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A health care worker administers a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a senior living facility

Study led by Ohio University professor offers clues to address vaccine resistance in Appalachian Ohio

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WOUB Digital · Study led by Ohio University professor offers clues to vaccine resistance in Appalachian Ohio   ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Southeast Ohio as a region has the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the state. Zelalem Haile saw this coming. He has some insights into why the rates are so low and what might… Read More

Louis, age 7, gets his COVID vaccine shot at Cincinnati Children's.

There are hopeful signs Ohio might be moving toward an endemic

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Dept of Health said there’s evidence Omicron is quickly moving through Ohio. In fact, Cuyahoga County now has the lowest case levels. But doctors say they are seeing signs that give them hope the worst might be over. Ohio Dept of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Ohio University sees a record surge in COVID-19 cases as spring semester gets underway

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WOUB Digital · Ohio University sees a record surge in COVID-19 cases as spring semester gets underway   ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — As students returned to Ohio University for the start of spring semester, so did COVID-19 infections — and then some. “We have a huge caseload right now, like nothing we’ve ever seen before,”… Read More

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Fauci says COVID-19 won’t go away like smallpox, but will more likely become endemic

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top White House medical adviser, says that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t end with the elimination of the virus. Instead, he says that a less dangerous and disruptive strain of the virus will likely take hold and become endemic. Speaking Monday at the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda,… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Raises for faculty and staff are in the forecast as Ohio University’s financial position improves

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University’s financial picture is improving, driven by more students, fewer employees and a big helping of federal stimulus funds. Faculty and staff will see something this year they haven’t seen in a while as a result: a pay raise, coming with the start of the new fiscal year in July…. Read More

Ohio University's class gateway at College Green, photographed on May 2, 2019

Ohio University students who didn’t follow vaccine mandate allowed back but face testing

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — When universities issued their COVID-19 vaccination mandates last semester, students were given a choice: Get vaccinated or apply for an exemption. Some students did neither. With the start of spring semester, universities are taking different approaches when it comes to students who did not comply with the mandates. Some took a… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Ohio University races to test returning students as COVID-19 cases surge

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University is expecting a big surge in COVID-19 cases but remains committed to in-person instruction when classes resume Monday. Dr. Gillian Ice, who oversees the university’s COVID-19 response, said case numbers are already rising rapidly and she expects a peak in the coming weeks that will be much higher than… Read More

It’s time to recalculate your COVID ‘risk budget.’ Here’s how

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — After two years of this pandemic we’ve gotten the hang of a few things, like wearing a mask in crowds and washing our hands frequently. Vaccines and boosters are here. Testing is more available — though rapid tests can still be hard to find in some parts of the country. And… Read More

From the Capitol riot to abortion rights, here are the top political stories of 2021

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — This year was supposed to be one of recovery, but it has been far from that. It began with the insurrection at the Capitol, a second impeachment of former President Donald Trump and President Biden’s inauguration. As the year went on, Trump continued to lie about the election results while he… Read More

Way down the global supply chain, a southeast Ohio village can’t fix its sewer line

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 WOUB Digital · Way down the global supply chain, a southeast Ohio village can’t fix its sewer line   ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The village of Chauncey in Athens County needs to replace a section of its sewer main that’s in bad shape. It’s been trying for months to get the work done. But… Read More

Ohio University's class gateway at College Green, photographed on May 2, 2019

Ohio University Prepares To Deal With Holdouts As Its Vaccination Deadline Nears

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — As Ohio University draws closer to its COVID-19 vaccination deadline, the number of vaccinated students and employees has steadily increased. But just over six weeks out from Nov. 15, the date by which the university said everyone must be fully vaccinated, about 25 percent of students and employees on the Athens… Read More

One of three students receives a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during Gov. Dewines visit Monday, April 12.

Data Show COVID-19 Has Become A “Pandemic Of The Unvaccinated” In Ohio

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — More than half of Ohio’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and yet infection numbers are right back where they were a year ago. What’s going on? For starters, the Delta variant driving the recent surge is much more contagious than the initial strain that launched the global pandemic. It’s… Read More

A sign in front of O'Bleness Hospital in Athens, Ohio

Holzer And O’Bleness Respond To Understaffing And High COVID Numbers With Familiar Pandemic Protocols 

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Southeast Ohio, causing local health care systems to be stretched thin and re-institute early 2020 pandemic protocols. Holzer Health Systems The number of COVID-19 patients is nearing the highest level from 2020, according to Dr. Mike Canady, the CEO at Holzer Health System. On Monday,… Read More

Alexander High School

Athens Schools Extend Shutdown; Alexander Imposes Mask Mandate

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens schools are extending their COVID-related shutdown until after Labor Day. And the Alexander Local School District announced that starting Tuesday masks must be worn throughout the school day. The Athens shutdown began Friday when the district found itself with so many bus drivers out due to COVID-19 that it could no… Read More

School Bus

Athens Schools Shut Down As COVID Sidelines Bus Drivers

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Just two days into the school year, the Athens City School District is shutting down at least until next Wednesday because it no longer has enough bus drivers as a result of COVID-19 quarantines. Superintendent Tom Gibbs informed families of the decision late Thursday night after yet another member of the… Read More

Athena Cinema Reopens, With A Little Help From Its Friends

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — After a year-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Athena Cinema has reopened its doors to the public. The pandemic took a heavy toll on theaters across the country, and many small art-house theaters in particular, like the Athena, struggled to survive. Some didn’t. But the Athena benefited from an… Read More

Uptown Athens during coronavirus emergency

Bill Would Allow More Businesses To Stay Open During A Pandemic

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Over a year ago, the government forced thousands of Ohio businesses to close their doors in response to the pandemic. But others were allowed to stay open because they were deemed essential. Many business owners felt the process of choosing which businesses were essential was unfair and left small businesses in… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Ohio University Will Refund Wages Lost Through Furloughs

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University employees will be refunded all the income they lost because of the nine months of mandatory furloughs. President Duane Nellis announced the refunds in an email to employees Thursday morning and said they were made possible because the university is ending the fiscal year with a significant budget surplus…. Read More

A bar and restaurant in Athens with a "Now Hiring" sign in the window.

Plenty Of Jobs But Few Applicants As Business Picks Up

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WOUB Digital · Plenty Of Jobs But Few Applicants As Business Picks Up ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Art Oestrike, who owns the Jackie O’s brewpub and taproom in Athens, is facing an unusual problem. With pandemic restrictions easing, business is picking up. But he can’t find enough employees to meet the demand. “I want to… Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Ending Employee Furloughs Early Thanks To Budget Boost

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expects to end the fiscal year with a balanced budget or even a surplus, a dramatic shift from previous projections. As a result, the university will end the mandatory employee furloughs early and may even refund some of the lost earnings. “We’re hopeful this decision on the furlough will… Read More

Athens City Police Car

Law Enforcement Jockeying For Jail Space During Pandemic

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Local residents have been venting their frustrations on the Nelsonville Police Department’s Facebook page as people arrested for crimes are turned loose because the jail cannot take them. “What’s the point when they’re just released and then trusted to appear in court,” reads one comment. “Makes my damn blood boil,” reads… Read More

Ohio University's Cutler Hall on the first day of the semester.

Pandemic Deepens Ohio University’s Budget Crisis

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University expects to lose about $20 million in revenue because so many students are choosing not to return to campus this semester. This is just one piece of a projected budget deficit of $32.2 million for the current fiscal year, forcing the university to again dip into its reserves to… Read More