coronavirus

A federal judge has ordered that officials at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution identify which inmates are eligible to transfer out due to the spread of COVID-19 within the prison.

Major Summer Events at Akron's Lock 3 Postponed

Apr 22, 2020
a photo of Lock 3
SHANE WYNN / AKRON STOCK

As Ohio works toward lifting its stay at home mandate, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said allowing large gatherings will be among the last steps taken in a return to normal. That's leading to the postponement or cancellation of many concerts, festivals and other events originally scheduled for this summer.

In Akron, Lock 3 will not host major gatherings this summer. But Deputy Mayor James Hardy, who runs the city's Office for Integrated Development, say smaller events may still take place.

Summit County is emphasizing a need for more tests and education to help protect its African American population from the coronavirus.

African Americans make up 15 percent of the county’s residents but account for 32 percent of its COVID-19 cases. The county is using social media to send out tips on staying safe, said Health Commissioner Donna Skoda, but reaching specific populations is hard under the stay-at-home order.

A new study from respiratory researchers finds cloth masks are beneficial in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“This is based on existing research — just to share with everybody that there is a potential scientific basis for using [cloth masks],” said the chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute Dr. Raed Dweik, who contributed to the study. 

a photo of Summa's Akron campus
/ SUMMA HEALTH

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 22:

a photo of David James
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Every student in Akron Public Schools has a Chromebook. And Superintendent David James says most of them have connected via remote learning, but fewer than half are actively doing school work. The district is trying to get students more involved, but it’s also facing a number of other challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.

James welcomed the decision this week from Governor Mike DeWine to keep schools closed for the remainder of the school year.   

photo of Sen. Rob Portman
U.S. SENATE

Congress is working on the next stimulus package to help the economy weather the coronavirus pandemic. One of the largest pieces of the package is expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business loan service that ran out of money last week.

Urbana University, a private college in Ohio, announced Tuesday that it will close its physical campus and move classes online after the spring semester ends. It will also stop enrolling students at the end of the semester.

Former Ohio Governors To Join State's COVID Fight

Apr 21, 2020

Two former governors of Ohio – Democrat Richard Celeste and Republican Bob Taft – have agreed to lead a testing strike force team for Ohio to help the state combat the coronavirus crisis, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during his Tuesday briefing.

A new poll finds Ohioans are not "intensely" worried about catching COVID-19 and once the stay-at-home order is lifted will be more likely than the rest of the nation to resume social gatherings. But they still want social distancing and processes in place to identify new coronavirus cases.

photo desks and chairs
/ STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 21: 

a photo of the new Boston Mill Visitor Center
ANDREW MEYER / WKSU

Officials at Cuyahoga Valley National Park are celebrating National Park Week with online content for visitors who are trying to practice social distancing.

Nationwide, the park system has launched “Find Your Virtual Park” on platforms including Facebook and YouTube. Parks’ spokeswoman Pamela Barnes says anyone can take a trivia quiz about the parks, listen to a podcast, or view a webcam.

photo of Kent State
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

All throughout society, the coronavirus pandemic has meant upheaval, and that is certainly true in higher education. Universities and colleges have had to make drastic changes in how they operate: suspending in-person classes, sending all students home and shifting to virtual learning. How long will this last, how big of an impact will this have on schools and will they be able to survive this crisis? We spoke with Kent State University President Todd Diacon about the path forward for the university.

photo of chic canfora
FACEBOOK/KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

A woman who witnessed the shootings at Kent State on May 4, 1970 remains optimistic about this year’s 50th commemoration despite its move to a digital remembrance because of COVID-19 concerns.  Chic Canfora participated in a Facebook live session hosted by the University Monday. She shared her story about witnessing May 4 and her thoughts on it looking back. Canfora reassured viewers the virtual commemoration will still hold the power it was intended to have in person.

a photo of a health department chart
THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Ohio schools will continue teaching students remotely for the rest of the school year. 

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the decision Monday, two weeks before his school closing order was set to expire.  

UPDATE: Chief Judge Algenon Marbley ruled that Hartman's rights aren't being violated because the order applies to all non-essential businesses, and rejected her request for a temporary restraining order on the state's stay at home order. A hearing is set for May 11.

A libertarian group is joining in with a Columbus bridal shop in filing a lawsuit in federal court against Ohio’s stay at home order, saying the state must hold hearings for businesses that have been shut down.

Ohio’s number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 spiked to 11,292 Sunday – fueled in part by mass testing at three prisons. But the head of the institute that’s has been working with the state on modeling says this weekend may have been an important one in the fight against coronavirus.

There were 11,292 cases of COVID-19 cases as of Sunday – and nearly a quarter of those are either inmates or staff at Ohio prisons.

GOOGLE EARTH

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, April 20:

a photo of Bailey Hill
KENT STATE GEAUGA CAMPUS

She’s never cared for a patient with COVID-19, but a recent nursing graduate from Kent State’s Geauga campus will be doing so this week as she begins work in one of the epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic. Bailey Hill, 23, who grew up in Geauga and Ashtabula Counties, traveled on Friday with a  group from Cleveland Clinic to New York City.

photo of bidet
POLOMEX / CREATIVE COMMONS

With supplies of toilet paper still limited in many stores, interest appears to be picking up in an alternative.

photo of farm
VIVIAN GOODMAN / WKSU

Gov. Mike DeWine has signaled that Ohio nonessential businesses could start reopening by the end of next week. And you’ve been asking what that means for coronavirus testing, the state’s farmers and even Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Now, Sarah Taylor and Kabir Bhatia from our newsroom answer questions you’ve sent in for “OH Really?”

Updated at 8:37 p.m. ET

At a briefing of his task force Sunday, President Trump said his administration would have a call with governors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Monday to discuss how to increase coronavirus testing capacity in states.

Trump's remarks come as the administration defends its testing response and guidelines for states to start resuming normal operations, even as several governors said they are far short of the testing capacity they'd need to lift restrictions.

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

If China was responsible for the coronavirus outbreak, the country should face consequences, President Trump said at Saturday's White House briefing.

"If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake," Trump said in response to a reporter's question. "But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences."

Trump has offered no evidence that the Chinese were responsible for the pandemic, but did say that a U.S. investigation into the outbreak is ongoing.

President Trump's nightly briefings on COVID-19 this week have featured stunning pronouncements and reversals.

Take the widespread response to the president's assertion on Monday that he could reopen local businesses by fiat — even against the wishes of governors: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total."

That sentence looks like a true-false question on a test in constitutional law class. (Answer: False.)

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