Coronavirus banner

CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Coronavirus Continues to Overwhelm Prisons

BY Karlynn Wells

CLEVELAND, Ohio — On April 3rd, U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons to expedite the release and transfers of vulnerable inmates due to the coronavirus.

Barr identified three federal prisons that were to be treated as priority. One of them was Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Colombiana County,a facility that American Civil Liberties Union Senior Staff Attorney David Carey says has been slow to make changes.

Read More

Climate And Weather Forecasting Impacted by COVID-19

BY Eric Elwell
UPDATED 10:37 AM ET Jun. 02, 2020

The sudden drop in travel during COVID-19 is causing major improvements in short-term air quality. We track these changing travel patterns using daily mobility (cellphone) data. In March and April, all 50 states saw mobility drop by more than half at some point, relative to a pre-pandemic levels. In 26 states, this maximum decrease was more than 90%. As travel plummeted, March NO2 levels fell about 30% in the Northeast and 40% in the Southeast, relative to a 2015-2019 baseline. NO2 is one of the smog-forming NOx pollutants, and more than half of their emissions come from transportation. Many of these changes won’t last, as travel rebounds and hotter, sunnier days lead to more smog.

But today’s cleaner skies show what lower emissions can do for our health and quality of life. Worldwide, there have been reported 6% reductions in carbon emissions and 40% reductions in atmospheric pollution, especially nitrous oxide emissions [over the last few months]. The pollution drop varies according to geographical location – polluted areas in China, India, Italy and France have seen short-term improvements following the drop of traffic and industrial activities. There was a phaseout of the previous continuous carbon-emission growth after the 2008 financial crisis, but thereafter the emission growth unfortunately continued. This is likely to happen once again when the COVID crisis is over, if no other efforts are made.

Read More

Students Continue Small Business Project During Pandemic

BY Katie Kapusta

CINCINNATI, Ohio—Many students missed out on big events this year. For students at one Cincinnati school, they were worried they’d miss out on a project they’d been looking forward to their entire time in elementary school.

Students at Kilgour School in Cincinnati look forward to one project their sixth grade year. It’s called the gelato project. But their teacher and a local business owner wanted to make sure that was the one thing that wasn’t canceled during this pandemic.

Read More

Restaurant Uses New Technology to Enforce Social Distancing

BY Katie Kapusta

CINCINNATI, Ohio—Restaurants across the state have come up with different ways to make sure all social distancing guidelines are followed. One restaurant owner installed software in his restaurant to keep track of his customers and how far away they are from each other.

Walking into a restaurant nowadays you don’t know what to expect. But here at Washington Platform in downtown Cincinnati, they’ve installed new software to make sure every patron is social distancing.

Read More

Congress Reviews How VA Is Helping Veterans Fight Coronavirus

BY Taylor Popielarz

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Robert Wilkie, the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, did not mince words at a House hearing on Thursday.

“We are fighting a war that very few people in America would’ve predicted just a few months ago,” he said.

Read More

Teacher Dresses up for Online Classes

BY Katie Kapusta

WEST BRANCH, Mich.—It can be tough to motivate your kids to get their school work done with classes online. But one Cedarville graduate is making sure her students are engaged each day.

Heidi Bruder is a fifth through seventh grade teacher at Calvary Christian Academy. She said when school was moved online, she was worried about how motivated her students would be.

Read More

Library Helps Housing Workers With 3D Printers

BY Ryan Schmelz

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cleveland Public Library and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, are partnering to keep workers still on duty safe.

"COVID has provided libraries, and especially the Cleveland Public Library, with a tremendous challenge on how we move forward in what will be a new normal for us as an organization. But from that comes great innovation as an organization," said Felton Thomas Jr., executive director for the Cleveland Public Library. Thomas says staying on the sidelines isn't an option, despite closures. "We know technology is really important for what we do. But, you know, when you are able to use it in a way that can save lives, it really, really makes you kind of thrilled in being able to be a part of that," he said.

Read More

Coronavirus and Low-Income Families

BY Spectrum News Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio– The spread of COVID-19 is having a disproportionate effect on low-income children and families.

Food insecurity, lack of access to medical care, financial gaps, and limited access to technology are just some of the challenges students are facing.

Read More

Can You Leave Hand Sanitizer in Your Car?

BY Spectrum News Staff

NATIONWIDE – A viral Facebook post from a Wisconsin fire department has sparked concerns over leaving hand sanitizer inside vehicles during a hot day.

The picture from Brazil shows a melted car door in result of hand sanitizer that came in contact with an open flame inside an already hot vehicle.

Read More

Coronavirus Q&A With Doctor Gonsenhauser

BY Lindsay Oliver

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Every Wednesday, Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, from OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, will be answering viewer questions. Below is our roundup of Q&A from this week.

QUESTION: I heard people with low vitamin D who get the coronavirus tend to experience worse symptoms. Is this true?

Read More

NEO Company Develops Technology to Fight Against COVID-19

BY Rachele Mongiovi

CANTON, Ohio — A Canton company has developed new technology to aid in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Apache Industrial Services is manufacturing 300 high intensity UV-C light lamps per week. The UV-C light breaks down the cell walls and DNA of living organisms and destroys them. "The unit, based on square footage, will dictate the dosage, the UV-C ray will penetrate the DNA of a cell and pulverize that cell so any type of virus, it will zap 99.9 percent of it," said Stelio Flamos, vice president of operations, Midwest Region, Apache Industrial Services. The product, Tomahawk UV-C Lamp 2000 and 3000, comes on wheels and can be moved throughout a room. For a 300 square foot room, it can sterilize the space in as little as 12 minutes. "We're using them now in schools, churches, retail, we did a prison in south Texas, doctor offices, dentists, fitness facilities," said Flamos. Also in the Apache IS product line is a mass temperature screening system. In only 30 minutes, it can scan up to 5,000 people for temperature readings. "If we set this thing up and we're moving people into an entertainment venue, a stadium for a football game, a concert, as they're moving, herding people though the turn style, our series of cameras with infrared will detect temperature and scan each individual and if someone is above that set standard that we have, they'll be identified," said Flamos. The technology instantly displays heat readings and lowers the risk and decreases the time that a potentially contaminated person is on the premises. It's part of the company's Safe Space Solutions to get people back to work and life safely. "When you look at the deaths and the confirmed cases, these units in our safe space solutions will give the owners of these venues, will give these doctors, dentists, will give their patients, patrons our people, a sense of well being."

Read More

Mom Gives Birth to Son While Battling COVID-19

BY Katie Kapusta

CINCINNATI, Ohio— While the coronavirus has been responsible for tens-of-thousands of deaths across the country, one Ohio family will remember these times for the new life they were given— literally.

Alicia Kappers is a real-life super mom. A mother to two boys— the newest addition coming in the most unexpected way.

Read More

Catholic Churches prepare to Reopen Their Doors

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, Ohio- “We just miss it. It’s just a part of us, a part of our family, and it will be exciting to get back to the actual church,” said Kelly Stolly, a St. Gerard parishioner.

The St. Gerard Parish is home to Kelly Stolly and her family, who have been part of the church for twenty plus years.

Read More

COVID-19 Interrupts Sleep for Ohioans

BY Tonisha Johnson

COLUMBUS, Ohio — If you’re craving sleep these days, you’re not alone. At least 40 percent of Ohioans don’t get enough sleep as it is.

Missing out on sleep at least two to three times per week may be and indication that you’re struggling with insomnia. Doctors say the stress and anxiety caused by COVID-19 may be to blame for sparking the sleepless nights or making it worse. Business owner, wife and mom Michele Rapp struggles with insomnia.

Read More

Contact Tracing to Battle COVID-19

BY Dennis Biviano

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola says yes, there are concerns about a spike in COVID-19 cases as businesses open across the state.

And for that reason, county officials are reaching out to business owners and the public alike to explain what’s expected from both parties.

Read More

Survey Shows Charitable Impacts During COVID-19 Pandemic

BY Karlynn Wells

CLEVELAND, Ohio — COVID-19 is limiting how most charities operate and a new survey shows the pandemic has stopped some nonprofits from providing services at all.

