Morning Headlines: DeWine Gets High Marks for Handling the Pandemic; Ohio's Primary Ends Tuesday

Apr 27, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 27:

  • Poll: DeWine gets high marks for handling the pandemic;
  • Ohio primary ends tomorrow;
  • ACLU sues ICE to release at-risk immigrants;
  • Cuyahoga Co. juvenile prison staffer tests positive for COVID-19;
  • COVID-19 cases, deaths increase over the weekend;
  • Lakewood to extend closings, cancellations to May 15;
  • Doctor: Youngstown prison must do more to protect inmates;
  • OSU is creating a COVID-19 antibody test;
  • MetroHealth begins to see more patients;
  • 22 Summit Co. residents charged with violating stay-at-home order;
  • Akron Pride Festival postponed to next year;

Poll: DeWine gets high marks for handling the pandemic
A Baldwin Wallace University poll shows 85% of Ohio voters approve of Gov. Mike DeWine’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, which is five points higher from a similar poll in March. The survey in partnership with Michigan’s Oakland University and Ohio Northern University questioned nearly 800 self-identified voters in the state. The majority of Ohioans also trust DeWine to provide accurate information and support the state’s stay-at-home order. But just half of the participants agreed on reopening the state May 1. Many said they still think most businesses and places of worship should remain closed. Almost 95% said they’re worried about the economy, but agree public health is more important. Fifty percent said they approve of President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic. 

Ohio primary ends tomorrow
Ohio's virus-extended 2020 primary is finally coming to end, nearly 10 weeks after voting began. Officials postponed in-person voting scheduled March 17 for safety amid the pandemic, and they wound up with a mostly vote-by-mail plan that will allow in-person voting Tuesday for some people with special circumstances. Ballots must be postmarked Monday, or can be dropped off in person at county Board of Elections Tuesday. People who didn’t receive ballots in the mail in time can request a provisional ballot in person Tuesday. Voter participation has been running at about half of the 2016 turnout.

ACLU sues ICE to release at-risk immigrants
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Ohio is suing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release detained immigrants susceptible to COVID-19. The lawsuit states cases have been in confirmed in Morrow and Butler county jails, where immigrants are being held. Three prisoners are named in the suit, all having high-risk factors for the virus including asthma, cancer and heart issues. The suit follows a similar one the ACLU filed earlier this month for detainees in northern Ohio jails. ICE said it planned to release a detainee each in Geauga and Seneca counties.

Cuyahoga Co.  juvenile prison staffer tests positive for COVID-19
A staff member at a juvenile prison in Highland Hills has tested positive for COVID-19. The case at the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility was confirmed nearly two days after an 18-year-old inmate tested positive, the first case among Ohio’s juvenile prisons. Cleveland.com reports the employee has been off rounds since Friday and is in isolation. All inmates are in quarantine and three others are in isolation. Out of the four inmates who have been tested, one has come back negative and two others are pending.

COVID-19 cases, deaths increase over the weekend
Ohio health officials are reporting 728 confirmed and probable deaths associated with the coronavirus in the state. The Ohio Department of Health posted information Saturday indicating 687 confirmed deaths and 41 probable deaths associated with the virus. The number of confirmed cases topped 15,300 with the confirmed and probable cases nearing 16,000. For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

Lakewood to extend closings, cancellations to May 15
The western Cleveland suburb of Lakewood is keeping its shutdown in place through May 15. Cleveland.com reports the city buildings, pavilions, playgrounds and park restrooms will remain closed to the public. Many of those locations have been ordered to close under the stay-at-home directive, which expires May 1. All city-sponsored events are canceled and officials warned there will likely be more in June. 

Doctor: Youngstown prison must do more to protect inmates
A pulmonary doctor says a privately-owned prison in Youngstown isn't doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports Dr. Venktesh Ramnath from the University of California of San Diego wrote in a court filing that the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center has failed to implement social distancing, as more than 60 inmates are housed in one pod and interacting with each other. The report was filed on behalf of federal public defender, who’s requesting his client be released, along with requiring that facility implement safety measures. There have been no positive cases reported at the Youngstown facility. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has not responded to the motion in court. 

OSU is creating a COVID-19 antibody test 
Ohio State University's (OSU) Wexner Medical Center will soon start antibody testing to see who contracted and recovered from COVID-19. The tests could identify people are immune to the virus, although exposure doesn't mean they developed immunity. One test involves determining whether someone has antibodies. The other will show whether those antibodies block the virus from entering cells. OSU is currently testing the system and hopes to offer it to health care workers in the near feature. The World Health Organization hasn't found evidence that shows whether someone who contracted the virus is immune from getting it again.

MetroHealth begins to see more patients
MetroHealth is slowly starting to see more patients again. The hospital system is allowing patients to come in for needed procedures, but they must wear a mask and have their temperature checked before going inside. Procedures include annual check-ups, immunizations, cardiac stress tests and mammograms. The change comes after Gov. Mike DeWine asked hospitals last week to come up with a plan to start resuming surgeries once the stay-at-home order is up May 1.

22 Summit Co. residents charged with violating stay-at-home order
More than 22 Summit County residents have been charged with violating the state's stay-at-home order. The Beacon Journal reports the violations are second-degree misdemeanors. But most of the people who were caught violating the order also had an accompanying charge for something else, such as shoplifting or damaging public property. 

Akron Pride Festival postponed to next year
Akron's LGBTQ Pride Festival scheduled for August 22 has been postponed to next year due to the coronavirus. An estimated 25,000 people were expected to participate in the parade and festival. Cleveland's pride celebration has been postponed from June to September.