Coronavirus In Ohio: July 5-August 23

WOSU is providing updates about the coronavirus and COVID-19 in Ohio. Find the most recent news and information below.

Ohio by the numbers, according to the Ohio Department of Health:

  • 3,978 COVID-19-related deaths, 281 of those probable 
  • 114,802 cases of COVID-19, 6,067 of those probable 
  • 12,800 people hospitalized, 2,878 in ICU
  • 1,977,822 total tests administered

All of WOSU’s coverage of the coronavirus outbreak can be found here.

If you think you have coronavirus, or have questions about the disease, Ohio's coronavirus call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Has your job been impacted by the coronavirus? You may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Visit unemployment.ohio.gov to learn more and apply.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus. Here are the latest numbers on the outbreak in the United States.

Latest Updates

Sunday, August 23

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 637 new COVID-19 cases and 3 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 22 more hospitalizations and 2 more ICU admissions.

Saturday, August 22

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,119 new COVID-19 cases and 20 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 59 more hospitalizations and 12 more ICU admissions.

Friday, August 21

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,043 new COVID-19 cases and 26 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 104 more hospitalizations and 20 more ICU admissions.

9:59 a.m. The Cleveland Browns have requested a variance for Gov. Mike DeWine's order restricting how many fans can be in the stands. The governor's order sets the maximum number of people gathered at an outdoor sports venue at 1,500, or 15% of the capacity, which ever is lower.

  • The Browns are seeking to allow 13,500 fans, which is 20% of their capacity. Their first home game is September 17.

Thursday, August 20

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his regular coronavirus update.

  • Ohio had three straight days of under 1,000 daily news COVID-19 cases, but that number has risen up again. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions are relatively stable over the last three weeks.
  • Small, rural counties in Ohio are now leading the state in new COVID-19 cases, while urban counties have seen their infection rates decrease.
  • There are now nine counties listed as level three "red" health emergencies under the Public Health Advisory System, the lowest since the state launched its map.
  • Clark, Lorain, Preble and Trumbull all were raised to "red" levels this week, noting high spread of COVID-19, while seven others dropped off to level two "orange." Both Franklin County and Lucas County are close to being reduced to "orange" after a number of indicators decreased in recent weeks.
  • DeWine addresses a rash of gun violence across the state, noting deadly shootings that have happened this month in Toledo, Akron and Cincinnati. He says 56 people have been shot across Ohio, including 17 who died, between August 14 and today.
  • Akron Public Schools superintendent Dr. David James spoke about his district's choice to start the fall remotely, but with more structured schedules with breaks, arts and music, and time to get technology help.
  • Jeff Greenley, superintendent of Belpre City Schools in Washington County, says his district is returning to in-person classes five days a week. However, they will "dial back" their plans if COVID-19 spread gets worse, and the district is working to help the 27% of students who elected to go remote.
  • Kristi Pennington, clinic director of Hocking County Behavioral Health, encourages parents to talk to their kids about masks and walking them through the changes to expect at school. She also said children need to feel comfortable talking about potential symptoms, and that it's OK for them to be corrected. For students learning remotely, Pennington says it's important to set up a routine and set up a dedicated learning space.
  • Adult day centers and senior centers can open beginning September 21 at a reduced capacity, if they can meet safety standards, under a new public health order.
  • Ohio is launching a statewide COVID-19 testing initiative for all of the state's 700-plus assisted living facilities. The tests are minimally invasive and provide results within 48 hours. DeWine is issuing an order requiring all facilities to participate in testing for staff and residents.
  • DeWine is asking the Bureau of Workers Compensation board of directors to distribute $1.5 billion in dividends to employers, just a few months after sending a $1.35 billion dividend. If approved, the payments will start going out in late October.
  • DeWine says his office will put out guidance on performing arts, for both schools and larger communities, by Friday.

1:55 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,122 new COVID-19 cases and 22 more deaths in the last day.

10:19 a.m. After a week of backlash over the decision to postpone the fall sports season, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said the vote by the Council of Presidents and Chancellors was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited.

  • He added that transmission rates continue to rise at an alarming rate, there is too much unknown about the virus, recovery from infection and long-term effects, and there are concerns about contact tracing.

9:04 a.m. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports that 21,663 residents filed initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total number of jobless claims since mid-March to 1,626,371. That's more than the total number of claims filed in the previous four years.

8:30 a.m. Ohio reported 67 more COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes in the last week, bringing the total number of deaths to over 2,500 since mid-March. Long-term care facililties continue to account for about two-thirds of the state's total coronavirus deaths.

Wednesday, August 19

1:54 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 958 new COVID-19 cases and 36 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 93 more hospitalizations and 22 more ICU admissions.

9:42 a.m. Twenty-three school districts have signed a petition to the Ohio High School Athletic Association asking contact sports to be delayed until spring. Postponing contact sports would allow students equal opportunity to play safety, says Parma City School District superintendent Charles Smialek, whose district is leading the effort.

Tuesday, August 18

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronavirus update press conference.

  • DeWine said that an employee tested positive for COVID-19 at the Ohio Veteran’s Home in Georgetown. All staff and residents are now being tested.
  • Dr. James Borchers, a professor and sports medicine doctor at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, spoke about the risks of myocarditis and cardiac problems for athletes. He said anyone who has had the disease should consult a doctor before returning to athletic activity. Parents and students should assess the infection rate–and the prevention measures being adopted–in their communities before deciding to return to contact sports, he said.
  • DeWine said that the state's forthcoming order on sports will allow both contact and non-contact sports to go forward in Ohio this fall. Schools can also move activities to the spring if they choose.
  • DeWine said the state’s order will apply to all sports, beyond and including high school sports.
  • The order will only allow family members or those "very close" to players to attend sporting events as spectators.

