There are discrepancies in COVD-19 data provided by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and other prominent sources of information, The Ohio Star has learned.
“According to our data, 1,704 Ohio residents died from COVID-19 in December,” Michelle Fong, a Public Information Officer for ODH said Wednesday. “Our report information is based on date of death when reported residence was inside Ohio.” Read More
Despite reports that some hospitals in the state are “overcrowded,” data from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) says otherwise.
Many in the media and within the U.S. government’s public health apparatus are panicking as cases of COVID-19’s Omicron variant soar to record levels. Read More
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s office told The Ohio Star Thursday that it will not address concerns about whether the current protocols in place to end the COVID-19 are actually working.
The Star asked DeWine’s office if, amid the surge of Omicron variant COVID-19 cases, the governor’s office had any plan to implement new measures other than mandating mandates and encouraging vaccines that might help control the pandemic. Read More
More than 1,000 Ohio National Guard members began working in hospitals across the state Monday to help combat what Gov. Mike DeWine called a growing strain caused by the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The Ohio Department of Health also has begun working with a staffing company to bring more nurses and other providers from out of state to help ease pressure on current hospital staffs as the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached its highest level of the year.
“While the staff will be concentrated in the places where they are most needed, the entire state will feel relief as the arrangement supports the coordination of patient care that has been happening really since the beginning of this pandemic,” DeWine said at a news conference. Read More
According to an affidavit obtained by The Ohio Star, a nurse in Ohio who was in charge of procuring COVID-19 vaccines for Miami University says she was never able to obtain Pfizer’s FDA-approved version of the vaccine, called Comirnaty.
The affiant is a nurse practitioner and employee of TriHealth, which runs two hospitals and 130 sites of medical care in the Cincinnati area. From June 4 to Nov. 3, she was put in charge of procuring vaccines for Miami University, located in Oxford. The Star has redacted the nurse’s name out of concern of reprisal. Read More
More than 1,000 Ohio National Guard members began working in hospitals across the state Monday to help combat what Gov. Mike DeWine called a growing strain caused by the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The Ohio Department of Health also has begun working with a staffing company to bring more nurses and other providers from out of state to help ease pressure on current hospital staffs as the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached its highest level of the year. Read More
Attorneys at Mendenhall Law Group in Akron have filed a lawsuit against the University of Cincinnati over the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“School officials are overriding students’ civil rights to bodily autonomy under the United States and Ohio constitutions. Young people do not experience this as a grave illness. It is unprecedented for a university to require students to participate in experimental medical procedures such as injections or masking,” Warner Mendenhall told The Ohio Star Friday. Read More
Following Wednesday’s story in which The Ohio Star reported that Pfizer is currently still shipping it’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 vaccine, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) won’t say which version of the vaccine it is distributing.
ODH is responsible for acquiring and distributing at least some of the state’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines, though Alicia Shoults of the ODH’s Office of Public Affairs told The Star by phone Thursday afternoon that some healthcare providers procure the vaccine directly from the federal government. Read More
More school districts around Ohio continue to drop mask mandates in favor of optional policies as the number of COVID-19 cases has dropped over the past month.
The Ohio Department of Health also has relaxed its quarantine recommendations for students and student-athletes, with the idea of reducing what the state is calling unintended consequences of out-of-school quarantining. Read More
Ohio’s newest COVID-19 vaccination incentive program doubled in size Friday when state officials announced a total of $2 million in scholarships will be given way and age ranges will expand.
The program that originally targeted 12- to 25-year-olds now will include those age 5-11 once the vaccine is authorized for their use. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said authorization should come by the end of the month. Read More
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to encourage more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine by offering millions of taxpayer dollars and college scholarships through a raffle program appears to be legal, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said.
Yost tweeted the opinion, but he stopped short of saying he believed DeWine’s plan was a was a good idea.
“About the $1M [vaccination] lottery: I heard about it yesterday. It doesn’t appear to violate state law, though it depends on how it’s designed,” Yost’s tweet read. “Just because a thing may be legally done does not mean it should be. The wisdom of it is a question for the Governor and the General Assembly.” Read More
Ashland, Ohio – An Ohio judge ruled that the Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) does not have the authority to issue mask mandates, social distancing or other types of mandates since Ohio law does not give the agency such stated or implied authority.