Chief Communications Officer with non-profit organization Philanthropy Ohio Claudia Herrold says the purpose of the survey isn’t just to show charitable impacts during COVID-19, but to act as a call to action to the public and to policymakers. “We wanted to be able to inform the decisions that our policymakers at the state and federal levels, would be making,” Herrold said. Over 7,000 nonprofit organizations across the state responded to the Ohio Nonprofit COVID-19 Survey produced by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Philanthropy Ohio and the Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

Read More

The Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 6:30 AM ET May. 15, 2020

A massive global race to find the best vaccine is on and U.S. health officials say a vaccine could potentially be available as soon as January. It’s an ambitious timeline for those in vaccine research, but the safest and fastest way to gain widespread immunity to COVID-19, and return to a pre-pandemic level of normalcy.

“Problem with vaccines is it's really slow. It takes twelve to 18 months,” said Paul Duprex, director of the Center for Vaccine Research at the University of Pittsburgh. “Why is it slow? Because it has to be really safe. We cannot do anything fast and compromise vaccine safety.”

Read More

Together/Alone: Handshakes on Hold Due to COVID-19. Try These Alternatives

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 11:56 AM ET May. 14, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a society, just forget about shaking hands. We don’t need to shake hands. We’ve got to break that custom because, as a matter of fact, that is really one of the major ways that you can transmit a respiratory-borne illness.” — Dr. Anthony Fauci, April 7, 2020

Read More

Tattoo and Piercing Stores Can Reopen May 15

BY Ryan Schmelz

Ohio — Instead of busy tattoo shops, right now, all you see are closed signs and locked doors. "Man, people are worried," said Billy Hill, Owner of Envy Skin Gallery in Columbus. "They’ve taken away two months of our revenue for the year and this is we just missed out on, because of tax season, is our busiest time of the year."

Hill's business opened up not long before the 2008 recession. So he knows a thing or two about tough times for a business. "A lot of people were getting laid off and people didn’t have a lot of money and we were still a very new company. I was putting in six-day weeks and I had one employee at the time, maybe two. And it was very challenging. But this is absolutely one of a kind. Like, I don’t even know what to say about this. This is crazy." The reopening is a relief to some owners. "It’s the extreme stress that goes with that unknowing of when we would be able to work, how long we would be out of work, how long we would be able to sustain not having an income, you know, it was all that kind of combined," said Katie Howard, who owns Revolution Studios in Englewood with her husband Harry. They posted a letter to their state senator and representative on the company Facebook account. They're still concerned moving forward, since the industry doesn’t have any representation on the governor’s Personal Services Advisory Group. "It means people are taking standards that we need to do as my industry without knowing what we do. And I think that’s where the misinterpretation, the gray area, came from the very beginning with us not being open," said Howard. "So it is very scary because I feel like we’re going to be represented by people that don’t know what we do in the first place." Now for many artists, the waiting game is over and the new way of doing business begins. "When we do get back to work, because of all the extra precautions that we’re going to take, we’re not going to be able to handle the volume at one time. So it’s going to cut our revenue even when we do open back up," said Hill.

Read More

Malls Reopen With Restrictions

BY Katie Kapusta

CINCINNATI, Ohio—With retailers allowed to be back open today, that also means malls can open their doors too. But many Cincinnati mall-goers were disappointed to still see the majority of stores closed inside.

Retailers are finally open and many people are coming to Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati. Lots of people coming in and are seeing some stores are still closed. But they’re happy just to be able to get outside and get shopping.

Read More

Local Candle Store Gets Creative In Order To Reopen

BY Katie Kapusta

HAMILTON, Ohio—As retailers begin to reopen this week, many have come up with new ways for their customers to shop while staying safe and healthy.

Many retailers are having to be creative in order to reopen this week. That includes Petals and Wicks in Hamilton. It’s a candle store, and at candle stores of course you want to smell them. But they had to come up with a new idea. And that is smelling the scent on a scent stick instead of picking up candles and smelling it yourself.

Read More

Communities Find Ways to Provide Testing

BY Ryan Schmelz

CANFIELD, Ohio — Healthcare providers in smaller communities throughout Ohio are finding ways to make COVID-19 testing available to patients.

Like many healthcare providers across the world, life and work for Dr. Gregory Zinni and nurse practitioner Elizabeth Zinni has changed. “I’ve been in practice for over 30 years and never have I seen an issue like this that has really affected our day-to-day lives,” said Dr. Zinni. The father and daughter say they're now dealing with similar problems many small providers faced when the COVID-19 outbreak started. "We were, I guess, in the dark as medical providers and very frustrated initially because the testing was not available, we did not have appropriate equipment to care for our patients, so it was frustrating from a provider standpoint that we weren’t able to give the patients what they needed," said Elizabeth Zinni MSN, FNP. But Zinni says they’ve been coming up with ways to increase access to testing for people in the area who need it. The Zinnis partnered with QUICKmed Urgent Care in Youngstown to provide drive- thru testing at the Canfield Fairgrounds, making it possible to test around 200 people in one day. "We happened to have a high complexity lab at our Youngstown location. So, we, you know, we advocated, and we knocked on every door that let us in until we were able to advocate for and bring testing in here," said Lena Esmail, CEO of Quickmed Urgent Care. "And we were able to do that very early on." Esmail says QUICKmed Urgent Care has been able to test over 8,000 people since late March. This includes drive-thru testing in Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties. Preregistration is used to keep the operation running smoothly. "If they were concerned, they might have coronavirus, then a provider from the office would call them via Telehealth, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, whatever method they had for telecommunication that way and have a visit with them to evaluate to make sure that they did indeed meet some sort of criteria to be tested," said Esmail. And the Zinnis and some providers are still facing new challenges from a new health threat. "I think a lot of local non-hospital-owned primary care offices are feeling limited in what they can do. They’re feeling like they don’t have the appropriate measures to test their patients. Of course, we have been told that any patient with respiratory symptoms we cannot admit to the hospital directly, they have to go through the emergency room. So, I know that’s frustrating for a lot of medical providers. There’s just been a lot of precautions put into place, restrictions put into place. So it’s made it difficult to practice medicine, but also learning more about this virus." QUICKmed Urgent Care says it’s started doing antibody testing, which is something the Zinni's practice is looking into.

Read More

Ohio Hair Salons Prepare for Reopening

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, Ohio — It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for haircare professionals, as many have struggled to pay rent and other utilities while unemployed. And now that Governor Mike DeWine has allowed hair salons to reopen on Friday, that has presented some challenges of its own.

For Desinerae Studio owner Desirae Futel, getting the PPE and other items she needs for the big day has been a challenge. “With getting started again, I need to have adequate face masks, cleaning supplies, Lysol, thermometers, contactless thermometers, just things like that and the shipping for a lot of things has been slow,” said Futel. And getting items on time has also been a challenge for Cecilia Silva, owner of Hair by Cecilia Silva. “It’s been quite the challenge in having to spend more money than we have to get these items sooner,” said Silva. “Because we want to be able to service our people the sooner, the better.” As many hair salons look to reopen on Friday, hair care professionals have had to change their safety guidelines and procedures to protect themselves and their clients. “Face masks must be worn at all times,” said Futel. “For our industry and what we do it’s important that the face masks go around the ears and not tied around the back like a lot of the ones people have gotten made so they can get their hair done.” Many hair salon owners like Futel say they’re excited to open back up on Friday, but there’s still that sense of fear. “I’ve had anxiety this whole entire time,” she said. “Some nights I can’t sleep, some nights it’s more like depression where all I do is sleep because I want it to end. It’s been a road, for sure." Owner of Studio 914 Hair Salon Rhea Pettway says she too can attest to those feelings of nervousness. “It feels like that first day out of hair school when you finish and you have your license and your first day on the shop floor,” said Pettway. “That’s the nervousness that I’m having coming back. I’ve been waiting to come back. I just didn’t think I would have this kind of anxiety coming back.” Playing it safe is right now is what many hairstylists say they’re looking to do. And for many, that means fewer appointments each day and putting certain clients first. “I’m prioritizing my elderly clients,” said Futel. “I’m prioritizing the people that I know absolutely need to see me soon —people with scalp conditions, people who just started their loc journeys need to soon. Then I’m going to have to sort out the rest later.”