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 861 new COVID-19 cases and 39 more deaths in the last day. The state also recorded 117 more hospitalizations and 19 more ICU admissions.

12:13 p.m. The baseball game between Cincinnati and Kansas City scheduled for Tuesday will be played as part of a doubleheader Wednesday so that the Reds can do additional testing after a player tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Players, coaches and other members of the Reds organization were retested for the coronavirus Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, August 17

1:55 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 775 new COVID-19 cases and 6 more deaths in the last day. The state also recorded 83 more hospitalizations and 15 more ICU admissions.

12:29 p.m. The Ohio Restaurant Association has launched a campaign with the goal of raising $30,000 in the next month to help industry workers struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic. The grant money will be restricted to housing, living and medical expenses.

8:12 a.m. Cincinnati Reds players and staff were tested for COVID-19 again as Major League Baseball tried to determine if more than one player has been exposed to COVID-19. The last two games of a series between the Reds and Pirates were postponed Saturday after the player tested positive.

  • The Reds expect to get results of their latest tests on Monday, when a decision will be made whether they can travel to Kansas City for a series that's scheduled to begin Tuesday night.

7:30 a.m. Ohio health officials said over the weekend that school districts will not be allowed to use face shields rather than facial coverings or masks in most cases when the 2020-21 academic year begins. All students in grades K-12 that return for in-person classes are required to wear face coverings, with some exceptions, under a public health order from Gov. Mike DeWine.

  • The Ohio Department of Health cited guidance from the CDC that says there is currently not enough evidence to establish the effectiveness of face shields. Officials said face shields may be an option for those exempted from the face covering requirement or in some circumstances such as the need for lip reading.

Sunday, August 16

2:12 p.m. Ohio reported 613 new COVID-19 cases and just two deaths in the last day, in a major drop-off. The state also saw 26 more hospitalizations, a recent low, and four ICU admissions.

12:00 p.m. Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields and other Big Ten football players posted on Twitter an online petition requesting the conference reinstate the fall football schedule announced just days before the season was canceled. Much of college sports has been postponed this fall, with conferences hoping to make the seasons in the spring.

  • In an interview with CNN late Saturday, NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline said that "everything would have to line up perfectly" in order to play college sports during the pandemic, and it can't be done if testing doesn't improve nationwide.

Saturday, August 15

5:30 p.m. A group of Ohio State football players' parents joined parents of players at Iowa in calling for the Big Ten to overturn its decision not to play this fall. The Football Parents at Ohio State posted a letter to Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren calling for the reinstatement of the fall football schedule, and asking for the release of all medical data and information used to make the decision and a meeting with Warren for senior players and their parents.

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 1,117 new COVID-19 cases and 40 more deaths in the last day. There were also another 82 hospitalizations and 12 ICU admissions across the state.

Friday, August 14

2:00 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,131 new COVID-19 cases and 29 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 105 more hospitalizations and 12 more ICU admissions.

12:58 p.m. The city of Cleveland says the coronavirus pandemic will reduce its revenue by half in 2020, with income tax revenues expected to fall by 6-8%. So far the city has avoided layoffs, but a hiring freeze remains in effect.

10:38 a.m. Colleges including Mount Union, Baldwin Wallace, and John Carroll are scheduling their postponed fall sports for the spring. A preliminary plan from the Ohio Athletic Conference calls for football, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer to be played in March and April.

Thursday, August 13

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronavirus press conference.

  • Dr. Curt Daniels of the OSU Wexner Medical Center discussed the effect COVID-19 can have on the heart and on athletes. Theit findings show that about 10%-13% of athletes who tested positive showed signs of myocarditis, or inflamation of the heart.
  • DeWine said that the top 4 counties with the highest occurrence of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people are rural counties: Mercer, Champaign, Lawrence, and Darke.
  • The Ohio Public Health Advisory System map shows three new counties in the Red Level 3 for high risk of spread: Brown, Clermont, and Muskingum.
  • DeWine said that the virus has disproportionately affected African Americans. Today, the Minority Health Strike Force will release its final report with 34 recommendations on removing public health obstacles, and strengthening data collection to better track disparities.
  • DeWine is also releasing “Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity,” a plan to reinforce Ohio’s commitment to advancing health equity.
  • DeWine announced the creation of the Ohio Governor’s Equity Advisory Board, a permanent group that will guide the state to better address the root causes contributing to racial disparities in health.
  • DeWine said that he'd have more to say about high school sports on Tuesday, but did say that there will be restrictions on the number of fans that can be in attendance.

10:25 a.m. Columbus City Schools announces that all in-person sports and extracurriculars will be suspended due to COVID-19. The district previously pushed all K-12 classes online as coronavirus cases rise in Franklin County and around the state. The suspension goes into effect on Friday, Aug. 14.

9:05 a.m. Another 20,969 Ohioans filed new jobless claims last week, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the lowest week since COVID-19 caused mass business closings in mid-March. Another 374,751 continued claims were also filed last week.

  • A total of 1,604,708 unemployment claims have been filed since the beginning of the pandemic. Ohio has distributed $5.9 billion in unemployment compensation to over 778,000 residents, as well as over $5 billion in federal PUA payments to 514,000 workers who don't qualify for traditional unemployment.

Wednesday, August 12

1:55 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 1,422 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw 141 more hospitalizations, a recent high, and 22 more ICU admissions.

12:11 p.m. Health and safety guidelines sent by Ohio’s elections chief to county boards today recommend but do not mandate mask-wearing and other preventive measures for residents voting in person this fall. Secretary of State Frank LaRose said voters who choose not to wear a mask will be given options, including voting outside or using the curbside option.

9:42 a.m. Ohio has been removed from the state of New York’s travel advisory list requiring residents to complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Ohio was added to the list July 14, and taken off August 11.

