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YEAR OF COVID

2 years into pandemic, world takes cautious steps forward

BY Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — With COVID-19 case numbers plummeting, Emily Safrin did something she hadn't done since the pandemic began two years ago: She put her fears aside and went to a concert.

The fully vaccinated and boosted restaurant server planned to keep her mask on, but as the reggaeton star Bad Bunny took the stage and the energy in the crowd soared, she ripped it off. Soon after, she was strolling unmasked in a trendy Portland neighborhood with friends.

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'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.

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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.

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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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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 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

After a year, omicron still driving COVID surges and worries

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 3:32 PM ET Nov. 25, 2022

A year after omicron began its assault on humanity, the ever-morphing coronavirus mutant drove COVID-19 case counts higher in many places just as Americans gathered for Thanksgiving. It was a prelude to a wave that experts expect to soon wash over the U.S.

Phoenix-area emergency physician Dr. Nicholas Vasquez said his hospital admitted a growing number of chronically ill people and nursing home residents with severe COVID-19 this month.

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China expands lockdowns as COVID-19 cases hit daily record

BY Associated Press

Pandemic lockdowns are expanding across China, including in a city where factory workers clashed this week with police, as the number of COVID-19 cases hits a daily record.

Residents of eight districts of Zhengzhou, home to 6.6 million people, were told to stay home for five days beginning Thursday except to buy food or get medical treatment. Daily mass testing was ordered in what the city government called a “war of annihilation” against the virus.

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In 'final message,' Fauci urges Americans boost protection with updated COVID shot

BY Austin Landis
UPDATED 4:43 PM ET Nov. 22, 2022

In probably his final time briefing reporters at the White House podium, the nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday ticked through data showing how the updated COVID boosters are safe and effective – an effort to inform that has drawn both praise and ire for the top doctor over the last two-and-half years.

Dr. Fauci will step down in December, he announced this summer, ending a five-decade career in government service, 38 years as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He also serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser.

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White House launches campaign to encourage COVID shots, with focus on seniors

BY Austin Landis
UPDATED 2:25 PM ET Nov. 22, 2022

The Biden administration on Tuesday launched a six-week campaign to encourage Americans to get their updated COVID-19 vaccine dose before the end of the year, with a focus on seniors and others most at-risk of severe illness.

The goal, according to a White House fact sheet, is to “help avoid thousands of preventable COVID-19 deaths,” which have typically spiked after holiday gatherings.

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New Moderna COVID booster triggers higher antibody response than earlier shot

BY Ryan Chatelain

Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine booster generated a significantly greater antibody response in clinical trials than its original shot, the company announced Monday.

The data are noteworthy because the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off in early September on reformulated boosters by Moderna, as well as Pfizer and BioNTech, without clinical trial data available.

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WHO reports 90% drop in world COVID-19 deaths since February

BY Associated Press

The World Health Organization chief on Wednesday said a nearly 90% drop in recent COVID-19 deaths globally compared to nine months ago provides “cause for optimism,” but still urged vigilance against the pandemic as variants continue to crop up.



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Massive learning setbacks show COVID's sweeping toll on kids

BY Associated Press

The COVID-19 pandemic devastated poor children's well-being, not just by closing their schools, but also by taking away their parents' jobs, sickening their families and teachers, and adding chaos and fear to their daily lives.

The scale of the disruption to American kids' education is evident in a district-by-district analysis of test scores shared exclusively with The Associated Press. The data provide the most comprehensive look yet at how much schoolchildren have fallen behind academically.

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Biden gets new COVID booster, encourages others to get shot for 'fresh' start on pandemic

BY Austin Landis and Justin Tasolides
UPDATED 4:18 PM ET Oct. 25, 2022

President Joe Biden on Tuesday received his updated COVID-19 booster shot on Tuesday, unveiling his administration’s latest efforts to encourage Americans to do the same and calling for the country to "start fresh" in this new phase of the pandemic.

Biden painted the shots as Americans' best bet to stay safe from the virus this fall and winter, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Test scores show historic COVID setbacks for kids across U.S.

BY Associated Press

The COVID-19 pandemic spared no state or region as it caused historic learning setbacks for America's children, erasing decades of academic progress and widening racial disparities, according to results of a national test that provide the sharpest look yet at the scale of the crisis.

Across the country, math scores saw their largest decreases ever. Reading scores dropped to 1992 levels. Nearly four in 10 eighth graders failed to grasp basic math concepts. Not a single state saw a notable improvement in their average test scores, with some simply treading water at best.

