Anna Huntsman

Anna Huntsman is a senior broadcast journalism student at Kent State with experience reporting for radio, television and digital platforms. She reports for the Ohio News Connection, Ohio's branch of the Public News Service, and helps run the weekend assignment desk at WKYC. Anna served as the General Manager of TV2, Kent State's student-led television station, during the 2017-18 school year. A Canton native, she is excited to join the WKSU team and tell stories in the Northeast Ohio community. 


Columbus joined several other Ohio cities in requiring masks in public spaces. The Columbus mask mandate begins Friday. Akron may soon follow.

“This is about science. This is not about politics,” said Akron Ward 5 councilwoman Tara Mosley-Samples.

“I think that they have politicized it so much that we are ignoring the science here, and the science says we have a problem,” said Samples.

More than 20 Ohio state legislators are calling for an end to the use of tear gas and other chemical agents to disperse crowds at protests in the state.

The group of Democratic lawmakers signed a letter to the governor saying tear gas and other chemical agents can cause dangerous health effects such as respiratory failure, blindness and miscarriages.

They also said they’re concerned it could exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus.

During the coronavirus pandemic, telemedicine appointments have increased dramatically to keep people away from hospitals and doctors’ offices. State and federal regulations have been relaxed to make these virtual visits more accessible than ever. Some question whether this new framework will be sustainable over the long term.

“Patients really like it, and we like the ease of being able to communicate with our patients, and now that everyone’s adjusting, I think it’s really nice," said Dr. Brittany Myers, a child and adolescent psychologist at MetroHealth.

Some of Ohio's long-term care facilities began outdoor visitation Monday.

After nearly three months, residents in assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities can now visit with their family members outdoors.

“This is such a sweet day, in my mind,” said Nancy Sutula, Vice President of Residential Services at Menorah Park in Beachwood. “Residents are finally being able to physically see their family members and spend some quality time with them.”

Emerging data from COVID-19 cases show skin symptoms are potentially associated with coronavirus infection.

Cleveland Clinic dermatologists Drs. Sarah Young and Anthony Fernandez recently published a study detailing several common skin symptoms in COVID-19 patients, such as hives and rashes. They looked at research from Europe.

Fernandez said he's seen some of these symptoms in patients at the Cleveland Clinic as well.

The increasing use of telehealth appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic has some worried about the loss of the doctor-patient relationship. A new study suggests ways telehealth can actually strengthen that bond and build trust.  

Case Western Reserve University researcher Dr. Kurt Stange contributed to the study, and said the pandemic has presented unique ways for providers to better get to know their patients.

A new study from respiratory researchers finds cloth masks are beneficial in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“This is based on existing research — just to share with everybody that there is a potential scientific basis for using [cloth masks],” said the chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Respiratory Institute Dr. Raed Dweik, who contributed to the study. 

Two hospital systems in Cleveland are offering alternative housing for employees who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic and are concerned about possibly exposing their families to the virus. 

University Hospitals is using a Case Western Reserve University residence hall to temporarily house workers. UH spokesperson George Stamatis said employees at UH Cleveland Medical Center are eligible to stay at the dorm for free for up to four days.

"The lodging is available to all employees of UH Cleveland Medical Center, not only clinical staff," Stamatis said.

The Geauga County Health District has received numerous complaints that some Amish residents in the area are not practicing social distancing, which is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Health Commissioner Tom Quade said some residents have expressed concerns that those in the Amish community are still holding church services, going to school and riding in packed vans, known informally as 'Amish taxis' that transport them to grocery stores or their place of work.

"(The Amish are) not all the way there yet, certainly, but they are making progress," Quade said.

Holmes County is home to 23,000 Amish citizens — nearly half of its total population. The county’s health department is getting the word out to this community about social distancing and COVID-19.

Health Commissioner of the Holmes County General Health District Michael Derr said Amish citizens in the area tend to be more progressive, and they are following media reports about the virus and protective measures.

He said his department sends out mailings with updated COVID-19 information every week to leaders in the community.

Medical personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply nationwide due to a surge of COVID-19 patients. Companies have shifted production to make equipment for the crisis, and individuals are stepping up to sew homemade masks.

One community highly equipped to help meet this need is the Amish.

Volunteers at the May Dugan Center in Ohio City handed out food, clothing and fresh produce to 1,747 people at the outreach organization's drive-thru pantry Wednesday. According to the center's Director of Development Brenda Saridakis, that's about four times the number of people who usually turn out for their monthly pantries.

 “Last week alone, we had over a hundred people calling asking how they can get food," she said. "We’ll take phone calls, and we’ll do whatever that we can to help every individual.”

Public health organizations such as the CDC report older individuals are more susceptible to falling seriously ill from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. But so are those with long-term illnesses, such as people who are living with HIV/AIDS.

"There is a high risk for patients with HIV whose immunity is compromised," said Dr. Elie Saade, Medical Director of Infection Control at University Hospitals. 

Updated: 8:07 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020

State and local health experts are advising caution rather than panic as the novel coronavirus spreads beyond China.

While there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state, it’s “an emerging health threat," Gov. Mike DeWine said at a press conference at MetroHealth Medical Center Thursday.

A Whirlpool plant in Clyde, Ohio.
Whirlpool

Eight Ohio companies rank among the worst 100 industrial facilities in the country emitting toxic fumes in heavily-populated areas, according to a report released Wednesday. Emissions include chromium, nickel and copper, which are considered hazardous for human health by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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