Coronavirus In Ohio: Live Coverage

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:

  • 5,303 COVID-19-related deaths, 313 of those probable
  • 219,000 cases of COVID-19, 12,451 of those probable 
  • 19,220 people hospitalized, 3,876 in ICU
  • 4,512,307 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, November 1

2:02 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 2,915 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 163 more hospitalizations and 18 more ICU admissions.

Saturday, October 31

7:38 p.m.  Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 3,303 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths in the last day. The state also reported 88 more hospitalizations and 17 more ICU admissions.

Friday, October 30

2:27 p.m. University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University are joining a global COVID-19 vaccine study. UH is one of 80 sites across the country that will collectively enroll up to 30,000 participants for AstraZeneca’s Phase 3 study, and one of 120 sites around the world in a Phase 3 vaccine study sponsored by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.

1:55 p.m. Ohio reports an increase of 3,845 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, breaking its record for highest increase two days in a row. The state also reported 16 more deaths, 169 hospitalizations, and 25 ICU admissions.

9:00 a.m. The number of nursing home residents who have died from COVID-19 continues to climb. The latest state figures show at least 3,270 nursing home patients have died from the coronavirus this year, with 56 in the last week. That accounts for more than 62% all COVID-19 deaths in the state.

Thursday, October 29

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

  • DeWine is calling on all counties to creat special COVID Defense Teams to fight the recent uptick in cases after a new record high number of 3,590 cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
  • Although no counties have turned "purple" under the health advisory system, DeWine said 83 of Ohio's 88 counties are in the high incidence of spread category.
  • DeWine announced a new tutoring program for students with developmental disabilities called Learning Aid Ohio. Eligible families can apply for up to $1,500 in grant funding for tutoring and other needed supports at LearningOhio.com.

2:00 p.m. Ohio reported a new record high of daily COVID-19 cases, with 3,590 cases reported in the last 24 hours. That surpasses the previous record, set on Saturday, by more than 700.

10:38 a.m. Another 17,531 new unemployment claims were filed last week, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, down slightly from the week before. Ohioans also filed 266,208 continued jobless claims last week.

Wednesday, October 28

2:30 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine and the head of the state's insurance fund for injured workers announced that a record $5 billion in workers' comp payments will be returned to employers, to help businesses struggling because of the pandemic's financial impact.

  • The average restaurant could see a check of around $13,000 and the average farmer a check of about $9,500. The city of Columbus will receive the most, at $64 million.

2:01 p.m. Ohio's department of health reported an increase of 2,607 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, and 17 more deaths. The state also saw 173 more hospitalizations and 19 more ICU admissions.

11:33 a.m. Just days after the Big Ten Conference resumed its pandemic-delayed football season, Wisconsin became the first Big Ten team to pause activities due to a spike of COVID-19 cases within the program. As of Wednesday, 12 people within Wisconsin's football program had tested positive – half of which were students.

9:15 a.m. Cleveland State University is joining other schools in the state in changing their academic calendar to avoid further spread of COVID-19. CSU is canceling its spring break in the middle of March, and adding an extra week to winter break in January. Spring semester classes will begin January 16.

9:01 a.m. Kent State University reported 66 COVID-19 cases for the last week, the highest jump since it began tracking cases in July. The Kent City Health Department has issued quarantine orders for 53 students in Allyn Hall due to possible exposure, the 11th dorm to be issued quarantine orders since the end of September.

8:44 a.m. Destination Cleveland said it expects tourism to drop y as much as 67% this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, after seeing visitors rise in the past few years. Last year, 19.6 million people came to the area, but CEO David Gilbert said numbers aren't expected to return to those levels until at least 2024.

Tuesday, October 27

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

  • Sec. of State Frank LaRose reported on the high numbers those taking advantage of absentee and early voting. He assured voters that election day will go forward as planned next week with health safety measures in place.
  • DeWine said 82 of Ohio's 88 counties are now classified as high incidence spread counties. This means there were more that 100 cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
  • While looking at increasing hospitalization numbers, DeWine said “We have no indication that we’ve plateaued out at all," and stressed that community spread is driving the surge of cases.
     

9:33 a.m. The Ohio Controlling Board yesterday approved the distribution of about $420 million in federal aid to individuals and businesses struggling economically from the coronavirus pandemic. The money includes grants to bars and restaurants, help for low-income renters, assistance for arts and nonprofit organizations, and aid for colleges and universities.

Monday, October 26

4:30 p.m. As of Monday, Ohio State reports that 3,441 students and 79 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, 39 students are in isolation, while 33 are being quarantined.

1:52 p.m. Ohio has exceeded 200,000 total coronavirus cases, after recording 2,113 new cases in the last day. The state also reported 11 more deaths, 140 more hospitalizations and 37 ICU admissions.

8:49 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine and GOP House and Senate leaders on Friday announced $429 million in aid to individuals and businesses struggling from the economic strain of the coronavirus. The money includes grants to bars and restaurants, help for low-income renters, assistance for arts and nonprofit organizations, and aid for colleges and universities.

8:30 a.m. Columbus City Council is set to vote Monday night on distributing $300,000 to the Columbus Urban League to support rent and mortgage assistance. The funding comes from the federal CARES Act.

Sunday, October 25

1:56 p.m.   The Ohio Department of Health has reported an increase of 2,309 new COVID-19 cases and no deaths in the last day. The state also saw 89 more hospitalizations and 9 more ICU admissions.

Saturday, October 24

1:58 p.m. Ohio sets a new daily record for the fourth straight day with 2,858 new cases. In the last 24 hours, Ohio also reported 22 new deaths, 140 more hospitalizations and 23 more ICU admissions.

Friday, October 23

2:00 p.m. Ohio has set a record for new coronavirus cases for the third straight day. The state announced 2,518 cases. There were also 23 new deaths, 184 new hospitalizations and 25 new ICU admissions.  

Thursday, October 22

3:52 p.m. The COVID-19 positivity rate at Ohio State University has stayed below 1% throughout October, the school announced on Thursday. That means out of every 100 tests administered only one came back positive. That's according to data the school released this afternoon.

  • Ohio State has been conducting saliva tests all on-campus students weekly, randomly testing asymptomatic undergrads who live off-campus as well as a random sample of 1,500 graduate students each week. 