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CDC director tests positive for COVID-19, has mild symptoms

BY Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who is up to date on her vaccinations, tested positive Friday night and had mild symptoms, the CDC said in a statement.

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House panel accuses Trump officials of repeatedly interfering with CDC during pandemic

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 10:14 AM ET Oct. 20, 2022

Driven by politics, Trump administration officials repeatedly interfered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s efforts to provide the public with information about the COVID-19 pandemic, a report released Monday by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis found.

The Democratic-led panel charged that the Trump White House blocked the CDC from conveying accurate information to the public in the early months of the pandemic, installed political operatives who sought to downplay the risks of the coronavirus and retaliated against CDC scientists who contradicted the administration’s talking points.

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UH receives $200,000 grant to study COVID-19 long-term effects

BY Madison MacArthur

CLEVELAND — While the pandemic is not quite over, scientists are already investigating how coronavirus works and the best ways to treat it.

University Hospitals recently received a $200,000 grant from the American Lung Association to study COVID-19's long-term consequences and outcomes.

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COVID vaccines saved lives of 300K+ Medicare recipients in 2021, HHS report says

BY Ryan Chatelain

COVID-19 vaccines saved the lives of more than 300,000 seniors and other Americans enrolled in Medicare last year, according to a report released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vaccines also were credited for more than 650,000 fewer COVID hospitalizations and a savings of $16 billion in direct medical costs, the report found.

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81% of U.S. adults with long COVID say it's limiting their activity

BY Ryan Chatelain

More than four out of five American adults who are living with long COVID say they’re experiencing some level of disability as a result.

According to CDC data released Wednesday, 81.4% of U.S. adults with long COVID, or roughly 18.5 million people, reported having their ability limited by the condition. Twenty-five percent of those adults describe those limitations as significant.

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3 COVID-19 subvariants growing amid fears of another winter spike

BY Ryan Chatelain

Amid concerns about another COVID-19 surge this fall and winter, a trio of new omicron subvariants are becoming more prevalent in the United States.

The BA.5 subvariant has been the dominant strain since early July and at one point accounted for 87% of new infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At 82%, it remains the most common version of the virus, but cases involving a handful of other subvariants are on the rise, leaving scientists wondering if one will emerge as the next dominant strain.

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Pfizer submits application for updated COVID boosters for kids 5-11

BY Ryan Chatelain

Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday morning they have applied for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 booster shots that target the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants in children ages 5 to 11.

U.S. regulators earlier this month approved updated boosters by Pfizer and BioNTech as well as Moderna. Both of the shots are bivalent, targeting the original 2019 strain as well as BA.4 and BA.5, which today account for 96% of new COVID-19 infections in the United States. The Pfizer shot is authorized for people ages 12 and older, while the Moderna booster is approved for 18 and older.

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4.4M Americans roll up sleeves for omicron-targeted boosters

BY Associated Press

U.S. health officials say 4.4 million Americans have rolled up their sleeves for the updated COVID-19 booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the count Thursday as public health experts bemoaned President Joe Biden's recent remark that "the pandemic is over."

The White House said more than 5 million people received the new boosters by its own estimate that accounts for reporting lags in states.

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Official: Canada likely to drop vaccine requirement to enter

BY Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) — Canada will likely drop the vaccine requirement for people who enter Canada by the end of September, an official familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Canada, like the United States, requires all people to be vaccinated when entering the country. It is not immediately known whether the U.S. will make a similar move by Sept. 30.

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Democrats, Republicans split on Biden's 'the pandemic is over' comment

BY Justin Tasolides and Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 1:20 PM ET Sep. 20, 2022

In an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, President Joe Biden declared that "the pandemic is over."

“We still have a problem with COVID,” the president added. “We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over.”

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WHO: COVID end 'in sight,' deaths at lowest since March 2020

BY Associated Press

The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide last week was the lowest reported in the pandemic since March 2020, marking what could be a turning point in the years-long global outbreak.

At a press briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has never been in a better position to stop COVID-19.

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COVID-19 long-haulers continue dealing with symptoms

BY Micaela Marshall
UPDATED 1:00 PM ET Sep. 14, 2022

OHIO — Samantha Leszkowicz takes meticulous notes of everything, every day.

“I won’t remember if I took my supplements, or I don’t remember if I turned the stove off, or just day-to-day basic tasks that I was once able to remember is just very difficult for me now," she said.

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FEMA distributes $2.7B to cover COVID-19 funeral costs

BY Corina Cappabianca and Eden Harris

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced last week that it has distributed over $2.7 billion to help Americans pay for the funerals of more than 441,000 who have died from COVID-19.