Ashland County Common Pleas Judge Ron Forsthoefel wrote that the ODH only has ultimate authority in matters of isolation and quarantine – matters the legislature defined in Senate Bill22, the law enacted when the General Assembly overrode Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s veto of the bill last month.
The case Forsthoefel judged involved Cattlemans Restaurant and the Ashland County Health Department – the latter which issued a cease and desist order against the restaurant for an alleged violation of the COVID-related Dine Safe Order. Read More
Former Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton released a statement Tuesday revealing that she will not seek the 2022 Ohio Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
“It has been a tremendous honor to be asked to consider a run for the U.S. Senate. Like many of you, I have a profound reverence for the office, and for those who have answered the calling to public service,” wrote Acton Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Wednesday afternoon Senate Bill 22 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 57 to 37. Five Republicans did not cast a vote – Paul Zeltwanger (Mason), Tracy Richardson (Marysville), Mike Loychik (Bazetta), Jeff LaRe (Violet Twp.), and Ron Ferguson (Wintersville).
One Republican, Nino Vitale, voted against the bill despite being an outspoken opponent to the DeWine Administration’s pandemic health orders. Vitale was also one of a handful of lawmakers who supported articles of impeachment based on alleged executive overreach during the state’s handling of COVID.
The Senate concurred on the House changes so now SB22 will be sent to Governor DeWine where he has the choice to approve, veto or do nothing – in the event of the latter, the bill would become a law after 10 days. Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 9 was the one-year anniversary of Executive Order 2020-01D, the state of emergency “to protect the well-being of the citizens of Ohio from the dangerous effects of COVID-19.”
During a briefing the same day, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the emergency as a tool to allow the State of Ohio to purchase health-related items. Read More
Republican Governor Mike DeWine offered Ohioans a new “deal” late Thursday, saying, “When Ohio gets down to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders in the state will come off.”
The announcement came in a specially called press briefing that started at 5:30 p.m., during which DeWine encouraged Ohioans to take the of the COVID vaccine and to stay the course with nonpharmacological interventions: masks, distancing, state orders that limit crowds and limits on long personal contact. Read More
It was spring of 2020 and three friends were sitting in their regular gathering place in the Short North – the district just north of downtown Columbus.
“We were looking around at all these businesses downtown; boarded up, closed or empty – more employees than customers,” said Lad Dilgard, a management consultant and real estate investor.
He continued “behind every one of those is a story; the story of an entrepreneur, manager, supplier, landlord, employees and customers. There are horror stories going on. COVID-craziness with all the lockdowns. We wanted to give businesses some visibility. What they’re going through and the collateral damage they are suffering.”
Fast forward to March 2021 – after weekly Saturday morning sessions during which one of the three buddies would bring breakfast and another lunch, the trio released a short film under the banner of their own production company, Fire Owl – Behind the Mandates: Untold stories of local businesses. Read More
Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud endorsed two mandates – one related to sporting events and the other to mass gatherings. Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Senate Bill to Establish Legislative Oversite of Governor’s and Agency Orders Now in Ohio House
Last Wednesday Ohio Senate Bill 22 (SB22) passed the upper chamber 25-8 – all Republicans were in favor, all Democrats opposed.
SB22 was introduced by primary sponsors Terry Johnson (R-District 14) and Rob McColley (R-District 1) and establishes legislative oversight to the Governor’s and health orders.
In its original form, the bill granted the General Assembly authority to immediately rescind a public health state of emergency declaration along with rules and orders the Governor and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued related to a public a health state of emergency. Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) introduced a bill Wednesday that would both expunge the records of businesses cited for COVID violations and return fines and penalties paid. Upon its introduction, House Bill 127 was assigned to the House State and Local Government Committee on Thursday. HB127… Read More
During his COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the statewide curfew – which had been amended to begin at 11:00 p.m. from its original 10 o’clock start – expired Thursday and that he would not extend the order. Read More
Ohio is the seventh most populated state in America, but according to CDC COVID data on January 28 the Buckeye State ranked 43RD in vaccine doses distributed per 100,000 people.
Ohio ranked 47th out of 51 (including the District of Columbia) for the number of people who had received a second dose of the COVID mRNA antidote. Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Michael DeWine (R) announced on Friday the vaccination schedule for Ohio K-12 schools – public, private and career-tech.
