Gov. DeWine Determines Seven Ohio Counties Must Wear Face Coverings in Public

Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week seven counties in Ohio will start wearing face coverings in public as the coronavirus cases continue to surge in the state.

Counties that need to follow this mandate are currently in Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency, according to DeWine’s press release.

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Gov. DeWine Unveils New Guidelines for Schools Reopening in the Fall

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday new guidelines schools will follow when they open up again in the fall.

According to the guidelines, schools will have to assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy.

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Ohio Governor Not in Favor of Removing Columbus Statue

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that while he’s not in favor of the removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, he’s open to discussions that arise about people’s place in history.

DeWine addressed last week’s removal by Columbus State Community College of its statue of the namesake explorer, and the announcement by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther that he wants the large statue outside City Hall to also go.

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Gov. DeWine Endorses Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Dayton Area Being the New Permanent Home for the Space Force

Gov. Mike DeWine backed the idea of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and the surrounding Dayton region being the new headquarters for the United States Space Command.

“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the Dayton region would be excellent hosts for the U.S. Space Command’s new headquarters,” he said. “This area is already home to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, and Air Force Material Command. It’s a powerful combination and a synergy that you can’t find anywhere else.”

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DeWine Signs Student Religious Liberties Act Into Law

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the Student Religious Liberties Act into law Friday, a bill that protects prayer and religious expression in public schools.

“No student should have to hide their faith just because they enter a public school. The Student Religious Liberties Act is carefully crafted to ensure school administrators can’t unfairly penalize students of all faiths, or no faith,” said Aaron Baer, president of Citizens for Community Values, one of twelve groups that testified in support of the bill.

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Gov. Mike DeWine Condemns Protest That Vandalized Ohio Statehouse

Gov. Mike DeWine released a statement on Friday showing his displeasure with the recent vandalism at the Ohio Capitol.

“I have spoken with Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. Richard Fambro about security at the Statehouse, and I shared with him my anger and disgust at the vandalism that occurred at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday. I support the right to peacefully protest. However, defacing, damaging, and vandalizing our state capitol and its grounds are wrong, and such actions are criminal,” DeWine said.

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Ohio Governor Proposes Outside Probes of Police Shootings

All shootings by Ohio police officers and any deaths of individuals in custody would be investigated by independent agencies under a proposal announced Wednesday by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine in his first major response to days of protests over police treatment of minorities.

As part of the proposal, the State Highway Patrol, which is under DeWine’s direct supervision, will no longer investigate its own shootings, the governor said.

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Ohio Democrats Ask Gov. DeWine to Ban Police Use of Tear Gas

Ohio Democrats asked Gov. Mike DeWine to indefinitely ban the use of tear gas by all county, municipal, and township police departments in a letter sent last week.

According to the letter, law enforcement agencies across Ohio used tear gas, pepper spray, and mace on peaceful protesters during recent demonstrations.

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Amy Acton Steps Down as Director of Ohio Department of Health

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, who during the COVID-19 pandemic has been both a magnet for praise and a lightning rod for criticism, is stepping down from her post. She will remain an advisor to Gov. Mike DeWine.

Republicans in the legislature and small business owners who felt the state took a heavy-handed approach with its pandemic response were particularly critical of Acton.

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Gov. Mike DeWine Asks Advisory Board to Develop Minimum Standards for Mass Protests

Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that he asked Ohio’s Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board (CCPAB) to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests in an effort to improve community-police relations in the state.

“These new efforts are just the start of our work to improve law enforcement accountability, transparency, training, and minority recruitment,” DeWine said. “We are working with the law enforcement community, elected officials, and community organizations as we continue to move forward.”

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‘Waking up’: Casinos, Amusement Parks to Reopen June 19

Casinos, amusement parks and racetracks will be allowed to open June 19, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during a briefing Friday as he responded to criticism of the state’s measured reopening plan.

In addition, the annual Memorial golf tournament in the Columbus suburb of Dublin was approved to take place in mid-July.

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Gov. DeWine Says Ohio Seeks to Improve Health and Economic Disparities in the State

Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that Ohio will put more of an effort into improving “issues of health and economic disparities, racism, and inequity.”