More than one million Americans have died from COVID-19. FEMA has helped pay funeral and cemetery costs for the families of more than 441,000 people who have died from COVID-19.

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Study: Nearly 1 in 4 young adults received mental health treatment during pandemic

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 1:35 PM ET Sep. 07, 2022

The number of American adults seeking mental health treatment has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and younger adults appear to be struggling the most, according to new federal data.

Nearly one in four Americans — 23% — ages 18 to 44 reported in a survey they had received mental health treatment in the previous 12 months, according to a study published Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Officials say updated booster shots signal shift in COVID fight

BY Ryan Chatelain

The United States has likely entered a new phase in which receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended annually, much like a flu shot, federal health officials said Tuesday.

That was the message from Biden administration officials during a COVID-19 news briefing, just days after the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on new Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus booster shots that target both the original 2019 strain as well as the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

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CDC signs off on updated Pfizer, Moderna COVID boosters targeting omicron subvariants

BY Rachel Tillman and Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 11:36 AM ET Sep. 02, 2022

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized Pfizer’s and Moderna’s updated COVID-19 booster shots that target the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants.

On Thursday, an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommended the vaccines. The CDC signed off on the panel's recommendation shortly after, meaning shots could be available as soon as Friday.

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White House to pause free COVID-19 test kits

BY Corina Cappabianca and Eden Harris

On Monday, the White House announced it would pause sending out free at-home COVID-19 tests this coming Friday.

According to COVID.gov, every home is eligible to order a third round of free at-home tests before the looming deadline.

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Novavax COVID-19 vaccine now available for service members

BY Rachel Tillman

The Department of Defense on Monday announced it is now offering Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine to service members a little over a month after U.S. health regulators approved the shot for adults aged 18 years and up.

The Food and Drug Administration updated the emergency use authorization to include individuals aged 12 and older. Novavax is the third vaccine to be approved for individuals 12 and up after the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna jabs; the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says should “only be considered in some cases,” is authorized for those aged 18 and older.

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Moderna sues Pfizer, BioNTech, alleges patent infringement in COVID-19 vaccine

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 11:57 AM ET Aug. 26, 2022

Moderna is suing Pfizer and BioNTech, accusing the companies of infringing on Moderna’s patents when they partnered to develop their own COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna claims it spent years developing the mRNA technology used in the shots, that Pfizer and BioNTech had limited experience with the technology when the pandemic began and that the companies followed Moderna’s lead in developing their vaccine, marketed under the name Comirnaty.

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After Pfizer and Moderna submit applications, signs point to September rollout of updated COVID boosters

BY Ryan Chatelain

Updated COVID-19 booster shots are a step closer to being available in the United States after Pfizer and Moderna applied this week for emergency use authorizations.

Both of the shots are bivalent, targeting the original 2019 strain of the virus as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, which today account for 99.5% of COVID-19 infections in the country.

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Jill Biden has 'rebound' COVID-19 case, president negative

BY Associated Press

First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 again in an apparent "rebound" case, after she initially tested negative for the virus over the weekend.

President Joe Biden, three days with his wife at their Rehoboth Beach, Del. vacation home, continues to test negative, the White House said. He also suffered a rebound case earlier this month after an initial recovery from the virus.

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Jill Biden rejoins president after negative COVID-19 tests

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 2:47 PM ET Aug. 21, 2022

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden left COVID-19 isolation on Sunday after twice testing negative for the coronavirus and reunited with President Joe Biden at their Delaware beach home.

She had been isolating in South Carolina, where she tested positive for the virus as the couple wrapped up a vacation there last week. The president made a brief stop at the White House before going to Wilmington, Delaware. He arrived in Rehoboth Beach on Saturday night.

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'Dollars for Doses' events continue through September

BY Tonya Charles

CLEVELAND — To get people vaccinated against COVID-19, a church in Cleveland’s Slavic Village is hosting “Dollars for Doses,” where participants can get paid to be vaccinated.

Elizabeth Baptist Church, at 6114 Francis Avenue, is hosting a clinic on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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White House official says updated COVID boosters coming 'in a few short weeks'

BY Ryan Chatelain

Updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters are expected to be rolled out “in a few short weeks,” the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator said Wednesday.

In June, the Food and Drug Administration directed vaccine manufacturers to change their designs to start targeting the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

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First lady Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 11:17 AM ET Aug. 16, 2022

First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19, her communications director said Tuesday.

Biden, 71, tested negative during a regular screening Monday but began to experience symptoms later in the day. She then initially tested negative on a rapid antigen test before testing positive on a PCR test, Communications Director Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement.

