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YEAR OF COVID

Ohio Schools Address Learning Gaps After Year of Disruption for Young Students

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With all but one of Ohio’s K-12 public schools back to in-person learning as of Thursday, schools are now assessing the educational setbacks from a year of disruption.

After having to quickly switch gears when the pandemic began, going from classrooms to living rooms within a matter of days, students may have grown accustomed to learning in their own spaces.

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Hard Shifts, Complicated Patients: For Ohio Hospitals, Fight Still On

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — While the state phases back to a more normal way of life — and possibly a summer without COVID-19 restrictions — health care professionals on the frontlines said a severe population of critically ill patients remains, and they warn the health crisis is anything but over.

Hospitals have more therapies at their disposal for COVID-19 patients a year into the pandemic. However, according to infectious disease experts, some patients infected with the virus don’t seem to respond to the treatments, and the health care workers remain busy in coronavirus wards.

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"Brighter Days Lie Ahead:" Looking Back on a Year of COVID-19 Nationwide

BY Jessica Yellin

It’s been one year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic — and at the time Dr. Fauci told lawmakers that "things will get worse."

This week he amended that statement. telling NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, "I did not in my mind think that 'much worse' was going to be 525,000 deaths."

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Year of COVID: Ohio's Ups and Downs

BY Jennifer Conn and Pete Grieve
UPDATED 10:45 AM ET Mar. 11, 2021

When the first COVID-19 warnings came out of China in December 2019, most Ohioans were still taking down Christmas decorations. But the Buckeye state was among the first in the nation to take the coronavirus threat seriously, announcing restrictions even before the first confirmed case.

The state quickly kicked into gear when COVID-19 made its way to the U.S., and state officials earned high praise for their swift response in March. As the summer approached, the pandemic worsened and hospitals began erecting ominous white tents outside emergency rooms to handle overflow.

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Pandemic Presidencies: How Donald Trump and Joe Biden Navigated a Year of COVID-19

BY Austin Landis
UPDATED 9:06 AM ET Mar. 10, 2021

The Biden administration has signaled a stark shift in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly when it comes to areas like transparency and boosting vaccine supply.

But while the difference in administrations is clear on the surface, a significant part of the operational and behind-the-scenes work from public health officials has remained in place from President Donald Trump’s time in office.

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DeWine Declares March 9 Day of Remembrance for COVID-19 Victims

BY Spectrum News Staff & Associated Press
UPDATED 12:51 PM ET Mar. 09, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine has declared it a Day of Remembrance for the more than 17,000 Ohioans who have died from COVID-19.

All U.S. and Ohio flags are being flown at half-staff to honor the victims.

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A Year of COVID: A Spectrum News Special

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 9:30 AM ET Mar. 04, 2021

OHIO — Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement 12 months ago that the Arnold Sports Festival would not go on as planned sounded the alarm of the tsunami that would turn many lives upside down.

The novel coronavirus became real for Ohio that day, and its stranglehold on our economy, the political, educational and financial systems, as well as our homes has been unrelenting.

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CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Half of U.S. adults now have received at least 1 COVID shot

BY Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one COVID-19 shot, the government announced Sunday, marking another milestone in the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign but leaving more work to do to convince skeptical Americans to roll up their sleeves.

Almost 130 million people 18 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine, or 50.4% of the total adult population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Almost 84 million adults, or about 32.5% of the population, have been fully vaccinated.

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Fauci says he expects J&J vaccine to resume later this week

BY Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States will likely move to resume Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this coming week, possibly with restrictions or broader warnings after reports of some very rare blood clot cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a series of news show interviews, said he expects a decision when advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to discuss the pause in J&J’s single-dose vaccine.

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Ohio providers administer COVID-19 vaccines at high schools for students 16+

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Providers in the state are now administering Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at high schools for students 16 and older – Ohio’s latest effort to reduce transmission in schools.

COVID-19 vaccines have become more available in Ohio this week for residents 16 and older, including eligible high school students. If getting a shot at schools is not an option, state officials encouraged familiesThursday to look for Pfizer clinics in the community to get older teenagers immunized.

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New COVID-19 cases up in 33 states over last month

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 7:48 AM ET Apr. 17, 2021

More than half of states have seen coronavirus cases climb by at least 22% over the last month — more than doubling in a handful of states — a review of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows.

Health officials have been cautioning Americans and state leaders for weeks not to grow complacent by relaxing or ignoring guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The number of new cases has been steadily inching upward for nearly a month.

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As weather warms, changing air quality may aid COVID-19 transmission

BY Erin Billups - National Health Reporter
UPDATED 9:32 AM ET Apr. 16, 2021

As emergency rooms and intensive care units flooded with patients last Spring, there was tentative hope the summer months would help slow the march of the coronavirus.

But as the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths surged in Southern and Western States, it became clear no such relief was coming.

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The Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause explained: What caused it, and how long could it last?

BY Jessica Yellin

Use of the Johnson & Johsnon vaccine remains suspended across the country after regulators recommended the pause after 6 recipients in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots.

Tuesday, the CDC and FDA recommended a pause in use of the one-shot vaccine "out of an abundance of caution." The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets, the fragments in blood that normally form clots. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died; all of the cases remain under investigation.

