Coronavirus

Samuel Hunter, Pam White, Leah Hunter and Zachary Hunter were first in line on the west side of Nationwide Arena.
Karen Kasler

New rules on mass gatherings signed yesterday mean indoor sports venues can be up to 25% capacity starting immediately. Last night, Ohio’s major league professional hockey team went back to the ice in front of fans for the first time since last March.

Dan Konik

Starting Thursday, more Ohioans will be eligible for COVID vaccines. That’s because nearly a half a million more doses will be available this week.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
@sensherrodbrown/twitter

Ohio’s Democratic senior US Senator says he’s confident the minimum wage will be raised quickly and substantially, even though a provision to hike it to $15 an hour won’t be included in the latest $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.

Sen. Matt Huffman explains his bill to reporters
Jo Ingles

The top leader of the Ohio Senate says the issues with the state's unemployment compensation system represent a catastrophic government failure.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the state will be increasing the capacity limits for sporting and entertainment events, creating an opportunity for more of these venues to reopen.

Dan Konik

Filings for unemployment benefits had been slowly ticking up in January. But the last two weeks of reported numbers show an explosion of claims. And the state’s job and family services agency is now flagging tens of thousands of claims filed in those last two weeks.

Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) holds a briefing with reporters after session on September 1, 2020.
Karen Kasler

The House is looking over a bill passed by Senators that would pull back on Gov. Mike DeWine’s power to issue health orders – by allowing lawmakers to take a bigger role. The House leader is interested in the plan, which DeWine has threatened to veto.

A line outside the Mid-Ohio Food Bank in Grove City near Columbus in November.
Karen Kasler

Unemployment and financial problems from the pandemic have brought millions of people to food banks, which are serving 150,000 more Ohioans per month than they were a year ago. That’s putting a strain on the system that supports those people in need.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says he still might veto a bill that would limit his authority when it comes to issuing a state of emergency and health orders. DeWine defends the restrictions created through these orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ohio Channel

A bill to limit Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R-Ohio) authority to issue health orders and states of emergency and require more legislative involvement is moving forward today. It passed out of the Ohio Senate and now heads to the Ohio House, continuing the debate the role the government should play in a global pandemic. 

Gov. Mike DeWine, at a press conference in his home in January 2021.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine says while Ohio’s COVID numbers are trending in the right direction, the pandemic isn’t over. So he’s warning that he will veto a bill that would pull back on some of his power to issue health orders if state lawmakers send it to him - as he did last year.

Dan Konik

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is sending a warning to any school district thinking about not honoring its commitment to return to some form of in-person learning by March 1. He said the state might withhold vaccines if they don't bring kids back to the classroom.

Ohio Dept of Health Director Stephanie McCloud
Jo Ingles

There was a huge jump in COVID deaths on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, and more big bumps are coming in the next few days. 

Karen Kasler

School districts and communities are working on creating plans to improve student success and address the disrupted learning created by the COVID-19 pandemic. These plans could include a range of changes such as longer school years and additional tutoring, which could put a strain on teachers.

Andy Chow

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is asking every school district in Ohio to come up with plans to elevate student success. DeWine says he wants a discussion between schools and communities on what can be done to help address issues students are facing during the pandemic.

U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown
Jo Ingles

President Joe Biden has said he doesn’t think an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour will pass in the latest COVID relief bill. But Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Senator says it needs to be passed somehow because it’s long overdue. 

Dan Konik

Drug companies are about to start sending more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Ohio. But even with more shots, Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the state will hold eligibility at 65 years and older starting next week.

A nurse prepares Moderna vaccination at Columbus shot clinic
Dan Konik

Ohio has marked an important milestone. For the first time during this pandemic, the Ohio Department of Health reports the number of people who have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine outnumbers the total number of cases reported. And that’s not the only positive indicator.

Former Ohio Health Director Amy Acton addresses reporters at start of pandemic
Jo Ingles

It is looking a little more likely that Ohio’s former health director, Dr. Amy Action, is seriously considering a run for US Senate next year. Acton has resigned as vice president of the Human:Kind initiative with the non-profit Columbus Foundation, a post that she’s held since August.

Ohio Senate

The crowd in an Ohio Senate committee room drew criticism for not observing social distance and not wearing masks. Some Democratic Senators voiced their frustration with the lack of COVID-related safety and one said the conditions forced him to leave the room. Now leadership says they're going to make changes.

Dan Konik

Thousands of teachers and school staff around Ohio are getting their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine. Teachers who lined up to be among the first to get the shot say it's about personal responsibility to protect students and the community. 

First Lady Fran DeWine gets COVID vaccine
Jo Ingles

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine got the first of their two Pfizer COVID 19 vaccine doses earlier today in Greene County, where they live. 

Daniel Konik

People around Ohio are lodging complaints about the state's unemployment compensation filing portal. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says an unprecedented influx of people applying for benefits continues to weigh down the system.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state of Ohio says it's continuing to try and reach out into communities to increase vaccination among people of color. The number of Black people getting the vaccine compared to other race groups is disproportionately low.

Though he had campaigned for former President Trump's re-election, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) attended President Biden's inauguration and said he'll work with his administration.
@senrobportman/Twitter

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is among the 10 Republican Senators who met with President Biden to talk about their COVID relief packages, though the Republicans' plan is a third the size of the one Democrats want. But Portman is hoping for more talks on those dueling deals.

COVID-19 vaccine, January 2021
Franklin County Public Health

More than 91,000 school teachers and staff around the state are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. But some educators say they ran into slow and unresponsive system while trying to sign up for the shot.

numstocker, Shutterstock.com

If you are over 75 and qualify for a COVID vaccine in Ohio, you can go to the state’s coronavirus website and find places where they are being offered. But many Ohioans still find it difficult to get a shot scheduled. 

A closed sign on a Columbus area business
Karen Kasler

The number of jobless claims reported this week in Ohio was the highest since last spring, and more than a quarter of a million Ohioans are still out of work. While that’s half of the number at the height of the pandemic, experts say the economy is still struggling.

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

The state is preparing to distribute the first widespread round of COVID-19 vaccines to teachers and staff at K-12 schools. Gov. Mike DeWine says this accomplishes the goal of bringing back in-person instruction in March.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services building in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler

Thousands of Ohioans says they're struggling to file unemployment claims through the state's system that is slow and unresponsive. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the state is doing a complete overhaul to address the issue.

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