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

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie joins the press conference to discuss this experience with COVID-19. He says he was assured that everyone in the first three rows of the White House Rose Garden audience at Amy Coney Barrett announcement had tested negative that day so he took his mask off while at the ceremony. “I thought I was safe and I was wrong,” Christie said.
  • Close to half the counties in the state are now at the Red Level (level 3) on the state's Public Health Advisory System. The state has 38 counties are at level 3, up from 29 last week.
  • Three counties, Clark, Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties are on the watch list to go up level four. No counties have been elevated to level four, although other counties have been placed on the watch list over the last four months. 
  • More than 92% of Ohioans are living in a red county or a county that has high incidence of COVID-19 cases.
  • Only four counties, Harrison, Hocking, Madison and Noble counties, are at a level 1. on the state's Public Health Advisory System. 

1:57 p.m. Ohio has set another daily record for new coronavirus cases with 2,425 new cases reported on Thursday. The state also reported 12 new deaths, 159 hospitalizations amd 25 ICU admissions.

Tuesday, October 20

4:10 p.m. Columbus City Schools announced it will continue with remote learning for most students through January 15. The district started to move toward hybrid-learning on Monday.

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

  • DeWine said that 69 of the 88 Ohio couties are considered high incidence counties according to the CDC’s criteria.
  • DeWine noted that Ohio's neighboring states are also seeing a spike in cases.
  • A second dividend for public and private employers will be mailed beginning this week totaling around $1.3 billion.
  • DeWine shared the White House Coronavirus Task Force warning that urges people to limit friend and family gatherings to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • The state has submitted a COVID-19 vaccine plan to the CDC outlining how the vaccine will be distributed once it is available. 
  • The state's long-term care facility dashboard is online and shows the types of visitation that facilities allow across Ohio.  
  • Dr. Andy Thomas of OSU Wexner Medical Center said that hospitals believe they can handle the current capacity but as other illnesses spike as well, the concern is that the number of beds will not be sufficient.
  • The Ohio Department of Health issued an amended directive to require all labs to start sharing all positive, negative, inconclusive, and invalid tests to the state for a more complete picture of how COVID is spreading.

Monday, October 19

2:04 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 1,837 new COVID-19 and eight new deaths. The state also reported 111 hospitalizations and 14 ICU admissions.

Sunday, October 18

2:11 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 1,562 new COVID-19 and no new deaths. The state also reported 52 hospitalizations and eight ICU admissions.

Saturday, October 17

2:03 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 2,234 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, the highest daily increase ever in Ohio. The state also reported 13 more deaths, 99 hospitalizations and 17 ICU admissions.

Friday, October 16

2:03 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 2,148 new COVID-19 cases in the last day, its second-highest daily increase ever, and just short of yesterday's record-high. The state also reported 16 more deaths, 86 hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions.

11:39 a.m. Ohio reported nearly 600 COVID-19 cases in the state's K-12 schools on Thursday – up from the week before, when the state logged 347 cases for students and 183 for staff.

8:30 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine says the state's 10 p.m. curfew on liquor sales in bars and restaurants will stay in place from now, despite objections from some lawmakers and business owners.

  • The Ohio Senate has introduced legislation that would repeal the curfew, which has been in place since the end of July. The legislation, which is co-sponsored by two-thirds of the chamber, would also end any disciplinary actions against liquor permit holders for selling alcohol past the deadline unless they had committed other violations.

Thursday, October 15

3:39 p.m. The University of Cincinnati's weekend game at Tulsa has been postponed because of  positive COVID-19 tests among Bearcats players. It's the fifth game that was slated this week to be rescheduled.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives a press conference after Ohio breaks its record for highest daily increase of COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row.

  • DeWine said the state has hit records for new cases over the past two days, with 2,039 cases yesterday and 2,178 cases today. New cases were closer to 1,000 last month.
  • Ohio has 13 new red counties in the public health advisory system, including Franklin County, for a total of 29 red counties. That means 65% of Ohioans are living in red counties, which indicates very high risk of exposure and spread.
  • The testing positivity rate is 5.4%, nearly double what it was a month ago.

11:24 a.m. Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris has suspended in-person events over the weekend after two staffers traveling with her tested positive for COVID-19. Harris was scheduled to campaign in Cleveland on Friday.

8:35 a.m. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is adding hundreds more employees to help process unemployment claims, as tens of thousands of Ohioans continue to file for new or continuing benefits.

  • Around 20,000 people filed new unemployment claims this week, the highest number since mid-August. Nearly 1.8 million claims have been filed over the past six months, more than the total filed in the prior four years.

8:00 a.m. After Ohio recorded its highest-ever daily increase of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Mike DeWine expressed worries that the state could see a related spike in deaths within a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 14

2:00 p.m. Ohio has broken its record for the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases, with 2,039 new cases reported in the last day. The state also reported 16 more deaths, 151 more hospitalizations (a recent high) and 17 more ICU admissions.

9:00 a.m. Ohio is back on New York’s travel advisory list for the first time in a month, due to its recent spike in COVID-19 cases. That means Ohioans traveling to New York are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

8:33 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine yesterday signed legislation that permanently allows bars and restaurants to sell to-go cocktails.

  • The service was allowed for the first time in March, as a way to help businesses boost sales during the coronavirus shutdown. Ohio is now the second state to permit take-out alcoholic beverages, allowing customers to order up to three drinks to go with food.

Tuesday, October 13

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

  • DeWine said the number of positive cases are on the rise. In the past week, cases have averaged 1,475 cases per day while the average was a little over 1,000 cases per day two weeks ago.
  • DeWine announced a new online database for lab capacity that will help private entities find labs with capacity to process COVID-19 tests.
  • New rapid response antigen tests are being distributed by the state to universities and nursing homes while a strategy is created to best utilize this new tool.

9:28 a.m. The College of Wooster is moving all of its classes online, at least temporarily, following a rash of COVID-19 cases. The school's dashboard says nine coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the last week. Athletic practices have been canceled and dining has been moved to take-out only, while visitors are barred from campus.

9:14 a.m. The Cleveland Indians are canceling their annual Tribe Fest, which was scheduled to take place in January 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team hopes to bring the festival back next year.

8:30 a.m. Teachers in the Gahanna-Jefferson school district are picketing this morning after the teacher union voted Monday night to authorize a strike. A judge had blocked a request from the district to bar teachers from striking, which comes as negotiations stall over the restart of in-person classes. Teachers argue there's a lack of safety protocols and PPE.

Monday, October 12

4:30 p.m. Columbus City Schools was set to resume some in-person classes on October 19, but is now pushing back its start date. Students in grades K-8 will begin virtual orientation that day, and begin returning to buildings on November 2. 

