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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: Summa Health, Beaumont Merger on Hold; Stow-Glen Reports Two Resident Deaths

a photo of Summa's Akron campus
Summa Health has furloughed 600 employees due to the coronavirus pandemic and has put on hold a merger with Beaumont Health of Michigan.

Here are your morning headlines for Wednesday, April 22:

  • Summa Health, Beaumont merger on hold;
  • Juvenile inmate in isolation;
  • Stow nursing home confirms two COVID-19 deaths;
  • Ohio has 13,700 coronavirus cases, 557 deaths;
  • DeWine taps two former governors for task force;
  • Summer activities not entirely ruled out;
  • Urbana University closes amid financial uncertainty;
  • Rite Aid opens coronavirus testing drive-thru in Akron;

Summa Health, Beaumont merger on hold
Akron-based Summa Health’s merger with Michigan-based Beaumont Health is on hold because of the financial effects of the coronavirus. The hospital systems signed a definitive agreementin January that would have made Beaumont the parent company of Summa this year, creating a nearly $6 billion nonprofit organization. Summa Health has furloughed roughly 600 employees. Beaumont has furloughed more than 2,000 workers and eliminated about 450 positions. 

Juvenile inmate in isolation
An inmate at a Highland Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility in Cuyahoga County is in isolation after showing symptoms of COVID-19. Test results are pending. No juveniles in state custody have tested positive in Ohio as of Tuesday. In adult prisons, more than 3,700 prisoners have tested positive mostly at the Marion and Pickaway correctional facilities. Nine inmates have died.

Stow nursing home confirms two COVID-19 deaths
A Stow nursing home has confirmed that two residents have died from COVID-19. Stow-Glen Retirement Village wrote in a Facebook post they're also awaiting tests for two staff members who are in quarantine. It's not known how many cases there are in facilities across the state. The Ohio Department of Health took down the list last week after finding inconsistent data. Gov. Mike DeWine said a new listwill be posted and updated each Wednesday at 2 p.m. Altercare has started posting numbers on its website for each of its nearly a dozen Northeast Ohio facilities. It reports 12 deaths at its Alliance nursing home in Stark County.

Ohio has 13,700 coronavirus cases, 557 deaths
Ohio has more than 13,700 total cases of COVID-19 and 557 deaths as of Monday. It's the lowest day-to-day increase the state has seen this week. The recent uptick in cases are attributed to Ohio's prison system, where more than 4,000 cases have been reported in inmates and staff. More than 94,000 tests have been conducted in the state.

DeWine taps two former governors for task force
Two former Ohio governors will lead a coronavirus testing task force created by Gov. Mike DeWine. Govenors Dick Celeste and Bob Taft will look for ways to expand coronavirus testing in the state and gather needed materials. No other details have been provided on the group. DeWine has said reopening the state heavily depends on testing capabilities, which are limited across the country. DeWine plans to start reopening some businesses May 1, but employers have called for more testing before everything opens.

Summer activities not entirely ruled out
Gov. Mike DeWine gave some hope about summer activities during yesterday's daily press briefing. Many residents have asked whether pools, zoos and fairs will be open in the coming months. DeWine didn't give a definitive no, but said it's imperative for everyone to maintain social distancing. Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton warned Ohioans will have to be cautious for the next few months and said summer most likely won't feel the same. Cleveland.com reportspeople searching the question, “When will things get back to normal?" is up 4,250% on Google compared to last month.

Urbana University closes amid financial uncertainty
A small liberal arts college near Columbus is closing after long-standing financial pressures and the coronavirus.Urbana University has struggled with enrollment and tuition issues over the last several years. Nearly 75% of its students take classes online. Students can finish classes through Columbus-based Franklin University, which acquired Urbana in 2014. They can also transfer to other institutions. More than 100 full-time faculty members will be affected.

Rite Aid opens coronavirus testing drive-thru in Akron
Rite Aid is opening a free coronavirus drive-thru testing site in Green in Summit County this Friday. The company opened another location in Parma on Monday. Pharmacists will oversee individuals take the self-swab nasal kits in their cars. Those eligible for tests include first-responders, health-care workers and residents and workers in long-term care facilities. The tests are not intended for those showing severe symptoms. The sites are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

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