Morning Headlines: Stay-at-Home Order Extended; Ohio Nears 3,000 COVID-19 Cases; 460,000 Unemployed

Apr 3, 2020

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, April 3:

  • DeWine extends stay-at-home order;
  • Ohio nears 3,000 COVID-19 cases;
  • More than 460,000 Ohioans file for unemployment;
  • Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank distributes record amounts;
  • Columbiana County inmate dies after showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Greater Cleveland RTA to start using ultraviolent disinfectant technology;
  • Cuyahoga County juvenile detention officer, employee are in quarantine;
  • Cleveland extends civil emergency declaration;
  • Catholic bishops cancel Mass, other ceremonies through May;
  • State parks remain open under new stay-at-home order;
  • $6M Howe Avenue reconstruction project resumes this weekend;

DeWine extends stay-at-home order
Gov. Mike DeWine is extending Ohio's stay-at-home order to May 1. It was set to expire Monday night. The new order comes with some changes:

  1. Campgrounds and swimming pools will be closed
  2. People coming to Ohio from out of state are advised to quarantine for 14 days
  3. A panel will be assembled to determine which businesses will remain open
  4. Retailers will also have to limit the number of people in their stores to prevent overcrowding

​DeWine said Thursday that if COVID-19 cases drop off in the state, then the order could be lifted. But he said it's not likely and encourages Ohioans to keep social distancing from others in the meantime. 

Ohio nears 3,000 COVID-19 cases
Ohio has reported more than 2,900 cases of COVID-19 and 81 deaths as of Thursday. Ohio's top health official Dr. Amy Acton said those numbers are probably even larger because of a lack of testing. The state is expecting a surge in cases between April 15 and May 15. It's possible up to 10,000 cases will be confirmed each day. The U.S. has confirmed more than 241,000 cases total. Within 24 hours Thursday, 1,000 people died from COVID-19.

More than 460,000 Ohioans file for unemployment
Ohio released a startling set of unemployment numbers Thursday. More than 272,000 Ohioans filed jobless claims last week, a second-straight week of record numbers as businesses grapple with the closure order. That makes 468,000 claims total in the past two weeks, which is 100,000 more than for all of 2019. Ohio has paid out $45 million so far to more than 108,000 claimants. Many more people are still struggling to apply for benefits. The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services added 300 new staff to the state’s unemployment call center and expect to add 1,000 new workers by next week. Across the U.S., 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment, shattering a record set just last week of 3.3 million people.

Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank distributes record amounts
The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank distributed its largest amount of food in its history last month. The Beacon Journal reports the food bank gave out 3.6 million pounds of product across eight counties. That's 30% more than a year ago. Around 9,000 people were new-timers. The food bank said the high demand started after schools were ordered to close in early March because of the coronavirus pandemic. It doesn't expect the need for food to decrease anytime soon.

Columbiana County inmate dies after showing COVID-19 symptoms
A Columbiana County inmate has died after showing symptoms associated with COVID-19. Woodrow Taylor, 53, died at a hospital after alerting staff at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution about his symptoms. The Federal Bureau of Prisons said he was placed on a ventilator and passed away shortly after. Taylor took the coronavirus test, but results are still pending. The prisons bureau said 75 people in U.S. custody have caught the virus.

Greater Cleveland RTA to start using ultraviolent disinfectant technology
Greater Cleveland's regional transit authority will start using ultra-violet technology next week to disinfect busses during the coronavirus outbreak. The Greater Cleveland RTA will use MoonBeam3 technology, created by Daylight Medical in Middleburg Heights. It disinfects high-touch surfaces and can sanitize busses within an hour. Many hospitals across the nation are using similar technology. Last week, RTA officials reported a 50% decline in ridership because of the pandemic.

Cuyahoga County juvenile detention officer, employee are in quarantine
A Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center officer and an employee have been ordered to quarantine. Cleveland.com reports it's unknown whether they've been tested for COVID-19, but health officials said they're showing the symptoms. Thirty people have been tested in the state's prison system, according to the Ohio Department of Health. They have all come back negative so far. No cases have been reported in Ohio juvenile detention centers.

Cleveland extends civil emergency declaration
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson is extending his civil emergency declaration for the city until the end of the month. Cleveland.com reports the proclamation, which Jackson first made in early March, allows city departments to make policy recommendations to help combat COVID-19. Health officials said 20 more Clevelanders tested positive for the virus Thursday, bringing the city's total to nearly 150. Cases range from people in their 20s to their 80s. Cuyahoga County has 663 cases total and 12 people have died.

Catholic bishops cancel Mass, other ceremonies through May
The Catholic bishops of Ohio have announced that all Mass and other ceremonies are canceled through early May due to the coronavirus outbreak. The decision came hours after Gov. Mike DeWine decided to extend Ohio's stay-at-home order to May 1. The Church is excusing all Catholic Ohioans from attending Mass. It has also canceled public Mass through Easter.

State parks remain open under new stay-at-home order
Gov. Mike DeWine said he doesn't plan to close state parks as long as people follow social distancing guidelines. If people don't stay six-feet apart from others and congregate at popular places, DeWine said the state has the right to close them down. However, camping grounds and swimming pools will be closed until May 1 when the new stay-at-home order expires. Many parks are already taking precautions. Cleveland Metroparks closed down popular attractions like Squire's Castle in Willoughby. Cuyahoga Valley National Park closed its Boston Mills visitor's center, but all the paths remain open.

$6M Howe Avenue reconstruction project resumes this weekend
The nearly $6 million Howe Avenue reconstruction project in Cuyahoga Falls will resume Saturday. A part of Howe Avenue east will be closed and drivers will be detoured south on Home Avenue. There will be two lanes of traffic going westbound. The project includes replacing concrete with asphalt, new street signage and lighting. The construction is expected to end in September.