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CDC streamlines, updates guidance on COVID-19

BY Ryan Chatelain

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday streamlined its COVID-19 guidance in an attempt to make it easier for people to know what to do if they’re exposed or test positive for the virus.

The agency also updated its guidance for people who are not up to date on their vaccines and are exposed to COVID-19. They are no longer advised to quarantine at home for at least five full days.

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Kent State University to require masks indoors at several campuses

BY Madison MacArthur

KENT, Ohio — Kent State University joins other Ohio universities in requiring facemasks indoors as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

According to the university's Coronavirus Updates page, several campuses will be requiring masks as the county levels rise.

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Biden tests negative again, leaves White House: 'I'm feeling great'

BY Justin Tasolides and Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 9:01 AM ET Aug. 07, 2022

President Joe Biden tested negative for COVID-19 Sunday for the second day in a row, allowing him to leave isolation at the White House and travel to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

“I’m feeling great,” Biden told reporters before leaving the White House and boarding Marine One.

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Biden still testing positive, but feels 'well' and completed 'light workout,' doctor says

BY Justin Tasolides
UPDATED 12:08 PM ET Aug. 03, 2022

President Joe Biden continued to test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, but he "continues to feel well" and even completed a "light workout," his physician said in an update.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor wrote in a memo Wednesday that Biden "is still experiencing an occasional cough, but less frequently than" Tuesday.

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Doctor: Biden tests positive for COVID for 2nd day in a row

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 1:20 PM ET Jul. 31, 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 for the second straight day, in what appears to be in a rare case of “rebound” following treatment with an anti-viral drug.

In a letter noting the positive test, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, the White House physician, said Sunday that the president “continues to feel well” and will keep on working from the executive residence while he isolates.

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U.S. rules out summer COVID boosters to focus on fall campaign

BY Associated Press
UPDATED 4:18 PM ET Jul. 29, 2022

U.S. regulators said Friday they are no longer considering authorizing a second COVID-19 booster shot for all adults under 50 this summer, focusing instead on revamped vaccines for the fall that will target the newest viral subvariants.

Pfizer and Moderna expect to have updated versions of their shots available as early as September, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. That would set the stage for a fall booster campaign to strengthen protection against the latest versions of omicron.

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Fauci to Paul: 'Go ahead' and investigate me over COVID-19

BY Ryan Chatelain

As Sen. Rand Paul is reiterating his intention to investigate him if Republicans win back the Senate this fall, Dr. Anthony Fauci, arguably the face of the federal government’s COVID-19 response, said Tuesday he has nothing to hide.

Paul, R-Ky., told The Hill this week, “One way or another, if we are in the majority, we will subpoena his records and he will testify in the Senate under oath.”

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Biden improves ‘significantly,’ throat still sore from COVID

BY Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden continues to “improve significantly” despite a lingering sore throat from his coronavirus infection, according to an update Sunday from his doctor.

“The president is responding to therapy as expected,” wrote Dr. Kevin O’Connor in his latest note. Biden has been taking Paxlovid, an antiviral drug that helps reduce the chance of severe illness.

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Biden's COVID symptoms 'continue to improve,' doctor says; 'most likely' infected by BA.5 variant

BY Austin Landis , Justin Tasolides , Associated Press and Julia Benbrook
UPDATED 12:30 PM ET Jul. 23, 2022

In an update on Saturday, President Joe Biden's physician said that his symptoms "continue to improve," though he now also has sore throat and body aches.

Dr. Kevin O'Connor wrote in a letter to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that the president was "most likely" infected by the BA.5 variant, currently the most common strain in the United States, based on preliminary sequencing.

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Fauci: President Biden is 'doing fine' after COVID diagnosis

BY Kevin Frey and Eden Harris

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told Spectrum News on Friday that President Joe Biden is "doing fine" after his COVID-19 diagnosis.

“The good news is that [Biden is] in generally good health," Dr. Fauci told Spectrum News' Kevin Frey, mentioning he spoke with President Biden's physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor on Friday morning. "He's been vaccinated, he's been doubly boosted. And he's on an antiviral drug, Paxlovid, which clearly has a very positive impact in preventing people from progressing to severe disease.”

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Columbus Public Health issues mask advisory amid COVID-19 case increase

BY James Massara

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Public Health issued a mask advisory for Franklin County on Friday because of an increase in COVID-19 transmission levels.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention moved Franklin County to the “high” level on its COVID-19 data tracker. It is one of more than 40 counties in Ohio to be labeled as high transmission.

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At-Home COVID-19 tests in high demand as cases rise

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI — There are currently more than 2.8 million COVID-19 cases across Ohio, according to the latest data from the Ohio Department of Health. At-home COVID-19 tests are in high demand, with covid cases continuing to rise across the state.