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Franklin County enters purple alert level for COVID-19 spread

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Franklin County entered the "purple" COVID-19 alert level on Thursday as officials warned the spread of the virus in Ohio has worsened despite vaccinations.

Officials reported that Franklin County, the state’s only purple county, triggered six of the state’s COVID-19 indicators for rising spread of the virus, which are based on infection and hospitalization numbers.

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With vaccines more available, providers encounter hesitancy

BY Pete Grieve

SIDNEY, Ohio — Shots are becoming more available in many U.S. states, and now some rural communities, like Shelby County, are encountering problems with vaccine hesitancy.

In January, Shelby had the most COVID-19 cases per capita in Ohio — a rate of more than 1 in 100 residents with active infections. As far as vaccine uptake, Shelby ranks 83rd of the 88 counties in Ohio.

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Officials say Pfizer, Moderna vaccines are replacing J&J appointments

BY Austin Landis

Health officials said Wednesday that they were working to replace scheduled Johnson & Johnson appointments with the Pfizer and Moderna shots, and they said the U.S. has plenty of supply to continue vaccinating Americans at its current pace.

Members of the White House’s COVID-19 Response Team also ensured Americans that vaccinations remain safe and critical, despite the rare reports of blood clots that led to a pause in the administration of the J&J shot.

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Kent State University students: No regrets for vaccine

BY Jenna Jordan

KENT, Ohio — Some Ohio college students are nervous after hearing news the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is now on pause after six women developed a rare, but serious, blood clotting issue. Many students received the shot over the past week as a part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s push to have as many college students vaccinated as possible before summer break.

At Kent State University, administrators said about 1,200 students received the vaccine during on-campus clinics.

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CDC, FDA recommend pause in use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

BY Adam K. Raymond , Spectrum News Staff and Rachel Tillman
UPDATED 5:57 PM ET Apr. 13, 2021

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement on Tuesday recommending that states pause using Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" after 6 recipients in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots.

"Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare," the agencies said. "Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered."

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J&J vaccine halt for blood clot investigation disrupts Ohio’s college clinics

BY Lydia Taylor and Pete Grieve
UPDATED 11:48 AM ET Apr. 13, 2021

OHIO — Vaccine clinics at Ohio’s college campuses are in limbo Tuesday after the U.S. government ordered a pause on administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to blood clot concerns.

Ohio is using its allocation of J&J toward its goal of immunizing every college student who wants a shot before summer break.

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Atlas Butler provides incentives for employees to get vaccinated

BY Olivia Wile

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As businesses across the state are slowly transitioning back to the office, a company in Columbus is offering perks to workers who get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Andre Saunders is one of the 130 employees in the family-owned Atlas Butler Heating and Cooling. He’s a supervisor in the call center.

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Gov. DeWine warns of Michigan-like surge in Ohio, urges residents to get vaccinated

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine, during a tour of vaccination clinics in Steubenville and Athens on Monday, warned Ohioans that the state may face a Michigan-like surge of COVID-19 cases, and urged residents to vaccinated.

DeWine addressed the surge of cases in Ohio and the state's vaccination efforts. Monday morning, the governor went to the Fort Steuben Mall in Steubenville, Jefferson County, and then to Ohio University's Heritage Hall College of Medicine in Athens County by the afternoon.

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Regeneron says antibody cocktail can help prevent COVID-19 infections within households

BY Ryan Chatelain

Regeneron said Monday it will ask the Food and Drug Administration to expand the emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 antibody cocktail after a clinical trial showed it is effective at preventing infections in people who have been exposed to the virus.

The New York-based drugmaker said in a news release that a Phase 3 trial found that a single 1,200-mg dose of REGEN-COV, which combines the monoclonal antibodies casirivimab with imdevimab, reduced the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 81% in people who live with someone recently infected by the virus.

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Ohio doctor leading vaccine trial: Children 5+ could be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by August

BY Lydia Taylor

CINCINNATI — It’s possible the COVID-19 vaccine could be available for children 5-years-old and older by the start of the next school year, according to an Ohio doctor leading a Pfizer trial in children.

Dr. Robert Frenck, the director of the Gamble Vaccine Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s hospital, told Spectrum News 1 during a news conference Monday that emergency use authorization for children 5 and older could come as soon as August or September.

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Curling becoming more popular during pandemic

BY Taylor Bruck
UPDATED 9:19 AM ET Apr. 12, 2021

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS — Curling is a sport for Olympians, and Paralympians, and everyone in between.

“It’s a lot of great exercise, workout and the camaraderie, everyone’s super supportive,” said Kymberleigh Romano, a new curler.

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Teens and the COVID-19 vaccine: 'I didn't need any convincing'

BY Micaela Marshall
UPDATED 7:11 AM ET Apr. 12, 2021

OHIO — Just about every day Sarah Fares laces up her tennis shoes, picks up her racket and practices her sport.

Sarah Fares is 16. Her world revolves around sports, school, friends & family. Her fear of needles & her age did make her a bit uneasy about the COVID-19 vaccine, but she felt the benefits outweighed any potential risk. “I was not as nervous as I was ready.” @SpectrumNews1OH pic.twitter.com/tsKqyvZsQT

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Cuyahoga County reports COVID-19 vaccine momentum, new aid for funeral costs

BY Jennifer Conn

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In the battle to thwart COVID-19, the numbers so far are positive for Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center mass vaccination clinic, said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

Families also can receive assistance to pay funerals costs for loved ones who died of COVID-19 through a federal program launching Monday, April 12.

