Coronavirus banner

YEAR OF COVID

'The safety of Ohio’s children is paramount': Ohio health officials issue COVID-19 guidance for schools

BY Lydia Taylor

OHIO — The Ohio Department of Health released its guidance for the upcoming school year Monday, going along with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state's guidance has been carefully reviewed by many health officials, and reminded Ohioans that the recommendations are not mandates, but should be strongly taken into consideration.

Read More

Cleveland Metropolitan School District will require masks for first few weeks of school

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 8:03 AM ET Jul. 20, 2021

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will require students, staff and visitors to wear masks for at least the first five weeks of school this fall, CEO Eric Gordon announced Monday.

The school district also plans to implement three-foot distancing where officials deem practical and touchless thermometer checks. Students will still be able to return full time for classes five days a week if they wish.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

"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."

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Senators vote to begin debate on $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 7:14 PM ET Jul. 28, 2021

After weeks of debate, negotiations, meetings and hours-long Zoom calls, Senators voted Wednesday night to begin debate on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, a major part of President Joe Biden's economic agenda.

The final vote was 67-32, with 17 Republicans voting yes to advance the measure, including Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and John Hoeven, R-N.D.

Read More

After CDC revises guidance, mask requirements return to House, White House

BY Spectrum News Staff and Ryan Chatelain

The House of Representatives is requiring all lawmakers to wear masks once again as COVID-19 cases rise nationwide driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

The move comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance to recommend that fully vaccinated Americans wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where COVID-19 is surging, notably in areas classified as having "substantial" and "high" transmission of the coronavirus, as noted by county level on the CDC's website.

Read More

Cleveland State to operate at full capacity this fall

BY Justin Boggs

CLEVELAND — WIth Cleveland State University requiring those living on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the university announced Tuesday that it plans to operate at full capacity this fall.

The university said that classes will be in person with no capacity restrictions, residence halls will also be at full capacity and dining halls will be fully operational. In addition, many campus events, including Magnus Fest, Homecoming and athletic events, will be held this year.

Read More

Pfizer: Data show 3rd vaccine dose strongly boosts protection against delta variant

BY Ryan Chatelain

A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appears to offer significantly better protection against the highly contagious delta variant, Pfizer said Wednesday.

Ahead of its second-quarter earnings call, the company said newly disclosed data show that a third vaccine dose elicits antibody levels that are more than five times higher in people 18 to 55 years old and more than 11 times higher in people ages 65 to 85 when compared to two doses.

Read More

Cincinnati Children's recommends students wear masks, regardless of vaccination status

BY Lydia Taylor

CINCINNATI — A major Ohio hospital issued its own recommendations for school districts as they prepare to head back to school during the pandemic.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital said in a press release Wednesday that it's aligning with the guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics and urging students to wear masks, regardless if they're vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.

Read More

Universal masking now recommended in 23 Ohio counties

BY Justin Boggs

OHIO — Regardless of your vaccination status, indoor masking is now recommended in 23 Ohio counties, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance released Tuesday.

The guidance is intended to come as a recommendation for the public and health officials and not a federal mandate.

Read More

Ohio State requiring students, staff to report vaccine status; unvaccinated students must undergo weekly testing

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 7:30 AM ET Jul. 28, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University announced new COVID-19 protocols Tuesday, taking a different approach from what other schools are planning to do this fall.

By Aug. 5, students and staff must report whether they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are unvaccinated will need to undergo weekly testing.

Read More

Tokyo reports record COVID-19 cases days after Olympics begin

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff

Japan's capital, Tokyo, reported its highest number of new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, days after the Olympics began. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga urged people to avoid non-essential outings, but said there was no need to consider a suspension of the Games.

Tokyo reported 2,848 new COVID-19 cases, exceeding its earlier record of 2,520 daily cases on Jan. 7. That brings its total to more than 200,000 since the pandemic began last year.

Read More

Ohio Wesleyan offering new students who are vaccinated against COVID-19 $25,000 in financial aid

BY Lydia Taylor

OHIO — Ohio Wesleyan is trying to boost vaccination rates by offering new incoming or transferring students $25,000 in financial aid, which will be renewable each year.