1:58 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,430 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths in the last day. That brings the state's total to over 170,000 cases and 5,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The state also reported 43 more hospitalizations and six more ICU admissions.

10:32 a.m. The Columbus Crew match at Orlando City on Sunday was postponed after two Columbus Crew staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

9:00 a.m. Ohio nursing homes can offer indoor visitation beginning today. Long-term care facilities have been closed to the public since March, although outdoor visits were allowed starting this summer.

  • Under new state rules, only two people can visit one resident in a nursing home for 30 minutes in a designated visitation area. Nursing homes must also maintain a daily log of anyone who enters the building, and keep enough PPE for residents and staff.

Sunday, October 11

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported an increase of 1,291 new COVID-19 cases and two more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 44 more hospitalizations and three more ICU admissions.

Friday, October 9

5:07 p.m. Ohio reported a record high number of daily cases of the coronavirus on Friday as Gov. Mike DeWine pleaded with residents to continue social distancing and mask wearing. The 1,840 confirmed and probable cases tallied by the Department of Health is the most in a day since July. The daily number of cases is also well above the 21-day average of 1,119 cases.

12:35 p.m. Unemployment claims in Ohio have risen for the third week in a row. State officials said that more than 18,500 Ohioans filed new jobless claims last week, an increase of about 3%. Continuing claims for unemployment fell slightly.

9:09 a.m. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are both calling for Congress to reach a deal for more coronavirus relief measures, as President Trump goes back-and-forth on the possibility of another aid package before the election.

Thursday, October 8

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

  • DeWine said the state is reporting 1,539 new cases today as cases continue on an upward trend. The positivity rate was as low as 2.7% in September but is up to 3.9% today. DeWine called the new numbers "alarming."
  • Eighteen counties are now in the "red" category in the state's public health advisory system. DeWine said that in many counties, the outbreaks are tied to weddings and funerals.
  • DeWine said that a new nursing facility visitation order has been signed by the health department and will be available to view online soon.

11:39 a.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 87 new COVID-19 nursing homes in the past week, much higher than the week before. Since the pandemic began, 3,133 nursing home residents have died from COVID-19, accounting for 67% of the state's confirmed deaths.

10:30 a.m. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was among the guests at a large wedding in Atlanta hosted by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, which seemed to have violated a Georgia order and city guidelines restricting mass gatherings. The May 31 event had about 70 guests, higher than the 10-person limit set by the state, and photographs reviewed by the newspaper showed social distancing guidelines were not followed.

Wednesday, October 7

2:07 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health has reported an increase of 1,424 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 119 more hospitalizations and 17 more ICU admissions.

9:08 a.m. Kent State University has announced a partnership with CVS Health to provide free coronavirus testing to all students, faculty and staff starting next Monday, as COVID-19 cases on campus rise. CVS will also randomly test 450 individuals each week.

Tuesday, October 6

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

  • DeWine said hospitalizations, which were declining since a peak in July, have been rising in recent weeks. Trends show that older Ohioans and those in rural counties are being hospitalized in higher numbers.
  • DeWine said there is concern about the number of students meeting the CDC definition of close contact and put into quarantine following a positive case. He’s asked partners in the health and science community to study the current guidance on student quarantine.
  • DeWine announced that he is working with the General Assembly to use federal CARES Act funding to provide relief for those struggling with rent or mortgage payments as well as small businessses and non-profits.

11:38 a.m. After delaying a return to classrooms because of an increase in COVID-19 cases, Cincinnati Public Schools will start phasing students in on October 12. Students were originally set to start returning this week, until Hamilton County rose to a level three "red" public health emergency on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

11:23 a.m. More fans will be allowed to attend Cleveland Browns games. The Ohio Department of Health is permitting 12,000 spectators at FirstEnergy Stadium, double the capacity allowed at the first two home games.

11:18 a.m. There are now around 100 Kent State University students under mandatory quarantine in campus dorms. The Kent City Health Department notified 57 students in two residential halls they must quarantine until October 16 due to possible exposure to COVID-19, in addition to 44 students who were notified last week.

8:00 a.m. Early voting has opened across the state of Ohio. Voters can go to their early voting center, usually located at the county board of elections, for the next four weeks before Election Day. Find out about early voting hours, voting by mail and more on WOSU's Ohio Voting Guide.

Monday, October 5

1:57 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported an increase of 1,057 new COVID-19 cases and six more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 73 more hospitalizations and 11 more ICU admissions.

12:11 p.m. Dayton Public Schools is the latest district to announce plans for returning to some in-person classes. The district says the pandemic has improved enough in Montgomery County to change to a hybrid learning system starting Monday, November 9.

Sunday, October 4

2:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health has reported an increase of 941 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths in the last day – the first day with no new reported COVID-19 deaths since March. The state also saw 32 more hospitalizations and one more ICU admission.

10:30 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine said he has not been contacted by the White House about possible COVID-19 exposure or contact-tracing, after President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus following the Cleveland presidential debate Tuesday. DeWine told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday that the president's diagnosis should be a reminder that anyone can get COVID-19

Friday, October 2

3:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's press conference after news that President Trump and the First Lady tested positive for coronavirus.

  • DeWine said positivity rates and hospitalization rates are on the rise and today's reported number of deaths was high.

1:47 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports an increase of 1,495 new COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths in the last day, both recent highs. The state also saw 82 more hospitalizations and 15 ICU admissions.

1:04 p.m. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, his wife Jill, and running mate Kamala Harris have tested negative for COVID-19.

10:57 a.m. Sen. Rob Portman, who attended a White House event on Monday with President Trump, says he will take a COVID-19 test and schedule his in-person events today.

9:14 a.m. Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who attended the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday, says he will isolate at home and take a COVID-19 test as a precaution after Trump tested positive. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will also take a COVID-19 test after flying on Air Force One earlier this week.

7:33 a.m. President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID-19, the White House announced early this morning. Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative.

Thursday, October 1

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

  • Dr. Abigail Norris Turner, a professor at OSU, discussed the results of an antibody survey study. 720 adults participated in the study which showed that 0.9% currenlty have COVID-19 and 1.5% previously had the disease, though the results can only look back three months. That would corrospond to roughly 80,000 active cases and 133,000 Ohioans who have had it in the past.
  • The Ohio Public Health Advisory System map currently shows 11 "Red" counties. That is more than were reported in all of September. Southwest Ohio in particular is having a rebound in cases.

10:30 a.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported 58 deaths from COVID-19 in nursing homes in the last week. Since the state began tracking in April, Ohio has seen 3,046 nursing home deaths, accounting for 63% of the statewide death toll from COVID-19.