Read More

Cincinnati Zoo Receives Over 1,000 Hand-Sewn Masks for Employees and Volunteers

BY Tino Bovenzi

CINCINNATI, Ohio — The Cincinnati Zoo is developing a plan for reopening, and to do that, safety for staff members and guests is the top priority.

And while they don’t have a full plan in place just yet, one requirement is that employees wear a mask. To ensure that safety measure is carried out, staff and volunteers have sewn more than 1,000 masks for team members to wear throughout the park.

Read More

New App Helps People Cope With Pandemic Stress and Anxiety

BY Lindsay Oliver

OHIO— May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with so many people being affected in some way by this pandemic, a new app aims to help people cope.

It's called COVID Coach and it's a way to help people deal with the anxiety and stress of this coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Elyria Teachers Show They Care with 'Honk and Wave' Parade

BY Enrique Correa

ELYRIA, Ohio — Since most schools are closed for the academic year, some teachers and staff in Elyria decided to show their students how much they care for them during these difficult times.

Elyria City schools hit the streets on Monday morning to show students they care, as they held a "honk and wave" parade.

Read More

Voices of Resilience Podcast Continues Conversation on Mental Health

BY Dennis Biviano

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Perhaps now more than ever we all need to find ways to stay connected with each other.

That's the goal behind Voices of Resilience, a podcast series produced by The Shipyard CEO Rick Milenthal and featuring insights from some of Ohio's brightest minds in the medical industry.

Read More

For Medical Professionals on COVID-19 Front Lines, Mental Health Self-Care is a Must

BY Melissa Eichman

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, medical professionals across the nation continue to answer the call to care for others, shift after shift, hour after hour. But are they doing enough to care for themselves and their own mental health?

After months of dealing with COVID-19 cases, health care workers who have been on the front lines are feeling it in every measurable sense.

Read More

Ability Matters Providing Essential Care for Those With Special Needs

BY MaryLee Melendez

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ability Matters provides community-based help and support for kids and young adults with autism and disabilities.

Dr. Kristyn Butler founded the organization about 6 years ago. She says when the coronavirus hit, they had to quickly learn to adapt — but they haven’t been doing it alone. “It’s been a lot, I”ll be honest. But the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities sends out a guidance every day at around 6’oclock and they have been wonderful and supportive," said Dr. Butler. "Our staff, about 98 percent of our staff has maintained, which is amazing I am so proud of them.” One of those staff members is Andrew Hightower, who on this day, was helping with Ability Matters consumer Bryan Griffith. “It has been an adjustment it has been stressful. I am super glad we are essential workers. I am so glad I’ve been able to help the families I’ve been helping during this time,” said Hightower. The staff says it’s been crucial to limit contact and do daily wellness checks to ensure safety. “We’ve modified schedules, we’ve tried to eliminate cross-contamination so very few staff will work with more than one student or one consumer,” said Dr. Butler. ”Every provider has a screening questionnaire we have to fill out, we have to take our temperature, we have to take our consumers' temperature,” said Hightower. Dr. Butler says it’s very important to make sure people with disabilities know why things are happening and even though their schedules are changing, they are being replaced with new activities. “It’s a very sensitive topic for people with disabilities, and especially Ability Matters, because our number one mission is to be included in the community and so isolation is very risky for people with disabilities,” said Dr. Butler. They’ve created social stories that help people with autism develop a better social understanding, arts and crafts, outdoor activities and have relied heavily on technology. “A lot of individuals with disabilities and autism love technology, so we’ve tried to incorporate that in and embed that also within the day, doing FaceTimes and Google Meets and Zoom and all of those pieces help them stay connected to their friends and sometimes their job sites, but most of their jobs are on pause,” said Dr. Butler. I caught up with consumer Bryan on video chat to learn what new activities he’s been up to now that his job at a local gym is on hold. Bryan: “We made an art project, like a flag. It’s a flag on it.” Hightower: “Did you paint the flag?” Bryan: “I painted the flag. I painted a red and blue one. It was really cool.” Bryan: “We go outside, to the park, walk around, I love walking.” Bryan: “I make a necklace for my mom and dad and grandma Patty.” These activities are helping to keep them connected to the community while we all work to get back to what will become our new normal. “We have over 200 staff and, you know, 80-90 consumers and students. I have to say I feel lucky to be in the state of Ohio and how they’ve reacted. It’s been really wonderful,” said Dr. Butler.

Read More

NEO High School to Hold Unique In-Person Graduation

BY Rachele Mongiovi

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — As the coronavirus pandemic continues, college and high school graduates across the country are losing out on the opportunity to walk the stage with their fellow classmates. Many schools are hosting virtual commencements, but some are offering more creative solutions for the Class of 2020.

"Commencement is the celebration of pretty much the 13 years that these kids have put into their education, so you know we don't take that very lightly here, and they deserve something, you know, they've lost so much this year and all the staff, all the administrators, we just feel awful," said Chris Vicha, principal for Fairview High School.

Read More

Dayton Club Celebrates Mother's Day with Free Gifts

BY Camri Nelson

DAYTON, Ohio — Every year for Mother’s Day, Club Aces in Dayton goes out of its way to show mothers they truly care.

But like most this these days – this year’s celebration had to be a little different. “You know, right now we have to practice social distancing. So what we’re doing now is handing out flowers to all the mothers,” said Greg Payne, Club Aces owner.

Read More

Cincinnati Residents, Restaurants Prepare for Outdoor Dining

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley recently announced that some streets in the city’s Over-The-Rhine and The Banks neighborhoods will be closing to create more room for outdoor dining for over a dozen restaurants. Right now, restaurant owners are preparing to reopen and potential customers are trying to decide when they'll feel safe going back.

“Honestly I was a bit surprised that they opened it so early. I was expecting it to be more like June, mid- June,” said Michelle Hausman, a Cincinnati resident. But despite the initial shock, Hausman says this plan could actually work. “There’s like plenty of space in OTR and in Downtown and on the sidewalk and streets and I think being outside is pretty safe and everyone’s going to take procedures really carefully,” said Hausman. As of Friday, there will be more than two dozen streets at the banks and in OTR that will be closed. We reached out to several restaurants that would be affected by this project, but none were able to go on camera. Many we spoke with say they are still in the planning process, trying to figure out how to transition to outdoor dining while staying safe. We also spoke with the assistant to the city manager who says the mayor’s plan for outdoor dining is also still being worked on. An application process and other information will be rolled out by Thursday. And as for Hausman, she says she won’t be too quick to take part in the outdoor dining experience. “Probably not next Friday just because I’m assuming there’s going to be a lot of people out, but definitely over the next few weeks and month I’ll come down here to eat,” she said.

Read More

Googly-Eyed Hoodlums Spread Community Cheer

BY Olivia Wile

HARROD, Ohio — Staying positive during the coronavirus pandemic can be a challenge, but, with the help of some googly-eyed hoodlums, one Ohio town is making the most of the situation.

“They’re really cool,” said Carlee Anderson, while referencing the googly eyes.

Read More

Parents Delaying Vaccinations for Children Due to COVID-19

BY Karlynn Wells

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The coronavirus pandemic has increased hesitancy around visits to hospitals and healthcare facilities. As a result, vaccinations have dropped at a dangerous rate.