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Lawmakers seek long-term limit on governors' emergency power

BY Associated Press

As governors loosen long-lasting coronavirus restrictions, state lawmakers across the U.S. are taking actions to significantly limit the power they could wield in future emergencies.

The legislative measures are aimed not simply at undoing mask mandates and capacity limits that have been common during the pandemic. Many proposals seek to fundamentally shift power away from governors and toward lawmakers the next time there is a virus outbreak, terrorist attack or natural disaster.

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Officials: States Should Expect “Lower Levels” of Johnson & Johnson Shipments in Coming Weeks

BY Rachel Tillman

Johnson & Johnson will cut deliveries of its single-dose coronavirus vaccine by nearly 80% next week, according to data published on the CDC website on Friday.

On the week of April 5, the pharmaceutical company sent out nearly 5 million vaccine doses across the country. But on the week of April 12, that number will drop to only 700,000 — its third-lowest weekly dosage shipment since the company received emergency use authorization for its COVID vaccine candidate in late February.

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Ohio's Amended COVID-19 Health Order Goes Into Effect — Here's What You Need To Know

BY Lydia Taylor

OHIO — On Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed an amended COVID-19 health order to clarify the state's policies surrounding masks, social distancing and gatherings.

DeWine discussed a few details about it on Monday. Dan Tierney, the press secretary for DeWine's office, said the state wanted to be more clear on the health order.

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The Wait Is Over For College Students Looking To Get The Vaccine

BY Tonisha Johnson

OHIO — With a constant demand for the COVID-19 vaccine, some college students are getting a taste of what it feels like to hurry up and wait.

After Gov. Mike DeWine announced college students could get the vaccine, many jumped on the opportunity. But some were met with disappointment as they realized it was going to be more of a struggle to get one than they thought. Now, with universities across the state are getting their own shipments of the vaccine, it's making it easier for students to get one if they want one. Otterbein University received all its Johnson & Johnson vaccines in one shipment.

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COVID-19 Vaccines in Ohio: What You Need To Know

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 5:23 AM ET Apr. 09, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state has expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility with new immunization sites opening in more convenient locations for Ohio residents, adding more options alongside mass vaccination centers and pharmacy clinics.

Everyone 16 and older is now eligible to receive a shot, and officials hope the millions of vaccinations flowing into the state will soon halt the rising spread of COVID-19 cases.

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North Carolina Sites Pause J&J Vaccine Shots After Reactions

BY Charles Duncan and Associated Press
UPDATED 8:45 PM ET Apr. 08, 2021

A mass vaccination event in Raleigh and clinics in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill stopped administering the single-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine Thursday after at least 26 people experienced adverse reactions, according to state health officials.

Wake County gave out more than 2,300 shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the PNC Arena before they decided not to give more of the vaccines.

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University of Akron Opens Vaccination Clinic on Campus

BY Rodneya Ross

AKRON, Ohio — When Gov. Mike DeWine announced college campuses could vaccinate students for COVID-19, the University of Akron sprang into action.

"Lot of folks in the logistic end, you know, getting the facilities ready, getting the communications ready, we partnered with Klein's Pharmacy, a local family-owned business," said Eric Green.

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CDC Director: Schools Should Be Fully Reopened This Fall

BY Ryan Chatelain

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says she expects all students to be back in classrooms this fall.

In an Instagram Live interview with ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton on Wednesday night, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that conditions should improve enough between now and September for schools to retire remote learning, even if not all children will have had the opportunity to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by then.

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As Travel Comes Back, Here's Where You Can Fly From Ohio During COVID-19

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When summer rolls around, the number of nonstop flight routes for travelers in Ohio is expected to be nearly the same as pre-pandemic levels, but the service map will look different, officials said. There are also fewer flights operating back and forth from business destinations, officials confirm.

Nonstop flights are expected to operate to 14 different destinations in Florida this summer from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), with more than 200 weekly flights.

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"I Was About To Give Up": Butler County Bus Breaks Down Barriers to Vaccine

BY Michelle Alfini
UPDATED 9:57 AM ET Apr. 08, 2021

OXFORD, Ohio — Twice a week, a Butler County Regional Transit Authority vehicle sets out from Oxford’s recreation center parking lot. On Wednesday afternoon, the driver, a county employee and a 73-year-old woman were looking forward to the 90-minute trip.

Some of them had struggled to get an appointment for the coronavirus vaccine for months. By the end of the day, they’d all have their first dose.

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Youth Sports Considered One Cause for Rise in COVID-19 Cases

BY Olivia Wile

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the first time during the pandemic, the CDC is pointing to a new group — children and teens — as the cause for an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Erin Sogal is a central Ohio parent and coach. She said she decided to coach her daughter's lacrosse team to make sure coronavirus safety protocols were being followed.

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Cases Climb and Available Hospital Capacity Shrinks in Cleveland

BY Chuck Ringwalt

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cleveland is experiencing a slight surge in the number of people occupying hospital beds related to the coronavirus.

Each week, Spectrum News 1 speaks with Eye on Ohio: Ohio Center for Journalism about the latest hospital bed data. The organization collects the data from the state health department and looks for possible trends.