The school, which plans to have all in-person classes this fall, is asking all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The financial aid money will only go to 50 students who are eligible. The students must apply to the school's fast-track program first by Aug. 9 in order to be considered for the funds.

Read More

Cleveland RTA converts bus into mobile vaccine clinic

BY Justin Boggs

CLEVELAND — The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority converted one of its buses into a vaccine clinic on wheels. The Cleveland Health Department will begin administering COVID-19 vaccines on the bus Tuesday.

The bus will be at Public Square Tuesday from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Read More

Dodging questions about Biden's views on vaccine, mask mandates, White House points to CDC

BY Ryan Chatelain

Facing a barrage of questions about whether the White House supports vaccine mandates and renewed mask requirements, press secretary Jen Psaki reiterated Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not President Joe Biden, is responsible for setting the country’s COVID-related guidance.

“The president favors using the CDC as his North Star and what the health and medical experts are going to advise on how to save more lives and protect people,” Psaki said at Monday’s White House news briefing.

Read More

'The safety of Ohio’s children is paramount': Ohio health officials issue COVID-19 guidance for schools

BY Lydia Taylor

OHIO — The Ohio Department of Health released its guidance for the upcoming school year Monday, going along with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the state's guidance has been carefully reviewed by many health officials, and reminded Ohioans that the recommendations are not mandates, but should be strongly taken into consideration.

Read More

50+ major medical groups call for vaccine mandates for health care workers

BY Ryan Chatelain

More than 50 major medical organizations on Monday called for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations of U.S. health care workers.

The joint statement was issued by 56 groups representing doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care employees. The organizations include the American Medical Association, American Nursing Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and American Public Health Association.

Read More

Governors pin hopes on full vaccine approval as cases climb

BY Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — As U.S. regulators weigh giving the final stamp of approval for certain COVID-19 vaccines, governors in states hard hit by the pandemic hope the move will help persuade the many holdouts in their states to finally get the shot.

The governors of Arkansas and Ohio — where cases and hospitalizations are climbing — have appealed publicly in recent days for full approval, saying it would help combat vaccine hesitancy and could also clear the way for more businesses to require their employees to be inoculated.

Read More

Fauci says U.S. headed in 'wrong direction' on coronavirus

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 12:45 PM ET Jul. 25, 2021

The United States is in an "unnecessary predicament" of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

"We’re going in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, describing himself as "very frustrated.”

Read More

Ohio districts announce mask policies for upcoming school year

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 5:10 PM ET Jul. 24, 2021

OHIO — School districts in Ohio are announcing new mask policies for the fall as the state prepares to issue recommendations for COVID-19 protocols in classrooms.

Some districts are announcing they’ll try to have a normal fall, while others, including some of the largest urban districts in the state, said that masks will be here to stay when students go back.

Read More

Biden administration responds to delta variant as COVID-19 cases rise

BY Reuben Jones and Spectrum News Staff

With COVID-19 cases on the rise nationwide, the Biden administration continues to take action to battle the pandemic.

As of Friday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), current 7-day moving average of cases is 40,246 – while a far cry from the peak of the pandemic, it's still an increase of 46.7% from the previous average.

Read More

Poll: Most unvaccinated Americans don’t want shots

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff

Most Americans who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 say they are unlikely to get the shots and doubt they would work against the aggressive delta variant despite evidence they do, according to a new poll that underscores the challenges facing public health officials amid soaring infections in some states.



Read More

Conservatives speaking up for COVID-19 vaccinations amid delta variant surge

BY Ryan Chatelain

There has been a noticeable shift in tone among some prominent conservative voices in recent days when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccination rates have been slowing for months in the U.S., which has become more problematic as the highly contagious delta variant spreads at an alarming rate.

Read More

Columbus City Schools announces universal mask requirement

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Schools will require students to wear masks in the fall, the district announced Thursday.

The decision follows a new recommendation Tuesday from the nation’s leading pediatricians association, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which said that all students should wear masks this upcoming school year.

Read More

Health officials dodge questions about possible mask guidance changes

BY Ryan Chatelain

Federal health officials sidestepped questions Thursday about whether they’re considering making changes to masking guidance as COVID-19 cases continue to climb once again.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that top White House aides and Biden administration officials are discussing whether to urge vaccinated Americans to wear masks in more settings. The report cited as its sources six people familiar with the discussions, who said the talks were in a preliminary phase.