9:02 a.m. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, many of Ohio's nursing homes don't have enough personal protective equipment to last another week.

9:00 a.m. The state’s top prisons director is back on the job after recovering from COVID-19. Annette Chambers-Smith, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, was cleared of the virus after testing positive July 27.

Tuesday, August 11

6:25 p.m. Ohio State University’s incoming president Kristina Johnson says every student living in on-campus dorms will have to be tested weekly for COVID-19, in order to keep classrooms open. Students may opt out of testing, but may have to take classes online only and give up their university housing.

  • In an all-campus email, Johnson also said Ohio State will limit in-person classes to 50 or fewer students, and all fall semester events to 10 people or fewer.

2:58 p.m. The Big Ten Conference announces that the fall football season is canceled along with all other fall sports. However, the conference will keep open the possibility of playing the season in the spring.

  • Other affected sports include men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronavirus press conference.

  • DeWine showed data indicating that COVID-19 cases are increasing in younger people, especially in the 20-29 age range.
  • School districts across the state are getting ready for the new school year in various ways. So far, 325 districts are planning to return full-time with in-person classes; 55 districts will be fully remote or online; and 154 districts will be doing some form of hybrid schooling. 
  • Dr. John Barnard of Nationwide Children’s Hospital said that 17-year-olds seem to be contracting coronavirus at higher rates than their younger peers.
  • Dr. Patty Manning of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said that schools should prioritize safety through masking, physical distance, hand washing, cleaning surfaces, and good ventilation when possible.
  • Dr. Adam Mezoff of Dayton Children’s Hospital presented a protocol for schools to evaluate risk when a student or staff member tests positive. It explains who should be isolated and tested when a positive case occurs.

Monday, August 10

3:00 p.m. Ohio will start distributing an extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits to each claimant, following an executive order from President Trump over the weekend. This follows the lapse of $600 in bonus unemployment benefits as part of the federal CARES Act.

2:02 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 883 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 64 more people hospitalized and 15 more ICU admissions.

12:35 p.m. Washington, D.C. has removed Ohio from its list of "high-risk" states from which travelers are required to self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

11:58 a.m. The Big Ten Conference is considering canceling the fall football season, according to reports.

10:45 a.m. Ohio State University has reopened the Ohio Union and its recreation facilities nearly five months after closing them.

6:00 a.m. Ohio's limits on daycare center staffing have been lifted, as of Sunday, but sanitizing and other health requirements remain in place.

Sunday, August 9

2:00 p.m. Ohio has surpassed 100,000 cases of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,234 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death on Sunday, as well as 49 more hospitalizations and 11 more ICU admissions.

Saturday, August 8

3:49 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine announces that he and First Lady Fran DeWine both tested negative for COVID-19 after taking PCR tests at Wexner Medical Center.

3:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 1,269 new COVID-19 cases and 15 new deaths.

Friday, August 7

5:10 p.m. The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that all football teams will make the playoffs beginning October 9, if the governor approves games to be played this fall.

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives a coronavirus press conference after testing negative for COVID-19.

  • In the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Hamilton and Athens counties have shown improvement, lowering their risk levels. Mercer County is still showing high numbers and severe risk of spread.
  • DeWine said that giving contact tracing information to the media and to the public is difficult because the systems where information is collected are out of date and not easily searchable.
  • Dr. Peter Mohler of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center explained the different types of COVID-19 tests and why some are more accurate. PCR testing, which the vast majority of Ohioans recieve, is a very sensitive test that is more accurate, but harder to run. Antigen tests are less sensitive but much faster. A third type, the Abbott Point Of Care test, is not as sensitive as PCR but is easier to administer.

1:58 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,204 new COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 81 more hospitalizations and 14 more ICU admissions.

Thursday, August 6

9:50 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine announces that a second, more sensitive COVID-19 test has come back negative. That PCR test was administered by the Wexner Medical Center. First Lady Fran DeWine and the governor's staff also tested negative, but out of an abundance of caution, they will be tested again on Saturday.

4:45 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds a briefing from his Cedarville home after his COVID-19 test, saying that he does not have any symptoms and that his work as governor will not be impacted.

1:59 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,166 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 135 more hospitalizations and 18 more ICU admissions.

12:30 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has tested positive for COVID-19. The governor took a test Thursday ahead of meeting President Trump in Cleveland, but will return home to quarantine. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted tested negative for COVID-19, and First Lady Fran DeWine will also receive a test.

8:50 a.m. Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services reported that 25,952 new jobless claims were filed last week, the lowest since the pandemic began in mid-March. That brings the total number of unemployment filings to 1,583,739, with 404,434 continued claims filed last week.

  • Ohio has paid out $5.9 billion to 771,000 Ohioans, as well as $4.9 billion in federal pandemic unemployment assistance to 503,000 self-employed workers and independent contractors.

8:15 a.m. Capital University in Bexley has announced it will start the fall semester online on August 24. In-person classes will resume no earlier than September 21.

Wednesday, August 5

2:00 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,199 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 112 more hospitalizations and 16 more ICU admissions.

12:35 p.m. Franklin County Judge Kim Brown has sided with the state and denied a request for a temporary injunction against Ohio's ban on late-night liquor sales.

Tuesday, August 4

4:10 p.m. A group of Columbus restaurants and bars have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission and the Ohio Department of Public Safety over a recently-approved emergency rule that bans liquor sales after 10 p.m.

  • The rule went into effect last Friday, and over the weekend, five bars in Northeast Ohio were cited in violation. The lawsuit, filed by the same group that successfully challenged Columbus' curfew for bars and restaurants, seeks a temporary restraining order blocking the rule from being enforced.
  • A Franklin County judge will hear arguments Wednesday at 10 a.m.