“I am seeking dialogue to solve these problems and seeking strategies for the implementation of reforms,” said Governor DeWine. “Whether it is in the urban core or the hills of Appalachia, we have Ohioans who are not living up to their God-given potential because they simply do not have the same opportunities. That is wrong, and we have a moral obligation to change that.”

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Ohio Black Caucus Introduces Bill to Declare Racism ‘Public Health Crisis’

The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus announced Friday that it plans to introduce legislation to declare racism a “public health crisis.”

“Our citizens of color have been subjected to the effects of racism since the founding of the State of Ohio in 1803. Since that time, Ohioans of color have endured unequal education, unsafe work conditions, inadequate health care services, subpar housing and an unjust criminal justice system, based on policies that were rooted in a belief that people of color are not worthy of the American Dream,” said a statement from the caucus sent to every member of the Ohio General Assembly.

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Ohio House Representative and Ohio Elected Officials Pepper Sprayed While Protesting in Downtown Columbus

Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03) and at least two other Ohio elected officials were pepper-sprayed in downtown Columbus during George Floyd protests on Saturday afternoon.

Beatty, Franklin County Commissioner Kevin Boyce, and Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin were sprayed after a protester got into a scuffle with law enforcement, Fox News reported.

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Chairman of Ohio House 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force Calls on Amy Acton to Resign

State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger (R-Mason) told the Cincinnati Enquirer Thursday that he wants Ohio Health Director Amy Acton to resign from her position.

During Zeltwanger’s interview, he condemned Acton for not providing accurate information to the public and not reacting to data that went against the state’s lockdown measures.

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Gov. DeWine Calls in Ohio National Guard to Help Test All Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes

Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled Tuesday the formation of the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams that will help test residents and staff in Ohio’s nursing homes, according to the governor’s press release.

Nursing homes across America, including Ohio, have been hotspots for the coronavirus.

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Ohio Dems ‘Outraged’ by Gov. DeWine’s Plan to Address COVID-19 Racial Disparities: ‘Too Little, Too Late’

Ohio Democrats said they were “outraged” by Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposal for addressing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s black population.

African Americans make up 14 percent of Ohio’s population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths.

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Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Unveils Recommendations to Address Impact of Coronavirus on State’s Black Community, Mentions Nothing About Vitamin D Deficiency

Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week the recommendations that the Minority Health Strike Force established to address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s black community.

According to DeWine’s press release, black people make up “14 percent of Ohio’s population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio.”

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Gov. DeWine Tells Kentucky Democratic Senate Candidate Amy McGrath to Stop Using His Image in Ads Against Sen. Mitch McConnell

Gov. Mike DeWine released a statement asking that Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath not use his image in an “attack ad” against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Ohioans are focused exclusively on getting through COVID-19 and getting our people back to work, and I’m proud to work with partners at the local and federal level to get it done. It’s for that reason that I’m particularly disappointed with an attack ad by Amy McGrath that uses my image against my friend, Mitch McConnell,” DeWine said in a statement Saturday.

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Ohio Lawmaker: DeWine’s Budget Cut ‘an Alarming Divestment from our Public School System’

 A state senator from Toledo is blasting Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to cut funding to public schools as part of a move to reduce spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Governor DeWine’s decision to slash more than $300 million from Ohio’s K-12 funding is an alarming divestment from our public school system during a time when schools need more support than ever,” state Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, said in a statement. “Nearly half of the $775 million total in cuts to General Revenue spending will be stripped from Ohio’s public schools, which continue to serve more than 90% of children in our state.

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90 Percent of Ohio’s Economy Expected to Reopen This Week

An estimated 90 percent of Ohio’s economy will be reopened by the end of the week under Gov. Mike DeWine’s “Responsible Restart Ohio Plan.”

Since May 1, the healthcare industry has been able to perform all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay, such as routine check-ups, outpatient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests.