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A Necessary Step or a Violation? Debate Over Vaccine Passports Grows Louder

BY Ryan Chatelain

Vaccine passports — proof, likely digital, of COVID-19 inoculations to travel or enter businesses or events — are quickly replacing mask mandates and lockdowns as the COVID-19 pandemic’s hot-button, politicized debate.

The concept is being considered by businesses, schools and politicians across the country. New York state last month launched a digital vaccine passport, an app called the “Excelsior Pass,” that allows residents to prove their vaccination status to businesses or venues that require it — Madison Square Garden, which mandates proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, is among those already using it. Hawaii Gov. David Ige said earlier this week his state is testing similar technology.

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CDC: COVID Variant First Discovered in UK Now Most Common Strain in US

BY Austin Landis

The mutation of COVID-19 first detected in the United Kingdom is now the most common strain among all United States coronavirus cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said on Wednesday.

The B.1.1.7 variant — which studies suggest is about 50% more contagious than the strains of coronavirus first detected last year and potentially more deadly — now accounts for more than 1 in 4 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to CDC data collected through mid-March.

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Study: COVID-19 May Increase Chances of Anxiety, Depression, Other Conditions

BY Austin Landis

A new study published Tuesday found that people who had COVID-19 may be more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health or neurological condition later on, as more researchers look at both the subsequent effects of the virus and “long COVID” — symptoms felt by coronavirus patients long after their initial infection.

The study, which was conducted at the University of Oxford and published in The Lancet Psychiatry, looked at real-world medical records of more than 230,000 patients, most in the United States.

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President Biden Moves Vaccine Eligibility Date to April 19, Touts 150 Millionth Shot Given

BY Austin Landis , Rachel Tillman and Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 5:19 PM ET Apr. 06, 2021

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he is shaving about two weeks off his May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for coronavirus vaccines.

As states have gradually expanded eligibility beyond priority groups like older people and essential workers, the president announced that all Americans 16 and older should at least have access to the shot by April 19, acknowledging that vaccinations will continue into the summer. He had previously announced that 90% of adults would be eligible by that date.

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As States Expand Vaccines, Prisoners Still Lack Access

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 9:07 AM ET Apr. 06, 2021

This week, Florida expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 16 and older. But across the state, more than 70,000 people still don’t have access to the vaccine. Those men and women are state prisoners.

More than half the country has opened up vaccine eligibility, vastly expanding the ability for most Americans to get the shots, whatever their age or medical conditions. But inside prisons, it’s a different story: Prisoners, not free to seek out vaccines, still lack access on the whole.

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Here Are Ohio's Colleges and Universities' Plans to Vaccinate Students

BY Lydia Taylor and Pete Grieve
UPDATED 7:45 AM ET Apr. 06, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s colleges and universities are prepping COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students.

Gov. Mike DeWine visited the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Monday ahead of its vaccine roll out to students.

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OSU Doctor Reacts to Vaccine Passports, Spike in COVID-19 Cases

BY Lindsay Oliver

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The COVID-19 variant first identified in the U.K. is spreading fast in the U.S. The CDC says it’s now the predominant variant across the Eastern U.S. and even here in the Midwest.

The U.S. is on the brink of a so-called fourth wave of COVID-19. Experts are citing multiple reasons for that, from eased restrictions and people being just plain exhausted from following protocols for protection.

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Johnson & Johnson Takes Over Plant That Botched Vaccine Doses; AstraZeneca Looks For New Site

BY Ryan Chatelain

AstraZeneca is searching for a new manufacturer for its COVID-19 vaccine, part of the fallout after a Baltimore plant spoiled 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Both vaccines were being manufactured by Emergent BioSolutions, a major government contractor. Workers at the plant reportedly mixed up ingredients of the two vaccines.

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CDC: Household Cleaning of Surfaces Reduces Risk of Virus Transmission

BY Austin Landis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance Monday for cleaning surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19, noting that regular household cleaning with soap or detergent instead of a disinfectant is often enough to reduce one’s risk of catching the virus.

The CDC also reiterated that the primary way the virus spreads is through respiratory droplets that travel through the air, and the risk of transmission via surfaces remains low. In the new guidance, the CDC said that risk was especially minimal after three days, “regardless of when it was last cleaned.”

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Fauci Predicts Packed Movie Theaters by Late Fall, Early Winter, but There's an "If"

BY Ryan Chatelain

Americans could be sitting unmasked in crowded movie theaters again before the end of the year, says Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the prediction on Monday’s episode of the “Politico Dispatch” podcast.

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Professor Finds Way to Help Others By Participating in COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

BY Tonisha Johnson
UPDATED 7:54 AM ET Apr. 05, 2021

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — As companies worldwide worked to create a COVID-19 vaccine, the race was on to find adults who could be a part of initial trials.

Dr. Suzanne Newcomb is a senior lecturer at Otterbein University in Westerville. Teaching music in person has a whole new meaning now that she’s been vaccinated.

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Ohio Schools Address Learning Gaps After Year of Disruption for Young Students

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With all but one of Ohio’s K-12 public schools back to in-person learning as of Thursday, schools are now assessing the educational setbacks from a year of disruption.

After having to quickly switch gears when the pandemic began, going from classrooms to living rooms within a matter of days, students may have grown accustomed to learning in their own spaces.