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronavirus press conference.

  • DeWine announced a new state health department order that will require masks for K-12 students. This follows recomendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC, but there are exceptions for those with medical or behavioral conditions.
  • DeWine said the state is working with FEMA to distribute 2 million masks to schools for use by students and staff.
  • DeWine announced that Ohio is joining a multi-state purchasing agreement with Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia to expand the use of rapid point-of-care tests for quicker results.
  • Dr. Amy Acton, the former state health department director who resigned to become the governor's health adviser, is leaving her position with the state to return to her previous work with the Columbus Foundation.

2 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 1,143 cases and 31 deaths from COVID-19 in the last day. The state also logged 127 more hospitalizations and 23 more ICU admissions. 

12:50 p.m. The Columbus Board of Education votes tonight on nearly $25 million in coronavirus-related expenditures, including $7.15 million to pay for more Chromebooks so students can attend classes and do school work online. All students in the district are starting the school year with all-virtual learning.

9:36 a.m. The Ohio High School Athletic Association is requesting changes to Ohio's health orders around contact sports, which prohibit teams from competing against other teams and bars spectators.

Monday, August 3

2:02 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 932 cases and 10 deaths from COVID-19 in the last day. The state also logged 92 more hospitalizations and 100 more ICU admissions. All the figures are well below the three-week average.

  • The number of new cases was under 1,000 for the third straight day. The three week average for daily new cases is 1,291.

1:00 p.m. More than 270,000 unemployment claims have been put on hold while the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services investigates possible fraud.

10:00 a.m. Five Ohio bars were cited during the first weekend of the state's rules banning liquor sales at bars and restaurants after 10 p.m. All were located in Northeast Ohio.

Saturday, August 1

4:38 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 944 cases and 14 deaths from COVID-19 in the last day. The state also logged 43 more hospitalizations and three more ICU admissions. All the figures are well below the three-week average. The number of new cases was under 1,000 for the second straight day.

Friday, July 31

4:30 p.m. Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction reports that 23 death row inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

2:05 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 1,533 cases and 47 deaths from COVID-19 in the last day. The state also logged 112 more hospitalizations and 18 more ICU admissions.  

Thursday, July 30

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronavirus press conference.

  • DeWine announced there are 13 counties at level 3, 10 fewer than last week, on the state's Public Health Advisory System, which indicates very high exposure and spread. In Central Ohio, Delaware, Union and Pickaway counties dropped down to level 2.
  • DeWine said people wearing masks in urban counties is helping to slow the spread of COVID-19. More rural counties, where mask wearing is less prevalent, are seeing increased COVID-19 spread.
  • DeWine is requesting the Ohio Division of Liquor Control make an emergency rule to stop the sales of alcohol at bars and restraurants at 10 p.m. each night. Drinks purchased at bars and restaurants must be consumed by 11 p.m. DeWine says if the commission approves the proposal he intends to sign it and have it go into effect on Friday.
  • DeWine is issuing recommendations on gatherings, which are still limited to no more than 10 people. The guidelines urge people to limit indoor gatherings at home, take extra precaution at bars, wear a mask at home if you’re around high-risk people, and make the group of people you interact with as small as possible.
  • DeWine said the November presidental election should not be delayed due to the coronavirus, following a tweet by President Trump suggesting a delay. DeWine said that Ohio's absentee voting, early voting period and election day provide an ample opportunity for everyone to vote.

1:55 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 1,733 cases on Thursday, which is the highest daily total during the pandemic. Nine of the 10 highest days of new cases have occured in the last three weeks, Gov. Mike DeWine says.

  • There were also 20 new deaths from COVID-19 in the last day. The state also logged 125 more hospitalizations and 21 more ICU admissions.

1:17 p.m. The Ohio Pharmacy Board has reversed its move to ban hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 treatment.

9:39 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a statement urging the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to reconsider its decision to ban hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19, saying he believes the decision about prescribing the drug should be "between a doctor and a patient." DeWine asks the board to halt the rule and open the decision-making process to expert testimony.

9:07 a.m. Another 27,937 initial jobless claims were filed last week in Ohio, a drop of 7% from the week before and the lowest batch of filings since mid-March. In total, 1,557,787 unemployment claims have been filed since the pandemic hit, with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services paying out $5.7 billion in benefits to 764,000 recipients.

  • Ohio has also paid $4.7 billion in federal pandemic unemployment assistance to 492,000 freelance workers, independent contractors and other Ohioans who wouldn't qualify for traditional unemployment. More than a quarter of those claims are currently on hold due to a fraud investigation.

9:00 a.m. Ohio's nursing homes reported an additional 98 deaths in the last week, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 2,335. That accounts for 74% of the state's confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.

7:39 a.m. Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital found a connection between school closures and fewer COVID-19 cases and deaths. Dr. Katherine Auger of Cincinnati Children's Hospital says states that closed schools early in the pandemic saw fewer new cases and fewer deaths than states that closed later.

7:32 a.m. Effective today, Ohio Board of Pharmacy has banned the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. The drug was touted by President Trump, without evidence, as a possible preventative or cure for the coronavirus. Studies have shown the drug does not appear to be affective against coronavirus and can have serious side effects.

Wednesday, July 29

1:54 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 1,396 cases and 40 deaths from COVID-19 in the last day. The state also logged 128 more hospitalizations and 25 more ICU admissions.

12:47 p.m. Hilliard schools are suspending all extra-curricular activities, including athletics and band, at 9 p.m. tonight based on recommendations from Franklin County Public Health.

5:00 a.m. Honda's Marysville plant is requiring white-collar office employees to work on the assembly line, due to a staffing shortage caused by COVID-19 cases in the plant, WOSU has found.

