Morning Headlines: Stark County Nursing Home Reports 4 COVID-19 Deaths; Ohio Prison Cases Rise

Apr 7, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 7:

  • Stark County nursing home reports 4 COVID-19 deaths;
  • Ohio prison coronavirus cases rise;
  • State confirms nearly 4,500 COVID-19 cases;
  • Ohio, Oklahoma courts rule abortions can continue;
  • State designates 6 makeshift hospital sites;
  • Giant Eagle limits capacity, sets spacing guidelines;
  • Akron Children's temporarily closes two urgent-care centers;
  • Organizations form $250K fund for arts community;
  • Sherwin-Williams donates 250,000 protective equipment;
  • State releases new demographic data on COVID-19 cases;
  • 2.2 magnitude earthquake recorded in Lake County;

Stark County nursing home reports 4 COVID-19 deaths
Stark County has reported four COVID-19-related deaths at a health care facility in Lexington Township. The Repository reports Altercare Integrated Health Services confirmed the fourth death Monday. Most of them were in their 80s. Several other residents and staff have also tested positive for the virus. The facility is working with state and local health departments to stop the spread of the disease. Stark County now has eight coronavirus deaths and 109 confirmed cases.

Ohio prison inmate coronavirus cases rise
Gov. Mike DeWine said 10 Ohio inmates at two prisons and 27 staff members at four prisons have now tested positive for the coronavirus. DeWine said the state is examining which nonviolent inmates could be released to create more space. DeWine on Monday also authorized 26 members of the Ohio National Guard to go into the federal prison in Elkton in eastern Ohio to help now that seven inmates there have tested positive. Meanwhile, three more Cuyahoga County Jail inmates tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend, bringing the total of inmates with the virus to nine.

State confirms nearly 4,500 COVID-19 cases
Ohio has nearly 4,500 confirmed coronavirus cases in 81 of its 88 counties and 142 deaths have been reported. Mahoning County has recorded the most deaths in the state at 17. Cuyahoga County, which has the majority of cases in the state, has reported 15 deaths. More than 1,200 people are hospitalized and 30% of them have been admitted to the ICU. More than 48,000 coronavirus tests have been given in the state as of Monday.

Ohio, Oklahoma courts rule abortions can continue
Court decisions in two U.S. states Monday allow abortions to continue after the procedure was caught in the crosshairs of governors’ orders suspending nonessential elective surgeries due to the new coronavirus. The decisions in Ohio and Oklahoma responded to challenges by abortion rights groups. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals declined an appeal by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost seeking to reverse a judge’s temporary restraining order allowing abortion facilities in the state to continue performing surgical abortions. In Oklahoma, a judge issued a similar order against the administration, allowing clinics there to resume providing medication and surgical abortions.

State designates 6 makeshift hospital sites
Six sites in Ohio will be designated as makeshift hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. Youngstown’s Covelli Centre and Case Western Reserve University's Education Campus are the two in Northeast Ohio. They’ll be used to treat mildly-ill patients while more severe cases go to hospitals. Gov. Mike DeWine said it'll help the state prepare for a surge in cases, which is expected to occur from the end of this month to mid-May, when the state could see up to 10,000 cases a day.

Giant Eagle limits capacity, sets spacing guidelines
Giant Eagle is making changes to comply with the state’s stay-at-home order. Stores will allow 50% of its normal occupancy, including employees. They’ll also use every other check-out lane to abide by six-foot distancing requirements. They're asking shoppers to only send one member of the household, wear masks and use the self-check-out scanners when possible. 

Akron Children's temporarily closes some urgent-care centers
Akron Children’s Hospital has temporarily closed urgent-care centers in Boston Heights and Montrose/Medina to manage the coronavirus outbreak. Urgent-care centers in Mansfield and Warren are open but with limited hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends. For minor injuries, Akron Children's recommends parents to call primary care physicians and try a virtual visit in the meantime.

Organizations form $250K fund for arts community
Northeast Ohio organizations have put together a $250,000 Emergency Loan Fund for artists, musicians and arts organizations that have lost income during the coronavirus outbreak. The nonprofit organization Arts Cleveland, plus the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, and NoteWorthy Federal Credit Union are allowing loans of up to $2,500 with no interest or payments for 12 months. The money will be available for a first-time, first-served basis.

Sherwin-Williams donates 250,000 protective equipment
Cleveland-based global paint maker Sherwin-Williams has donated 250,000 masks, gloves and lab coats to health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. The company is also making hand sanitizer to donate. In addition to protective equipment, they're supplying hospitals with critical coatings needed for the production of ventilators and oxygen tanks, Gov. Mike DeWine has asked all businesses or individuals to donate anything they have in stock to health care workers.

Ohio releases new demographic data on COVID-19 cases
The Ohio Department of Health has released new demographic data about COVID-19 patients. It breaks down cases by race and ethnicity. As of Monday, around half of the cases are white and are disproportionately black. But Ohio's top health official, Dr. Amy Acton, said the data is incomplete because 25% of admitted patients don't give their race or ethnicity. Acton also said deaths caused by the virus are becoming more prevalent in males, both in Ohio and nationwide.

2.2 magnitude earthquake recorded in Lake County
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 2.2 magnitude in Lake County Monday night, a few miles northeast of Perry. It happened just before 10 p.m. Lake County had three small earthquakes in December. Last June, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake was felt near Eastlake.