DeWine’s administration identified school personnel required for in-person learning and laid out a four-week schedule for those eligible to receive their first jab containing one of the vaccines the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted authorization for emergency use – Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Read More
Inpatient hospitalizations due to COVID-19 cases dropped again on Tuesday – brining the overall decrease to 30 percent over the past month, according to the state COVID website. Despite acknowledging the dip during the Tuesday press briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) shied away from calling it a trend. Read More
January 15 marked three weeks since Christmas – two from New Year’s celebrations. Statewide hospitalizations have trended downward since Christmas and deaths more so, according to the Ohio COVID dashboard. Read More
Saturday night the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) cited six establishments around the state for violating Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders relating to safe dining and staying home after 10:00 p.m.
Citation cases will now go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission – potential penalties include fine, temporary closure, liquor permit suspension and/or revocation. Read More
Governor DeWine held a 90-minute briefing during which Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff contributed.
The following information was relayed by the trio during the Tuesday session. Read More
Governor DeWine or Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff spend a portion of press briefings discussing the issue of hospital capacity, often warning Ohioans that if cases continue to climb, hospitals around the state will be overrun and care for other non-COVID patients may be crowded out. Consequently, The… Read More
It was Tuesday, December 22, the day many in favor of a veto override on Senate Bill 311 (SB311) believed to be the last day for the Ohio Senate to consider and vote on the bill that would restore power to the legislature and check the authority of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and its director to quarantine and isolate healthy people.
A group assembled atop the steps leading into the Senate Chamber. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-22) stepped into the space between doors just outside the entrance to the Senate Chamber and was peppered with shouts. “Get 311 on the floor!” “Hold the override vote Obhof!”
The Senate President looked at the citizens and repeated the talking point Ohioans had heard from the Senate for over a week – “the House doesn’t have the votes.” Read More
During the Thursday COVID briefing, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he “took an oath to do everything to protect the lives and wellbeing of fellow Ohioans” and that the next three weeks will be the most critical in battling COVID.
DeWine then stressed the importance of Ohioans understanding and keeping an eye on hospital capacity in their respective communities. Read More
On December 3 the Board of Directors of the Ohio Education Association (OEA), Ohio’s largest labor union for educators, voted unanimously to adopt the position to immediately suspend all in-person learning in the state until January 11.
The OEA released the statement on December 7.
The position statement calls for state leaders and educational institutions to “reset”, “restart”, “re-prioritize” and “resource” in order to “ensure that the needs of Ohio’s students, educators and communities are met,” according to the union’s statement. Read More
Embattled Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, whose party is considering impeachment and overriding his veto of a recent dually-passed bill to limit the pandemic powers of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), called a COVID briefing on Monday to update Ohioans on the state’s response to the virus.
The most significant announcement was that beginning on Tuesday, November 8 the state will no longer trace people who test positive from antigen tests to confirm results. Read More
Saying he has the backing of health care professionals and business leaders, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill that would give the General Assembly oversight over health orders.
In a statement of reasons for the veto of Senate Bill 311, DeWine, a Republican, said medical experts think it restricts public health officials’ ability to react to public health threats and is “not in the best interest of protecting the health and safety of all Ohioans.” Read More
The Ohio Star reported that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called a special press conference on Monday, November 23 alongside the Ohio Hospital Association leaders to address the state’s COVID hospitalization rise.
As reported, during the briefing doctors who lead each of Ohio’s three zones (the state is segmented into three areas) disclosed staffing shortages due to COVID quarantine orders, which had further depleted caregiving capacity already run thin by upticks in COVID hospital cases around the state.
The Star has received inquiries from readers describing their situations. One woman told the story of her husband who was alerted that he had been exposed to COVID and within days began exhibiting symptoms. When he called his doctor seeking preventative therapies, he was denied. The man was later admitted to a hospital for days, where he received therapeutic treatments that aided his recovery.
Consequently, The Star took the opportunity during Governor DeWine’s twice-weekly COVID presser on Tuesday to ask the following question: Read More
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said Thursday “we need to consider the former vice president as the President-elect.” Read More
Governor Mike DeWine said on Tuesday that “all Ohioans should be alarmed” with the trajectory of the state’s COVID numbers.
DeWine reported 2,509 cases, 198 hospitalizations, 20 ICU visits and 22 deaths.
However, reported numbers are always higher than the actual numbers for the day – reported numbers can go as far back as the beginning of the epidemic. Read More
An email from Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Interim Director Lance Himes riled-up Ohioans. The email was sent Tuesday to prospective attendees of an ODH webinar on the state’s vaccine plan.
