Park cabins, golf close, Kent State commemoration canceled
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State parks have shuttered more facilities as Ohio enters its first full day of a statewide “stay at home” order. Grocery stores, gas stations and other essential businesses remain open. Cases now top 440. State lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on legislation to be voted on this week that will address issues such as school testing and elections. A look at coronavirus-related developments in Ohio on Tuesday:
Ohio has more than 440 cases and six deaths across 46 counties. The total cases involve a wide age range, from younger than 1 year old to 93. One of three people who died at a nursing home in Troy had the coronavirus. Tests results are pending for the other two.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.
State park cabins, campgrounds, playgrounds, golf courses and marinas have closed. The parks' outdoor spaces, trails and non-marina docks remain open, but restroom facilities and water fountains will not be available. Visitors are asked to remain at least 6 feet apart.
Giant Eagle is installing plexiglass dividers at checkout stations and customer-service counters and halting use of reusable bags. The changes are in effect at Giant Eagle, Market District, Pharmacy and GetGo locations, cleveland.com reported. The company also is marking floors in checkout areas to indicate appropriate social distance between customers.
Voting rights groups have weighed in on a pending lawsuit over Ohio's delayed March 17 primary. The ACLU of Ohio, Ohio League of Women Voters and others did not take a side on whether in-person voting should proceed on April 28, May 16, June 2 or some other date, but advocated for registration to remain open and for access for all voters. Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose has proposed mailing postage-paid absentee ballots to every Ohioan who has not yet voted and keeping open the option of an in-person primary.
MEDICAL SUPPLY DONATIONS
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is opening a drop-off donation center for certain medical supplies that are unopened and still sealed, including masks, eyewear, gowns, gloves and shoe covers.
Organizers have canceled a festival that celebrates the spring bird migration along western Lake Erie. The event in early May typically draws visitors from around the world to parks and marshes along the lake and generates an estimated $40 million, according to a study released a few years ago by event organizers. A 50th anniversary weekend commemorating the victims of the May 4, 1970, shootings at Kent State University also has been canceled. A virtual commemoration program is being developed.
NURSING HOMES OUTBREAK
In Miami County, a combined 23 people who live or work at two nursing homes have tested positive, including an 88-year-old man who died, officials said Monday. That does not include two residents who died within the past week and whose test results have not been completed.
Nearly three dozen more residents are being monitored at the facilities in Troy and Tipp City.
A staff member who worked at both centers was among those hospitalized.
Lawmakers are preparing to vote on a sweeping coronavirus bill that will control the fate of the remaining school year, including graduation requirements and state-mandated testing, the primary election and a host of other issues raised by the coronavirus.
Associated Press writer John Seewer in Toledo, Ohio, contributed to this report.