Pediatricians across the country, including Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Kmberly Giuliano, say the decline raises concerns about future outbreaks of other preventable diseases. “Now if we have even more families opting to forgo vaccines, or at least just delay the vaccines for a period of time, we're at a real risk for another public health emergency. It would not get to the same scale as COVID because nobody has immunity to COVID, but we've seen how crippled we can become when we are at the mercy of an infectious disease,” Dr. Kimberly Giuliano of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital said. A recent study done by the Physicians Computer Company, an independent electronic health record provider, shows that for 1,000 U.S pediatricians, vaccination rates for measles, mumps and rubella decreased by 50 percent during the week of April 5, compared with the week of February 16. “The numbers are staggering and it is concerning that that happened in such a short period of time, that we saw that dramatic of a decrease,” Giuliano said. Dr. Skyler Kalady, of Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, says while the pandemic is front and center right now, as it should be, other highly contagious diseases have and can make a comeback. “We know that measles is in our community. We know that pertussis or whooping cough is in our community. And so, some people mistakenly feel that these illnesses no longer exist, but the data is very clear that that's not true,” said Kalady. She says even amid COVID-19, it is critical to keep children vaccinated on schedule. “In general, babies need one vaccine in the hospital when they're born, and the routine schedule for vaccines is done at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12, months, 18 months and 2 years, and then again at4 years. So, there's very concrete intervals of when is the earliest, best time to vaccinate your children," Kalady said. Giuliano and Kalady want to let parents know it is safe to bring their children into Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital offices. “The vast majority of our facilities do not have patients with COVID-like symptoms entering the doors. The other thing is that all of our facilities, we have screeners stationed in each door that are checking temperatures on every patient, visitor and employee as soon as they walk in the door. And we're also working on ways that we can speed up the check-in process as quickly as possible, collecting information ahead of time prior to the visit." said Giuliano. They say it's understandable that parents have questions and feel hesitant about getting vaccinated at this time. They encourage families to talk directly with their pediatrician to share their concerns. “Unfortunately, COVID has shown us what happens when we don't have immunity. And this can serve as a reminder of a place that we do not want to get to with infections that we are lucky enough to have vaccines for now. So, I’m hopeful that vaccine-hesitant families will see this COVID epidemic as a health care example of how effective vaccination programs have been,” Kalady said. “Your health care provider will be happy to talk with you on the phone or with a virtual visit, help you to understand the pros and the cons and make a health decision that is a safe and effective one for you and your family,” said Giuliano.

Read More

Florists Turn to Ohio Flower Farmers to Rebound After Pandemic

BY Rachele Mongiovi

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio- Linda Boardman is one many florists across the State of Ohio who prepped for one of the industry's biggest holidays, Mother's Day.

Boardman's Cuyahoga Falls shop, Dietz Floral Studio, has been shut down since mid-March. She's missed out on a lot of business, including weddings, proms, graduations, and funerals.

Read More

University of Dayton Celebrates Grads With Virtual Celebration

BY Katie Kapusta

DAYTON, Ohio— Like many schools across the country, the University of Dayton held a virtual graduation ceremony this weekend. It’s not how seniors envisioned their college careers coming to end. But the school still plans to give the students the ceremony they deserve.

Alex Powell is one of almost 1500 students receiving an undergraduate degree at the University of Dayton this weekend. But her senior year, like most others, didn’t end as planned.

Read More

New Mom Reflects on Pregnancy and Childbirth During Pandemic

BY Karlynn Wells

CLEVELAND, Ohio- Hannah Lockard says a year ago, she never would have imagined that today she’d be celebrating her first mother’s day.

“My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for three years, so it was a big surprise and very exciting.” Lockhard says.

Read More

Student-Athlete Makes Big Splash With Homemade Training Pool

BY Ryan Schmelz

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — A high school athlete in Beachwood isn’t letting the pandemic keep him from achieving his goals. And what he has set up in his home takes the idea of staying in shape to another level.

"If everything was open, I would be training, swimming five times a week, and then doing dryland lifting, other things," said Bystrom. "I saw it on Instagram about five to six weeks ago. I thought, ‘oh, I can do that!'" Bystrom used his college savings to buy, build, and insulate the 2,700-gallon pool. He uses a car jack and stretch cord to attach to his waist and swim away. The homemade natatorium also has a lifeguard. It's usually his brother, Spencer, a college diver. "It was kind of out of the blue. He said he was going to get the pool off Amazon with his college savings and build it in the garage. And originally, I thought ‘yeah, this is just another one of those ideas that’s kind of just going to end up not working out,’ but a few days later he told me the pool was here and he needed help building it," said Spencer. This was a surprise to some, but not so much for his swim coach. "Well, knowing Grady and the Bystrom family, truly not out of the realm of being surprised. I guess what really hit me was his extreme motivation to get back in the pool," said Brad Burget, head coach of the Beachwood Bison Swim Club. "The fact that he used his college money just to do it, I mean, he is the team leader. And it really just kind of just puts the exclamation point on it right there." For Bystrom, this is something he felt he needed to do to make that next lap in his athletic career. "I know that I want to swim in college, that I still need to get better, get faster, and I’m not going to let this pandemic stop me from achieving my goals," he said.

Read More

Celebrating Mother's Day Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

BY Dennis Biviano

DUBLIN, Ohio — Mother and son Dave and Pat Stenner have found ways to connect during this pandemic, not only through video chat, but through the power of music.

“It gives everybody a little bit of peace of mind to be able to see the other person, see how they're doing and actually talk with them,” said Dave Stenner.

Read More

UofL Researchers Make a Prototype N95 Mask That's Machine-Washable and Reusable

BY Eileen Street

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An N95 mask that can be disinfected by simply throwing it into a washing machine would solve a lot of problems for those on the frontlines of the coronavirus.

Soon, it could be a reality thanks to research and development from the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research and Advanced Energy Materials, LLC (ADEM).

Read More

Premier Health Expands Testing Capacity by 1500 Percent

BY Tino Bovenzi

CINCINNATI, Ohio — In a virtual news conference, Premier Health and CompuNet labs announced a significant advancement in testing capacity.

By adding a new platform for testing through polymerase chain reaction testing or PCR, they will now be able to process up to 1,500 COVID-19 tests per day. “This expansion of our testing capacity will be a game changer for our region, for patients, for healthcare workers, and really, the entire community,” Mary Boosalis, Chief Operating Officer for Premier Health said. Previously, CompuNet was only able to process about 100 tests per day, and initially those results took an average of about 10 days to process. Over the past few weeks they trimmed down turnaround time to two days for most patients. But now with the new system that will roll out early next week, patients can expect to receive results 24 hours or less. Mike Uhl, president of Miami Valley Hospital, said this advancement will reaffirm safety for patients, as well as allow the hospital to provide the right care. “Our goal is to test every patient, every admission that comes into our facility, and this new technology and new capability will give us the ability to do that, as well as shorten the turnaround times to give us more of a rapid or faster results,” Uhl said. "And so we're really excited about this capability.” CompuNet Chairman of the Board Dr. Atef Shrit said this is a very significant development because currently, we do not know how widespread infection is in the Miami Valley. “More widespread availability of testing will help, revealing the true extent of the outbreak in the community,” Shrit said. “And it is a critical step towards reopening of our society.” CompuNet can now process test results in 6-8 hours after they receive the samples. However, with this increase in testing capacity, they expect to see a rise in cases. Montgomery County has 356 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 8 at 2 p.m. Moving forward, Uhl said advanced testing will also play a key role in conserving the amount of personal protective equipment used by frontline heath care workers, furthering their commitment to ensure a safe hospital. “Our commitment has always been and will remain making sure that we have a safe and healthy environment for our patients and our team members,” Uhl said. “This new capability will certainly help us enhance that."

Read More

The U.S. May Face a Second Wave of Coronavirus Infections

BY Erin Billups
UPDATED 7:45 AM ET May. 09, 2020

The latest data shows the country’s efforts at social distancing are beginning to have an impact. In areas hardest hit by the coronavirus, new reported cases are dropping.

While the trends are promising, health officials and scientists warn, it’s still too soon to relax social distancing measures. Easing up on restrictions could lead to a surge of deadly infections known as a “second wave.”

Read More

Cincinnati Film Organization Helps Out-Of-Work Production Crews

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, Ohio — The film industry has really taken a hit during the pandemic. Movie theaters are temporarily closed and film projects are at a standstill.

Cincinnati movie and television hairstylist Anna Maria Reyer says it’s been very challenging over the past month, as she has tried to make ends meet while unemployed.

Read More

Beauty Industry Shop Owners Hit Roadblock While Searching for Financial Relief

BY Karlynn Wells

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Waverly Willis' Urban Kutz barbershops have been closed for almost two months due to COVID-19 restrictions. He says he is ready to continue serving his community when it’s safe to do so, but most importantly, he’s ready to continue supporting his family and himself financially.