In the email, Himes wrote, “It is important to note that the Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Program strategy is a draft framework outlining how to implement mandatory requirements once more details of a vaccine are known.” Read More
This is the seventh story in an eight-part series on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS). OPHAS is a tool created to supplement the state’s reporting on cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The color-coded map assigns each of Ohio’s 88 counties a color determined by how many of the… Read More
A Troy High School football player tested positive for COVID, the school announced Tuesday.
Regardless of any COVID test outcomes, the entire team was asked to quarantine for 14-days, forcing the school to forfeit their Division II regional playoff game scheduled for Friday. Read More
This is the sixth story in and eight-part series on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS). The system assigns one of four colors to each of Ohio’s 88 counties based on the level of COVID exposure and spread.
OPHAS is a supplement to the numerous statewide COVID mandates and is supposed to be a data-driven framework that gives local leaders a tool for use in deciding local and county school, business and other public policies. Read More
Richland County is teetering on the verge of becoming the first Ohio county to reach code purple on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS). According to OPHAS, purple means that the county is experiencing “severe exposure and spread” and residents are to leave home for only “supplies and… Read More
Lauren Bevins made school history.
The senior golfer was the first female from Eastern High School (Beaver, Ohio) to qualify for the district golf tournament.
On Tuesday morning Bevins would have not only been the first to qualify, she would have been the first to compete.
Lauren never got the chance to pull a club from her golf bag.
The senior golfer was named in a COVID case and contacted by public health officials who told her to quarantine for 14 days. The district golf tournament fell on day 10 of Lauren’s quarantine. Read More
OPHAS has seven indicators and each of Ohio’s 88 counties is assigned a color based on the number of indicators that are triggered.
Indicator five measures the sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness.
According to the state website, the indicator “provides information on the health care seeking behavior of the population and a sense of how concerned residents are about their current health status and the virus.” Read More
Last week The Ohio Star broke the story of Alecia Kitts. She is the Ohio mom who was tased, arrested and escorted from a football stadium because she refused to wear a mask at her son’s middle school football game – consequently, Kitts was charged with criminal trespass, resisting… Read More
Interim Ohio Health Director Lance Himes succeeded in requesting that a lawsuit to overturn the use of masks in public schools be moved out of Putnam County Common Pleas Court and into his home turf, The Lima News reported.
The case has moved to Franklin County. The plaintiffs live largely in Northwest Ohio, in communities including Leipsic, Berkey and Perrysburg. Read More
Since The Ohio Star broke the story about Alecia Kitts, the Marietta mom who was tased and arrested for not wearing a mask, the incident got the attention of Breitbart, TheBlaze, HuffPost, Tucker Carlson, Ben Shapiro, and Covington Catholic High student Nick Sandmann’s attorney Lin Wood.
The Ohio Department of Health has issued a plethora of orders since march, including a statewide mask mandate announced by Governor Mike DeWine on July 22 – effective July 23, with exemptions. The mask mandate was the catalyst to the situation involving Kitts that unfolded in Logan, Ohio on Wednesday, September 23. Read More
Nineteen state representatives signed on to support law that would effectively put an end to COVID restrictions, the bill’s author, State Representative Diane Grendell (R-Chesterland) told The Ohio Star Wednesday.
“Government cannot protect us from every single one of life’s risks,” Grendell said.
The Star reported that the Representative-crafted a bill that would immediately cancel Governor Mike DeWine’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio. Read More
Ohio’s Interim Health Director Lance D. Himes released an amended version of the “Dine Safe Ohio” order Wednesday.
The new order has permitted the use of “self service” food stations at “retail food establishments. The order stated that all “Retail food establishments that are regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture are permitted to resume use of their self-service food stations in accordance with guidance from the Department of Health.” Read More
Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed an order on July 2 that went into effect on July 20. The mandate permits outdoor visitations at senior homes around the state and prohibits indoor visits.
“If you have a loved one and you cannot get into a nursing home, that is the nursing home that is stopping you from going in – it is not the health department” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on September 17 during a semiweekly COVID press conference. Read More
Has Ohio’s statewide mask mandate affected the coronavirus case counts in counties? Data show 40 percent of counties saw a net increase during a 21-day period, despite claims by Gov. Mike DeWine and the CDC.
The Ohio Star examined the state health department’s historic case counts. The summary data is available in a CSV file from a link on the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard here. Read More