Morning Headlines: Stay-at-Home Order Begins Tonight; Daycares Can Stay Open with 'Pandemic License'

Mar 23, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, March 23: 

  • Stay-at-home order begins tonight;
  • Daycares can stay open with 'pandemic license';
  • Akron retirement home confirms resident has COVID-19;
  • Pharmacy board restricts access to drugs to treat coronavirus;
  • Ohio playgrounds to close;
  • KSU offers students pass, fail option for classes;
  • Officials taking steps to reduce county jail populations;
  • State mourning deaths of Youngstown-area representative, police officer;
  • Giant Eagle, Fifth Third Bank to give employees bonus pay;
  • Acme uses plastic pannels to protect employees from COVID-19;
  • Jo-Ann teaches how to make protective equipment, donates to U.S. hospitals;

Stay-at-home order begins tonight
Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a stay-at-home order for the state which will go into effect at midnight until April 6. It's the strictest order the state has imposed to combat COVID-19. It allows essential businesses to stay open, such as grocery stores, gas stations and hospitals. Ohioans are allowed to leave their homes under very few reasons. The order does encourage people to get out and exercise. Parks are still open. DeWine says it will be enforced by local health departments and law enforcement. There are 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and three deaths.

Here are the businesses that will remain open:

  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks
  • Hospitals
  • Dental clinics
  • Mental health providers
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivators
  • Eye care services
  • Blood donation centers
  • Pet stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Home health care providers
  • Animal shelters
  • Post offices
  • Hardware stores
  • Automotive repair shops
  • Places of worship (unless an individual church has different rules)
  • Laundromats
  • Airports
  • Public transit
  • Pawn brokers
  • Gynecologists and Obstetricians
  • Adoption shelters
  • Insurance companies
  • Hotels
  • Public parks

Here's what is closed:

  • Playgrounds
  • Gyms
  • Hair salons
  • Nail salons
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Barber shops
  • Record and game stores
  • Theaters
  • Indoor play areas
  • Boutiques
  • Furniture stores
  • Massage therapy

Daycares can stay open with 'pandemic license'
Starting Thursday, daycares in Ohio must close unless they obtain a special “pandemic license." Gov. Mike DeWine said daycares will be given the licenses if many of the parents are in health care, public safety and other essential fields. The order mandates that all child care centers limit the number of children in one room to six and will remain in effect until April 30.

Akron retirement home confirms resident has COVID-19
An Akron retirement home has confirmed one of its residents has COVID-19. The Beacon Journal reports the Ohio Living Rockynol resident was living in a private room for a short time. He’s hospitalized in critical condition. Health officials are asking those were around the resident to quarantine. Summit County has 23 confirmed cases. In Dover, Hennis Care Centre officials have confimed some residents and staff may have come into contact with some who tested positive for COVID-19. The facility has no confirmed cases. People who are potentially affected have been notified.

Pharmacy board restricts access to drugs used to treat coronavirus
The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is restricting access to two drugs that are being used to treat coronavirus. At an emergency meeting Sunday, the board voted to allow only patients who tested positive for COVID-19 to receive a limited 14-day supply one of chloroquine or hydroxyl-chloroquine. Pharmacists said people are stockpiling the medicine that currently treats Malaria, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. The drugs were recently touted by President Donald Trump as a possible treatment for coronavirus. 

Ohio playgrounds to close
Gov. Mikes DeWine has ordered all public playgrounds to close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It's a part of the state's stay-at-home order, which mandates Ohioans to stay in their homes unless they need essential items like food or have to take care of loved ones. Exceptions include outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, running and bicycling. DeWine encourages everyone to maintain a six-foot distance from others. Only essential businesses are open.

KSU offers students pass, fail option for classes
Kent State University has offered students a different way to complete spring semester classes during the coronavirus pandemic. Undergraduate and graduate students can opt to be graded on a pass or fail basis, meaning their GPA's won't be affected on transcripts. Kent State has also extended the withdraw date to the end of the semester. Most Ohio colleges and universities have gone to online classes for the remainder of the semester.

Officials taking steps to reduce county jail populations
Officials are taking steps to reduce jail populations in Ohio's most populous counties as they work to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Those efforts in the past week have been most notable at the Cuyahoga County jail in Cleveland, where the population fell from nearly 2,000 inmates last week to just under 1,300 on Friday. Officers are being told to issue citations for nonviolent crimes. In Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, the jail population recently fell to just over 1,000 from around 1,600 on Monday. In Franklin County, which includes Columbus, officials said Saturday the jail population has been reduced by about 300.

State mourning deaths of Youngstown-area representative, police officer
Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered flags at half-staff through this weekend in honor of a Mahoning Valley state representative and a Cincinnati-area police officer who both died over the weekend. Don Manning, 54 of New Middleton, died Friday from a heart attack. He was serving his first term in the legislature. Saturday night, police officer Kaia Grant, 33 of Springdale, died during a pursuit that ended in a crash. 

Giant Eagle, Fifth Third Bank to give employees bonus pay
Giant Eagle will give $10 million in bonuses to employees through the end of May. The Pittsburgh-based grocery chain says the end date will be re-evaluated depending on the spread of COVID-19. Current employees and recently hired will be receive the bonus pay. Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank is also giving its employees up to $1,000 in bonus pay with $500 installments in April and May. The company says while some employees are working from home, many have to be on-site to perform essential duties during the pandemic. Fifth Third's branch lobbies are temporarily closed to the public.

Acme uses plastic pannels to protect employees from COVID-19
Acme Fresh Market is now using large plastic panels at checkouts to protect employees from COVID-19. The panels stand between the cashier and the customer, similar to a bank window. Grocery stores are one of the essential business that will remain open during Gov. Mike DeWine's stay-at-home order. The order will go into effect tonight and only allows Ohioans outside of their homes for groceries, exercise and other essential needs.

Jo-Ann teaches how to make protective equipment, donates to U.S. hospitals
Hudson-based craft store Jo-Ann will offer classes today to teach people how to make face masks, gowns and other items that will be donated to U.S. hospitals. Locations offering the classes will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Classes can be found at joann.com/stores. The Beacon Journal reports Jo-Ann is also partnering with hospitals in need of supplies to secure materials such as fabric, elastic and clear vinyl.