Hamilton County is one area where these tests are in high demand, according to Hamilton County Public Health. As of Sunday, the county is at the “medium” COVID-19 community level- meaning people should be more cautious about protecting themselves against the virus.

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COVID-19 vaccines in Ohio: What you need to know

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 11:45 AM ET Jul. 18, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For Ohioans, COVID-19 vaccinations are available as walk-in appointments at pharmacies and local health clinics.

Vaccines are now recommended for children between six-months-old to four-years-old. Everyone age five and older is eligible for a booster shot.

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The latest coronavirus numbers in Ohio

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 11:30 AM ET Jul. 18, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health updates the latest coronavirus case count on a weekly basis.

The graphics below are updated with information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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25 million kids missed routine vaccinations because of COVID

BY Associated Press

About 25 million children worldwide have missed out on routine immunizations against common diseases like diptheria, largely because the coronavirus pandemic disrupted regular health services or triggered misinformation about vaccines, according to the U.N.



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FDA authorizes Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 and older

BY Justin Tasolides and Associated Press
UPDATED 6:05 PM ET Jul. 13, 2022

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued an emergency use authorization for Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 and older, giving Americans an additional option to choose from to get vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus.

The two-dose vaccine is now the fourth COVID-19 inoculation available for use in the United States.

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In survey, public schools blame pandemic for rise in behavioral problems

BY Ryan Chatelain

Nearly 90% of U.S. public schools say the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the socio-emotional development of their students, according to federal data released Wednesday.

In a May survey of 846 public schools conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the Education Department, 87% of schools said the pandemic negatively impacted socio-emotional development during the past academic year, and 83% agreed that students’ behavioral development also has been stunted.

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U.S. allows pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer’s COVID pill

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press

Pharmacists can prescribe the leading COVID-19 pill directly to patients under a new U.S. policy announced Wednesday that’s intended to expand use of Pfizer’s drug Paxlovid.

The Food and Drug Administration said pharmacists can begin screening patients to see if they are eligible for Paxlovid and then prescribe the medication, which has been shown to curb the worst effects of COVID-19. Previously only physicians could prescribe the antiviral drug.

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For now, wary U.S. treads water with transformed COVID-19

BY Associated Press

The fast-changing coronavirus has kicked off summer in the U.S. with lots of infections but relatively few deaths compared to its prior incarnations.

COVID-19 is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, but is not nearly as dangerous as it was last fall and winter.

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U.S. buys 105 million COVID vaccine doses for fall campaign

BY Austin Landis and Associated Press
UPDATED 5:19 PM ET Jun. 30, 2022

U.S. health officials said they have agreed to purchase another 105 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of a fall booster campaign.

The $3.2 billion deal announced Wednesday by the Biden administration comes as federal scientists consider how to update the vaccines to better protect Americans from the rapidly evolving virus. Federal officials said the purchase agreement includes the option to purchase a total of 300 million doses, including a mix of doses for both adults and children.

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Fauci says he's experiencing COVID rebound following antiviral treatment

BY Ryan Chatelain

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, says he’s experiencing the mysterious phenomenon known as “COVID rebound,” which has been linked to the oral treatment Paxlovid.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recurrence of COVID-19 symptoms or a new positive test after testing negative have been reported two to eight days after a patient initially recovers from the coronavirus following Paxlovid treatment.

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Pfizer says tweaked COVID-19 shots boost omicron protection

BY Associated Press

Pfizer announced Saturday that tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and works — just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall.

The vaccines currently used in the U.S. still offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death -- especially if people have gotten a booster dose. But those vaccines target the original coronavirus strain and their effectiveness against any infection dropped markedly when the super-contagious omicron mutant emerged.

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Gravity Diagnostics closing two COVID testing sites with diminished demand

BY Sam Knef

FLORENCE, Ky. — An organization that has been one of the leaders in COVID-19 testing in northern Kentucky announced the closing of some of its testing sites.

While there is still a demand for getting tested, one Gravity Diagnostics leader said that demand is far less than it has been in the past, and the company is ready to move on, at least for now.

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Ohio doctor discusses CDC vaccine recommendation for children under five

BY Cody Thompson

Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control officially recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of five. The CDC recommends all children receive this vaccine, even if they have already had COVID-19. The health organization maintains that the vaccine has undergone the "most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history."

Joining us to discuss this recommendation is Dr. Shelly Senders, the founder and CEO of Senders Pediatrics.

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Biden adviser Jake Sullivan tests positive for COVID-19

BY Associated Press

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan tested positive on Saturday for COVID-19, according to the White House.