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Easter Egg Hunt Gets COVID-Safe Twist

BY Jenna Jordan

CLEVELAND — Things are hopping at a Northeast Ohio senior living center where they helped the community get into the Easter holiday spirit.

Independence Living of Aurora welcomed families Saturday for a drive-through Easter egg hunt.

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Ohio Pediatrician Plays Major Role in Teenage COVID-19 Vaccine Study

BY Kristen Anzuini

SOUTH EUCLID — Dr. Shelly Senders is the founder and CEO of Senders Pediatrics in South Euclid. His office has been working with Pfizer to study the effectiveness of the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 vaccine on teenagers.

Clinical trials began in October and included testing of 144 area youths who volunteered to take part.

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US Surpasses 100 Million People Who've Received At Least 1 COVID-19 Vaccine Dose

BY Ryan Chatelain

The United States surpassed a significant milestone Friday toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic with more than 100 million people having received at least one vaccine dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number as of early Friday afternoon stood at 101.8 million, or 30.7% of the population. Nearly 58 million are fully vaccinated — 17.5% of the population.

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Mammograms Show False Positive Signs in Some COVID-19 Vaccinated Patients

BY Jo Kwon

ORANGE, Calif. — Doctors who specialize in breast cancer screenings and prevention are noticing an increase in false positive readings triggered by a COVID-19 vaccine. It is a trend physicians noticed as more people received a vaccine.

Nicolle Velez is a secretary at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange. She is a front-line worker who became eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine in December.

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CDC Says Americans Can Travel if Fully Vaccinated, Do Not Need to Quarantine After

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 11:58 AM ET Apr. 02, 2021

Federal health officials released new guidelines Friday advising that fully vaccinated people can safely travel domestically and internationally, as long as they continue to wear masks, a huge step forward for the beleaguered travel industry and a major sigh of relief for Americans anxious to travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that Americans who are fully vaccinated are “at low risk to themselves” for travel, with citing recent research on the "real-world effectiveness" of COVID-19 vaccines, according to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

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Ohio Sending More Shots to High-Uptake Counties, Areas With Outbreaks

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state of Ohio is restructuring its COVID-19 vaccine distribution formula to better distribute shots where there is significant need, Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday.

That means more doses are headed to areas where case numbers are high, as well as areas where demand for vaccines is the greatest.

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FDA Authorizes 2 At-Home COVID-19 Tests Without Prescription

BY Spectrum News Staff & Associated Press

As COVID-19 testing numbers continue to slide in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has authorized two at-home, over-the-counter COVID-19 tests that can get rapid results – without a prescription.

The FDA said Wednesday that Abbott’s BinaxNow and Quidel’s QuickVue COVID tests can be sold without a prescription.

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Ohio Will Immunize College Students With J&J Starting Next Week

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state will offer Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ohio’s colleges and universities next week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday afternoon.

Every student will not have the opportunity to get the shot by the end of the week, but the plan is to move very quickly, DeWine said. For larger universities, reaching the entire campus could take several weeks, he said.

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I Got My COVID-19 Shots, What Should I Do With This Card?

BY Nathan Phelps
UPDATED 12:30 PM ET Apr. 01, 2021

MADISON, Wis. — Some day, a lot of people will look back at their photos from the spring of 2021 and see themselves holding up a small white piece of paper: their COVID-19 vaccination record card.

In the meantime, what do you do with them? The advice is relatively simple: keep it somewhere safe.

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Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine 91% Effective At Least 6 Months After 2nd Dose

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 9:49 AM ET Apr. 01, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, is more than 90% effective at least six months after the second dose is given, the companies announced Thursday.

The vaccine also is effective against the more highly contagious variant prevalent in South Africa, the drugmakers said.

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Ohio Had Big Plans for Halted Johnson & Johnson Doses

BY Lydia Taylor and Pete Grieve
UPDATED 9:39 AM ET Apr. 01, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Reports that millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the United States were ruined due to a manufacturing error brought shock and concern in Ohio on Wednesday.

The state's planned vaccine rollout involves using the single-dose shot to operate multiple mass vaccination sites, reach underserved communities and populations, and jab college students before summer break.

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Vaccine Seekers From Pa. Travel to Ohio for Appointments

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — About 1,200 people were vaccinated last week at a shuttered Sears store in Belmont County, Ohio, but not all of them were Ohio residents.

Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul said 100 to 150 of the people they vaccinated were Pennsylvania residents who crossed state lines for the shots.

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Despite Increase In COVID-19 Case Count, Fewer People Taking Up Hospital Beds

BY Chuck Ringwalt

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Despite higher than average case numbers, there are fewer people occupying hospital beds for treatment related to COVID-19.

Each week, Spectrum News 1 speaks with Eye on Ohio: Ohio Center for Journalism about the latest hospital bed data. The organization collects the data from the state health department and looks for possible trends.

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Ohio Hospital Begins Pfizer Vaccine Trial On 5-11 Year Olds

BY Lydia Taylor

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Children's Hospital is among four U.S. locations participating in the first phase of Pfizer-BioNTech's trial for testing its COVID-19 vaccine on children ages 5 to 11 this week.

Eight children from the Cincinnati-area are participating in the trial, Dr. Robert Frenck , the director of the National Institutes of Health-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit and Gamble Program for Clinical Studies at the medical center, told Spectrum News 1.