When COVID-19 restrictions forced Waverly Willis to close his barbershops in March, he was hopeful that he and the barbers that work in his Urban Kutz shops would qualify for some sort of financial government assistance. “I spoke to the people at my bank,and the people on the city, county and state level, they assured me that they had loans in place and when they would open up they encourage me, my team, as well as other barber and salon owners to apply for,” Willis says. But he quickly found out that help was not on the way Willis’ business doesn't qualify for relief because of its structure — a structure that he say’s isn’t unique to the hair and beauty industry. “This is your chair and you would rent this chair from me. You give me a weekly fee, I give you a receipt, and that's it," Willis said. "This is not a new model. This has been around for the past hundred years when barbershops and salons started popping up all over America. Everyone said apply for the PPP, which means Paycheck. Protection Program. I don't get a paycheck and I don't have payrolls. These barbers that work at both my locations, they don't work for me. They work with me. They are independent contractors, they work for themselves, so I don't pay them, their clients pay them. So there is no payroll, there is no 1099, and pretty much they said if you do not have payroll, 1099, things of that nature. we cannot help, just flat out.” With Governor Mike Dewine's Thursday announcement that hair salons and barbershops can reopen on May 15th, Willis can get back on the path to regain financial stability, while implementing safety measures. “I just want to thank the working group. We had barbers, we had hairstylists, we had people from all over the state of Ohio who helped us do this, who wrote these recommendations, who came up with the best practices," said DeWine. “There is no more walk-in. It’s going to have to be appointment only. The waiting area is pretty much eliminated. If you can't have people sit six feet apart, they're going to have to wait in their cars, barbers are gonna have to wear gloves, masks, and if you're not cutting hair you will be cleaning,” Willis said. And Willis isn’t alone. Chareen Fountain, owner of Styles of Success hair salon, is taking similar measures to prepare for reopening day. “I’ve already changed my seating waiting area. You can't sit here and wait for your stylist to come to work. Those days are long gone. You have to switch out those styling capes, you have to take a little more time now that after a customer, you have to change the way you're doing and operating your chair, and that's the only way this will work and I’m sure they're ready to do it, because I’m ready to do it,”Fountain said. Fountain’s search for financial assistance while closed is similar to the situation Willis faced. “I have filled out so many applications, grants, I do not want a loan, I built them out anyway. And for my industry, I feel like we're being shut out,” she said. She says she’s using this situation as motivation to ensure that the hair and beauty industry is better supported during emergency situations in the future and that change isn’t going to happen without the voices of those who work behind the chair. “We want to better the system that we have on shutting down salons and barbershops, and I don't want to leave my estheticians and nail techs out, but we have to find a way to help each other and they can't do it without us,” Fountain said.

Read More

Red, White & BOOM! Cancelled for 2020

BY Spectrum News Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A long-standing summer tradition in Columbus will look a little different due to coronavirus concerns.

The annual Red, White & BOOM! fireworks event is cancelled.

Read More

Together/Alone: Now Our Toes are Trying to Tell Us Something

BY Josh Robin
UPDATED 6:38 AM ET May. 08, 2020

NOTE: This story is part of “Together/Alone,” a column from Spectrum News Chief National Political Reporter Josh Robin that explores life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I didn’t want to write this. I’m really not into over-sharing. But there’s that old saying: “Write what you know.”

Read More

Ohio Continues Steps to Restart Businesses

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 6:55 PM ET May. 07, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In-person dining is back on the menu as Governor Mike DeWine announced another round of openings Thursday.

Restaurants will have the option to open for outdoor dining on May 15, and indoor service can begin on May 21.

Read More

Capitol Hill In The Age Of Coronavirus

BY Taylor Popielarz

WASHINGTON, D.C. — While the U.S. House of Representatives is still not in session because of the coronavirus, the U.S. Senate returned to the nation’s capital this week for the first time since March.

But only one of Ohio’s senators made the trip back.

Read More

Real Estate Investment Firm Gives $1.6 Million in Bonuses

BY Katie Kapusta

DAYTON, Ohio—The Connor Group, a real estate investment firm based in Dayton, is giving a big bonus to its employees that have continued to work through the pandemic.

A lot of employees have been surprised with bonuses recently, but associates at the Connor Group were shocked to learn they were splitting a pot of $1.6 million.

Read More

Who Really Has the Power to Re-Open the Country?

BY Josh Robin

Who has the final say over what happens in states? The President, or state governors? It’s a question that has been asked since the beginning of the Republic -- but the COVID-19 pandemic is adding urgency to the matter.

States are beginning to loosen restrictions meant to stop the spread of the deadly virus. But President Trump still has criticized states for not moving quickly enough in opening up. This even as states don’t follow all of the Trump administration’s own benchmarks before ending strict quarantine orders.

Read More

Hamilton Celebrates Restaurant Week

BY Katie Kapusta

HAMILTON, Ohio—As Governor DeWine announced today, restaurants with outdoor seating will open next Friday and indoor dining spaces will open May 21st. In Hamilton, restaurant owners say they are ready to open for sit-down dining again.

It’s the first-ever restaurant week in Hamilton and the chamber says it’s interesting timing for it. But restaurants like Neal’s Famous BBQ are seeing a lot of business.

Read More

Doctor Creates 'Intubation Box' to Help Fight Virus in Hospitals

BY Sheena Elzie

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Every time Dr. Tina Kummerle walks into the ER, she’s suited up to fight the virus. But now she’s taking it one step further with what looks like a simple plastic box.

“It goes at the head of the bed, the patient would be laying here, it has two openings for you to insert your hands here,” said Kummerle.

Read More

Pandemic Turns Senior Prom Virtual

BY Sheena Elzie

CINCINNATI, Ohio — For high school students everywhere, the end of the year looks a lot different, but one Cincinnati group came together to help them make the most of a now virtual prom.

When a pandemic cancels everything you’re supposed to remember about high school, you can’t help but feel like this.

Read More

BMV Closure Adds More Time to Those Waiting Years

BY Sheena Elzie

CINCINNATI, Ohio — The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is planning to reopen at the end of the month, but the closure is another roadblock for some who’ve already been waiting years.

Karina Cabrera is old enough to drive. She’s 18, but she’s been stuck in the passenger seat for the last two years.

Read More

Elderly Man Survives COVID-19 After Grim Diagnosis

BY Sheena Elzie

CINCINNATI, Ohio — An elderly man who was so sick that doctors thought he would die from the coronavirus, is making a surprising recovery.

The day 76-year-old Gary Campbell was released from the hospital is one he never thought he’d see. It was a recovery he never thought he’d make, and the home and family he never thought he’d spend time with again after he went on a cruise and came back sick with the coronavirus.

Read More

$300 Million in Cuts to Education Raise Eyebrows

BY Tonisha Johnson

OHIO — Hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts and disruptions to learning as a result of COVID-19 has school districts across the state trying to figure out how they’re going to weather the storm. As Governor DeWine noted yesterday, it’s raining. The state has to make up for three-quarters of a billion dollars lost since the pandemic struck.

In a matter of minutes, public school districts across Ohio learned they’d see less money. That’s money to educate Ohio’s children in grades K-12.

Read More

Fairlawn Boutique to Reopen With Safety Measures

BY Rachele Mongiovi

FAIRLAWN, Ohio — Retail stores will begin reopening in the state starting Tuesday, May 12 as part of Governor Mike DeWine's Responsible Restart Ohio plan.

While stores will be implementing new safety precautions, some businesses wonder if that will be enough to bring shoppers in.

Read More

How Coronavirus is Impacting Housing Security

BY Taylor Popielarz

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Housing security in the Buckeye State was an issue long before the coronavirus.

A 2019 report by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency said one in four renters “spend at least half of their income on rent and utilities.”

Read More

Columbus-Based Milspin Invents 'Key' to Flatten Curve

BY Dennis Biviano

COLUMBUS, Ohio — We introduced you to Dana and Chet Peters — brothers and both Marine Corps veterans — last year when they told us about their Columbus based metal company, Milspin, that makes everything from custom grill grates to firearm and motorcycle accessories.

But the brothers may have found a new niche with their brass Covid Key, which they say is the "key" to help flatten the curve.

Read More

Freestore Foodbank Sees Doubled Donations on Giving Tuesday Now

BY Tino Bovenzi

DAYTON, Ohio — The Freestore Foodbank has distributed a million pounds of food on average for the past six weeks — when Ohio’s Stay Home order was issued.