10:15 a.m. Kent State University has announced it will begin expanded COVID-19 testing on campus. The Ohio National Guard will help conduct free testing for a selected, higher-risk student population on Friday, October 2. Several dozen Kent State students are quarantined in two dorms after potential coronavirus exposure.

9:04 a.m. Ohio's Senate Finance Chairman, state Sen. Matt Dolan, says an aid package for small businesses and people struggling to pay rent during the coronavirus pandemic is coming soon. GOP Gov. Mike DeWine and lawmakers are jointly working on a plan which would also provide assistance for companies with difficulty making mortgage payments.

Wednesday, September 30

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has updated Ohio's travel advisory to recommend that Ohioans should avoid travel to South Dakota, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Mississippi. DeWine says people entering Ohio from those states are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

1:55 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported an increase of 1,080 new COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths in the last day. Ohio also saw 103 more hospitalizations and 14 more ICU admissions.

9:30 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine says he is considering changing the state's 10 p.m. curfew for liquor sales, after receiving criticism from bars and restaurants around the state.

8:45 a.m. The Columbus Education Association, which represents many teachers in the city, is pushing back against the proposed plan to resume some in-person learning. In a statement late Tuesday, the union criticized superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon for announcing plans without first reaching a deal with the CEA, and says it will continue abiding by the original plan for remote learning through October 27.

Tuesday, September 29

4:30 p.m. Columbus City Schools announced that it plans to bring pre-K through 8th grades into classrooms again in October as part of a new hybrid learning schedule. Lower grades will attend class in-person for two days a week, and be remote the other three, while high schoolers remain entirely online.

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

  • Ohio's wastewater monitoring project is active in 36 cities looking for virus gene fragments as indicators of upticks in COVID-19 spread. COVID-19 can be present in wastewater several days before the cases show up in testing. Six cities have shown increases in recent weeks.
  • Ohio's prisons are also testing their wastewater for virus gene fragments on a weekly basis. Prisons also have worked to change HVAC system for more air filtration and fresh air.
  • DeWine announced an overhaul of Ohio's Medicaid system. He also announced a new managed care program for children with complex behavioral health needs called Ohio RISE

9:40 a.m. A county prosecutor has rejected a request from a conservative Ohio lawmaker to file criminal charges against Gov. Mike DeWine. State Rep. John Becker, a Republican from Cincinnati, made a demand Monday in Clermont Municipal Court under a provision of state law allowing private citizen affidavits.

  • Becker claims DeWine exceeded the authority of state law and the state and U.S. constitutions in issuing public health orders during hte pandemic. The county prosecutor said that state policy decisions should not be criminalized, while DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney called the demand absurd.

Monday, September 28

1:52 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports 993 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths in the last day. The state also saw 91 more hospitalizations and 10 more ICU admissions.

6:00 a.m. Intermediate care facilities, which house people with intellectual disabilities, can resume indoor visitations in Ohio. Previously, visitations were only allowed in end-of-life situations during the pandemic.

Sunday, September 27

1:50 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported 800 new COVID-19 cases and one death in the last day. The state also saw 31 more hospitalizations and four more ICU admissions.

Saturday, September 26

2:06 p.m. Ohio surpassed 150,000 cases of COVID-19.  The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,115 new COVID-19 cases and 6 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 58 more hospitalizations and 4 more ICU admissions.

 

Friday, September 25

2:05 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,150 new COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 76 more hospitalizations and 15 more ICU admissions.

Thursday, September 24

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's COVID-19 update press conference.

  • Indoor visitations at some nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be allowed to start on October 12, according to Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy.
    • Facilities will have to consider the COVID-19 case level in the facility and the surrounding community, its own staffing level, access to adequate tests and personal protective equipment as well as the hospital capacity in the community.
    • Nursing home visits will be restricted to 30 minutes with no age restrictions as long as the visitors can maintain social distancing. Visitors must schedule a visit in advance, be screened when entering a facility and wear a face mask. Spaces must be sanitized after a visit take place.
  • Rehabilitation facilities will also start to allow indoor visitation at intermediate care facilities, Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director Jeff Davis said.
  • Delaware is elevated to the red level, level three on the Ohio’s public Health Advisory system. DeWine said the county has a sustained increase for outpatient visits for COVID-like illnesses, an early indicator for the virus, from 32 average visits on Sept 7 to 53 per day.
  • DeWine said the state is now recommending colleges and universities regularly test a sample population of at least 3% of asymptomatic students each week. The governor said some school are already doing this.
  • Antibody positivity for COVID-19 from Ohio blood donors has increased from 1.2% in June to 3.3% on September 14. The national average is 3.5%. The American Red Cross has been testing for antibodies in blood, plasma and platelet donors since June.

1:59 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 991 new COVID-19 cases and 28 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 74 more hospitalizations and 10 more ICU admissions.

12:10 p.m. University presidents from the Mid-American Conference, including those from Kent State and Akron, will reportedly vote Friday on the possibility of a six-game fall football season. ESPN reports the season would likely would begin the weekend of October 24 and include daily rapid antigen testing for players and staff, similar to the revised plan from the Big Ten Conference.

9:00 a.m. Gas stations and convenience stores are permitted to reopen self-service or to-go food stations, under new guidance from the Ohio Department of Health. However, restaurants are still barred from offering buffets.

Wednesday, September 23

1:58 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 903 new COVID-19 cases and 52 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 78 more hospitalizations and eight more ICU admissions.

1:45 p.m. Ohio State University's Athletics Department has announced budget cuts, furloughs and layoffs due to a $107 million deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. None of the school's 36 sports programs will be cut, though, and the expense reductions will not affect student athletes. 

9:30 a.m. Kent State University has reported 25 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, the second-highest jump since the university began using its coronavirus dashboard. In a campus email last night, president Todd Diacon asked students to avoid parties and gatherings, and warned that the university will take disciplinary action, including suspension or dismissal.

Tuesday, September 22

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike Dewine's COVID-19 update press conference.

  • DeWine said that new COVID-19 cases are down at 685 new cases in the past day, which is the lowest since Sept. 8 and well below the 21 day average of 1,011. He said tomorrow's numbers will indicate if this is a trend.
  • There is a new dashboard on case demographics available online that breaks down COVID numbers by race and location.
  • Ohio State University environmental engineer Dr. Mark Weir discussed how the virus can travel through the air and emphasized how air circulation and filtration can curb the spread. He said that the EPA’s indoor air quality website is a good place to start for more information and that business owners can work with licensed HVAC professionals to improve air quality.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced that the Ford Motor Company is donating 2 million medical-grade masks to Ohio.

