Abigail Bottar

News Intern

Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women's studies. Additionally, Abigail is starting her second semester copy editing for The Burr.

Ways to Connect

an image of the stay at home order
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

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 graphic from secretary of state
OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

The coronavirus crisis led to an order from the Ohio Department of Health that canceled in-person voting on March 17, 2020, the originally scheduled date of the state's primary election. Health Department Director Amy Acton ordered all polling locations to be closed due to a health emergency.

photo of Affinity Medical Center
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The rise of COVID-19 cases has left hospitals and health care providers scrambling to come up with enough beds and supplies.

John Palmer, the director of public affairs for the Ohio Hospital Association, believes shuttered hospitals could provide a solution.

photo of dog
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A Kent State expert says pet owners need to be aware of how COVID-19 could potentially be transmitted.

Scientists believe coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, was first contracted by humans from bats in China. It's not yet been confirmed.

Although humans contracted the virus from animals, public health Professor Tara Smith says the probability humans are transmitting it to their pets is low.

Instead, Smith says concern should be if pets are acting as intermediaries carrying the virus.

A photo of the Health Advisory group convening.
THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

In response to the spread of COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine has convened a panel of health advisors from the Ohio Hospital Association. The Health Advisory group will advise DeWine as the state of Ohio continues to prepare for the COVID-19. There are no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in Ohio. 

DeWine states in a press release, "As we learn more about COVID-19 and its spread in the United States, I am grateful for the expertise of these medical professionals who will help advise the state on strategies to deal with the disease and the best medical practices and procedures." 

A photo of Low and his set up for drive thru ashes.
Abigail Bottar / WKSU

In this age of drive-thru convenience, even churches are trying the idea. For Ash Wednesday, a number of churches are offering drive-thru ashes.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. Some Christian denominations place ashes on people’s foreheads to recall human mortality and to represent their faith, usually at a service.

Tallmadge United Methodist Church Pastor Scott Low began offering drive-thru ashes when he arrived four years ago.

Lake Erie
ELIZABETH MILLER / WCPN

Geneva-on-the-Lake continues to experience massive amounts of erosion due to high water on Lake Erie. Dr. Chris Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant College Program at Stone Laboratory, says this problem is not unique to Geneva.

Winslow says these high amounts of erosion are being experienced across the Great Lakes region and are due to water levels reaching historic highs, as well as a lack of ice coverage. Water levels have been rising over the years as a result of precipitation from both spring rain events and heavy snow packs from the upper Great Lakes melting.

a photo of a factory worker
/ CONSUMER ENERGY ALLIANCE

Northeast Ohio manufacturers are facing two main challenges—finding skilled workers and adopting new technology. That’s according to an annual survey of nearly 700 Ohio companies.

Team NEO and manufacturing advocacy group MAGNET found 56 percent of those who responded to the survey reported increased revenue last year. Nearly three quarters expect revenue growth this year.

Sherrod Brown
WKSU

President Donald Trump unveiled his 2020 budget this week, and Congress is taking a critical look at his cuts to safety-net programs.

Ohio's Democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, criticized $75 billion in cuts to Social Security disability insurance. In a call with reporters Wednesday, Brown said the plan will make it harder for people with disabilities to get the assistance they need.

photo of Pipeline
NEXUS GAS TRANSMISSION

An advocacy group is opposing a bill that would restrict protests at sites that are considered "critical infrastructure facilities."

Organize Ohio hosted a meeting in Cleveland Monday to discuss opposition to Senate Bill 33.