On Tuesday, outside of Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, with help from the National Guard, they expected to help 1,000 families during an emergency food box donation. As boxes of food were loaded up, recipients showed their gratitude. “I thank each and every last one of them for their service,” Cincinnati resident Jackie said. “Yes I do.” And on Giving Tuesday Now, The Freestore Foodbank saw doubled donation efforts. “Every day at Freestore Foodbank we consider it a giving day certainly,” Donor Relations Officer for the Freestore Foodbank Jean Reisinger Coggan said. "Our generous donors make it possible to, for us to be here and distribute food to the neighbors who need it most. But especially today, gifts are being doubled on Giving Tuesday. That’s thanks to the Rettig Foundation Trust. And they’ll match all gifts today up to $150,000.” She said half the people in line at the Freestore Foodbank had never used the services before. Jackie is one of them — and as a grandmother of 4 — food is going fast. “I’m a food server so I’m off work,” Jackie said. “It’s different, that’s for sure. We’re going through a whole lot. Different things, teaching the kids at home, they’re home more and you gotta keep em busy. It’s been difficult.” One dollar typically provides three meals for families in need, but Tuesday it stretched to six. Freestore Foodbank President and CEO Kurt Reiber said the foodbank is grateful for all the support they are receiving through the pandemic, but the need isn’t going away. “The challenge that we have right now is that we have so many families that continue to feel the need,” Reiber said. “While we had some folks receive the stimulus checks that they received, those dollars are being spent already. So we’re probably going to see an uptick in demand through the month of May as well as June.” And as the demand continues to increase, donations become more and more important, because they allow for the foodbank to continue to meet the needs of the Cincinnati community. “They’re not just giving food right now, they’re really giving hope,” Reisinger Coggan said. To donate to the Freestore Foodbank, visit their website and click "donate." For a list of emergency food distributions this week, click here.

Read More

Ohio School Districts Offering Wi-Fi Access Through School Buses

BY Camri Nelson

DAYTON, Ohio — In an effort to reach students who don’t have access to WiFi, Dayton Public Schools is now offering students free access through its school buses.

“The initiative started when we realized that many of our students did not have access to WiFi on a regular basis,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, Dayton Public Schools superintendent. “So we worked with our IT Department and transportation department and ordered WiFi and an antenna that could be placed into each one of the buses.”

Read More

National Nurses Week Even More Celebrated This Year

BY Alexa Maslowski

CLEVELAND, Ohio — It is National Nurses Week — a yearly reminder of the commitment, hard work and compassion of nurses.

But this year, there's more to recognize as nurses are on the front lines battling the coronavirus. For each and every one of us, throughout our lives, nurses are right there. “I mean you have nurses to take care of people in the beginning of life, all the way to the end of life. And that's intimate and special,” said Ann Fiorta, a nurse in a step down unit at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Nurses work long shifts on their feet. Sometimes missing holidays or milestone events to care for others.

Read More

Attorney General Warns Parents About Cyber Predators

BY Tonisha Johnson

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's a known fact that kids are using technology at a much higher rate these days since they're not in school buildings. But Attorney General Dave Yost said, "When they're using devices, they're not alone. I don't mean to minimize the danger on the street, but really the bad guys aren't out there in the bushes. They're in your kids tablet or your phone."

Yost is very concerned because reporting of crimes involving kids shifted.

Read More

NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter Talks 'Project Isaiah'

BY Spectrum News Staff

CANTON, Ohio —The Pro Football Hall of Fame is teaming up with a company that provides prepackaged food for the airline industry in a nationwide effort to feed families in need during the pandemic.

“Project Isaiah” has been delivering over 250,000 free boxed meals per week to those affected by this health crisis. The project has also saved hundreds of jobs.

Read More

Ongoing Debate Over Local Governments Getting More COVID-19 Relief

BY Taylor Popielarz

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Even before Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) floated the idea of states filing for bankruptcy instead of getting more coronavirus relief money from Washington, some Ohio Republicans were making clear that the need for help at the local level is there.

“I’d like to see that money flow straight through to cities and counties and towns, regardless of size,” Representative Steve Stivers (R, 15th Congressional District) said in an interview over Skype on April 21.

Read More

Dentistries Back Open for Full Service With New Safety Measures in Place

BY Tino Bovenzi

DAYTON, Ohio — At Dayton Dental Collaborative, operations are back open in full swing, but there are new safety measures in place. And so far, on the first day of being back open, the team is very optimistic.

It’s a step toward returning to normal life. These are the first patients receiving standard services at this office in Dayton since March 16. Hygienist Tabitha Whitaker is happy to be back in action. “We’re really excited,” Whitaker said. “I think it feel really good to see the patients again. I know they really need us right now.” To ensure patients and staff stay safe, new precautions are in place. First you’ll notice an empty waiting room. That’s because patients are outside waiting in their cars. They call the office to check in. Then, when it’s their time to be seen, they receive a phone call. “I’m meeting them in the vestibule area, we’re getting their temperature, they’re coming straight to the back, that way there is no contact in our reception area,” Whitaker said. Dentist Randi Butler says their strongest safeguard in place happens before patients even pull onto the parking lot — pre-screening for any COVID-19 symptoms. “We absolutely are not seeing anybody that has had any of those concerns,” Butler said. "Our main concern is keeping everybody safe.” A big concern in the dental community comes from the spray of saliva from patient’s mouths, better know as aerosol — which can linger in the air for hours. But with added levels of PPE, like face-shields, and dental tools like the ReLeaf suction device and Isolites, this dentistry is using everything at their disposal to stay safe. “(Isolites) eliminates 90 percent of the aerosols in the air for our patients,” Whitaker said. “So, that’s really key that we’re doing differently in the back. Just to make sure that there’s no air, no spit, saliva in the air for patients to come into contact with.” They’re also doing extra cleaning once a patient leaves the office.

Read More

Antibody Testing Now Available in Dayton

BY Camri Nelson

DAYTON, Ohio — A long line of cars were at a standstill outside the University of Dayton Arena Monday morning, as many people waited to get their antibody testing done.

Through a partnership between Premier Health, Fidelity Health Care, CompuNet, and the university, people can pay $65 to get their blood drawn to see if they’ve ever contracted the virus, cleared the disease, and had an appropriate immune response to it.

Read More

Health App Helps Providers Access Records Easier

BY Ryan Schmelz

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Doctor Kenneth Hill has strong ties to the Buckeye State. "I grew up in southeast Ohio and Jackson County, Oak Hill. My mom now lives in Columbus, Ohio. My wife did her residency in Cincinnati at Cincinnati Children’s, so we have quite a, quite a few ties to Ohio,” said Dr. Hill, MD, FAANS. The neurosurgeon now lives in Jacksonville, Florida, but hopes to introduce the new app in his home state. He and his wife created it to help healthcare workers and patients.

"it really was just my wife and I sitting around the table many moons ago saying, ‘what is the inefficiencies?'" "It really was the fact that if somebody comes to see me and they show up on time but don’t have their papers filled out, I will still see them, but then that puts them, you know, 20-35, maybe even 45 minutes behind," Hill said. The smartphone app converts the person’s health history into a QR code so the healthcare provider can simply scan it, and transfer the paperwork. "The standard questions associated with COVID-19 are in the app already. That’s just the way that we created it before. But now, because that process goes down to 15 seconds, that face to face contact time goes down,” said Hill. The app allows you to put family members and even pets on the app.

Read More

Sigma Gamma Rho Show Appreciation for Frontline Workers

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, OHIO — For over a week now, the Epsilon Lambda Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated has been donating breakfast to medical and treatment centers across the Cincinnati-area.