9:59 a.m. Summit County school districts will be getting $7.3 million in grants from the federal CARES Act to help cover the costs of reopening during the pandemic. Akron and Stow-Munroe Falls are receiving the most money, based on a count of students.

9:10 a.m. Ohio University students will begin moving back to the Athens campus beginning today, after starting the semester entirely online. Only about 30% of the normal undergraduate on-campus population is coming back this fall under the school's "Phase 2" low-density approach.

8:08 a.m. The rate at which Ohioans are testing positive for coronavirus is falling. The positivity rate for the previous seven days fell to 3% on Friday. That's the lowest rate since the pandemic began. To date Ohio has reported about 145,165 infections and about 4,623 deaths.

Monday, September 21

1:57 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 856 new COVID-19 cases and eight deaths in the last day. The state also reported 56 more hospitalizations and 19 ICU admissions.

10:43 a.m. Ohio State has announced that the College of Medicine and Wexner Medical Center were awarded a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on first responders and health care workers.

10:39 a.m. Columbus Metropolitan Library is again expanding in-person browsing at its locations across the city. Now 21 of the system's 23 locations allow browsing, although face masks are required for anyone over the age of 5. 

10:02 a.m. There was no decision over the weekend about restarting football for the Mid-American Conference. Conference presidents, including those from Kent State and Akron, met on Saturday to discuss a six- or eight-game fall schedule after the Big Ten announced it will resume next month. Another meeting will be held this week.

9:19 a.m. Adult day care centers can reopen in Ohio today, although many are staying closed for now. Operators say there hasn't been enough financial support from the state to help them survive, and families say their loved ones have been suffereing from the lack of socialization.

Sunday, September 20

1:56 p.m. Ohio has reported an increase of 762 new COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 23 more hospitalizations and 5 ICU admissions.

Saturday, September 19

2:06 p.m. Ohio has reported an increase of 951 new COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 63 more hospitalizations and 14 ICU admissions.

Friday, September 18

5:00 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health released a slate of non-binding recommendations for Halloween this year, urging people to avoid hayrides, haunted houses and parties. The state will allow decisions on trick-or-treating to be made at the local level, but is urging face masks and social distancing.

2:06 p.m. Ohio has reported an increase of 1,011 new COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 62 more hospitalizations and 12 ICU admissions.

8:30 a.m. State Rep. Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland), a critic of Ohio's coronavirus response, has introduced a bill in the legislature to cancel the state of emergency that's been in place since March, and eliminate the statewide mask mandate. The bill would allow businesses and hospitals to return to full capacity, and schools to resume in-person classes without masks or social distancing.

Thursday, September 17

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine's COVID-19 press conference.

  • DeWine said the Ohio Public Health Advisory System shows 11 counties have moved from yellow to orange this week. Only five counties continue to be in the red category.
  • DeWine announced two new data dashboards available online. The schools dashboard shows new and cumulative COVID cases reported to schools by parents/guardians and staff.
  • The children and COVID dashboard includes information about cases, hospitalizations, and deaths of young Ohoans. DeWine said that Black children are being affected by the disease disproportionately.
  • The state is issuing a Rapid Response Guide for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers to support local health districts in developing an appropriate plan to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks. The Health Department is awarding $2.6 million in CARES Act funding to agricultural camp operators to improve the health and safety of their worksites and camps.
  • Testing at wastewater treatment sites has shown an increase in virus gene fragments detected in Dayton and Columbus facilities.
  • DeWine said initial guidelines for Halloween activities will be released tomorrow.

11:15 a.m. Cleveland's I-X Center, a massive events space on the city's west side, will close permanently because of the continued pandemic. The 2.2 million square foot complex held its last event in February, before furloughing 76 employees and 100 seasonal workers this spring.

10:43 a.m. Another 16,294 Ohioans filed new jobless claims last week, according to the Department of Job and Family Services, bringing the state's total to 1,698,355 unemployment claims since the beginning of the pandemic. That's more than the last four years combined.

10:30 a.m. The University of Akron is expanding COVID-19 testing on campus by implementing a random sampling of on-campus students, beginning the week of September 28. The school is also making testing available for students living in the Exchange Street Residence Hall – previously it only offered tests for symptomatic students.

8:44 a.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports that nursing homes saw 120 more COVID-19 deaths in the last week, bringing the total to 2,917 since the start of the pandemic. That represents 68% of the state's confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

7:20 a.m. According to the Associated Press, about one in six Ohio school districts asked the state for permission to add additional spectators for fall sporting events. Gov. Mike DeWine last month setting limits on how many people could attend contests such as high school football and soccer games, but the review found the Ohio Department of Health approved all requests, and sometimes on the same day.

Wednesday, September 16

5:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a bill into law that forbids public officials from closing places of worship in the state or canceling or postponing an election, as happened with the March primary. The legislation follows orders in other states that restricted religious gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, although DeWine did not issue such an order in Ohio.

1:55 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports an increase of 1,033 new COVID-19 cases and 49 deaths in the last day. The state also saw 79 more hospitalizations and 23 more ICU admissions, which is the highest in several weeks.

9:13 a.m. The Big Ten has reversed course and voted to resume the fall football season on October 23. Each team will play an eight-game schedule, with daily antigen testing required for all students, coaches, trainers and other on-field pesonnel.

  • The conference announced just last month that it would postpone fall sports possibly until the spring, due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. Decisions on other fall sports, as well as winter competitions, are expected to come soon.

Tuesday, September 15

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine gives a COVID-19 update press conference.

  • The state reported 87 more COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours, the largest single-day increase since May and the third largest daily increase since the pandemic began. DeWine cautioned the number represents when deaths were reported, not when they occured.
  • DeWine announced a new initiative called Ohio To Work, a new program that brings together employers, nonprofits, educators, and training providers to help Ohioans reskill and restart their careers. The program will launch in the Cleveland area.
  • DeWine said his administration was open with health department director pick Dr. Joan Duwve, who withdrew from the role just hours after her hire was announced, about the harassment and protests that predecessor Dr. Amy Acton faced. DeWine says he's not concerned about finding a qualified replacement for the role, which has been filled by an interim director since June.

11:57 a.m. Walsh Jesuit High School, a private high school in Cuyahoga Falls, warned its students who recently attended a large house party that they have two choices: acknowledge they were there and quarantine for two weeks, or risk expulsion. The school's president says the party involving at least 100 students, many of whom didn't wear mask or social distancing, jeopardizes the school community’s safety.

