Nearly 2,200 COVID-19 cases confirmed in state


By Andrew Welsh-Huggins - Associated Press



COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine ordered mandatory weekly online reporting of ventilator availability, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency ordered water systems to reconnect customers disconnected as of Jan. 1.

A look at coronavirus-related developments in Ohio on Tuesday:

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CARE

DeWine ordered mandatory weekly online reporting of ventilator manufacturing, distribution, retail supplies and overall availability, in case the state needs to move supplies around quickly.

The Columbus mayor, the local homeless board and the YMCA plan to open a shelter to house homeless people who have COVID-19 but don’t require hospitalization.

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CASES

Nearly 2,200 cases are confirmed, with 55 deaths as of Tuesday and nearly 600 people hospitalized, officials reported. That doesn’t reflect all cases in Ohio, because the state limits testing to those who are hospitalized and to health care workers.

For most people, COVID-19 displays mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can be more severe, causing pneumonia or death.

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ECONOMY

State utility regulators have extended programs to help people with cold weather-related utility bills. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency director ordered water systems to reconnect anyone whose water was disconnected after Jan. 1.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said property and casualty insurance companies, which coverage damage to property and belongings, have been told they must provide a 60-day grace period before canceling policies for nonpayment.

The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, a coalition of manufacturers and hospitals, is urging companies to produce personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns and face shields.

Attorney General Dave Yost urged Ohioans to be careful of scams as federal stimulus payments begin to arrive, such as groups promising faster payment for a fee.

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PRISONS

The federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed two inmates at a federal prison in Elkton in eastern Ohio have tested positive. The Columbiana County Health Department is working with the prison, according to The Review.

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EDUCATION

Miami University will have a “virtual recognition” of graduates on May 16 and in-person recognition of 2020 graduates Sept. 11-13.

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ABORTION ACCESS

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is considering an appeal or issuing a newer, narrower order regarding elective surgeries and abortions. A federal judge ruled late Monday that a state order banning elective surgeries is unconstitutional if it prevents abortions from being carried out.

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ELECTION

The state is expected to respond to a Monday lawsuit by voting rights groups suing to extend Ohio primary election voting past the new April 28 date set last week.

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THE NEW NORMAL

In Lorain, a man shot in the leg March 29 was charged by police with violating Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order after he couldn’t give a good reason for being outside, according to The Morning Journal.

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By Andrew Welsh-Huggins

Associated Press