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CDC Reports First 2 Ohio Cases of Variant Discovered in South Africa

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 7:20 AM ET Mar. 31, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday reported the first two Ohio cases of the more transmissible COVID-19 variant discovered in South Africa, B.1.351.

With the confirmation of the variant’s presence in Ohio, the state now has multiple cases of all three variants of concern tracked by the CDC. As of Tuesday evening, the CDC reported a new total of 305 Ohio cases of a more contagious variant discovered in the United Kingdom, B.1.1.7, and three cases of a variant surging in Brazil, P.1.

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Pfizer Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Protects 12- to 15-Year-Olds

BY Associated Press

Pfizer announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine is safe and strongly protective in kids as young as 12, a step toward possibly beginning shots in this age group before they head back to school in the fall.

Most COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out worldwide are for adults, who are at higher risk from the coronavirus. Pfizer’s vaccine is authorized for ages 16 and older. But vaccinating children of all ages will be critical to stopping the pandemic — and helping schools, at least the upper grades, start to look a little more normal after months of disruption.

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COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know for 16-17 Year Olds

BY Jennifer Conn

AKRON, Ohio — Now that COVID-19 vaccination eligibility has been expanded to include Ohioans 16 and older, many parents who want their teens vaccinated have questions.

The most important place to start is to determine the right brand of vaccine for the teen’s age, said Akron Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert McGregor.

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Canada Pauses AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine for Under 55

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 8:21 AM ET Mar. 30, 2021

TORONTO — Canada on Monday suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people under age 55 following concerns it might be linked to rare blood clots.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization had recommended the pause for safety reasons and the Canadian provinces, which administer health in the country, announced the suspension Monday.

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Ohio's College Students to Get J&J Shots Before Summer Break

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 7:22 AM ET Mar. 30, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The DeWine administration will soon announce a plan to distribute the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine to Ohio’s colleges, enabling students to get a shot before summer break, the governor said Monday afternoon.

Gov. Mike DeWine discussed vaccinations with Ohio’s university presidents during a meeting on Friday. DeWine met with reporters at a vaccination clinic at the Vinton County Health Department in McArthur, Ohio — the third vaccination site he visited on Monday — to discuss the details.

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Family Reunited After One Year in Quarantine

BY Dennis Biviano

COLUMBUS — Although Randy Miller and his wife, Sandy, have communicated with their father, Eugene, over the last year, they recently shared an embrace with him at his residence for the first time in a year due to COVID-19.

“We'd come over and stand by his window and he would be on the cellphone and we could at least talk to each other and see each other. Then they opened it up to visits in the lobby or outside and we would do those things,” said Randy Miller of Dublin.

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Governor: Ohio COVID-19 Cases Tick Up, Driven By Spread In Young Age Groups​

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — COVID-19 cases in Ohio are trending upward slightly and more young people are becoming infected, Gov. Mike DeWine said while visiting a McConnelsville vaccination clinic – his second of three stops Monday at health department immunization sites.

“We're seeing the virus start to come back up a little bit. We plateaued out for a while. We were going down. Then, we plateaued out. Now, we're seeing a little increase,” DeWine said.

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Biden Says 90% of Adults Will Be Eligible for Vaccine by April 19

BY Austin Landis

President Joe Biden announced Monday that 90% of American adults will be eligible for the vaccine by April 19, as more states open up the shots to younger age groups ahead of the president’s goal of May 1.

President Biden also announced two new federal initiatives to boost access to the vaccine, including a doubling of the federal pharmacy program to nearly 40,000 locations, with the goal of making the shot available within five miles for 90% of Americans.

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571,000+ Vaccine Doses Head Into Ohio As Eligibility Expands

BY Lydia Taylor and Pete Grieve
UPDATED 1:26 PM ET Mar. 29, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans 16 and older are officially eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting Monday through Wednesday, the state is expecting more than 571,000 doses of all three approved vaccines — the largest shipment Ohio has received so far.

"We really are encouraging everyone now to get that shot, even people who might not think you're very vulnerable," Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday touring a vaccine clinic. "You know, those in their 20s sometimes don't think you're going to be very vulnerable (or) they're not going to get very sick. But we would encourage them to do that because many times they are the carriers. They are socially active. They're real spreaders."

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Amid Rising Cases, CDC Director Pleads with Americans to Hang On: "Right Now, I'm Scared"

BY Austin Landis

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pleaded with Americans in a briefing Monday to hold on “a little while longer,” saying she feels a sense of “impending doom” due to rising case numbers, increased travel and states opening up too quickly.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky held back tears as she spoke to reporters, highlighting the fact that case numbers were no longer stagnant but instead increasing. The U.S. is now reporting about 60,000 new cases per day, a 10% increase from the previous week, Walensky said.

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Variant on the Rise: Ohio Reports 100 New Cases

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 7:40 AM ET Mar. 29, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 100 new Ohio cases of the variant discovered in the United Kingdom, according to an update Sunday.

There have now been 275 CDC-confirmed Ohio cases of the more contagious variant B.1.1.7.

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GOP Congressman Gives Shots To Promote COVID-19 Efforts

BY Associated Press

NORWOOD, Ohio (AP) — A Republican congressman gave COVID-19 vaccinations Sunday to promote efforts to get reluctant people to get the shots.

An early advocate of getting vaccinated, Rep. Brad Wenstrup is among Republicans concerned about their voters getting inoculated because of unfounded claims about the vaccines.