Read More

Ohio reviewing new calls for universal masking in schools

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health is “carefully reviewing” new guidance from the nation’s leading pediatricians association calling for universal masking in schools, the state’s top doctor said Wednesday.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health, said the state will soon issue its own recommendations to schools regarding masks.

Read More

COVID-19 cases in U.S. triple over 2 weeks amid misinformation

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff

COVID-19 cases tripled in the U.S. over two weeks amid an onslaught of vaccine misinformation that is straining hospitals, exhausting doctors and pushing clergy into the fray.

“Our staff, they are frustrated,” said Chad Neilsen, director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, a Florida hospital that is canceling elective surgeries and procedures after the number of mostly unvaccinated COVID-19 inpatients at its two campuses jumped to 134, up from a low of 16 in mid-May.

Read More

WHO leader says virus risk is inevitable at Tokyo Olympics

BY Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics should not be judged by the tally of COVID-19 cases that arise because eliminating risk is impossible, the head of the World Health Organization told sports officials Wednesday as events began in Japan.

How infections are handled is what matters most, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a speech to an International Olympic Committee meeting.

Read More

Virus cases climbing in Ohio despite 60% vaccination rate

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio reported its largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases in eight weeks on Tuesday as the more contagious delta variant spreads.

The state added 744 cases while seven-day average infections increased to 491, a 133% increase in less than two weeks.

Read More

Ohio recommends masks at summer camps after 2 outbreaks

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Officials warn that youth are vulnerable to COVID-19 this summer as more infections are reported at Ohio summer camps.

Eighty-one cases from a COVID-19 outbreak at a youth church retreat in Miamisburg, Ohio, have been identified, according to Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County.

Read More

Cleveland Metropolitan School District will require masks for first few weeks of school

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 8:03 AM ET Jul. 20, 2021

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will require students, staff and visitors to wear masks for at least the first five weeks of school this fall, CEO Eric Gordon announced Monday.

The school district also plans to implement three-foot distancing where officials deem practical and touchless thermometer checks. Students will still be able to return full time for classes five days a week if they wish.

Read More

Canada to let vaccinated U.S. citizens enter country on Aug. 9

BY Associated Press and Ryan Whalen
UPDATED 6:05 PM ET Jul. 19, 2021

TORONTO (AP) — Canada announced Monday it will begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9, and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7.

Officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived as of Aug. 9 for eligible travelers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.

Read More

American Academy of Pediatrics: All students older than 2 should wear masks in school

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 11:41 AM ET Jul. 19, 2021

In new guidance released Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that all students older than 2, as well as all school staff, should wear face masks at school unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use – but said that the benefits of in-person learning far outweigh the risks.

The leading pediatrician group recommends universal masking in schools for a number of reasons, including the fact that significant portion of the student population is not eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 – vaccines are only currently authorized in the U.S. for people 12 and up – as well as protecting those who are not vaccinated and reducing transmission.

Read More

With pandemic worsening in U.S., surgeon general worried

BY Associated Press

The U.S. surgeon general said Sunday that he’s concerned about what lies ahead with cases of COVID-19 increasing in every state, millions still unvaccinated and a highly contagious virus variant spreading rapidly.

Noting that nearly all coronavirus deaths now are among the tens of millions of people who haven’t received shots, despite widespread vaccine availability, Dr. Vivek Murthy painted an unsettling picture of what the future could hold.

Read More

Columbus Metropolitan Library offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics

BY Spectrum News Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Metropolitan Library is now offering free walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics at select library locations throughout the city.

The free vaccine clinics were made possible thanks to CML's partnership with Columbus Public Health.

Read More

Vaccine inequity: Inside the cutthroat race to secure doses

BY Associated Press

No one disputes that the world is unfair. But no one expected a vaccine gap between the global rich and poor that was this bad, this far into the pandemic.

Inequity is everywhere: Inoculations go begging in the United States while Haiti, a short plane ride away, received its first delivery July 15 after months of promises — 500,000 doses for a population over 11 million. Canada has procured more than 10 doses for every resident; Sierra Leone’s vaccination rate just cracked 1% on June 20.

