Morning Headlines: Ohio Showing Signs of COVID-19 Resurgence; Cases Top Previous High

Jul 30, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Thursday, July 30:

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci: Ohio among states showing signs of COVID-19 resurgence
  • Nearly 100 more Ohio COVID-19 nursing home deaths reported
  • Ohio coronavirus hospitalizations top previous highs
  • Pharmacy board bans use of touted drug for COVID-19 treatment
  • Ohio House to vote on speaker removal today
  • Cleveland mayor extends coronavirus emergency declaration through August
  • Federal agents head to Cleveland as Operation Legend expands
  • Cleveland mayor, police not told of upcoming presidential debate
  • Cleveland City Council approves ban on sugary drinks in kids’ meals
  • Akron loses a third of hospitality jobs in wake of pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci: Ohio among states showing signs of COVID-19 resurgence
Ohio reported nearly 1,400 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 40 deaths yesterday as the state works to contain the outbreak. Dr. Anthony Fauci, earlier this week warned that Ohio is among the states showing early signs of a resurgence. Ohio will update its COVID-19 data this afternoon when Gov. Mike DeWine holds his latest coronavirus briefing in Columbus. Listen live on WKSU or at wksu.org.

Nearly 100 more Ohio COVID-19 nursing home deaths reported, up from 98 last week
The Ohio Department of Health has reported nearly 100 more COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. There have been more than 23-hundred such deaths in Ohio, up 98 from a week ago. Nursing homes account for 68% of Ohio's coronavirus-related deaths.

Ohio coronavirus hospitilization top previous high
Ohio hospitals are seeing their highest number of patients with the coronavirus since the pandemic began. The state’s health department said Wednesday that 1,122 people were being treated in Ohio’s hospitals. That includes 348 intensive care patients. That total tops the previous high number in late April when the state had just over 1,100 patients with COVID-19. Ohio health director Lance Himes said those who are testing positive are increasingly younger. He says the increasing numbers show the need to keep up with wearing masks and social distancing.

Pharmacy board bans use of touted drug for COVID-19 treatment
The Ohio pharmacy board has prohibited the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. The state agency stepped in to block the sale of the drug even as President Donald Trump continues to taut its effectiveness. The FDA has revoked emergency use authorization for the drug and found it can cause serious side effects. President Trump pushed the drug during a pandemic press briefing this week and in a series of Tweets.

Ohio House to vote on speaker removal today
The Ohio House is preparing to vote today on whether to remove its Republican leader Speaker Larry Householder, nine days after federal officials released details of a $60 million bribery scheme he is accused of leading. The Ohio House has never before removed a speaker, according to the Ohio History Connection. Even if he's kicked out of that role, the veteran lawmaker wouldn't necessarily lose his House seat. A list of potential speaker replacements is already circulating among Republicans.

Cleveland mayor extends coronavirus emergency declaration through August
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has extended a coronavirus emergency declaration through the end of August. Cleveland.com reports the move continues to allow city departments to recommend steps the city should take to keep the virus in check. The emergency declaration was set to expire on Friday. Jackson has extended the emergency proclamation a total of five times since first issuing it at the end of March.

Federal agents head to Cleveland as Operation Legend expands
Cleveland will see an additional 25 federal agents in four different agencies as part of a White House initiative. Cleveland.com reports that U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said the extra agents will join the local FBI, DEA, ATF, and U.S. Marshals offices. The push includes nearly $10 million in federal money to hire an additional 30 Cleveland police officers and seven new state highway patrol officers. Herdman says Cleveland currently has more than 200 federal agents from various agencies working with local law enforcement in drug enforcement, violent crime investigations, and fighting gun trafficking. Herdman said the agents will not be assigned to protect federal property which has provoked ongoing protests in Portland, Oregon. Critics have said agents there have overstepped their mandate and abused their power.

Cleveland mayor, police not told of upcoming presidential debate
The surprise announcement this week that Cleveland will host the first presidential debate was also news to local officials. Cleveland.com reports that Mayor Frank Jackson said neither his office nor Cleveland police were part of the decision to move the debate to Northeast Ohio. The local Secret Service branch was also taken off-guard. But Secret Service officials will put together a security plan in time for the Sept. 29th event. The Commission on Presidential Debates had originally selected Notre Dame in Indiana to host the debate, but that school dropped out due to coronavirus concerns. Case Western Reserve University had agreed to be a back-up location, which along with the Cleveland Clinic, offered to hold the event in their new shared medical school. A presidential debate in the previous election cycle cost taxpayers in a Long Island community around $2 million to police the event.

Cleveland City Council approves ban on sugary drinks in kids’ meals
Cleveland City Council has unanimously approved a ban on restaurants offering sugary drinks in kids' meals. The ban takes effect in January 2021. Cleveland.com reports Mayor Frank Jackson signed the ban into law Wed. that requires restaurants to provide children with healthier options. The ordinance says restaurants must offer water, 100% fruit juice with no added sweeteners or low or nonfat milk with no more than 150 calories. Officials say the move helps combat child obesity and other conditions such as type two diabetes.

Akron loses a third of hospitality jobs in wake of pandemic
A new report says Akron has lost one-third of its jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector since the COVID-19 pandemic began in February. Crain's Cleveland cites the report from consumer finance website MoneyGeek, which analyzed federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Akron reportedly lost more than 11,000 jobs in the sector that includes the hard-hit restaurant industry. The report ranks Akron as the 23rd hardest-hit city in the country. It's the only Ohio city to make the list.