8:00 a.m. Columbus City Council last night approved a $41.5 million cut to the city's general fund budget due to revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

7:30 a.m. State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) is in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. Senate President Larry Obhof is also self-quarantining because he interacted with Peterson last week.

Monday, September 14

2:01 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports 1,079 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths in the last day.

9:15 a.m. Police bodycam footage shows a house full of Ohio college students held a party over Labor Day weekend after several of them tested positive for COVID-19. Oxford police cited six men who attended a house party near Miami University on Saturday for violating the state’s mass gathering and quarantine ordinance. More than 1,000 Miami University students have tested positive for COVID-19 since classes started this fall.

9:03 a.m. The Big Ten Conference is considering a proposal to revive the fall football season. Over the weekend, presidents of the Big Ten schools were presented a comprehensive plan for resuming competition, but meeting broke up without taking a vote.

  • The original decision to cancel fall sports was 11-3, and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said the conference would not reconsider.

Sunday, September 13

2:00 p.m.  Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 837 new COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 30 more hospitalizations and no additional ICU admissions.

Saturday, September 12

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,242 new COVID-19 cases and 8 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 48 more hospitalizations and 7 more ICU admissions.

Friday, September 11

2:00 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reported an increase of 1,240 new COVID-19 cases and 49 deaths in the last day. The state also reported 72 more hospitalizations and 11 more ICU admissions.

1:15 p.m. The number of new jobless claims fell in the past week, according to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Nearly 18,000 Ohioans filed for unemployment benefits, a 4% drop from the previous week. Meanwhile, nearly 330,000 Ohioans remain on unemployment.

1:12 p.m. The University of Akron has reported 15 new COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, according to the university’s updated dashboard. A total of eight isolation rooms are currently in use on campus. Akron does not require students to be tested and is only making testing available to students who are symptomatic. 

12:32 p.m. Ohio State announced that it will cancel spring break in 2021 to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. The school will also start the first week of the spring semester remotely, along with other schedule changes.

9:12 a.m. Ohio State head football coach Ryan Day is criticizing the Big Ten Conference for their communication following the cancellation of the fall season, calling it "disappointing and often unclear." Day is pushing to resume competition by mid-October.

  • Ohio State is now reporting that 1,814 students and 27 employees have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school's coronavirus dashboard. While the data shows that the overall positivity rate for students is 3.93%, the rate for students living off-campus increased again to 9% during the most recent testing period.

7:30 a.m. The Ohio Statehouse is not hosting its traditional September 11 commemoration due to the ongoing pandemic. The display features 2,977 American flags, one for each life lost in the terrorist attacks 19 years ago.

Thursday, September 10

8:45 p.m. Dr. Joan Duwve has withdrawn from consideration as the new director of the Ohio Department of Health, just hours after being named to the position Gov. Mike DeWine. The governor said Duwve cited "personal reasons" for the decision.

2:00 p.m. Gov. DeWine gives a COVID-19 press conference.

  • DeWine encouraged all Ohioans over six months old to get a flu shot this season. DeWine and his wife recieved a flu shot from their family physician live on the air.
  • If someone doesn't know where to get a vaccine, they can visit VaccineFinder.org.
  • DeWine highlighted data about the age of those who contract COVID-19. Since June, the data shows that most new cases are coming from those 20 to 29 years old. Those younger than 19 have the second highest number of new cases.
  • Four states are under Ohio's travel advisory this week: North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Alabama.
  • DeWine announced that Dr. Joan Duwve is his pick for state’s new Ohio Department of Health director. Dr. Duwve is an Ohio native and currently serves as Director of Public Health for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

11:55 a.m. Ohio's nursing homes reported 87 deaths in the last week, according to the Department of Health. As of September 9, there have been 2,797 deaths in long-term care facilities since the beginning of the pandemic, accounting for just below 70% of the state's COVID-19 deaths.

Wednesday, September 9

2:05 p.m. The Ohio Department of Health reports an increase of 973 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths in the last day, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 132,965 cases and 4,324 deaths. The state also reported 12 more ICU admissions and 116 more hospitalizations, the highest single-day increase in at least three weeks.

1:45 p.m. Ohio State professor Dr. Leon McDougle, the new president of the National Medical Assocation and chief diversity officer at the Wexner Medical Center, has been named to the NCAA's COVID-19 Medical Advisory Group. The group includes medical professionals from all three divisions, who will review coronavirus research and data and provide guidance to the NCAA about training, practice and competitions,

10:52 a.m. Ohio is back on a travel advisory list issued by the state of New York due to an increase in coronavirus cases. Ohio was removed from the risk list last month after the rate of new COVID-19 cases declined, but peaked in cases again on September 1. Ohioans now visiting New York must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

  • Ohio currently has six states on its travel advisory list – Alabama, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nevada – but does not require a two-week quarantine.

9:12 a.m. Ohio's Department of Jobs and Family Services is again telling thousands of Ohioans who received unemployment compensation during the pandemic that they were overpaid. Alerts went out about 48,000 people, or 6% of the nearly 800,000 Ohioans who were paid jobless benefits.

  • Those who believe they received an overpayment alert by mistake have three weeks to file an appeal. If overpayments aren't paid back, the money could be taken from future benefits or a collections process could begin.

Tuesday, September 8

2:00 p.m.   Gov. Mike DeWine's COVID-19 press conference.

  • The Ohio State University President Kristina Johnson reported on testing efforts on and off compaus. So far, they have done about 40,000 tests with 1,500 students and 25 employees testing positive.
  • DeWine announced that thousands of children from low-income families will soon receive additional money to purchase nutritious foods through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer. For those who are already a aprt of the program, there is no need to reapply.
  • The Cleveland Clinic, in partnership with Clorox, has developed a resource to help families weigh the risks of contracting COVID-19 by attending in-person activities and events.
  • DeWine addressed internet rumors about "FEMA camps" and "children being separated from parents," saying the claims are "ridiculous." The order in question, which has not been widely used, is designed to allow safe places to voluntarily self-isolate, quarantine or recover.

7:30 a.m. The head of the Ohio State Highway Patrol says that since April, troopers have issued 2,200 tickets for driving more than 100 mph. That's a 61% increase over the same time period a year ago. July was also Ohio's worst month for fatal crashes since 2007.

Monday, September 7

1:59 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 778 new COVID-19 cases and 17 more deaths in the last day. The state also recorded 46 more hospitalizations and one more ICU admissions.  

