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Gov. Mike DeWine

DeWine Says Racism Is A Public Health Crisis

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) called racism a public health crisis while releasing a report from a task force created to look into how COVID-19 is hitting people of color disproportionately. The minority health strike force identified dozens of issues to address disparities when it comes to health issues for people of color, known… Read More

A screenshot of the online City Council meeting on Monday, July 13, 2020.

Athens City Council Unanimously Passes Face Mask Ordinance

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Face coverings are now required in most public places in Athens after City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night during a special online meeting. The ordinance will go into effect as soon as Mayor Steve Patterson, Council President Chris Knisely, and Clerk of Council Debbie Walker sign it. Patterson said… Read More

Health officials urge the use of face masks in public to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Athens City Council Considering Ordinance Requiring Face Coverings In Public

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens City Council is one step closer to approving an ordinance requiring face masks in public places.  Council members, the mayor, and community members discussed the merits of  the current draft  during at a committee of the whole emergency meeting on Friday evening conducted via video conference. Athens County has seen a spike… Read More

Athens County Libraries Reopen, With Some Changes

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens County Public Libraries reopened on Tuesday, with some changes in place to meet state and local guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitors are asked to keep at least six feet of distance between other patrons and library staff, and not to visit the library if they are feeling… Read More

Rural Hospital Sign

Elective Surgeries May Resume, Finances At Rural Hospitals Still Threatened By COVID-19

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signaled that restrictions on elective medical procedures may ease soon. Still, it may take time for hospitals to catch up financially.  Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, ordered all hospitals to postpone elective surgeries and medical procedures in March. This measure was… Read More

A piece of fabric that will be sewn into a protective mask by one of Athens County's many mask makers.

Athens Community Collaborates to Make Protective Masks

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens businesses and citizens are combining their resources and talents to supply protective masks for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that all Americans wear masks when they are out in public. Healthcare workers and people at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 need medical-grade masks, but… Read More

Dr. Lijing Yang, a professor at Ohio University, displays some of the masks she and the PPE for Athens Task Force purchased from China to donate to Athens County health officials.

Ohio University Community Connects Across Continents To Provide PPE For Athens

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) –A group of Chinese and Taiwanese staff members at Ohio University started a task force to supply local healthcare workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now calling on the community to further the cause and have set up a donation fund through the Athens Foundation. Last… Read More

Old Man's Cave, located in Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Co. Health Commissioner Orders all Cabins, Lodges Closed

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HOCKING COUNTY, Ohio (WOUB) — Cabin and lodge rentals in the the county that hosts Hocking Hills State Park will be closed as a precaution to the coronavirus pandemic. Hocking County Health Commissioner Dr. Douglas S. Fisher ordered all cabin and lodge rentals closed as of Monday night for public health reasons. This applies to… Read More

Most Ohio Kroger Stores to Begin Special Shopping Hours for Seniors and Other High-Risk Customers

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WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) — Kroger stores in most of Ohio will dedicate time for seniors and other customers at high risk for contracting the novel coronavirus to shop. This does not apply to Ohio’s Kroger locations in Marietta, Proctorville, and Belpre; see more information about this below. According to a press release, most Ohio Kroger… Read More

Donated blood is seen at The American Red Cross donation center in Scranton, Pa., on Monday, March 9, 2020. Due to the flu season and coronavirus, donations are down across the country

After Drop in Number of Blood Drives, Red Cross Needs Donors in Southeast Ohio

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Colleges, universities, and K-12 schools are cancelling events nationwide due to the novel coronavirus, which means fewer opportunities for the American Red Cross to hold blood drives. Jackie McCune, district manager for the Central Ohio Blood Region – South and North Team, said her team relies on high schools, colleges, and… Read More

Athens Health Commissioner Emphasizes Social Distancing, Hand-Washing to Stay Healthy

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens County’s top health official says avoiding major public events and washing your hands properly are two important ways to prevent getting sick from flu or the novel coronavirus. Dr. James Gaskell, Health Commissioner at the Athens City-County Health Department, said he and his staff are paying close attention to the… Read More

Marietta College Moves to Online-Only Classes

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MARIETTA, Ohio (WOUB) — Marietta College has moved to online-only classes until further notice, after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s recommendation that all colleges and universities suspend in-person instruction. Faculty will inform students on how to access online coursework. Bill Ruud, president of the college, said in a statement that campus will remain open. The Human… Read More

Athens City Schools sign

Athens City Schools Suspends Instruction For Two Weeks

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Athens City Schools will be closed to students from March 16-March 30 in response to three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio, according to Superintendent Tom Gibbs. All practices, meetings, and events have been cancelled, with the exception of March 19’s Board of Education meeting. ” With our proximity to Ohio… Read More

Ohio University's campus on March 10, 2020

Ohio University Moves to Online-Only Classes, Advises Students to Stay Home

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio University is suspending in-person instruction on all campuses and locations until at least March 30 and advises any students who traveled over spring break not to return to campus in an effort to prevent illness. President Duane Nellis said Tuesday in an email that the university is moving to virtual… Read More

coal stack

Study Finds Coal Closures Saved Thousands Of Lives

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A new study finds the closure of coal-fired power plants and transition to natural gas generation across the United States over a decade saved an estimated 26,610 lives due to a reduction in air pollution, with about a fifth of those avoided deaths in the Ohio Valley. The coal-rich Ohio Valley states received outsized health… Read More

WOUB Digital

Ohio Health Department Reports Drop In Flu Hospitalizations

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Ohio health officials say the number of flu-related hospitalizations fell below 100 last week as an unusually severe season comes to an end. The Ohio Department of Health reported 92 flu-related hospitalizations from March 1 to March 7, down from 135 a week earlier. The figures reported Friday brought the season’s total hospitalizations to 8,074,… Read More

Hospital hallway

Ohio Health Department Reports Drop in Flu Hospitalizations

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Ohio health officials say the number of flu-related hospitalizations fell below 100 last week as an unusually severe season comes to an end. The Ohio Department of Health reported 92 flu-related hospitalizations from March 1 to March 7, down from 135 a week earlier. The figures reported Friday brought the season’s total hospitalizations to 8,074,… Read More