Morning Headlines: Ohio COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 250; Total Nursing Home Cases Remain Unknown

Apr 13, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 13:

  • Ohio COVID-19 deaths surpass 250;
  • Total nursing home cases remain unknown;
  • Unemployed Ohioans wait, and wait, for checks from state;
  • Data shows COVID-19 affecting African Americans;
  • 70 prison inmates test positive for virus;
  • Cincinnati-area church holds Easter service despite stay-at-home order;
  • 3D printing is being used to make face shields for health care workers;

Ohio COVID-19 cases surpass 6,500
Health officials said the state has seen six additional deaths and more than 200 new cases of infection from the COVID-19 virus. The state Health Department’s tally, updated Sunday, indicates 6,518 cases have occurred, up from 6,250 a day earlier. The state has seen 253 deaths related to the coronavirus. The pandemic has caused nearly 2,000 hospitalizations in Ohio, with about 600 people needing treatment in the intensive care unit. Mahoning County has reported the most deaths with 31. Cuyahoga County has the most cases in the state, reporting more than 1,100 cases. All but three counties have confirmed cases.

Total nursing home cases remain unknown
Ohio’s nursing homes have seen at least 45 deaths from the coronavirus. But the overall total across the state remains unknown. That’s because many local health departments aren’t releasing that data or revealing which nursing homes have had outbreaks. Altercare in Alliance in Stark County has reported six deaths, which is half of the total deaths reported in the county. In the Youngstown area, 12 have died from the virus at long-term care facilities. The state association representing for-profit nursing homes says it’s frustrated more information isn’t being shared. It also says more testing is needed in the nursing homes. 10TV reports nearly 400 residents in long-term care facilities across Ohio have tested positive for the virus. Mahoning County has the most deaths in the state with 31, and nearly half have occurred inside nursing homes. The state hasn't identified all the facilities with confirmed patients.

Unemployed Ohioans wait, and wait, for checks from state
Ohio is now fielding record unemployment claims. Meanwhile, many workers out of a job find themselves scrambling to make ends meet as they wait days or weeks for their claim to be processed and checks to be issued. The state human services agency said nearly 700,000 people filed for unemployment in the last three weeks. That's almost double the 365,000 claims filed in all of 2019. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said hundreds have been added to the state call center to handle all the inquires, but he has repeatedly asked people to be patient.

Data shows COVID-19 affecting African Americans
New data shows COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting African Americans in the state and nationwide. In Cuyahoga County alone, nearly 40% of the 1,000 confirmed cases in the county are identified as African American. At the state level, it's 10%. However, health officials can't identify the race for around 25% of confirmed cases in Ohio. The state's top health official Dr. Amy Acton said last week many people may not write down their race when they take a test and is urging hospitals to get this information.

70 prisone inmates test positive for virus
Nearly 70 Ohio prison inmates at seven facilities have tested positive for COVID-19. One hundred staff members have also tested positive. More than 10 prisons are under full quarantine, including the privately-owned Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown. State officials are moving to test nearly 5,000 inmates at Marion, Pickaway and the Franklin Medical Center. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Cuyahoga County officials reported 21 jail inmates have tested positive for coronavirus.

Cincinnati-area church holds Easter service despite stay-at-home order
A Cincinnati-area church held an Easter Sunday service during Ohio’s stay-at-home order. The Cincinnati Inquirer reports people came from all over to attend the service at Solid Rock Church in Monroe. A statement on the church’s website said it's taking the necessary precautions, including scaling back the number of worshipers at the facility and maintaining physical distancing. Churches are exempt from Gov. Mike DeWine’s order, however, he’s urged them to stop in-person services. Six churches in Tallmadge banded together to hold a drive-in Easter worship at Tallmadge High School. Worshipers in the parking lot could listen to the service through their car radio. 

3D printing is being used to make face shields for health care workers
3D printing technology is helping to supply health care workers with protective equipment. Lorain County Community College is making up to 500 shields each week. Students and staff took the machines home for the work. For extra precaution, each shield is put into a plastic bag for three to five days to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Cleveland Public Library says it will manufacture 2,000 face shields for city workers using the system's 3D printers.