Sunday, September 6

4:00 p.m. According to Ohio State's coronavirus dashboard, a total of 1,500 students and 25 staff have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the university's overall positive rate to 3.71%.

  • In the most recent 24-hour period of testing, the positivity rate for on-campus students was 4.33% while off-campus students dropped to 5.45%. Employees tested positive at a rate of 3.33%.

1:59 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 773 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths in the last day. The state also recorded 33 more hospitalizations and one more ICU admissions.  

Saturday, September 5

6:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Ohio's two NFL teams will be partially exempted from a statewide health order restricting spectators for sporting events. Instead of being limited to 1,500 people, the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals can host up to 6,000 people at each of their two home games.

4:22 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 1,341 new COVID-19 cases and eigth more deaths in the last day. The state also recorded 77 more hospitalizations and 10 more ICU admissions.

Friday, September 4

2:10 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 1,332 new COVID-19 cases and 22 more deaths in the last day. The state also recorded 69 more hospitalizations and 19 more ICU admissions.

12:12 p.m. Ohio State University reports that 1,052 students and 22 staff have now tested positive for COVID-19. In the school's most recent 24-hour testing period on September 1, the positivity rate for on-campus students was 3.34%, while the rate for off-campus students rose to 10.83%. There are currently 208 students listed as "in isolation" and 104 "in quarantine."

Thursday, September 3

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds a COVID-19 press conference.

  • DeWine noted that Thursday was the six-month anniversary of the decision to cancel the Arnold Sports Festival, saying it was "a tough decision, but it set us on a good path."
  • DeWine urged Ohioans over the upcoming Labor Day weekend to avoid crowds, maintain social distrancing and wear masks. He noted the state saw a spike in cases in the days and weeks following the July 4 holiday weekend.
  • In Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System, Franklin County remains at the orange level (level two) for the second straight week. Level two indicates increased exposure and spread of the coronavirus. All Central Ohio counties are at level two or below.
  • Seven counties in Ohio are at the red level (level three), which indicates very high exposure and spread of the virus. Butler, Putnam and Wayne counties are now at the red level. They join Lucas, Mercer, Montgomery and Preble counties at that level.
  • Lorain County dropped two levels, from the red level (level three) to the yellow level (level one). Erie County dropped one level from level three to level two.
  • The state is now posting information online for the Ohio Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network. DeWine said studying wastewater could provide earlier warning sign of possible COVID-19 case increases in communities.
  • As a part of a public health order regarding schools, parents must notify schools within 24 hours of their child receiving a positive COVID-19 test. Schools must notify all parents within 24 hours if a student in a school tests positive. The order goes into affect on Tuesday, September 8.

1:57 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 1,345 new COVID-19 cases and 50 deaths in the last day, the number of deaths was the highest daily total since June. The state also recorded 89 more hospitalizations and 14 more ICU admissions. 

9:40 a.m. Miami University in Oxford is now reporting 500 COVID-19 cases on campus, mostly among students. The school is now requiring everyone to be tested for the virus before the start of in-person classes on September 21. In addition, each day, a select group of students will get an email requiring that they schedule a COVID test.

9:00 a.m. new study by Cleveland State University shows just three of the nation's 40 largest metro areas – New York, Las Vegas and Boston – have done worse in terms of job losses than Cleveland. The five-county Cleveland metro area was down an estimated 130,000 jobs in July from the same month a year ago, a 12% decline.

7:30 a.m. Ohio State's coronavirus dashboard shows that 882 students and 20 staff members have now tested positive for COVID-19, including 260 who tested positive in one 24-hour period on August 31.

  • The new figures show students who live off-campus have tested positive at a rate of 9.66%. That's compared to a positivity rate of 5.7% for on-campus residents, which fell slightly.

Wednesday, September 2

1:55 p.m. Ohio's Department of Health reports an increase of 1,157 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths in the last day, slightly down from Tuesday's numbers. The state also recorded 95 more hospitalizations and 14 more ICU admissions.

Tuesday, September 1

4:48 p.m. The Cleveland Clinic took a nearly $202 million operating loss in the second quarter of 2020, according to Crain's Cleveland, compared to a gain of $116 million during the same time the year before. The clinic says the revenue decline was a result of it having to suspend non-essential medical procedures from mid-March through early May due to the pandemic.

4:00 p.m. The Ohio House has voted to pass a revised bill that would protect first responders, businesses and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits, after the report passed through a conference committee. Many Democrats maintained their opposition to the legislation, which passed 63-30, because it stripped out language that would quickly provide workers compensation to employees who contract COVID-19 on the job.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds a COVID-19 press conference.

  • DeWine said the state has seen the highest single-day increase in case numbers since the end of July. He said this is likely due to schools and colleges returning to class.
  • With Labor Day coming up, DeWine warned about the risks of family gatherings and the jump in cases seen after July 4.
  • DeWine said his order on reporting COVID-19 in our schools is expected this week. The main goals of the order are to ensure that parents are notified if their children have been in contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive or if someone in their child's building is COVID-19 positive. The public will also be notified about cases in their local districts, but no personal student information will be available.
  • DeWine said he believes school and university administrators prepared well for resuming in-person classes during the pandemic, and thanked colleges for undertaking significant coronavirus testing efforts.

12:41 p.m. The Ohio House has unanimously rejected Senate changes to a bill that would shield first responders, businesses and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits. The bill, which is supported by Gov. Mike DeWine, now goes to conference committee.

11:30 a.m. President Trump says he spoke with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren about "immediately starting up Big Ten football." However, the conference did not respond to a request for comment, and Warren has defended his decision to postpone the fall sports season, possibly until spring.

9:10 a.m. The Akron Public School Board voted to reverse course last night and allow all fall sports to move forward, effective immediately. The board voted 4-3 to flip an earlier decision suspending fall sports due to the pandemic after an outcry from students and parents. It also voted to allow marching bands across the district to resume.

Monday, August 31

1:53 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 895 new COVID-19 cases and 10 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 59 more hospitalizations and 7 more ICU admissions.

7:12 a.m. The second week of on-campus classes at Ohio State brings the second phase of COVID-19 testing. As of August 29, the university says 496 students and 16 staff have tested positive. Now, students living off-campus will be randomly tested.

  • Last week, the university said the positive test rate nearly tripled in a 24-hour period shortly after classes resumed. New Ohio State president Kristina Johnson has said the university needs to control that rate or classes will return to a virtual setting.