Sullivan typically has frequent contact with President Joe Biden but last was in contact with the president early in the week, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Sullivan had been keeping his distance from Biden after “a couple” of people he had been in close contact with had tested positive for the virus, the official said.

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CDC recommends Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 shots for kids under 5

BY Justin Tasolides and Associated Press
UPDATED 3:58 PM ET Jun. 18, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended COVID-19 shots for children as young as six months old, clearing the way for the youngest Americans to begin getting vaccinated next week.

Director Rochelle Walensky quickly signed off on the vaccines for children under five just hours after a panel of advisers to the CDC unanimously voted to recommend them.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci tests positive for COVID-19, NIH announces

BY Justin Tasolides
UPDATED 3:57 PM ET Jun. 15, 2022

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, has tested positive for COVID, the National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday.

Dr. Fauci, who was also one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force under former President Donald Trump, tested positive on a rapid antigen test and is experiencing "mild symptoms."

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CDC update shows Summit County's COVID-19 community spread decreased

BY Madison MacArthur

AKRON, Ohio — Summit County dropped a level in the Center's for Disease Control Prevention's latest update for COVID-19 community spread.

Summit County is now reporting a Community Level Low/Green following a decrease in cases, dropping from the yellow level indicating moderate spread.

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Moral injury reveals itself in health care workers, Duke doctors say

BY Patrick Thomas

DURHAM, N.C. — Years into the pandemic, doctors and nurses are reporting symptoms that resemble those experienced by men and women in the military after tours of duty. And thirteen North Carolina counties are reporting a high risk of COVID-19 as the virus shows no signs of giving health care professionals a break.



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Health officials sound alarm on COVID fund diversion: 'Going to set us back'

BY Austin Landis

Top U.S. health officials on Thursday sounded the alarm on how their need to divert COVID-19 funding for things like test manufacturing and vaccine research could put the country in a dire position in the fall, as they continue to urge Congress to pass legislation to pay for future vaccine doses and other critical response measures.

The Biden administration had announced Wednesday that they were forced to reallocate more than $10 billion in coronavirus relief as it tries to come up with money to secure the next generation of vaccines and treatments for some high-risk Americans.

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White House COVID chief: Shots for kids under 5 could begin as early as June 21

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press
UPDATED 12:30 PM ET Jun. 09, 2022

Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses have been ordered for small children in anticipation of possible federal authorization next week, White House officials say.

The government allowed pharmacies and states to start placing orders last week, with 5 million doses initially available — half of them shots made by Pfizer and the other half the vaccine produced by Moderna, senior administration officials said.

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Moderna says updated COVID shot boosts omicron protection

BY Spectrum News Staff and Associated Press

Moderna's experimental COVID-19 vaccine that combines its original shot with protection against the omicron variant appears to work, the company announced Wednesday.

COVID-19 vaccine makers are studying updated boosters that might be offered in the fall to better protect people against future coronavirus surges.

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Medical staff struggle to cope with COVID as resignations, deaths rise

BY Kristin Mazur

CLEVELAND — While medical staff continue to cope with COVID-19 numbers, health care centers, such as Cleveland Clinic, are focusing on the future of medicine and how the pandemic has forever changed the way patients are being treated.

“The pandemic really has tested us, as health care providers, to our limits,” said Dr. Raed Dweik, chair of Cleveland Clinic's Respiratory Institute. “Nurses are leaving. Respiratory therapists are leaving, even physicians.”

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Gridlock could delay COVID funds until fall — or longer

BY Associated Press

The U.S. is headed for "a lot of unnecessary loss of life," the Biden administration says, if Congress fails to provide billions more dollars to brace for the pandemic's next wave. Yet the quest for that money is in limbo, the latest victim of election-year gridlock that's stalled or killed a host of Democratic priorities.

President Joe Biden's appeal for funds for vaccines, testing and treatments has hit opposition from Republicans, who've fused the fight with the precarious politics of immigration. Congress is in recess, and the next steps are uncertain, despite admonitions from White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha of damaging consequences from "every day we wait."

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Health officials warn of rising levels of COVID-19 in Summit County

BY Jennifer Conn

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — COVID-19 cases are on the rise once again in Summit County, health officials said.

A new measurement tool by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the county moving upward, from Community Level low/green to Community to Level medium/yellow, Summit County Public Health said in a release.

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Cuyahoga County government buildings require masking as cases rise

BY Madison MacArthur

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — As of Wednesday morning, all government buildings within Cuyahoga County require masks regardless of vaccination status.