Tuesday, July 28

4:15 p.m. A Franklin County judge has blocked a Columbus City Council ordinance that requires bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. from taking effect. A number of local businesses filed a lawsuit against the city after the ordinance was passed Monday night. 

2:05 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives his coronavirus press conference.

  • DeWine said that while COVID-19 hospitalizations are steadily increasing, the number of emergency room visits shows a decrease in recent days.
  • DeWine announced that all county fairs will be restricted to junior fair events for youth competitions effective July 31. That means no rides, games, concerts, etc.
  • Starting August 9, child care providers can return to their normal, statutory ratios and class sizes, but if they do, they will no longer be eligible for state subsidies. Staff will still have to comply with health and safety requirements including face coverings, symptom and temperature checks, hand washing, and frequent cleaning.

12:16 p.m. Columbus City Schools announced it will hold entirely virtual classes for at least the first quarter of the school year. The first day of fall classes is scheduled for September 8, and the quarter goes to October 27.

  • That's a reversal from its initial plan, which would have mixed remote and in-person classes for grades K-8 while high schoolers attended classes online. District leaders say a revised scheduled is needed as the pandemic worsens in Franklin County, which remains a level three on the state's Public Health Advisory System.
  • The Columbus Education Association, which represents city teachers, says it supports the decision to hold classes remotely.

11:35 a.m. Ohio State's Department of Athletics announced that capacity for football games at Ohio Stadium will be limited to 20% capacity. Other restrictions for games will include mandatory face coverings, limited concessions, and a ban on tailgating.

10:45 a.m. Akron public school children will attend classes from home for the fall semester. The district's board of education voted Monday night to start the school year with remote learning, and re-evaluate after nine weeks.

9:00 a.m. Beginning today, Columbus will require bars, restaurants and nightclubs to close at 10 p.m. The ordinance was approved by Columbus City Council on Monday night.

7:15 a.m. Columbus is using $6 million of CARES Act funding to help child care providers manage new COVID-19 regulations. Franklin County is contributing $2 million to the effort, which will serve providers in neighborhoods in Columbus, Groveport, Reynoldsburg and Whitehall.

Monday, July 27

5:15 p.m. The director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, Annette Chambers-Smith, has tested positive for COVID-19. Chambers-Smith was tested on Friday after not feeling well, but has not been inside one of the state's prisons since June 26. The department is conducting contact tracing for staff that worked at its operations center and maybe have had contact with Chambers-Smith.

5:08 p.m. The 2020 All American Quarter Horse Congress has been canceled due to the coronavirus.. The annual event was scheduled to be held from September 29-October 25 at the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

2:14 p.m.  Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,104 cases of COVID-19 and 37 deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw another 86 hospitalizations and 22 ICU admissions. 

11:15 a.m. Columbus’ Mayor Andrew Ginther and Public Health commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts are changing their plan to force bars and restaurants to close early to help limit the spread of coronarivus. They are now asking Columbus City Council to require bars and resturants to close at 10 p.m. If approved, the new restrictions would start on Tuesday.

Sunday, July 26

2:42 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 889 cases of COVID-19 and 10 death in the last 24 hours. The number of new cases is the lowest daily total since July 7. 

  • The state also saw another 54 hospitalizations and 7 ICU admissions. 

Saturday, July 25

2:33 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,438 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw another 73 hospitalizations and 18 ICU admissions. 

Friday, July 24

5:01 p.m. Nationwide is returning all workers in Columbus and Des Moines, Iowa, to remote work just weeks after starting to bring employees back into offices.

4:28 p.m. Mayor Andrew Ginther and Health Commissioner Dr. Mykeisha Roberts are asking Columbus City Council to require bars and restuarants to close by 11 p.m. every night, in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. Council members will consider the ordinance at their meeting Monday.

2:06 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,560 cases of COVID-19 and 41 more deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw another 104 hospitalizations and 16 ICU admissions.

10:12 a.m. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District will begin the first nine weeks of the school year entirely online. The district is set to release its full reopening plan today, and eventually intends to combine in-person and remote classes.

9:10 a.m. Columbus and Cleveland are on a list of 12 cities across the U.S. with increasing levels of COVID-19 spread, according to Dr. Deborah Birx from the White House coronavirus task force.

7:14 a.m. A COVID-19 outbreak at a Licking County nursing home has killed 11 residents and sickened about 60 others. More than 30 employees at Newark Care and Rehabilitation have also tested positive for coronavirus.

Thursday, July 23

6:00 p.m. Ohio's statewide mask mandate is now in effect.

2:05 p.m. Gov. DeWine's coronavirus update press conference.

  • In the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Allen County as been added to the Level 4 severe risk watchlist. Travel to hot spots and pool parties have been tied to an increse in cases.
  • Eight counties have been upgraded to the Red Alert Level 3 designation with very high risk of spread. They include: Clark, Defiance, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Lawrence, Marion, and Medina.
  • Butler, Lorain, Summit, and Wood counties have been downgraded to Orange Alert Level 2 and Athens county was removed from the Level 4 watchlist.
  • DeWine discussed how out-of-state travel and family gatherings have led to outbreaks in some counties.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said that blood donations tested by the Red Cross between June 15 and July 18 showed 436 positive COVID-19 antibody tests out of 33,538 samples for a 1.3% positivity rate. Testing done in private labs and hospitals during that time period showed a higher rate.
  • Husted also announced that school districts can expect help with technology to assist with distance learning. $50 million of funds will be available to provide connectivity hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students.

1:50 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,444 cases of COVID-19 and 21 more deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw another 104 hospitalizations and 17 ICU admissions.

10:01 a.m. The Ohio High School Athletic Association has released guidelines for school sports to return in the fall. Among the organization's recommendations are daily testing protocols, requiring physical distancing and face masks while not playing, reducing or eliminating unnecessary travel and the sharing of equipment, and reducing or eliminating contact with student-athletes from outside conferences.

