Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, April 2:
- 14 test positive at Parma nursing home;
- Cleveland Metroparks closes sites, roads
- Hobby Lobby closes stores after cease-and-desist letter;
- Summit County warns residents about weddings, funerals;
- Hospitals can longer send coronavirus tests to private labs;
- DeWine splits state into 3 hospital zones;
- Ohio confirms more than 2,500 cases;
- Second Cleveland resident dies from COVID-19;
- Summa Health temporarily suspends labor, delivery services;
- Trump has no plans for nationwide shelter-in-place order;
- Judge dismisses pharmacies' lawsuit against physicians;
14 COVID-19 cases at Parma nursing home
Health officials said 14 residents and employees at a Parma nursing home tested positive for COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports four ManorCare residents are being treated at area hospitals and another is in isolation. The rest are in quarantine. Two firefighters who were exposed while transferring patients also are in isolation. ManorCare had 108 residents last month. Health officials began investigating the facility Tuesday after suspecting there was a cluster of cases.
Cleveland Metroparks closes sites, roads
The Cleveland Metroparks is closing popular attractions to encourage social distancing during the pandemic. Squire's Castle in Willoughby, Edgewater Pier, Fort Hill Stairs and more will be closed until further notice. A few roads will close to create 20-feet-wide pedestrian and bike trails. Among those is Meadows Drive in the Brecksville Reservation. Ohio's stay-at-home order allows residents to get out and exercise. DeWine said he's aware of parks overcrowding as the weather gets warmer and hinted at issuing more restrictions.
Hobby Lobby closes stores after cease-and-desist letter
Craft store Hobby Lobby has agreed to close stores after receiving a cease and desist letter from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Wednesday. Yost said under Ohio’s stay-at-home order, Hobby Lobby isn't deemed as an essential business and shouldn't be open during the pandemic. Business Insider reported earlier this week the company subtly reopened locations on Monday. Stores that remain open and are nonessential could face a second-degree misdemeanor, and the state can seek a civil injunction.
Summit County warns residents about weddings, funerals
The Summit County Public Health Department is urging residents to comply with social distancing guidelines, especially at golf courses, weddings and funerals. In a memo Wednesday, the department said any event with large gatherings should be canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus. Events including weddings and funerals should be limited to no more than 10 immediate family members and people should remain six feet apart at all times. The department reminds Ohioans that certain areas like golf courses will remain open only if they do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Hospitals can longer send coronavirus tests to private labs
Ohio has ordered hospitals to stop sending possible COVID-19 samples to private labs to avoid a lag in testing. The samples need to be sent to major health care systems that can deliver test results in-house, like the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, University Hospitals or Ohio State. The larger systems can turn around results in as early as a day, whereas private labs can take up to six days. Ohio's top health official, Dr. Amy Acton, said it'll give a more accurate number of how many people have COVID-19 and where it's spreading.
DeWine splits state into 3 hospital zones
Gov. Mike DeWine has split the state into three hospital zones to help keep track of patients at different phases of the coronavirus. The zones are focused around the largest metropolitan areas — Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. Northeast Ohio is Zone 2, which includes the Lake Erie shoreline counties like Cuyahoga, Lorain and Ashtabula. The plan will urge hospital systems to work together in treating COVID-19 patients once a surge hits. DeWine said the surge could happen within the next few weeks and Ohio may see up to 10,000 cases a day.
Ohio confirms more than 2,500 cases
Ohio has reported more than 2,500 COVID-19 cases — an increase of nearly 400 since Tuesday. Twenty-four counties have reported 65 deaths. Mahoning County has the most with 10, Cuyahoga County had nine and Summit County had eight. More than 600 patients are hospitalized and around 30% of them are in the ICU. The first confirmed case in Ohio was early March.
Second Cleveland resident dies from COVID-19
A second Cleveland resident has died from COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports the individual was in their 80s. The first death was reported Sunday — a woman in her 70s. Health officials also confirmed eight more cases in Cleveland, bringing the city's total to nearly 130. They range from people in their 50s into their 80s. Nearly 590 cases have been confirmed in Cuyahoga County. Nine people have died.
Summa Health temporarily suspends labor, delivery services
Summa Health is temporarily suspending labor and delivery services at the Barberton Hospital campus during the coronavirus outbreak. Deliveries will be transferred to the Akron City Hospital campus. The Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals plan to continue offering labor services. Pregnant women are considered high-risk because they're generally more likely to contract respiratory infections, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Trump has no plans to issue nationwide shelter-in-place order
President Donald Trump said he doesn't plan to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order and will leave it up to state governors. Trump said he wants to give governors flexibility in deciding what's best for their residents. He does plan to limit air and rail travel between hard-hit areas. The White House released new projections earlier this week that up to 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 even if social distancing guidelines are applied. Thirty-seven states have implemented a stay-at-home order, meaning more than two-third of Americans are sheltering in place.
Judge dismisses pharmacies' lawsuit against physicians
A federal judge in Cleveland has dismissed an effort by pharmacy chains to shift their liability for the opioid crisis to unnamed Ohio physicians and practitioners who wrote the painkiller prescriptions pharmacists filled. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster ruled Tuesday that the lawsuits filed by Cuyahoga and Summit counties aren't tied to prescribing practices but focus on the lack of systems and policies the pharmacies had in place to stop the illegal diversion of painkillers. Polster is overseeing more than 2,000 opioid-related lawsuits from across the country. The counties' trial on its claims against the pharmacy chains is scheduled for November.