County Executive Armond Bush signed the executive order Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the county as having a "high" community level spread of COVID-19 based on case numbers and hospitalizations.

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Ohio professor creates portraits to spotlight the lives lost during the pandemic

BY Tonisha Johnson

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Nicholas Hill subscribed to newspapers for the longest time and always had a love for them because they expose people to a range of ideas from around the world.

In 2020, he turned that love for the hard copies and the element of the unknown into a project. It’s a project that brings those who were hidden in the background of the pandemic to the forefront.

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Pandemic-weary Americans plan for summer despite COVID surge

BY Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — A high school prom in Hawaii where masked dancers weren't allowed to touch. A return to virtual city council meetings in one Colorado town after the mayor and others tested positive following an in-person session. A reinstated mask mandate at skilled nursing facilities in Los Angeles County after 22 new outbreaks in a single week.

A COVID-19 surge is underway that is starting to cause disruptions as the school year wraps up and Americans prepare for summer vacations. Many people, though, have returned to their pre-pandemic routines and plans, which often involve travel.

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J&J was the 'one and done' vaccine. Now recipients are split on boosters

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Most Americans have received at least two vaccine doses, and many people are going on three or four, but some Johnson & Johnson recipients who were sold on a “one and done” vaccine are sticking with a single dose.

Columbus resident John Meekins, 53, said it can be a hassle to get vaccines, so he is glad he is still considered fully vaccinated for work purposes with just the one dose he got last year.

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U.S. making COVID antiviral drug more available at test sites

BY Associated Press

The White House on Thursday announced more steps to make the antiviral treatment Paxlovid more accessible across the U.S. as it projects COVID-19 infections will continue to spread over the summer travel season.

The nation's first federally backed test-to-treat site is opening Thursday in Rhode Island, providing patients with immediate access to the drug once they test positive. More federally supported sites are set to open in the coming weeks in Massachusetts and New York City, both hit by a marked rise in infections.

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Fewer Ohio colleges requiring COVID-19 vaccination

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lawyers representing Ohio colleges argued for the dismissal of lawsuits they face challenging required vaccination, arguing the cases are moot because they recently made vaccination optional.

The University of Cincinnati, Ohio University and Bowling Green State University eased their COVID-19 requirements in March and April.

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In Cleveland, COVID-19 lab experts envision future of public health science

BY Pete Grieve
UPDATED 12:23 PM ET May. 23, 2022

CLEVELAND — Public health laboratory experts, gathering in Cleveland for a major conference, discussed how public health could take on an expanded role in the future to address long-term COVID-19 response and preparations for future outbreaks.

Investments in public health infrastructure, like wastewater virus monitoring, will equip agencies to respond better to disease outbreaks that could occur in the years ahead, Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said during remarks kicking off the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) annual conference.

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Pfizer says 3 COVID shots protect children under 5

BY Associated Press

Three doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine offer strong protection for children younger than 5, the company announced Monday. Pfizer plans to give the data to U.S. regulators later this week in a step toward letting the littlest kids get the shots.

The news comes after months of anxious waiting by parents desperate to vaccinate their babies, toddlers and preschoolers, especially as COVID-19 cases once again are rising. The 18 million tots under 5 are the only group in the U.S. not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

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Doctor: More kids need to vaccinated against COVID-19 to make a difference following CDC's decision

BY Katie Kapusta

CINCINNATI — This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the COVID-19 booster shot for kids ages 5-11. This comes nearly seven months after the Pfizer vaccine was given the green light for kids in that age group.

Ashley Schweickart is a mom to two little ones — a 5-and-a-half-year-old daughter and an almost 3-year-old son, which has proved difficult over the last two years. That's why she got her daughter vaccinated back in November.

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COVID-19 hospitalizations rise in Ohio, 18 counties no longer green

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now reporting medium or high COVID-19 levels in eighteen Ohio counties, an increase from just one county earlier in the week.

Since March, Ohio’s counties have mostly been in the CDC’s low transmission level, but that is starting to change as more contagious subvariants of omicron spread.

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Depression, pandemic photographs paired in Ohio exhibit

BY Associated Press

LANCASTER, Ohio (AP) — An exhibit in Ohio pairing photographs from two moments of societal crisis — the Great Depression and the COVID-19 pandemic — aims to help visitors see parallels between the human tolls felt across generations.

The show, “Chronicles: The Great Depression and the Pandemic,” opens Saturday at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio and runs through Aug. 28.

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CDC recommends Pfizer-BioNTech booster shots for kids 5-11

BY Justin Tasolides
UPDATED 7:37 PM ET May. 19, 2022

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it has authorized booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11, clearing the way for younger Americans to bolster their protection against the coronavirus.

