Morning Headlines: Delta Suspends Service at CAK; State to Randomly Test for COVID-19 Antibodies

May 11, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, May 11:

  • Delta suspends service at Akron-Canton;
  • State to randomly test for COVID-19 antibodies;
  • Protests erupt across Ohio against stay-at-home orders;
  • Ohio COVID-19 cases surpass 24,000;
  • Catholic churches prepare for in-person mass;
  • Former Cuyahoga auditor Frank Russo released early from prison;
  • MGM Northfield Park warns of permanent job loss;
  • Coronavirus kills 500 long-term care residents;
  • DeWine admits risk for virus increases as state reopens;

Delta suspends service at Akron-Canton
Delta Air Lines is suspending operations at Akron-Canton Airport until September and consolidating flights at Cleveland Hopkins. Akron-Canton is one of 10 airports across the U.S. where Delta is pausing service, beginning Wednesday. Delta is Akron-Canton’s third-largest carrier. The airport has received more than $7.5 million dollars in federal CARES Act funding. 

State to randomly test for COVID-19 antibodies
Ohio is planning to randomly test 1,200 residents in their homes for antibodies starting as early as this week. Antibody testing could show how many people had COVID-19 without developing symptoms —potentially giving health officials and doctors a much better understanding of the virus’ spread. Residents will receive a postcard with information about when Ohio Department of Health workers plan to show up. One adult will be picked and participation is voluntary.

Protests erupt across Ohio against stay-at-home orders
Protests against Ohio's stay-at-home order were staged across Ohio over the weekend. Nearly 3,000 people attended rallies in more than 30 counties as part of movement called "Rally Around Ohio." About 100 people showed up at Stow City Hall on Saturday, calling for businesses to reopen immediately. In the Cleveland suburb of Brooklyn, around 80 people carried American flags and denounced the state's decisions. Many protesters showed support for a bill recently passed in the Ohio House that would limit Ohio's top health expert Dr. Amy Acton's power to issue longstanding orders. 

Ohio COVID-19 cases surpass 24,000
More than 24,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded as of Sunday. Nearly 1,350 people have died. On the Ohio Department of Health's website, 21-day trends show the prevalence of COVID-19 trending downward overall. Cuyahoga County has the second-most cases in the state with nearly 2,800.

Catholic churches prepare for in-person mass
Ohio Catholic churches are preparing to resume in-person mass later this month. Cleveland.com reports the Catholic Conference of Ohio has asked each diocese to schedule a reopening date, specifically for the weekend of May 30 to celebrate Pentecost. Each diocese will need to come up with guidelines for social distancing. They are asking high-risk populations like the elderly to avoid attending in-person mass and said nobody is mandated to come if they feel uncomfortable.

Former Cuyahoga auditor rank Russo released from prison early
Former Cuyahoga County auditor Frank Russo has been released from federal prison amid coronavirus concerns. Russo was eight years into his 14-year sentence for taking $1 million in bribes and gifts in exchange for jobs and political favors. He was serving time in North Carolina. 

MGM Northfield Park warns of permanent job loss
One of Northeast Ohio’s racinos said it may have to eliminate the jobs of 900 furloughed employees if it can’t reopen soon. In a letter to employees, MGM Northfield Park said that the layoffs that started in early March “may continue beyond six months and/or could be permanent.” Its parent company, MGM Resorts, said it anticipates reopening its U.S. properties in phases, but has not said when that could begin.

Coronavirus kills 500 long-term care residents
The toll from the coronavirus inside Ohio's nursing homes continues to climb. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reports close to 500 residents of long-term care centers have died in the past three weeks. That’s nearly double the total reported for the previous two weeks. The ODH said the increase in deaths could be attributed to a significant jump or a backlog of cases being added this past week. Seven counties across the state have seen more than 30 deaths at long-term care centers since mid-April. Toledo and Lucas County reported the most with 65 nursing home deaths.

DeWine admits risk for virus increases as state reopens
Gov. Mike DeWine is acknowledging that there are risks to reopening Ohio’s economy following closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the Republican governor said “it’s really a risk no matter what we do.” Retail businesses in Ohio will be allowed to reopen Tuesday with barbershops, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, and other services allowed to reopen Friday. Construction companies, distributors, manufacturers and offices were allowed to open last week. DeWine said the state had been “hit very hard” by the crisis with more than a million people applying for unemployment. The governor also said the state will continue to monitor daily hospitalization rates and focus on increasing testing capacities.