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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Morning Headlines: Ohio Shows Progress in Slowing COVID-19 Spread; Surge Expected in May


Here are your morning headlines for Friday, March 27: 

  • State shows progress in slowing COVID-19 spread;
  • Surge in cases expected in May;
  • Daycares need pandemic license to remain open;
  • Cleveland confirms 11 more COVID-19 cases;
  • DeWine postpones State of the State address;
  • Cleveland EMS workers tests positive for coronavirus;
  • 2 Parma firefighters in quarantine;
  • Husted: Nearly 188,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment;
  • Officials test 16 prison inmates for COVID-19;
  • Timken Co. closes plants, will cut pay amid pandemic;

State shows progress in slowing COVID-19 spread
Ohio's health director said the state's efforts to slow the coronavirus are showing positive signs. Dr. Amy Acton said Thursday that early modeling shows Ohio is on track to cut the impact on the state's health care system by 50% or more. But she said residents must remain committed to social distancing and staying home. The state is now up to 15 deaths and more than 860 cases of the virus. Meanwhile, Gov. Mike DeWine said he plans on Friday to sign a sweeping relief package to address impacts of the coronavirus after jobless claims skyrocketed last week.

Surge of cases expected in May
Ohio's top health official said the state could be seeing as many as 6,000 new COVID-19 cases a dayin the next few months. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said she's expecting a surge in cases around May 1. Ohio has confirmed more than 860 cases and 15 deaths. As of Friday morning, Cuyahoga County has the most with 259. Acton says social distancing can help lessen the surge and asks Ohioans to comply with the stay-at-home order, which has been in effect since Tuesday. 

Daycares need pandemic license to remain open
Daycares in Ohio now need a special pandemic license to stay open. The license is for daycares that have many parents involved in health care, public safety or other occupations dealing directly with the coronavirus outbreak. More than 2,000 licenses have been given out so far. Gov. Mike DeWine issued the order last week to break up large group of children who are believed to be carriers for COVID-19. Although some daycares remain open, there can be no more than six children in a room.

Cleveland confirms 11 more COVID-19 cases
Health officials confirmed 11 more cases in Cleveland Thursday, bringing the city's total to 61. It's the first time the state confirmed 10 new cases in Cleveland within 24 hours. They range from 20 to 80 year olds. Cuyahoga County has 251 cases, the most in the state. Summit County has 50 confirmed cases and on Thursday confirmed its first death — a woman in her 70s.

DeWine postpones State of the State address
Gov. Mike DeWine is postponing his State of the State address, which was scheduled for Tuesday. DeWine said his focus needs to be on the coronavirus outbreak and will continue to give briefings throughout the week until April 6. He also doesn't want everybody to congregate in one room, potentially spreading COVID-19. A new date for the address hasn't been scheduled. 

Cleveland EMS worker tests positive for coronavirus
A Cleveland EMS employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports it's possibly the first case of coronavirus for a frontline EMS city employee. Their status is unknown. The Cleveland Association of Rescue Employees Local 175 is reaching out to people who may have been exposed. Cleveland EMS officials implemented new guidelines Thursday to protect employees, such as reporting their temperature an hour before reporting to work.

2 Parma firefighters in quarantine
Two Parma firefighters are in self-quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. Cleveland.com reports they were transporting a Sprague Road nursing home patient who tested positive for the virus. Officials said the firefighters didn't have the proper gear to protect themselves. The city's fire chief is now requiring workers to wear full gear when reporting to nursing homes, including N-95 masks, which are in short supply. The firefighters are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and are checking temperatures twice a day at home for three days.

Husted: Nearly 188,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said nearly 188,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment since March 21. That’s up from 7,000 filings the previous week. Husted said he's aware of issues on the state's unemployment site, which has slowed down due to demand. He said unemployment will be paid retroactivity, meaning the state will honor pay owed from the day individuals lost their jobs and not when they filed for unemployment.

Officials test 16 prison inmates for COVID-19
Ohio prison officials have tested 16 inmates for the coronavirus at facilities in Dayton, Lorain, Grafton and Marysville. All have tested negative with four results pending and those inmates are in isolation. The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio had asked for those daily numbers. Visitors were banned at prisons and jails early in the coronavirus crisis. While some people at higher risk for COVID-19 are being released from jails, Gov. Mike DeWine has said there are no plans to release prison inmates. An Ohio prison inmate with HIV petitioned the Ohio Supreme Court to release him from custody because he is considered at-risk for COVID-19 and the prison system cannot guarantee social distancing requirements.

Timken Co. closes plants, will cut pay amid pandemic
Canton-based Timken Co. is cutting salaries and shutting down plants because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Repository reportssalaried employees will have their pay cut in half next month. The company closed two plants in China during the height of the outbreak and closed a South Carolina bearing plant this week. Timken said the measures are being taken to align costs with the drop in demand. Lorain's U.S. Steel Tubular announced earlier this week it's laying off 250 people starting in May and is idling production indefinitely.

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