7:03 a.m. Hilliard City Schools return to the classroom today. The district's hybrid plan puts fewer students in school buildings on certain days of the week, while teaching through a combination of in-person and online instruction.

  • Hilliard originally planned for an all-virtual start to the year, but moved to a hybrid plan when Franklin County moved down to level 2 on Ohio's Public Health Advisory System.

Sunday, August 30

2:18 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 922 new COVID-21 cases and two more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 29 more people hospitalized and two more ICU admissions.

Saturday, August 29

2:26 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 1,216 new COVID-21 cases and eight more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 67 more people hospitalized and 6 more ICU admissions.

Friday, August 28

4:22 p.m. After the University of Dayton reported 148 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, college president Eric Spina announced that undergraduate classes would remain remote until at least September 14.

2:02 p.m. Ohio's rate of new COVID-19 cases is once again on an upward climb, with the state reporting 1,296 new cases and 29 more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 71 more hospitalizations and 17 more ICU admissions.

Thursday, August 27

7:30 p.m. Ohio State president Kristina Johnson says the university's student positivity rate has more than doubled to 3.10% in the previous 24 hours, and the rate of transmission has also increased.

4:00 p.m. After Ohio downgraded Franklin County to a level two health emergency, Columbus City Schools announced it will allow sports and other extracurriculars to proceed this fall. Activities can begin again on Sunday, August 29.

3:30 p.m. Hiliard City Schools announced it will switch to a hybrid in-person model starting Monday, August 31.

2:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine holds a COVID-19 update press conference.

  • In Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System, Franklin County is no longer in the "red" level three category for very high risk of spread, due to decreasing COVID-19 infection rates. Clark, Clermont and Trumbull counties also went down to "orange" level two.
  • DeWine said the state is renewing its memo of understanding with Partners in Health, a nonprofit that has helped with Ohio's contact tracing efforts. The agreement is at no cost to the state.
  • DeWine said that the state began baseline saliva testing at assisted living facilities last week, but has paused this method temporarily to determine why there have been irregularities.
  • DeWine said that he will be issuing an order that requires schools to establish a reporting mechanism for parents to report COVID-19 cases. K-12 schools must report cases to the local health department.
  • Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the health department order on sports will be amended. It used to say that a school could not play against more than one team in “24 hours.” That will be changed to a “calendar day.” This will allow games on both Friday night and Saturday morning, for example.
  • Husted said that FEMA approved Ohio’s application for a federal Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance grant worth $717 million to provide additional assistance to eligible individuals.

11:01 a.m. Miami University reports that 125 students and three employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since classes began on August 17. The semester has begun remotely, with most new infections stemming from student-athletes who attended an off-campus gathering over a week ago.

9:10 a.m. Another 18,988 Ohioans filed initial unemployment claims last week, a drop of 12% from the week before and the lowest number of new claims since the pandemic caused mass closures in March.

Wednesday, August 26

2:00 p.m. Ohio has surpassed the benchmark of 4,000 deaths from COVID-19. In the last day, the state reported 1,089 coronavirus cases and 48 more deaths, a recent high. Ohio also saw 87 more hospitalizations and 17 more ICU admissions.

Tuesday, August 25

2:00 p.m.  Gov. Mike DeWine holds his COVID-19 update press conference.

  • DeWine said that the top 10 counties with highest rate of new cases are all rural counties with fewer than 60,000 residents.
  • In regards to last week’s sports order, DeWine said that it limits the max number of spectators to 1,500 individuals or 15% percent of capacity for outdoor venues and 300 individuals or 15% of capacity for indoor venues. There is a variance process for schools to request a higher spectator limit by submitting a plan to their local health department explaining why a different capacity is needed and how social distancing will be achieved.

9:14 a.m. There will be no tailgating for Cleveland Browns games this fall. The city of Cleveland says the Muni Lot will be off-limits, no vehicles will be allowed into any city-owned parking lots on game days until two hours before kickoff, and Cleveland will not issue any permits for tailgating events.

  • The Browns have their first home game scheduled September 17. The team asked the state of Ohio for a variance allowing it to hold up to 15,000 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium, far higher than the state's normal limits.

8:35 a.m. Beginning today, parents have another option for child care. Gov. Mike DeWine announced that licensed daycare centers can care for school-age children remotely. Organizations including churches and recreation centers can also apply for a “Temporary Pandemic School-Age Child Care” license.

Monday, August 24

3:21 p.m. Ohio State University has issued 228 interim suspensions to students for hosting or attending parties and other large gatherings, both on or off campus. The school says students or attend or host a gathering of more than 10 people will be automatically referred to Student Conduct, while involved student organizations could lose university recognition or funding.

2:05 p.m. Ohio reported an increase of 849 new COVID-19 cases and eight more deaths in the last day. The state also saw 59 more people hospitalized and 10 more ICU admissions.

9:43 a.m. A group of conservative Ohio lawmakers have filed articles of impeachment against Republican Gov. Mike DeWine over his coronavirus response. It's the first time articles of impeachment have been filed against a sitting Ohio governor, although the group says it doesn't have the votes to pass it.

9:16 a.m. The Ohio Department of Health released preliminary safety guidelines for the performing arts, including requirements for face masks and reduced capacity for venues. But a final health order has yet to be signed, so the plan doesn't include a date where performances can resume.

9:01 a.m. Several more Ohio bars have been cited for violating the state's coronavirus health orders, including serving alcohol after 10 p.m. and for failing to enforce social distancing or mask wearing. Over the weekend, Thursday's Lounge in Akron, Roadhouse Bar in Chillicothe, Beer Barrel Saloon in Put-In-Bay, and Blossom Lounge in Cleveland were all issued citations.

  • Other recent citations include Little York Tavern in Vandalia, Mickey's In The Valley in Akron, Southside Restaurant in Coldwater, DD's Roadhouse in Toledo, the Club House in Mansfield, All City in Youngstown, Trackside Bar in Ashville, Madison Inn in Middletown, and the Highland Tavern. The Ohio Liquor Control Commission will consider possible penalties, including fines or loss of their liquor permits.

8:45 a.m. The Cleveland Browns shut down their facilities on Sunday to retest all players, coaches and staffers who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, and all came back negative. The team then held a light practice in the afternoon. The NFL announced that irregularities were found in dozens of COVID-19 tests by one of its testing partners, New Jersey's BioReference, leading to 77 false positives.

7:21 a.m. The Ohio State University starts fall classes Tuesday, following an extended move-in intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

7:00 a.m. The Ohio School for the Deaf is set to resume classes virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Previous Updates From July 5-August 23