Marlene Harris-Taylor

Ways to Connect

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
John Minchillo / Associated Press

The isolation and stress brought on by COVID-19 have been particularly difficult for people fighting drug addiction. When Ohio shut down in March, nonprofits that offer services to people with substance use issues had to change the way they operate to keep the virus at bay.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced Wednesday the state has received enough remdesivir from the federal government to treat about 100 patients.

The antiviral drug has shown promise treating COVID-19 patients and received Emergency Use Authorization recently from the Food and Drug Administration.

People who have put off a medical check-up or procedures due to the coronavirus can begin to make appointments again starting Friday May 1, 2020. There are several changes in store, however, for patients when they arrive for medical visits.

The first phase of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s reopening plan includes allowing elective procedures and in-person doctor visits. Elective surgeries involving an overnight hospital stay are allowed under some specific conditions, such as if the patient is in extreme pain.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday a partial rollback on his ban on elective medical procedures in Ohio — the same day University Hospitals announced staff pay cuts. Less than 24 hours later, UH also said it plans to shut down some emergency services by the end of the month.

Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Summit County come from one retirement community.

Ohio Living Rockynol in Akron has seen seven residents die from the infection, said Melissa Dardinger, spokesperson for Ohio Living.

“I do believe those deaths occurred in the hospital, not onsite at Ohio Living Rockynol,” Dardinger said.

Even as Ohioans try to stay home to flatten the coronavirus curve, grocery stores are open and essential for food and other necessities.

A Case Western Reserve University scientist says she has observed behavior in local stores that she finds troubling. As people are doing their best to social distance and lessen the spread of the virus, she says some mistakes are being made in the process.

Ideastream host Glenn Forbes spoke with health reporter Marlene Harris-Taylor about ways people can stay safe while they shop.  

Updated at 11:14 a.m., Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Cleveland-area hospitals are ramping up coronavirus testing and area residents are responding in droves.

Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals opened a new drive-thru testing center, at the UH Landerbrook Health Center in Mayfield Heights on Tuesday. This is in addition to the original site which opened Saturday near University Circle.

Updated 5:00 p.m., Thursday, March 12, 2020

Cleveland Clinic can now test for the coronavirus without sending specimens to an outside lab.

Clinic officials called this a game changer because they can now get tests results in hours, instead of waiting days.  The clinic’s pathology lab director Brian Rubin said they are able to run about 500 specimens a day and hope to ramp up to 1000 per day by next week.

There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio, but health officials are preparing for a possible outbreak in the state. Nursing homes, with large senior populations, will likely be ground zero, based on what has happened in other states.

Summit County Judge Alison McCarty put herself under self-quaratine after returning from Italy.
Alison McCarty / Facebook

A Summit County Common Pleas judge has decided to self-quarantine after recently returning from Italy, where there are several hundred reported cases of the coronavirus and multiple deaths.

The Trump Administration is encouraging Ohio and other states to adopt a new federal proposal that would cap Medicaid spending and potentially save money.

State lawmakers have not indiciated if Ohio's Medicaid program will embrace block grants as an alternate way to pay for the health insurance program.

Proponents say the block grants will provide more flexibility for states. Critics say the plan, which was rolled out last week, would simply pass costs along to low-income recipients and might discourage them from getting medical care.

Updated: 11:28 am Friday January 24, 2020

The Cleveland Clinic has begun screening all patients who have traveled to China for symptoms of the coronavirus, according to a spokesperson. MetroHealth confirmed Friday that they are also screening patients for symptoms if they've been to China in the past two weeks. University Hospitals reports they are working on a travel screening protocol for their ERs, as well as putting out guidance for clinicians on screening and patient/employee safety. 

Private insurance companies in Ohio are now required to cover doctor visits over the phone or on the computer.

The recently approved state budget includes a provision requiring insurance companies to cover remote doctor visits called telemedicine.

Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed the two-year budget bill July 18. Authorization of telehelath coverage is just one of the many state programs the sweeping $69 billion document covers.

Solon resident Jodi Creasap Gee had just relocated to the Cleveland area from Missouri with her husband and three kids when her 5-year-old daughter cut her foot. 

The house was still in disarray and the kids were playing when her daughter came into the kitchen screaming, Creasap Gee said.

“There was just a trail of blood behind her. Her foot’s all bloody and I’m going, ‘oh no.' I don’t even know where to go because we just moved here, and it’s a Sunday,” she said.

The State Medical Board of Ohio has delayed  adding autism spectrum disorder and anxiety to the list of qualifying conditions for the medical marijuana program.

The board met June 12 in Columbus to consider adding several new medical conditions to the program.

The 12-member board rejected petitions to include depression, insomnia and opioid use disorder in Ohio’s medical cannabis program, said board spokesman Tessie Pollack. However, the board tabled the vote on anxiety and autism spectrum disorder, Pollack said.

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