Read More

Why school mask mandates could be in jeopardy in Ohio

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In the fall, schools in Ohio could be prohibited from requiring that unvaccinated students wear masks and get tested for COVID-19 if vaccinated students are exempt.

Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation this week that’s in the spotlight for a provision banning schools from requiring a vaccine that lacks full Food and Drug Administration authorization.

Read More

CDC director: U.S. facing 'a pandemic of the unvaccinated'

BY Ryan Chatelain

With COVID-19 cases continuing to climb amid slowing vaccination rates, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said the situation is “becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” as she called on more Americans to roll up their sleeves.

Driven in part by the highly transmissible delta variant, the seven-day average for new infections as of Wednesday was 26,306, nearly doubling over the past two weeks. There were 33,292 new cases recorded Wednesday, the highest total in two months.

Read More

FDA to decide on full approval of Pfizer vaccine by January 2022

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 11:43 AM ET Jul. 16, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted Pfizer and BioNTech's Biologics License Application (BLA) for full approval of their landmark mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for Americans 16 years of age and older, and will make a decision by January 2022, the companies announced in a statement Friday.

If approved, the Pfizer-BioNTech shot will be the first to receive such a designation in the U.S., which could go a long way toward combating vaccine hesitancy.

Read More

In Columbus, vaccinations nearly triple during first week of $100 rewards

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A $100 vaccine incentive is motivating Columbus residents to get immunized, officials said.

The city’s health department reported a 288.5% increase in vaccinations during the first week that the new “Vax Cash” program was in effect. Through one week, 1,400 people had taken advantage of the reward.

Read More

After DeWine signs new law, Cleveland State will still require students living on campus to get COVID-19 vaccine

BY Lydia Taylor

CLEVELAND — After Gov. Mike DeWine signed a new law Wednesday prohibiting public schools from requiring unauthorized vaccines, Cleveland State University students who are living on campus will still be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the university confirmed.

Although all three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — have received emergency use authorization, none of them have been given full authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug administration.

Read More

Gov. DeWine signs bill banning public schools from requiring a vaccine that is not fully authorized

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Public schools will be prohibited from requiring vaccines that are not fully authorized following Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement Wednesday that he has signed the legislation, which was passed at the end of last month.

The governor’s office announced Wednesday afternoon that DeWine signed House Bill 244 — once bipartisan legislation regarding education for military families that was amended at the end of the legislative session to include the provision banning public schools and colleges from requiring students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Read More

Ohio Department of Health expects delta to soon become the dominant variant

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in Ohio as the COVID-19 delta variant spreads, health officials said Wednesday.

The more contagious variant of the virus is expected to become the dominant strain of the virus soon, Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said during a press conference.

Read More

U.S. COVID-19 cases rising again, doubling over three weeks

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 10:35 AM ET Jul. 14, 2021

The COVID-19 curve in the U.S. is rising again after months of decline, with the number of new cases per day doubling over the past three weeks, driven by the fast-spreading delta variant, lagging vaccination rates and Fourth of July gatherings.

Confirmed infections climbed to a seven-day average of about 23,600 a day on Monday, up from 11,300 on June 23, according to Johns Hopkins University data. And all but two states — Maine and South Dakota — reported that case numbers have gone up over the past two weeks.

Read More

COVID-19 case count rises to 70 after Baptist church retreat in Ohio

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 10:04 AM ET Jul. 14, 2021

OHIO — Officials have identified more than 70 COVID-19 infections after an outbreak at a Baptist church retreat in Miamisburg, Ohio, officials said Tuesday.

The outbreak occurred at Camp Chautauqua, where 800 people had gathered for the June 27 to July 3 retreat, according to Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County.

Read More

'It's past time': Gov. DeWine calls for FDA to fully authorize COVID vaccines

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to fully authorize the COVID-19 vaccines, he said during a media availability in Columbus Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to the authorization changes he would like to see at the federal level, DeWine said there’s an opportunity for Ohio to make an impact on vaccinations at the state level with a new vaccine incentive program.

Read More

Tennessee health official says she was fired after issuing guidance on teen vaccination

BY Ryan Chatelain

Tennessee’s top vaccination official says she was fired Monday after distributing a memo about teen COVID-19 vaccinations that angered some state lawmakers.

