Law Prohibits COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates For Students For Now: Reporters Roundtable | The Sound of Ideas

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Ohio public schools, colleges and universities will not be able to require the COVID-19 vaccine of students before returning to classes. Governor Mike DeWine signed the measure this week which goes into effect on October 12. The bill is written specifically so that vaccines that are not fully approved cannot be mandated—which is the status of the COVID-19 vaccine.  It has yet to receive full approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

How to handle back to school remains an issue for policy makers and parents as vaccine rates stall and as the Delta variant—which is more experts say is more contagious makes further inroads into Ohio.

The Summit County Health Commissioner is advocating that schools require masks for students returning this fall to prevent new outbreaks of the virus. Donna Skoda says masks are the most effective way to protect those under 12 who are not eligible for any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will soon vaccinate about 150 animals against the coronavirus. Throughout the pandemic, animals have contracted the coronavirus. Big cat species, lemurs, bats and primates will be among those receiving the animal version of the vaccine at the Cleveland Zoo when it arrives in a few weeks. The company Zoetis developed the vaccine for animals after gorillas at the San Diego Zoo tested positive for COVID-19. The vaccine has been authorized for experimental use on a case-by-case basis by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state veterinarians.

When the pandemic began, efforts were made to socially distance everyone and remove situations for congregating together. For Northeast Ohio’s unhoused population shelters could not alone safely accommodate all those needing help while keeping pandemic protocols in place.  Other solutions had to be found.

The county contracted with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry to shelter 100 unhoused men at a Ramada Inn in Independence.  The men have stayed at the hotel since April and were to remain until the end of August. However, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless says the county ended the contract early due to pressure from the Independence mayor.  The contract expired yesterday.  About half of the men say they will not leave.  

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said he will seek state money to renovate Progressive Field as part of the lease-extension talks with the Cleveland Baseball Team.  The city is in negotiations with the team for a 15-year extension with the county having an option for two additional five-year extensions.  The current lease expires in 2023.

Chagrin Falls Republican State Senator Matt Dolan—whose family owns the Cleveland Baseball Team—says he is considering a run for the United States Senate. Dolan says he will launch a statewide listening tour next week to determine if he will enter the race for the seat being vacated by Republican Rob Portman. Dolan says the candidates in the race so far are not talking about Ohio and its needs  

University Hospitals has placed two caregivers on administrative leave after a medical error resulted in a transplant patient receiving a kidney meant for another patient. The hospital system said in a release that the surgery took place on July 2. The patient that received the kidney in error, UH, says is recovering, while the other patient’s transplant surgery has been delayed.

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