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Gov. DeWine Puts His Foot Down Against Ohio House Republicans Trying to Limit the State’s Health Department Powers

Gov. Mike DeWine took a stand Thursday against Ohio House Republicans who are trying to limit the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)’s powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, House Republicans on the House State and Local Government Committee (HSLGC) passed an amendment to a 2019 regulatory reform bill that would limit ODH’s orders to two weeks, The Ohio Star reported.

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Gov. DeWine Announces Bars, Restaurants and Personal Care Services Can Open on May 15 in Some Capacity

Ohioans waiting to go to bars, eat at restaurants, get their hair cut, or nails done will not have to wait much longer, as Gov. Mike DeWine announced that next Friday these businesses will open in some capacity.

“Reopening Ohio is a risk, but it’s also a risk if you don’t move forward. We’re on a dangerous road that has never been traveled before in Ohio and the danger is that we relax and stop taking precautions,” DeWine said. “All of us collectively control this. I ask you to take calculated risks and make good judgments. Continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing face coverings. If you aren’t concerned with what happens to you, do it for others.”

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Gov. DeWine Stands Up for Amy Acton and News Media After Incidents Involving Protesters Last Weekend: ‘I’m Fair Game’

Gov. Mike DeWine defended the news media and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton during Monday’s press conference after several incidents occurred over the weekend when Ohio extended its lockdown order until May 29 last Friday.

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Taskforce Will Help Develop Best Practices to Reopen Ohio’s Restaurants, Barbershops, Salons

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he is forming a pair of advisory groups tasked with developing best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops and salons.

The group will develop recommendations to protect the health of employees and customers as businesses reopen. It will be comprised of relevant business associations, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, R-Glenford; Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina; House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron; and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, D-Richmond Heights.

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State Rep. John Becker Will Introduce a Bill That Would Alter All Ohio Mandatory Coronavirus Public Health Orders

Rep. John Becker (R-Union Township) plans to introduce a bill when the Ohio General Assembly opens up again next week that would make all public health orders issued by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Amy Acton advisory measures rather than mandatory measures, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. 

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More Than One Million Ohioans Have Asked for Government Assistance Over the Last Six Weeks

Another 92,920 Ohioans filed for unemployment benefits last week, which means that 1,075,486 Ohioans have filed for unemployment benefits during the last six weeks, according to the Associated Press.

Nationally, 3.8 million people asked for government assistance last week. This means that America has seen 30.3 million people jobless claims over the last six weeks.

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Gov. DeWine Reverses Course on Face Coverings Requirement

Gov. Mike DeWine said he will no longer require people to have face coverings on who enter businesses set to open under the Responsible RestartOhio plan, according a statement statement released Tuesday.

When the governor announced details about reopening Ohio’s economy on Monday, face coverings were required by the public to enter businesses. However, he changed the rule due to the fact some Ohioans found this rule “offensive.”

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Rep. Vitale Wants Gov. DeWine to End the State’s Lockdown

  State Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana) told Ohio Future Foundation (OFF) Chairman Jim Renacci that Ohio needs to end its lockdown. “I don’t think the government should be locking us down at all,” he said during OFF’s Facebook live forum Wednesday night. Vitale has been one of the most vocal…

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Gov. DeWine Unveils His Plan to Reopen Ohio’s Economy

Gov. Mike DeWine released details on what Ohio’s economy will look like when it opens up on Friday.

“We put this plan together based on all the information we have about how dangerous COVID-19 still is right now, balanced with the fact that it’s also dangerous to have people not working,” DeWine said. “COVID-19 is still out there. It’s still killing people. We’re asking Ohioans to be reasonable and rational. Please don’t take huge chances, and please use common sense when you go out and where you go out.”

The goal of DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio plan is to “protect the health of employees, customers, and their families, supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19,” according to the governor’s press release.

Set to open on May 1 is the healthcare industry. Ohio will allow doctor visits, well-care checks, out-patient surgeries, imaging procedures, diagnostic tests, and dental and veterinary services.

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Business Groups Paint Dim Picture of Ohio Economy, Urge DeWine to Reopen ‘Sooner Rather Than Later’

Six of the state’s most influential business organizations sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine last week urging him to reopen the economy as nearly one million Ohioans have now filed unemployment claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Senate Democrats Propose Criteria for Reopening Ohio Economy

As Ohio works to reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic starting May 1, Senate Democrats are urging Gov. Mike DeWine to ensure the state is prepared.