“We took the initiative to actually recognize those facilities to let them know that we appreciate the frontline workers,” said La'Shaunda Ewing, the Epsilon Lambda Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho President. So far, they have donated breakfast to medical professionals in six locations, including UC Medical Center in West Chester, Haven Behavioral Hospital, and Christ Hospital. And just recently they stopped by the Sunrise Treatment Center. With the rise in opioid addiction in Cincinnati, this treatment center has been extremely busy. The staff say they are truly appreciative of this act of kindness. “It’s very heartwarming that people in the community recognize that some of us are still out here seeing people face-to-face every day and trying to take care of those who need the care,” said Dwight Richard, Sunrise Treatment Center clinical director. “It feels great to know that there are people in the community that appreciate what we’re doing,” said Anita Covington, Sunrise Treatment Center dispensing nurse. Ewing says showing their appreciation towards these frontline workers is so important. “Sigma Gamma Rho lines up with them that our motto is ‘Greater Service, Greater Progress,’” she said. "This service that they’re providing allows our community to continue to progress. We appreciate their sacrifice. We appreciate the long hours. For some of them, they are actually the last person. Some people may die and they’re the ones that are holding their hand through that process.” They completed their last breakfast donation on Wednesday, but their work is still not done. “We’re looking within ourselves, but we’re also looking at potentially doing some of the other frontline, so firefighters might be an example of some stations that we will do to show them that we appreciate them,” said Ewing.

Read More

Reopening Ohio Safely with Help of Aggressive Testing

BY Tonisha Johnson

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Now that construction is back on track, with retail following on May 12, Ohioans can expect to see more testing across the state — giving health officials the latitude to test as many as 22,000 people each day.

"It allows us to quickly identify individuals infected with COVID-19, promptly isolate them and determine who they've been in close contact with," said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

Read More

With More Americans Out of Work, How Likely is a Second Stimulus Check?

BY Spectrum News Staff

NATIONWIDE -- Americans began receiving $1,200 stimulus checks from the government in mid-April. While they were certainly a helpful Band-Aid, not everyone has received their checks yet, and many more are hoping for a second round of financial aid.

While several states, including Texas, have moved to reopen their economies in phases, the fact is millions of Americans filed for unemployment last week alone, bringing the total to roughly 30 million since mid-March.

Read More

Congress Debates Whether More Coronavirus Relief Needed

BY Taylor Popielarz

WASHINGTON, D.C. — If you haven’t been keeping track, let me catch you up.

To date, Congress has passed four bills that President Trump has signed into law that dedicated about $3 trillion to fight the coronavirus pandemic through testing, small business relief, direct cash payments, and more.

Read More

AAA Expects Increase in Road Assistance Requests as Ohio Reopens

BY Enrique Correa

ELYRIA, Ohio — As Ohioans begin returning to work, AAA expects an increase in the need for roadside assistance across the state.

“Today we’ve been extremely busy. Call volume is not totally in yet today, but we are probably up at least 25 percent over last Monday” said Rocky Kelley, owner, Mug’s Elyria Towing.

Read More

Employees Concerned About Returning to Work

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Since 2006, a 66-year-old man has been struggling with uncontrollable diabetes. Combine that with a bad cough he’s had for the last two years, and he’s concerned about going back to work.

Not wanting to reveal his name or employer – he’s asked Spectrum News 1 to refer to him by his initials "P.S."

Read More

Fire Departments Get Creative to Disinfect Stations

BY Ryan Schmelz

NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio — Like many fire stations across the country, Newburgh Heights has to keep its station and vehicles clean even more than ever.

"I knew that this COVID-19 is going to go on for 12 to 18 months, and so we had to come up with a way to solve making sure the station is disinfected and our apparatus for the protection of our firefighters and then also our residents, knowing that we’re maintaining disinfecting our squads and our apparatus," said Brian Higginbotham, fire chief for the Newburgh Heights Fire Department. "They (the company) were charging $25 a vehicle and then $450 for the station. So obviously, we do it once a week, so if you do this once a week, you know, in a month’s time, obviously you know you’re talking about $1800 to $2200 and that’s something I can’t afford out of our budget." And with cleaning supplies like wipes in short supply, Higginbotham had to get creative. He researched what other fire stations were doing, and decided to start using a Wagner airless sprayer and Zep DZ-7 chemicals. After attaching the disinfectant to the spray gun, cleaning moves fast and effectively. "It saves us time. If we catch a COVID-19 call, once we come back here at our station, we’ll switch them out, disinfect the squad completely, 100 percent, and then rotate the squads," said Higginbotham. And Higginbotham’s creative mind isn’t just helping his own crew. After the city posted a video of the cleaning process on its Facebook, other departments around the area have started to reach out. "I’m just trying to help people out. There’s no way we can continue to have a company come in for 12 to 18 months disinfecting the station and our apparatus. Our budget is so tight here at the Newburgh Heights Fire Department that I have to find ways to keep our cost down and this was one way of us doing it ourselves," Higginbotham said. It's a creative way of saving money — and potentially saving lives.

Read More

NEO Company, NASA Developing Decontamination System

BY Rachele Mongiovi

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland's NASA Glenn Research Center has joined the fight against the coronavirus. It's collaborating with Kent-based company Emergency Products and Research to create a fogging system called AMBUstat G2.

The product can be used to decontaminate ambulances and other public spaces in under an hour. "This is something that you do when the space is empty, and you have a crew who will basically fog the classroom, you have to let the, the mist go in the room, you have to let it sit there and, so it has time to kill the microbes, the bacteria, the viruses. And then after that, you have to let the ventilation aerate, the room and make sure that everything is evaporated before people can go back in," said Marit Meyer, research aerospace engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center. AMBUstat G2 is supposed to kill pathogens, such as the coronavirus, that are floating in the air.

Read More

FC Cincinnati Waiting for Return, Continuing Stadium Construction

BY Tino Bovenzi

CINCINNATI, Ohio — FC Cincinnati were preparing for their home opener when everything changed and games were postponed for the foreseeable future. That shutdown has created a financial ripple effect for one of MLS’s newest franchises — one that caused the team to freeze all internal spending.

With no home games being played, the team is losing 90 percent of the revenue it would normally see. So the club has implemented cost-cutting measures, including all executives taking up to a 15 percent reduction in salary.

Read More

ODNR Gives Ohioans Virtual Tools to Connect with State's Great Outdoors

BY Enrique Correa

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Most of the trails around the Buckeye State are still open during this health crisis. But if you don’t feel like leaving your home, don’t worry because there are some state park online programs being offered to make you feel like your enjoying the great outdoors.

Some trails across Ohio are still open for business event hough their facilities like bathrooms and other amenities will remain closed during the Stay Safe Ohio Order.

Read More

Drive-In Movie Theater Hopes To Host Graduations

BY Katie Kapusta

CINCINNATI, Ohio—While many high school students are missing out on typical graduation ceremonies, schools are thinking outside of the box to still make graduation as memorable as possible.

The Starlite Drive-In movie theater in Cincinnati is trying to be creative. They said they came up with an idea for drive in movie theater high school graduations. But they said they’re getting mixed signals between the Governor and the Ohio Department of Education.

Read More

Central Ohio Artists Join Forces to Uplift Community

BY Dennis Biviano

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In this time of quarantine, Gravity Uplifts coordinator and artist Adam Brouillette says he wanted to inspire first responders and passersby with a thoughtful, and creative mural.

“I knew this was going to be on the riverfront, the Santa Maria used to be down here, sort of like a homage to Columbus on the riverfront. But a kind of reminder to people to just keep going,” said Gravity Uplifts organizer, Adam Brouillette.

Read More

The Case for Continuing Summer Internships Remotely

BY Tino Bovenzi

CINCINNATI, Ohio — With the coronavirus cancelling in-person classes this summer at Ohio Universities, a cloud hangs over internship programs that students need to complete in order to graduate or find employment after graduation.