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who had been the medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs at the Tennessee Department of Health, now alleges that there are anti-vaccination efforts in the state that extend beyond COVID-19.

Read More

COVID-19 outbreak after Baptist church retreat in Ohio

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 1:00 PM ET Jul. 13, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — At least 30 people contracted COVID-19, and more infections are feared, following a Baptist retreat attended by 800 people in Miamisburg, Ohio, local health officials announced Monday.

Camp Chautauqua became the site of the outbreak during a June 27 to July 3 retreat, according to Public Health–Dayton & Montgomery County.

Read More

Ohio schools receive spring assessment results offering first look at pandemic's impacts

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio public schools have received the results of spring assessments, giving administrators data about the impact of the pandemic on student performance.

School officials have not previously had access to numbers regarding how learning disruptions related to COVID-19 affected students, in part because 2020 testing was canceled during the initial COVID-19 lockdown.

Read More

WHO criticizes push for COVID-19 booster shots amid uneven global distribution

BY Rachel Tillman and Associated Press

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday criticized wealthy nations seeking to give out COVID-19 booster shots, urging them to instead focus on donating the supply to countries whose populations remain largely unvaccinated.

At a press conference on Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the "global gap in vaccine supply is hugely uneven and inequitable," adding in part: "Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses, before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable."

Read More

Health officials: J&J vaccine may pose 'small possible risk' for rare nerve condition

BY Rachel Tillman and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 6:01 PM ET Jul. 12, 2021

Federal health officials warned Monday that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine may pose a "small possible risk" of a rare, but serious side effect: Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause muscle weakness and occasionally paralysis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement that it has seen roughly 100 reports of individuals contracting the Guillain-Barré syndrome after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Around 12.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered nationwide.

Read More

Summer camps hit with COVID outbreaks. Are schools next?

BY Associated Press and Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 4:51 PM ET Jul. 12, 2021

The U.S. has seen a string of COVID-19 outbreaks tied to summer camps in recent weeks in places such as Texas, Illinois, Florida, Missouri and Kansas, in what some fear could be a preview of the upcoming school year.

In some cases the outbreaks have spread from the camp to the broader community.

Read More

Israel becomes first country to OK booster shots for some; U.S. evaluating data

BY Ryan Chatelain

Israel became the first country to begin administering COVID-19 booster shots on Monday after its Health Ministry approved third doses of the vaccine for immunocompromised adults.

The move comes after Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that it will seek authorization from U.S. and European regulators for boosters for their vaccine, an announcement that prompted American health officials to issue a statement saying that fully vaccinated people do not currently need an additional shot.

Read More

Clock ticking down as DeWine has yet to make decision on bill banning required COVID-19 vaccines in schools

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 3:00 PM ET Jul. 10, 2021

OHIO — It's been 10 days since the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill that holds a provision banning public schools and colleges from requiring students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

It sits on Gov. Mike DeWine's desk, who has a time limit of 10 days to either sign or veto it. The governor was expected to indicate a signature or veto within that time period, otherwise the bill will automatically become law.

Read More

Vaccinated teachers and students don't need masks, CDC says

BY Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Vaccinated teachers and students don't need to wear masks inside school buildings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday in relaxing its COVID-19 guidelines.

The changes come amid a national vaccination campaign in which children as young as 12 are eligible to get shots, as well as a general decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

Read More

Cincinnati zoo training great apes to receive COVID vaccine

BY Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) — Great apes, big cats and other animals are among creatures the Cincinnati zoo is prepping for the coronavirus vaccine later this summer, the zoo said Thursday.

The zoo has begun training animals to accept the vaccine voluntarily, similar to training that’s already been done with some animals for treatments such as flu shots, said David Orban, the zoo’s director of animal sciences.

Read More

Mount Carmel becomes first central Ohio health system to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for all employees

BY Lydia Taylor

OHIO — Mount Carmel said it's changing its COVID-19 vaccine policy, mandating all employees to get it or face losing their jobs.

"Our patients and their families deserve to know when they walk through our doors, we have done everything in our power to reduce their risk of exposure to COVID-19. The same goes for our employees and physicians," Mount Carmel wrote in a statement.