Specifically, they want the governor to require the use of masks in public and to guarantee Ohio has an adequate supply of sanitation items and personal protective equipment (PPE). They also want clear and publicized guidelines for businesses, protections for whistleblowers, child care accommodations for employees who need it and continued teleworking for employees who can or who are in high-risk categories.

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A Federal Super PAC Has Spent $321,821 on Alice DeWine’s Prosecutor Race in Greene County

As Alice DeWine, the daughter of Gov. Mike DeWine, battles for the Greene County prosecutor position, a federal super PAC named Protecting Ohio Action Fund (POAF) has supported her campaign by spending $321,821 on it, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

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Ohio Governor Eases Restrictions on Elective Surgery Ban

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine during his daily news briefing Wednesday, announced an easing up on the prohibition of elective surgeries during the coronavirus pandemic.

DeWine said that doctors can now review postponed procedures and surgeries with patients in terms of their current health situation and quality of life, after which doctors and patients can make a joint decision about whether to proceed. New or other chronic conditions that may have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life should also be evaluated.

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Ohio’s Urbana University Closing Its Doors for Good

Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, say they will close their campus at the end of the semester in May due to the combination of challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and years of low enrollment.

The school’s CEO Dr. Christopher Washington took to Facebook Monday to discuss the closure personally.

“I don’t think anyone seen this coming as fast as it did . The calamity of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is affecting our entire nation and in fact our whole world has caused tremendous disruption and uncertainty in higher education,” he said in a video he made in his home.

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Despite Massive Outbreak, Just 0.3 Percent of Ohio Inmates with COVID-19 Have Died

Two Ohio prisons are now home to the largest known clusters of COVID-19 in the nation, but the mortality rate for inmates with the virus is below one percent.

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With Less Than a Week Left, Only 22 Percent of Registered Voters in Ohio Have Requested an Absentee Ballot for the Ohio Primary

Registered Ohio voters have not taken advantage of the extended primary election deadline as numbers released Tuesday by Ohio Secretary of State (OSOS) Frank LaRose shows low turnout.

With less than a week until the primary election deadline, only 1,667,883 Ohioans have requested a vote-by-mail absentee ballot. Ohio has 7.7 million registered voters, according to The Columbus Dispatch. This means that less than 22 percent of registered Ohioans have requested an absentee ballot.

Gov. Mike DeWine pushed back Ohio’s original primary election date from March 17 to April 28 after declaring a health emergency due to the coronavirus. People are expected to vote by mail rather than in-person. Only certain situations will allow Ohioans to vote in-person.

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Two Ohio Prisons Are Now Largest Known Sources of Coronavirus Infections in America

Two state prisons in Ohio are now the largest reported sources of coronavirus infections in the United States, a New York Times database revealed this week.

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Ohio Creates Task Force to Address Coronavirus Racial Disparities, Continues to Ignore COVID-19’s Gender Discrepancies

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that he created the Minority Health Strike Force due to the coronavirus disproportionately impacting minority groups.

Ohio Department of Health (ODH) data shows that 22 percent of Ohioans who have tested positive for the Chinese virus in Ohio are black, which makes up 14 of the state’s population, according to the governor’s press release.

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‘Secret’ COVID-19 Model Touted by Acton and DeWine That Predicted 10,000 Daily Cases on Peak Sunday Was Off by 700 Percent

Ohio’s official coronavirus model was projecting 10,000 new cases for Sunday’s peak, but only 1,317 new cases were reported.

As recently as March 29, the Ohio Department of Health’s forecast was predicting that the coronavirus pandemic would reach its peak in the state on April 19 when 10,000 new cases would be reported, The Ohio Star said.

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Only 13 Percent of Ohioans Have Tested Positive for Coronavirus, Much Lower Than National Average and National Hotspots

Ohio has almost 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Saturday, according to the Ohio Health Department (ODH). This number may seem like a lot, but the percentage of people testing positive for the Chinese virus remains low in the state.

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