On Thursday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a recommendation from a panel of advisers to the agency backing the boosters, allowing for shots to begin.

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As COVID cases rise, health officials call for some Americans to mask up again, Congress to OK emergency spending

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 5:01 PM ET May. 18, 2022

As COVID-19 cases surge again in the U.S., Americans in high-transmission areas should take precautions such as wearing masks, federal health officials said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration reiterated its call for Congress to approve $22.5 billion in emergency pandemic spending, saying failing to do so would lead to “a lot of unnecessary loss of life.”

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Study: 76% of COVID long-haulers were not initially hospitalized

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 4:30 PM ET May. 18, 2022

About three-quarters of patients diagnosed with post-COVID conditions did not require hospitalization when they initially became infected, a new study found.

The analysis by Fair Health, a nonprofit group that focuses on health care costs and insurance issues, is among the first that leans on a new medical diagnostic code — “U09.9” — created last year to allow doctors to document long COVID cases.

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Ohio health officials encourage use of COVID-19 treatments as cases rise

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vandherhoff reported rising COVID-19 levels during a news conference Wednesday as the Ohio Department of Health launched a new testing and treatment website.

Vanderhoff expressed confidence that Ohio is prepared to manage an uptick in virus levels if residents take advantage of vaccines, testing and treatments.

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Two years later, 2020 graduates get in-person graduation ceremony

BY Sheena Elzie

CINCINNATI — Two years after the pandemic began, students who were set to graduate in 2020, will finally get their ceremony in-person.

Chloe Voelker still has the cap and gown from when she was supposed to walk across the stage and accept her college degree in 2020.

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Ohio lawmakers fast track bill to appropriate $422 million in ARPA funds

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio lawmakers advanced a bill to appropriate $422 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to cities, villages and townships to support their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

While counties and large cities receive their ARPA funds directly from the federal government, the Ohio General Assembly needs to pass legislation in order for “non-entitlement units” of local government, which are typically areas with populations less than 50,000, to receive the federal relief.

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The technology that makes COVID-19 wastewater surveillance happen

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Missouri-based company that developed a product called the Concentrating Pipette in 2012 began contracting with universities last year as they started to monitor for COVID-19 in the wastewater of dormitories.

Labs can use InnovaPrep's pipette product to concentrate samples for analysis from wastewater that's extremely diluted.

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'A tragic milestone': U.S. hits 1 million COVID-19 deaths

BY Ryan Chatelain
UPDATED 12:31 PM ET May. 12, 2022

While much of the United States has nearly returned to life as normal, Americans received a sobering reminder Thursday about the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken, as the country surpassed 1 million deaths from the virus, President Joe Biden said.

In a statement, Biden called it a "tragic milestone."

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COVID-19 cases rise in Ohio, but all counties remain green

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — COVID-19 cases in the state increased for a fifth consecutive week in an Ohio Department of Health update Thursday that showed the highest rates of spread in and around the Columbus and Cleveland areas.

The weekly report of 11,013 cases is a significant increase from the state’s April 1 report of just 3,103 weekly COVID-19 cases.

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Will Ohio's COVID-19 death records be released?

BY Pete Grieve

COLUMBUS, Ohio — An attorney representing an appellant who wants the Ohio Supreme Court to order the release of COVID-19 victims’ names asserted the state is seeking to withhold data that could expose officials’ pandemic missteps, he said in an interview.

Andrew Mayle represents Ohio resident Rosanna Miller, who he said is a “curious citizen” seeking Ohio COVID-19 death data. In April 2020, she made a records request to the Ohio Department of Health’s Office of Vital Statistics, which was denied, leading her to sue.

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WHO: Nearly 15 million deaths associated with COVID-19

BY Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization is estimating that nearly 15 million people were killed either by the coronavirus or by its impact on overwhelmed health systems in the past two years, more than double the official death toll of 6 million. Most of the fatalities were in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.

In a report released on Thursday, the U.N. agency's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the figure as "sobering," saying it should prompt countries to invest more in their capacities to quell future health emergencies.

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Racial split on COVID-19 endures as restrictions ease in U.S.

BY Associated Press

Black and Hispanic Americans remain far more cautious in their approach to COVID-19 than white Americans, recent polls show, reflecting diverging preferences on how to deal with the pandemic as federal, state and local restrictions fall by the wayside.

Despite majority favorability among U.S. adults overall for measures like mask mandates, public health experts said divided opinions among racial groups reflect not only the unequal impact of the pandemic on people of color but also apathy among some white Americans.

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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)