9:06 a.m. An additional 30,138 Ohioans filed for unemployment last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, with another 72,584 independent contractors and self-employed workers filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

  • A total of 1,529,850 jobless claims have been filed since mid-March, with 6% still pending. Ohio has paid out more than $5.5 billion to 757,000 claimants, plus $4.4 billion in PUA benefits to 474,000 workers who don't qualify for traditional benefits.

Wednesday, July 22

4;26 p.m. The North Coast Athletic Conference has suspended all athletic competitions between schools through the rest of 2020. Kenyon, Denison, Oberlin, Wittenberg, Wooster and Ohio Wesleyan are all members of NCAC, an NCAA Division III conference.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's coronavirus update press conference.

  • DeWine is issuing a statewide mask mandate in public places effective Thursday at 6 p.m.
  • Masks must be worn at all times when at an indoor public location, when outdoors if unable to keep 6 foot social distance, and when waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, taxi, car service, private rideshare.
  • Children under 10 and those with certain diabilities or health conditions are exempt from mask order.
  • DeWine announced a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio from states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 and recommends that those individuals self-quarantine for 14 days. Currently, this includes Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Puerto Rico.
  • Some county fairs are reportedly not following safety guidelines. An outbreak of 19 cases has been traced back to a county fair. DeWine said he's talked with fair boards and said they need to follow rules.
  • DeWine said that Wednesday's 1,527 new reported COVID-19 cases show the second highest increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

10:10 a.m. The Ohio Department of Health and EPA are partnering up to test sewage and wastewater for the presence of the coronavirus in several Ohio cities, including Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, Toledo and Dayton. The study is funded by a $2 million allocation from the federal CARES Act.

9:06 a.m. Ohio teachers and union leaders are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass a COVID-19 relief bill with funds to help schools reopen safely.

Tuesday, July 21

1:50 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,047 cases of COVID-19 and 30 more deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw another 126 hospitalizations and 23 ICU admissions.

8:15 a.m. Ohio is making $20 million available for manufacturers to build up the supply of PPE. The money will go to 68 companies to help convert their operations to create things like sanitizing products, masks, physical dividers and thermometers.

Monday, July 20

1:55 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,236 cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths in the last 24 hours. The state also saw another 55 hospitalizations and 29 ICU admissions.

7:34 a.m. Legandary golfer Jack Nicklaus says he and wife, Barbara, tested positive for the coronavirus at the onset of the pandemic. Nicklaus says he and wife Barbara stayed at home in Florida from about March 13 until they were “done with it” on April 20.

6:39 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine said the state's face mask order could include "a lot more counties" on NBC's Meet The Press. The governor also said he is still considering a statewide mask mandate. 

Sunday, July 19

2:07 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,110 new cases on Sunday. It marked the first time in the last few weeks that the daily amount of new cases was below the 21-day average, which is 1,173 new cases. There where however, 42 new deaths, the second highest total in the last three weeks. The state is averaging 17 deaths a day over the last three weeks. 

  • The state also reported 42 new hospitalizations and four new ICU admissions, both well below the 21-day averages.

Saturday, July 18

2:05 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,542 new coronavirus cases and 20 more deaths in the last day.  The state also logged 68 more hospitalizations and eight more ICU admissions. 

Friday, July 17

2:00 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,679 new coronavirus cases and nine more deaths in the last day. That's the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The state also logged 121 more hospitalizations and 25 more ICU admissions.

12:49 p.m. As promised, Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill that would have prohibited criminal penalties for violating state or local health orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The legislation, which was sponsored by state Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) would instead have allowed fines of not more than $100 for violating a local order and not more than $150 for violating a state order. It's the first time DeWine has issued a veto of the legislature, outside of the state budget.

8:33 a.m. Ohio's unemployment rate went down a few ticks last month, going from 13.9% in May to 10.9% in June as more businesses reopened and employees went back to work. But unemployment is still more than twice as high as it was a year ago, when the rate stood at 4.1%.

8:10 a.m. According to the Ohio Department of Health, nursing homes in Ohio have reported a total of 2,146 deaths from COVID-19. That's an increase of 45 in the last week, and represents 75% of the state's total coronavirus deaths.

Thursday, July 16

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds a coronavirus press conference.

  • Face masks will be required at 6 p.m. Friday in eight more Ohio counties, including Delaware, Licking, Union and Richland counties in Central Ohio. These counties, along with Allen, Athens, Lucas and Scioto counties, are now at level three on the state's Public Health Advisory System.
  • Nineteen counties are now mandated to wear face masks, which comprises 60% of Ohio's population, DeWine said.
  • Hamilton, Butler and Cuyahoga counties dropped off the watch list to moving up to level four, which would indicate there is extreme exposure and spread of COVID-19.
  • Trumbull County was downgraded to level two and no longer will require masks.
  • DeWine said cases around the state due to people gathering at block parties, neighborhoods gatherings, bars, churches and restaurants, gatherings of people between the ages of 20-29-years old as well as people traveling back from hot spots in other parts of the county.
  • DeWine says there will be liquor control hearings in August as a result of investigations into establishments accused of not following the state’s COVID-19 health orders, such as not requiring face masks.
  • Lt. Gov Jon Husted announced a $20 million grant to help Ohio manufactures produce personal protective equipment. The grant will provide up to $500,000 to 68 companies to retool or expand existing systems to produce PPE.

6:30 a.m. The Memorial Golf Tournament begins today with more than 100 golfers competing, but no spectators due to COVID-19 concerns.

Wednesday, July 15

5:58 p.m. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine urged all Ohioans to wear masks no matter where in the state they live, but declined to issue any new statewide requirements.