As precautions to limit person to person contact continue through social distancing practices, college students looking for a summer internship have a cloud of doubt hanging over them. “Internships are an important way that careers get started,” NextUp Solutions CEO Steve Cooper said. “And they’re an important way for members to get introduced to your workforce.” He said although most summer events are cancelled, internships shouldn’t be put on hold, but rather transitioned online. Adding, students shouldn’t feel reluctant to apply for an internship they need. “Everyone has some form of imposter syndrome, of course,” Cooper said. “Feeling like you’re underqualified or unqualified for something. Just because door number one may have closed for you, don’t give up. Realize there are a whole lot more doors opening and maybe it was meant for you to be a part of a different internship." His company NextUp Solutions, who has the third-best technology internship in the country, is moving forward with plans to allow students the chance to carry their internships remotely. “When we’re building software, for example, for our clients, we’re doing them with college students on campus, and now we’re doing them remotely,” he said. “They are obviously connecting to us, to our centers, they’re being mentored by us remotely. Now they’re supporting our clients remotely.” NextUp Solutions was one of several companies that hosted a webinar with the University of Cincinnati to recruit students into internships and co-op internship opportunities this summer. 266 people attended the session virtually. One student from Virginia Tech, Katheryn Osmond, who’s a graduating senior, has been working with NextUp’s Exelaration Center for nearly two years. She said that experience has proven to be invaluable, as it’s led to her lining up a job directly after college. “Honestly it’s given me such professional skills that I wouldn’t have had if hadn’t of had it,” Osmond said. “I’m just incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve been given and all the things I’ve been able to learn before I even graduate.” Cooper said while the pandemic is serious, and businesses should take every precaution necessary to keep employees and interns safe, they shouldn’t be deterred by today’s state of affairs. Rather, they should find new ways to adapt and encourage students to take interest, because they are the future of their workforce. "If you introduce them to an enriching career, a great boss, an engaging culture right now through an internship, they will seek that as their future employer and not be distracted by the shiny objects, which are the glamour employers, if you will,” he said.

Read More

Cincinnati College Hosts Drive-in Commencement Ceremony

BY Camri Nelson

CINCINNATI, Ohio– On Saturday morning, Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences held it’s first-ever Drive-In Commencement Ceremony. This is an event that many students were really looking forward to.

One of those graduates Angela Brown who earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She says her 4-year journey to this day was a little challenging.

Read More

Ohio Colleges Prepare for Future

BY Ryan Schmelz

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — College and university leaders across the state are facing tough challenges these days as they plan for summer and fall semesters in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Senior Director of Communications Services at Ohio University Carly Leatherwood said, "We are looking at the possibility of offering required clinical experiences, practica, or other face-to-face experiences, especially during the second session of our summer semester." Several college campuses across the state have already decided to offer remote or online classes this summer. Plans for the fall semester are underway. "We work in partnership with federal, state and local public health officials in our decision making," said Leatherwood. She also pointed out that Ohio University coordinates with the other public institutions of higher education across the state. The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) advises and supports the state's private, nonprofit colleges and universities. The organization's president and general counsel, C. Todd Jones, says many of the AICUO member schools are planning for the future.

Read More

Parent Honors Class of 2020 Through 'Adopt a Senior' Facebook Page

BY Tonisha Johnson

COLUMBUS, Ohio — One central Ohio mom is making sure graduating high school seniors from Columbus are not being left out when it comes to honoring them. It's all happening through the Adopt a Senior project.

17-year-old Roy Pace spends his afternoon finishing up his anatomy homework. The South High School senior and College Credit Plus student was slated to walk across the stage at the end of this month.

Read More

Wearable Thermometer Aids Battle Against COVID-19

BY Dennis Biviano

DAYTON, Ohio — For Tempagenix co-owners April Pollock and Shelly Heller, their disposable paper forehead strips are just what the doctor ordered during the coronavirus pandemic.

Their company started in 2016, and in the last two months they went from $300,000 in annual revenue, to nearly $4 million in business already in 2020. And demand continues to be through the roof.

Read More

Face Shields That Say Thanks

BY Karlynn Wells

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Thank you — two simple words. But for many, saying them isn’t enough to show appreciation to healthcare workers during this coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of people are showing their thanks by supporting the “Face Shields That Say Thanks” charity initiative started by Youngstown-based non-profit Advanced Methods in Innovation.

Read More

Cincinnati Homicides Rise by 115 Percent

BY Tino Bovenzi

CINCINNATI, Ohio — Homicides are dramatically rising in Cincinnati. Over the first four months of this year the city has seen 28 homicides — 25 of which were gun-related. And with this new data, many questions arise.

Primarily, how can this be possible with a pandemic ongoing — causing most people to stay at home? Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said that in itself could be the answer. “There are a few individuals that have decided to capitalize on this opportunity and this is the way it’s manifesting itself,” Isaac said. Violent crime overall in Cincinnati is up 18 percent compared to last year, and shootings have risen by 52 percent. Isaac said police are doing their best to control the situation, as arrests have been made in nearly 70 percent of cases — but preventing violent outcomes has been a challenge. “I think cities that typically struggle with violent crimes are struggling even greater during this pandemic,” said Isaac. But data from police departments from around the state paints a different picture — one that shows Cincinnati stands alone. In Dayton there have been nine homicides this year so far, up from eight over the same period in 2019.

Read More

Navigating Life's Battlefields with Major Joshua Mantz

BY Dennis Biviano

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Major Joshua Mantz' personal story is one of service, trauma, isolation and empowerment.

In 2007 while serving in the Iraq War for the 1st Cavalry Division, he was shot and nearly killed when a sniper bullet struck a major artery in his leg.

Read More

For Some, Banana Bread is the Recipe for Pandemic Comfort

BY Spectrum News Staff

NATIONWIDE — Banana bread has seen a rise in popularity around the world as people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Google Trends, searches for banana bread spiked in March of 2020. Banana bread also held steady into April as a popular topic on social media.

Read More

Dr. Fauci: Second Wave of Coronavirus Inevitable

BY Dawn Okoro
UPDATED 10:53 AM ET May. 01, 2020

NATIONWIDE — As states begin to loosen stay-at-home orders and business restrictions, U.S. health officials warn of a possible second wave of the coronavirus later this year.

While workers and businesses are looking forward to getting the economy going again, many people are also concerned about safety since widespread testing and a vaccine for the virus aren’t available yet.

Read More

Kids Breakin' Out of COVID-19 Blues

BY Tonisha Johnson

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Breakin' or breakdancing, as many people call it, is keeping some kids occupied and on their toes while school buildings are closed. And it's all with the help of a central Ohio dance instructor who shifted his studio classes online in an effort to help kids and give parents a break.

Growing up, James Alexander always wanted to be an elementary school teacher. But he didn't know breakin', often called breakdancing, would have his heart too. Unsure of what to do, he decided to merge the two together one day. Now with his studio closed because of COVID-19, it's those two passions that have moved him beyond the studio and onto another platform. Dance instructor James Alexander starts his Thursday night class. "Okay Everybody Up." Usually, he gets his students ready to dance with a quick life lesson first and then a warmup in the studio, But for now, he's helping them do it on hardwood, carpet and even cardboard — each one, in their own homes virtually. The dance they're working on is not just doing any dance — they're breakin'. It's something that comes from the hip hop culture, which means to break out and dance. Watching their moves from his computer, Alexander said he's been teaching kids to dance for more than a decade in Columbus. For these kids right now, the fancy footwork is taking their mind off of COVID-19 as they finish up the school year. Giving quick critques and comments to students, "Okay nice, lookin' good guys," Dancer, Kasim McCarthy-Brown said, "It makes me feel like I have power so I can get through my work really fast."

Read More

Super Sipper Saturday Supports Ohio's Wineries

BY Enrique Correa

WOOSTER, Ohio — Wineries across Ohio are seeking support during this health crisis.

“There’s a good chance that some wineries are not going to survive this, along with other businesses,” said Jim Borton.

Read More

Dozens of Summer Events Canceled in Downtown Akron

BY Rachele Mongiovi

AKRON, Ohio — Every summer, the outdoor venue Lock 3 in Akron is home to some of the city's largest events, concerts and festivals. However, with the spread of COVID-19, dozens of events are now canceled.

"We just didn't feel that it was prudent from a public health perspective to be in the business of large group festivals and gatherings and concerts as a city," said James Hardy, deputy mayor for Integrated Development, City of Akron.

Read More

Ohio to Extend Restrictions to May 29

BY Spectrum News Staff
UPDATED 6:00 AM ET May. 01, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has extended Ohio's Stay Safe Ohio order for another month.

In the order signed by Dr. Acton just before 10 p.m. Thursday, she wrote:

Read More

DeWine Extends Ohio Stay-At-Home Order

BY Spectrum News Staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just a day before Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order is set to expire, he announced he is extending the order to a date not yet specified.

The order was due to end May 1. The new order will be extended with exceptions for businesses and industries that were scheduled to reopen.

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)