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Ohio Governor on COVID-19: "The President Talked About July 4. I'll Talk about Memorial Day"

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — While President Joe Biden looks ahead to greenlighting small gatherings for the Fourth of July, Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday said he foresees a return to normal happening sooner in Ohio.

“The president talked about July 4. I'll talk about Memorial Day,” DeWine said Friday afternoon after touring a vaccination site at the Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Canton.

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Summit County Fairgrounds Mass Vaccination Center to Open

BY Jennifer Conn

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio – The state’s mass vaccination clinic planned for the Summit County Fairgrounds opens beginning April 3 for three to four days per week, Summit County officials said Friday.

Ohioans will be able to sign up online for appointments, which are required. Appointments will be- made on a first come first served basis, the county said.

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Portrait Artists Commemorating Doctors and Nurses in COVID Times

BY Taylor Bruck

CLEVELAND — Cleveland artist Timothy Herron isn’t fond of drawing people through a screen, yet he’s had to adapt like many others because of the pandemic. Herron is the founder of “The Pretentious Cleveland Portrait Artists.” They’re a group of 20 to 30 people who, pre-pandemic, would meet every Friday in person to draw a volunteer from the community, solely to keep up their craft.

“At heart I’m a plein air painter; I don’t like working from photographs or screens so much. I can and I do and that’s what COVID has done is put me in that position,” said Herron. “What it is, we just want steady practice. What I provide for everyone out there is steady practice. And the good thing is since all our models come from the general public, and I get the best drawings and give them to those models they experience something they can’t experience in any other state or city that I know of.”

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The Latest Coronavirus Numbers in Ohio

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 8:17 AM ET Mar. 26, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Every day, the Ohio Department of Health updates Ohioans on the latest coronavirus numbers. The graphics below are updated with information provided by the state of Ohio.



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Ohio ICU Beds Have Become Less Available Despite Vaccinations

BY Chuck Ringwalt

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state could be at an unforseen tipping point when it comes to beating the coronavirus.

Each week, Spectrum News 1 speaks with Eye on Ohio: Ohio Center For Journalism about the latest hospital bed data. The organization collects the latest data from the state health department and looks for possible trends.

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Are You Experiencing Side Effects After Your COVID-19 Vaccine? Report Them to the CDC

BY Khyati Patel

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A new online tool to record COVID-19 vaccine side effects is gaining more attention. It's called V-Safe Health Checker, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging people to sign up to help improve vaccination safety.

With more Americans getting the vaccine, the CDC is stepping in to help continue with the research.

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Ohio Counties Jump Back Into Red, Orange Levels as COVID-19 Cases Plateau

BY Lydia Taylor

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s COVID-19 case rate rose slightly this week, pushing the state further away from the threshold required to lift the mask mandate.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday there are 146.9 cases per 100,000 people in the state, which is an increase from the 143.8:100,000 case ratio last week. DeWine said the state won’t lift its mask mandate until there are 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks straight.

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Health Department Trains Hair Salon Receptionist to Schedule Minorities for Vaccines

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 8:46 AM ET Mar. 25, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — An Ohio county that was struggling to vaccinate minority residents found an unlikely solution in a partnership with a hair salon.

When the phone rings — and someone needs an appointment — Deborah Woods, 72, the receptionist at a Black-owned hair salon in Springfield, Ohio, asks if they’re calling for a haircut, or a COVID-19 vaccine.

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United States Surpasses 30 Million Coronavirus Cases

BY Austin Landis and Ryan Chatelain

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States during the pandemic has now surpassed a staggering figure of 30 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The once-unthinkable milestone was reached as about a quarter of Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine and new daily cases have plateaued at a number far less than the winter’s peak, but also as U.S. health officials caution against complacency.

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US to Boost Vaccine Distribution to 27 Million Doses Per Week

BY Austin Landis

The U.S. will increase the number of vaccine doses it sends out across the country to 27 million next week, officials announced Wednesday, a more than 300% increase from January.

Two-thirds of the shots will go to states, tribes and territories, while the rest will go to other federal channels, including the pharmacy program, community health centers, mass vaccination sites and more.

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Researchers Report 2nd and 3rd Ohio Cases of Variant Surging in Brazil

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 10:15 AM ET Mar. 24, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Researchers at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center detected the state’s second and third cases of P.1, the COVID-19 variant surging in Brazil, according to submissions Monday.

The two patients were a 25-year-old female who was tested on March 10 and a 29-year-old male tested the following day.

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President Joe Biden to Tout Rescue Plan in Columbus, Ohio on ACA Anniversary

BY Lydia Taylor and Pete Grieve
UPDATED 11:05 AM ET Mar. 23, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Joe Biden plans to promote his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package Tuesday afternoon in Columbus, where he will meet privately with Gov. Mike DeWine to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

He is expected to speak at the James Cancer Hospital Solove Research Institute at Ohio State University on the anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, which went into effect in 2010.

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US: AstraZeneca May Have Used Outdated Info in Vaccine Trial

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 9:05 AM ET Mar. 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Results from a U.S. trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may have included “outdated information” and that could mean the company provided an incomplete view of efficacy data, American federal health officials said early Tuesday.

