling Music Faculty

With widespread social distancing measures in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak, classical music performances have shifted from concert halls to virtual platforms. Piano Cleveland, a local organization that supports performing artists through education, competitions and outreach programming, has launched The Quarantine Concerts.

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Summit County is working with the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce to set up grants intended to help public and private businesses make it through the period of shutdown brought on by the coronavirus.

Chamber CEO Steve Millard said businesses can use grants of up to $5,000 to cover payroll, rent or other operating expenses.

photo of face shield

A chance phone call by a Case Western Reserve University engineer has led to a major effort to mass produce face shields for healthcare professionals.

Ian Charnas is director of innovation and technology at Sears think[box], a makerspace at Case Western. And he’s been following social media chatter about personal protective equipment (PPE) such as clear face shields that can protect healthcare workers.

a photof DeWine and the zone map

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is ordering Ohio hospitals that are not able to process COVID-19 tests to send them to hospitals that are able to turn them around more quickly. That includes Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth in Cleveland.

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Ohio hospitals are still ramping up for a coming onslaught of COVID-19 cases as the governor and state health director continue the push to slow the spread of the coronavirus so hospitals are not overwhelmed.


Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 1:

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The NCAA is giving all Division I college athletes an extra season of eligibility to make up for this spring that was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. WKSU sports commentator Terry Pluto said the decision mostly affects graduating seniors who play sports like baseball, softball, lacrosse and golf.

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Americans are adjusting to life without social interactions.

It’s been more than two weeks since bars, restaurants, and schools closed in Ohio.

We still don’t know how long it will be before non-essential businesses can reopen and residents travel freely.

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April 1 is Census Day across the country, named for the date by which every American should have received at least one invitation to complete the 2020 Census.

Greta Johnson, with Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro's office, said they always anticipated challenges in gathering accurate census data. She said refugees and immigrants are often hesitant to participate out of fear the information could be used against them. 

Courtesy Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards released its 2020 prize winners this week, recognizing writers from across the globe for their work encouraging diversity and inclusion.