Read More

COVID vaccines still work against delta variant, researchers find

BY Associated Press

New research from France adds to evidence that widely used COVID-19 vaccines still offer strong protection against a coronavirus mutant that is spreading rapidly around the world and now is the most prevalent variant in the U.S.

The delta variant is surging through populations with low vaccination rates. On Thursday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that’s leading to “two truths” — highly immunized swaths of America are getting back to normal while hospitalizations are rising in other places.

Read More

Worldwide COVID-19 death toll surpasses 4 million

BY Ryan Chatelain

COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of more than 4 million people worldwide.

The pandemic’s latest grim milestone was surpassed Thursday night, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Read More

Ohio schools address 'exponential increase' in educational setbacks from COVID-19 remote learning

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 3:24 PM ET Jul. 07, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — K-12 public schools in Ohio are addressing learning gaps from the pandemic’s disruption to education, hopeful that opportunities for more normal in-person instruction will help students who’ve fallen behind get back on track.

Students who have been learning virtually since the pandemic began experienced greater learning loss than those who were able to learn in classrooms for most of the last school year, according to school officials.

Read More

Olympics likely to open during COVID 'state of emergency'

BY Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Surging COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have hit a two-month high that almost guarantees the Japanese government will declare a new state of emergency to start next week and continue for the duration of the Tokyo Olympics.

The pandemic-delayed Olympics open in just over two weeks on July 23.

Read More

Ohio doctor develops fast self-testing for COVID-19

BY Dennis Biviano

CLEVELAND — Ohio State Medical School graduate, trauma surgeon and entrepreneur Dr. Gregory Hummer was enjoying retirement when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

He wanted to be part of the solution and was frustrated by the slow speed and inaccuracy of PCR testing. So he took a look at some technology he had been working on at Case Western Reserve University a decade earlier.

Read More

Ohio falls short of Biden's 70% Fourth of July vaccine goal

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio fell short of President Joe Biden’s goal for a 70% vaccination rate among adults by the Fourth of July, with the federal government reporting a 59.4% vaccination rate for the state.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 5,415,572 Ohio adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of the latest update Sunday.

Read More

Biden outlines steps for continued vaccine push: 'The virus is on the run, and America is coming back'

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 5:19 PM ET Jul. 06, 2021

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that his administration’s push for all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 will continue, despite the country missing the president’s goal of 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4.

"Millions of fully vaccinated Americans are getting back to living their lives as they did before," Biden said. "Businesses are reopening and hiring and rehiring. And projected economic growth is the highest it's been in four decades."

Read More

Columbus to pay first-time COVID-19 vaccine recipients at local clinics

BY Jennifer Lockrey

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Public Health is offering $100 Visa cash cards to Franklin County residents getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at 10 new neighborhood satellite clinics.

"Vax cash" will be offered from noon-7 p.m., while supplies last, between July 6 and Aug. 16. There is no appointment necessary.

Read More

Fourth of July travel surge expected in Ohio

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 11:33 AM ET Jul. 04, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Officials expect a record number of Ohio residents to make road trips for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, and airports previewed high expectations for the number of Ohioans who will fly to destinations for the holiday.

Popular destinations are national parks and coastal cities on the East Coast, including Charleston, S.C., Virginia Beach, Va., and Orlando, Fla., said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson.

Read More

After long decline, COVID-19 cases on the rise again in the U.S.

BY Ryan Chatelain

After months of watching COVID-19 numbers in the United States fall, it’s no longer accurate to say the virus is in retreat.

While the numbers might still seem small compared to the peak of the pandemic this past winter, coronavirus cases are increasing once again.

Read More

Columbus plans to reopen city buildings to the public this month

BY Lydia Taylor

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced Friday public city buildings will reopen next week now that state COVID-19 health orders have been lifted.

“As we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, we are basing our decisions and timelines on the latest scientific evidence and public health guidance – working on numerous fronts and in various ways to ensure the health, safety and well-being of our residents and employees,” said Ginther.

Read More

As some call for vaccinated to mask up again, CDC sticks to its guidance

BY Ryan Chatelain

Just as many Americans are getting used to being unmasked again, the World Health Organization, Los Angeles County and Illinois’ governor — all concerned about the rapidly spreading COVID-19 delta variant — are urging even vaccinated people to cover their faces in public.