4:19 p.m. Kroger will begin requiring shoppers to wear face masks inside its grocery stores nationwide, beginning next Wednesday, July 22.

2:03 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported the highest single-day increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in several months, with 160 new hospitalizations and 36 more ICU admissions in just the last day. The state also logged 1,316 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths.

8:45 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has scheduled a statewide address at 5:30 p.m. tonight as Ohio's coronavirus surge continues.

Tuesday, July 14

1:15 p.m. Ohio State University has announced that it's resuming voluntary athletics workouts, a week after suspending training operations, after another round of COVID-19 testing. The school is not releasing data on how many student-athletes have tested positive.

1:00 p.m. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have added Ohio to a list of states from which travelers are required to quarantine due to growing rates of COVID-19 infection. Upon entering these states, people from Ohio and 21 other states must quarantine for 14 days, in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.  

10:04 a.m. Franklin County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a mask mandate, following an order from Gov. Mike DeWine that includes Franklin among 12 counties with high rates of coronavirus spread. The county's mask mandate will stay in place even if Franklin drops below a level 1 or 2 public health emergency, and falls out of the state's requirements.

8:00 a.m. Akron City Council has voted to make masks mandatory in the city. With passage of Akron’s ordinance, violators will face civil rather than the criminal penalties imposed by the state. Summit County Public Health will enforce fines of $50 per individual and $250 per businesses, but only after the second offense.

Monday, July 13

5:06 p.m. The Ohio State University and Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein have each signed amicus briefs in support of a lawsuit against a new ICE rule restricting international students. Harvard and MIT are seeking a temporary injuction against a federal policy that bans international students from reentering or staying in the country if their classes are online-only in the fall, due to the pandemic.

2:03 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an additional 1,261 COVID-19 cases and six more deaths in the last day. The state also reported 73 more hospitalizations and 16 more ICU admissions.

9:28 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine said he plans to veto a bill passed by state lawmakers that reduces fines and prohibits jail and criminal convictions for violating health department orders. DeWine said it would be a "tragic mistake."

6:30 a.m. JPMorgan Chase employees won't start returning to Central Ohio offices as planned on Monday, due to the area's surge of COVID-19 cases. About 18,000 employees are based in the Columbus area, and the company originally sought to bring half of them back between now and Labor Day.

Sunday, July 12

2:11 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,378 and 22 more deaths. Ohio also reports that 72 more people have been hospitalized, with 16 people admitted into the ICU. There now have been more than 1 million coronavirus tests conducted in Ohio, with 1,002,463 tests conducted as of Sunday.

Saturday, July 11

4:05 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,358 and four more deaths. Ohio also reports that 69 more people have been hospitalized, with eight people admitted into the ICU.

Friday, July 10

1:53 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,525 new coronavirus cases in the last day, the highest single-day spike since at least April, and 24 more deaths. Ohio also reports that 111 more people have been hospitalized, with 14 admitted into the ICU.

9:38 a.m. The Ohio House Speaker's office reinstituted a work-from-home policy after at least one House Republican staffer tested positive. That staffer, and other employees who were near them, were sent home on administrative leave.

Thursday, July 8  

4:08 p.m. The Big Ten Conference has announced that its member universities, which includes Ohio State, will only compete within the conference if sports resume this fall, due to concerns about the ongoing pandemic. The decision covers football, cross country, field hockey, soccer and women's volleyball.

  • Student-athletes who choose not to participate during the academic year due to coronavirus concerns will have their scholarship continue, the Big Ten says, and will remain in "good standing" with the team.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds a coronavirus press conference.

  • Six new counties now fall under Ohio’s mask mandate after increasing to a level three on the state's Public Health Advisory System: Pickaway, Fairfield, Clermont, Lorain, Summit and Wood. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, masks must be worn in indoor public spaces as well as in outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible. 
  • Pickaway County's uptick is attributed to restaurants and religious gatherings. Fairfield County's cases are not in congregate settings, which signals significant community spread.
  • Franklin County has dropped off the watchlist for moving up to level four, due to a decrease in hospitalizations for COVID-19. However, Butler, Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties are now in danger of "extreme" spread of COVID-19.
  • Huron County has been downgraded to level two, meaning face masks are no longer mandated there. DeWine said Huron was "barely" moved down.
  • Eighteen counties, including Union and Morrow counties, were moved up to level two for increased exposure and spread.
  • DeWine announced minimum operating standards for colleges and universities in the state to reopen this fall. Each campus must identify how it can test within the campus and measures to isolate students who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • DeWine is requesting $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K-12 schools from the federal CARES Act to help implement safety measures or technology to aid with distance learning. The funding is available to all public and private schools as well as adult technical centers.
  • The state is making $2.5 million in grants for it's microcredential assistance program, iMap, for colleges, universities, tech career centers and private organizations who can provide tech skills training. Individuals can receive up to $3,000 in training reimbursement.  

12:22 p.m. Case Western Reserve University and Oberlin College have canceled all fall sports as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise. The decision impacts athletic programs like football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and cross-country.

10:30 a.m. The Ohio Restaurant Association announces that it supports the decision by Gov. Mike DeWine to require face coverings indoors in counties with high coronavirus spread. The group urged restaurants to comply and require face coverings of guests upon entering and exiting, when waiting to be seated, and when not at their table.

10:00 a.m. Cedar Point reopens Thursday with temperature checks, mandatory face masks and social distancing. Visitors must make a reservation, and the park will only admit half its standard occupancy to better manage crowds.

8:58 a.m. Another 33,483 Ohioans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of claims filed since mid-March to 1,464,290.

  • Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services has paid out $4.9 billion to more than 736,000 recipients, and another $3.8 billion in federal pandemic assistance to 411,000 self-employed workers and independent contractors.

