Morning Headlines: Wayne Rises on COVID-19 Alert Map, Lorain Drops; CLE Officer Dies in Shooting
Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 4:
- Cleveland officer dies in shooting
- Wayne County added to red alert COVID-19 status, Lorain drops to yellow
- Ohio State, Miami University report hundreds of new COVID-19 cases
- State launches effort to test wastewater for coronavirus
- Summa Health gets upgraded financial outlook
- DeWine signs COVID-19 reporting order for K-12 schools
- Ex-Ohio House speaker pleads not guilty to bribery scheme
- Pop-up coronavirus testing site open in Akron next weekend
Cleveland officer dies in shooting
A Cleveland police officer was killed after a shooting and car crash last night on the city's West Side. Cleveland.com reports Det. James Skernivitz, 53, had been on the force for more than 20 years. Police say a second person, who was not a police officer but was in the officer’s car, also died in the shooting. He has not been identified. Police say no arrests have been made and aren’t releasing any other details.
Wayne County rises to red alert status, Lorain drops to yellow
Seven Ohio counties remain in red on the state’s COVID-19 alert map. In Northeast Ohio, that includes Wayne County for the first time. State health officials say the outbreaks stem from churches, long-term care facilities and some businesses. Meanwhile, Lorain County dropped two levels, from red to yellow, joining 39 Ohio counties at that Level 1 status. However, the rate of new cases across the state has shot up this week with the highest numbers seen since mid-July. There were also 50 deaths reported Thursday, the highest figure since June. Gov. Mike DeWine continues to warn Ohioans to avoid large gatherings over the Labor weekend holiday.
Ohio State, Miami University report hundreds of new COVID-19 cases
Colleges are continuing to report COVID-19 cases on campuses. Ohio State University reported 882 cases through Monday. There have been 700 cases at Miami University of Ohio. The University of Akron, however, reported just one new case in the last week, according to its updated COVID-19 dashboard. The university is providing testing to symptomatic students only. Kent State University's dashboard reports 12 cases for the week of August 24. Its next update comes Monday.
State launches effort to test wastewater for coronavirus
The state of Ohio has launched a new effort to track the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio is now testing wastewater from 22 treatment systems across the state. DeWine says it will provide an early warning of infections by finding fragments of viral genetic material. The data can be found on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Summa Health gets upgraded financial outlook
After some rocky years, Akron’s Summa Health system seems to be back on firm financial footing. The Beacon Journal reports that two national ratings agencies, Moody’s Investors and Fitch Ratings, recently upgraded their outlook for Summa. According to Moody’s the systems bond rating remains steady due to Summa’s positive cash flow and strong recovery from the COVID-19 slowdown. Summa had been in financial freefall just a few years ago after losing its accreditation as a teaching hospital for emergency room residents and the forced resignation of former CEO Thomas Moody.
DeWine signs COVID-19 reporting order for K-12 schools
As many Ohio kids go back to in-person classes, Gov. Mike DeWine says it’s important for Ohio’s students, parents and communities know about coronavirus spread. So, he’s signed an order to require better reporting in schools starting Tuesday. DeWine’s order requires that parents notify schools if their child tests positive for COVID-19. It also encourages schools to notify parents if there is a positive case in their child’s school building. And he says that information should be made available to the public on the state’s coronavirus website. He says he wants to protect privacy but says it’s important for Ohioans to have enough information so they can make the right decisions for their families. Schools that are all virtual but have students playing sports are required to report too.
Ex-Ohio House speaker pleads not guilty to bribery scheme
The former speaker of the Ohio House has pleaded not guilty to a federal corruption charge stemming from an alleged bribery scheme. Republican Rep. Larry Householder and four others are accused of shepherding $60 million in energy company money for personal and political use in exchange for passing a legislative bailout of two aging nuclear plants. Householder entered the not guilty plea during a brief hearing Thursday before a federal magistrate judge. The former speaker said Tuesday in his first public comments that he is innocent and expects to be exonerated. He's represented by two Cleveland attorneys.
Pop-up coronavirus testing site in Akron next weekend
A pop-up coronavirus testing site will be set up in Akron next weekend. The Ohio Department of Health and Summit County Public Health say testing will take place in front of the Chapel Hill Mall Sept. 12 and 13. No appointment is needed. Testing is free for those without insurance.
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