Those recommendations, however, clash with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said last month that fully vaccinated Americans can shed their masks indoors and outdoors. The updated guidance prompted states that still had mask restrictions in place to drop them.

Read More

Lawmakers send DeWine bill that would ban schools from requiring the vaccine

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine is faced with a key decision after lawmakers approved a bill early Tuesday morning that would ban public schools and universities from requiring a vaccine that has not received full authorization.

State Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) introduced the provision in an amendment Monday afternoon to House Bill 244, which regards education for military families. Lawmakers approved the amendment and sent the bill to the governor.

Read More

COVID-19 hospitalization 'very uncommon' for vaccinated Ohioans

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Very few fully vaccinated Ohioans have been hospitalized with COVID-19, health officials confirmed.

The state’s analysis of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths shows that the COVID-19 vaccines offer very strong protection against serious illness.

Read More

Ohio House passes bill prohibiting some vaccine requirements

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 8:03 PM ET Jun. 24, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would prohibit public and private entities from requiring a vaccine that has not received full approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

The provision was added as an amendment Thursday to Sub Senate Bill 111, which allocates $422 million in federal coronavirus relief. The bill passed 60 to 34.

Read More

Proposals would let Ohio high schoolers redo pandemic year

BY Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The pandemic made Jake Gregg’s senior year of high school very different than anticipated. He got by enough to graduate, but now the 19-year-old Ohioan wants a redo.

The Wheelersburg quarterback aspires to play football in college and wants what coronavirus restrictions took away last year: the chance to visit football camps and meet college coaches, to play a full finale season in front of thousands of fans, to absorb more from classes and elevate his grades that plummeted during remote and hybrid learning.

Read More

Ohio docs explain why they still recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone, despite rare heart inflammation side effect

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Medical experts in Ohio, including the state’s top health officials, said the benefit of COVID-19 vaccination far outweighs a risk of developing a rare vaccine side effect that primarily impacts young men.

Following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee meeting, the U.S. Food and Drug administration said Wednesday it will add a caution about the likely link to rare cases of the condition myocarditis to fact sheets and warning labels for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Read More

Ohio plans new vaccine incentives as COVID-19 immunizations slow

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio is planning more vaccine incentives after the Vax-a-Million lottery concluded this week with the fifth and final drawing.

The next round of incentives could be smaller rewards that are awarded to a greater number of people than Vax-a-Million, which conferred prizes to 10 winners over the past five weeks.

Read More

Gov. DeWine: Too many Ohioans are still dying of COVID-19

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — While the COVID-19 death toll for the state has significantly declined, health officials continue to urge unvaccinated younger groups to get the shot.

In the last three months, more of the deaths have shifted to a younger age group, a result of older Ohioans taking the vaccine at the highest rates, Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday in Columbus.

Read More

CDC group: No evidence to support COVID-19 booster shots

BY Ryan Chatelain

There’s no evidence yet that shows COVID-19 vaccine booster shots are needed, a working group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The situation, however, could change, Dr. Sara Oliver, co-lead of the working group, told the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The group will “continue to monitor” data, she said.

Read More

Final set of Ohio's Vax-a-Million winners announced

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 7:30 PM ET Jun. 23, 2021

OHIO — The fifth and final set of Vax-a-Million winners were announced Wednesday evening.

The final $1 million winner was Esperanza Diaz of Cincinnati in Butler County.

Read More

Dozens of COVID Delta variant cases discovered in Ohio

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — More than three dozen cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant have been identified in Ohio, but officials said the state is seeing far fewer cases than the national average.

The Delta variant represents less than 1% of all variants tested in Ohio, health department spokesperson Alicia Shoults told Spectrum News Tuesday. State officials said they expect the proportion of COVID-19 samples that are the Delta variant to rise in the coming weeks.

Read More

Ohio business groups speak against GOP vaccination bill

BY Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two major Ohio business groups on Tuesday came out in opposition to pending GOP legislation in the Ohio House that would prohibit employers, either public or private, from requiring employees to receive vaccinations.

The bill also would prevent workers from being fired as a result of refusing to get vaccinated and allow them to sue their employers if they felt their rights had been violated under the law.