The drug company acknowledged in a news release Tuesday that the numbers it cited were from an interim analysis with a cut-off date of Feb. 17. AstraZeneca said a preliminary review of the primary analysis showed results that were consistent with the interim analysis.

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Ohio Becomes 7th State to Report 1 Million COVID-19 Cases

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state became the seventh in the nation to pass one million COVID-19 infections on Monday — a once-unimaginable milestone that marks the scope of the spread in the Buckeye state.

Ohio reported its 1,000th case on March 27, and then, after what felt like a long half-year of social distancing, the state hit the 100,000 milestone on Aug. 9, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

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Ohio Adds Dozens More B.1.1.7 Cases As Vaccine-Variant “Race” Heats Up

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 37 Ohio cases of the COVID-19 variant discovered in the U.K. in the last week, bringing the state’s total to 128 cases.

Ohio added 17 CDC-confirmed cases of the more contagious variant in Thursday’s update and 20 more in a Sunday evening update. The state’s variant case count increased by more than 40% since March 14.

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Ohio Air Force Members Deploy to Detroit to Help With Vaccination Distribution

BY Camri Nelson

DAYTON, Ohio — On Friday, 120 Wright-Patterson airmen loaded their luggage onto a truck, preparing for deployment to Detroit. They’re working with FEMA to administer vaccinations to the public.

“This team in particular is adding to the armor of the human weapon system, protecting our nation, protecting our people, putting that shot in arms,” said Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Colonel Patrick Miller.

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Sister Jean Gets the Vaccine and Seat at the NCAA Tournament

BY Associated Press

CHICAGO — The best COVID-19 vaccine shots in America just might be the two that went into Sister Jean’s arm.

The breakout star and model for the most coveted bobblehead of the 2018 NCAA Tournament is now eight months beyond her 101st birthday and still serving as chaplain for the Loyola of Chicago basketball team. It took two vaccinations and some serious wrangling, but Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt was back on the scene Friday in Indianapolis watching her beloved Ramblers in person, sporting brand-new, brick-red kicks but the same radiant smile — a fresh reminder for a pandemic-weary fan base that a little perseverance still goes a long way.

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Biden Officials Say Trump Had No Plan for Vaccines. A Look Back Says Differently.

BY Austin Landis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the White House in early December last year, Wes Wheeler, the president of UPS Healthcare, stood on a stage and motioned to a large white cardboard box, holding a microphone to explain how it would be used to ship up to 5,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, millions of which were set to go out across the country less than a week later.

Wheeler explained that dry ice would occupy the bottom layer, then a second styrofoam box inside would provide insulation, plus a GPS tracking system and a temperature monitor would help account for the doses’ journey.

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What the CDC's 3-Feet Guidance in Schools Means for Ohio

BY Lydia Taylor

OHIO — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for schools Friday, saying students can stay 3 feet apart rather than 6 feet apart. But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said weeks ago that 3 feet is acceptable, as long as students wear masks.

“We've seen virtually no spread (in) class,” DeWine said on March 5. “Even when they're less than 6 feet apart, if they're all wearing a mask, (there’s) virtually no spread.”

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Ohio Reports More Than 800 Student Infections in Weekly Report

BY Spectrum News Staff

OHIO — COVID-19 cases among staff in Ohio schools have declined since teachers got vaccinated, but 804 new student infections were reported on March 18.

According to the Spectrum News 1 tracker, 43,078 students have been infected and 23,552 staff. The weekly update showed 181 staff infections, which marks a significant decline from early winter peaks when more than 1,500 weekly infections were reported among staff.

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CDC Relaxes Social Distancing Guidelines For Kids in Schools to 3 Feet

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 12:16 PM ET Mar. 19, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that they will relax social distancing guidelines from 6 feet to 3 feet for children in schools, allowing more students to be inside classrooms as the push to reopen schools for in-person learning intensifies.

Masks will still be mandatory, and the CDC still recommends six feet of distance between adults in schools, as well as between adults and children.

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There's Less Red on Ohio's Public Advisory Map as COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Decline

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 7:40 AM ET Mar. 19, 2021

OHIO — As cases and hospitalizations steadily decline throughout the state, more counties have dropped to from red to orange, and even yellow, on the state's Public Advisory Map.

The state implemented the four-level system in July to track COVID-19 spread in each county. Purple Alert Level 4 indicates the highest amount of spread, whereas Yellow Alert Level 1 shows the least.

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Ohioans 40+, Residents With Medical Conditions Now Eligible for Vaccines

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 5:00 AM ET Mar. 19, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Starting Friday, eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine expands to all residents 40 and older, as well as a group of individuals with medical conditions, officials said Tuesday morning.

People with five medical conditions will be in Phase 1E. The eligible conditions are cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and obesity.

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Vaccinated Health Worker Tests Positive for COVID in "Breakthrough" Case

BY Sarah Blazonis
UPDATED 10:20 PM ET Mar. 18, 2021

SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. – What are being called "breakthrough" cases of COVID-19 are popping up across the U.S. They're people who test positive 14 days or more after receiving their last dose of the vaccine.

“It still is shocking that I’m positive. I have no symptoms," home health worker Hanna Rewerts said.

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LOCAL RESOURCES
Symptoms

The 2019 novel coronavirus may cause mild to severe respiratory symptoms like:

  • cough
  • fever
  • trouble breathing and
  • pneumonia

The CDC believes symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

(Source: NYS DOH)