 

Wednesday, July 8  

8:38 p.m. Ohio State has suspended all voluntary athletic workouts on campus for seven teams following a round of COVID-19 testing of student-athletes. The Buckeye teams impacted by the freeze include football, men's and women's basketball, field hockey, men's and women's soccer, and women's volleyball.

5:00 p.m. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has canceled its 2020 induction ceremony, set for November 7 at Cleveland's Public Auditorium. The organization says the event will be replaced by an HBO special to air on the same date.

3:03 p.m. Food and beverage services vendor Delaware North informed the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services it intends to lay off more than 1,700 cooks, bartenders, cashiers and other workers at Nationwide Arena, Great American Ballpark and Progressive Field. The company says it forsees many of its associates "will not return to work within six months."

2:24 p.m. Coronavirus cases in Ohio continue to rise. The Department of Health reported 1,277 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 21 deaths in the last day, for a total of 60,181 cases and 2,991 deaths. That's the fourth largest daily increase since the pandemic started.

  • Hospitalizations increased by 106, and ICU admissions increased by 26.

9:23 a.m. COSI has scrapped its plan to reopen today as the coronavirus pandemic surges in Columbus. The children's museum aimed to open doors to members on Wednesday, before extending to the general public on July 15. It has not identified a new reopening date.

Tuesday, July 7

4:45 p.m Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says that Columbus' face mask mandate, which does not carve out an exemption for Ohio-owned buildings, cannot apply to state lawmakers. It's unclear if DeWine's mask mandate for Franklin County applies to the Statehouse.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's coronviues press conference.

  • DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Health is issuing an order for a face masks to be worn in Franklin, Hamilton,, Butler, Montgomery, Huron, Trumble and Cuyahoga counties. The order goes into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday, and applies to people in a public place indoors or outside when social distancing is not possible. 
  • The face mask order will stay in effect as long as these counties are in a a red alert (level three) under the state's Public Health Advisory System or if they increase to the purple alert (level 4). If the counties drop to a level 2, masks will no longer be required. 
  • The penalty for not wearing a mask is a misdemeanor, similar to other health orders, but DeWine says the state isn't looking to make arrests.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said he encourages business to post signs and tell people about the mandate, but doesn’t expect workers to enforce the order. Local officials should handle enforcement.
  • Contact sports can hold tournaments, games and scrimmages if they comply with strict guidelines, Husted said. The guidelines for the order include:
    • Testing of all players, coaches, athletic trainers, staff and officials before travel to and during their stay in Ohio for the competition.
    • Athletic trainers should wear masks when attending to players. Coaches and officials are strongly encouraged to wear masks.
    • Immediate isolation and medical care is required for participants who develop symptoms.
  • DeWine said it is hard to determine if Ohioans traveling back to the state from Floria have had any impact on the rise in coronavirus cases. DeWine said he is more concerned about if they are in bars or staying a house or hotel room. He also said it is probably not the best time to go to other states that are hotspots.
  • DeWine said in the new fiscal year that began on July 1, the state will use a significant amount of its Rainy Day Fund. He said the state is not doing as bad financially as once thought, but the situation is not good. The governor said the goal is not to make any additional cuts to education funding on top of the budget cuts in the spring.

1:59 p.m. Ohio reported an additional 948 coronavirus cases and 43 deaths, the Health Department says, for a total of 58,904 cases and 2,970 deaths. Hospitalizations increased by 134, and ICU admissions increased by 24. Ohio is averaging 804 new cases, 18 deaths, 66 hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions over the last 21 days.

9:24 a.m. A company partly owned by Gov. Mike DeWine is among those that received loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The DeWine Seeds-Silver Dollar Baseball, which owns a minor league baseball team in North Carolina, received a loan for between $150,000-350,000.

9:00 a.m. An extra 20 weeks of unemployment compensation will be made available to eligible Ohioans once they have exhausted their other benefits, the Department of Job and Family Services says.

7:02 a.m. Columbus City Council voted last night to require face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The ordinance requires residents over the age of 6 to wear facial coverings in all public spaces. The action replaces the executive order issued by Mayor Andrew Ginther.

6:31 a.m. Hilliard and Westerville have issued face mask requirements. Starting today, Hilliard is requiring face masks in all businesses for employees and patrons as well as in outdoor public spaces when it is not possible to maintain social distancing. Westerville's order does not require masks in public, but it allows businesses and goverment entities to require them, starting on Wednesday.

Monday, July 6

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an additional 805 new coronavirus cases and 16 more deaths, for a total of 57,956 cases and 2,927 deaths since the pandemic began. The state also logged 77 more hospitalizations and 19 more ICU admissions in the last day.

11:28 a.m. The PGA Tour announced that the Memorial Golf Tournament in Dublin, scheduled for July 14-19, will be held without spectators after all.

9:43 a.m. Columbus Metropolitan Library has suspended limited services inside its locations, in response to increases coronavirus cases in Franklin County. Libraries are still offering curbside pickup and dropoff.

7:00 a.m. Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio will now use telehealth to offer birth control and other health services throughout the state, especially in rural areas. However, it's prohibited by Ohio law to offer abortion services using telehealth.

Sunday, July 5

2:00 p.m. Ohio reported an additional 968 coronavirus cases and four deaths, the Health Department says, for a total of 57,151 cases and 2,911 deaths. Hospitalizations increased by 61, and ICU admissions increased by six.

  • Columbus Public Health will enforce the ordinance for businesses with a warning for the first violation and a citation up to $1,000 for a third violation.
  • The annual event was already postponed for a month with a plan to allow fans, but organizers say the "rapidly changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic" forced them to change course. Gov. Mike DeWine praised the decision in a statement, saying it "put the health and safety of players and fans first."

Read Previous Updates From May 26-July 4