Read More

As variant concerns grow, COVID cases on the rise in 5 states

BY Ryan Chatelain

Nationwide, the number of coronavirus cases has steadily plummeted for the past two months. But in a handful of states, things are trending in the wrong direction.

According to data compiled by The New York Times, five states are showing increases in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks: Missouri (up 55%), Oklahoma (up 53%), Arkansas (up 46%), Utah (up 24%) and Arizona (up 8%).

Read More

White House concedes U.S. won't hit Biden's July 4 vaccination goal

BY Ryan Chatelain

The Biden administration on Tuesday celebrated the progress it’s made in vaccinating Americans for COVID-19, even as it conceded it will fall short of its goal of having 70% of adults receive at least one shot by July 4.

Biden announced the goal in early May, but the pace of vaccinations has steadily declined since April as many Americans remain hesitant.

Read More

Travel takes off after COVID

BY Jenna Jordan

CLEVELAND — After months of quarantine and being cooped up with COVID restrictions, business is now booming for a Northeast Ohio travel agency.

Jasmien Lewis lived in the area her whole life.

Read More

Ohio site enrolled hundreds in Moderna's adolescent vaccine trial

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A clinical research company enrolled hundreds of adolescents in the Moderna vaccine trial at its site in Blue Ash, Ohio, the company’s president said.

Paul Evans of Velocity Clinical Research said the Hamilton County site registered 300 volunteers for the trial, which had a total of 3,732 participants in the 12 to 17 age group.

Read More

Biden administration announces plans for sharing 55 million vaccine doses abroad

BY Austin Landis
UPDATED 2:09 PM ET Jun. 21, 2021

The Biden administration announced Monday its plan for sharing another 55 million vaccine doses with countries around the world, wrapping up its initial promise to contribute 80 million doses by the end of June.

The doses come from the United States existing vaccine supply, which is now stocked with more than enough shots for Americans this year.

Read More

Doctors have advice for parents about vaccination before school resumes in the fall

BY Charles Duncan

The last thing students want to hear about during the summer is getting ready to go back to school. But school districts are getting ready to bring students back into the classroom for the next year and are figuring out how to do it safely.

Now that students as young as 12 can get a coronavirus vaccine, doctors say parents should get their children vaccinated before they go back to school.

Read More

‘Protected them to death’: Elder-care COVID rules under fire

BY Associated Press

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Barbara and Christine Colucci long to remove their masks and kiss their 102-year-old mother, who has dementia and is in a nursing home in Rochester, New York. They would love to have more than two people in her room at a time so that relatives can be there too.

“We don’t know how much longer she’s going to be alive,” Christine Colucci said, “so it’s like, please, give us this last chance with her in her final months on this earth to have that interaction.”

Read More

Kent State eases COVID-19 protocols

BY Justin Boggs

KENT, Ohio — Kent State University announced this week it has eased some of its COVID-19 protocols.

Among the changes, masks are now optional in most settings for fully vaccinated people, and some social distancing measures will be relaxed. Masks will still be required on public transportation and health care settings. The university is also recommending those who haven’t been fully vaccinated to wear masks.

Read More

Fourth set of winners of Ohio's Vax-a-Million announced

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 7:30 PM ET Jun. 16, 2021

OHIO — The fourth set of winners of the Ohio Vax-a-Million were announced Wednesday evening at 7:29 p.m.

The newest winner of the $1 million lottery was Suzanne Ward of Findlay in Hancock County.

Read More

U.S. surpasses 600,000 COVID-19 deaths

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 2:00 PM ET Jun. 15, 2021

The United States has now surpassed 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, a grim milestone that also serves as reminder that, while Americans are largely returning to their normal lives, the pandemic is not yet over.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the pandemic’s U.S. death toll stood at 600,012, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Read More

Columbus City Council approves of initiative that would give residents $100 of 'vaccine green'

BY Lydia Taylor
UPDATED 5:22 AM ET Jun. 15, 2021

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Council approved a vaccine initiative Monday night that will make some residents eligible to win some money.

Dubbed the "Vaccine Green" program, individuals would get $50 for the first dose and $50 for the second dose, totaling $100. Those who get Johnson & Johnson would get the full amount.

Read More
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)