300 deaths in Cincinnati; Ohio Zoos, Parks; Testing and more

Greater Cincinnati reached a milestone during the coronavirus pandemic.

300 COVID-19 deaths have been reported since the first cases were reported on March 11. In the 15-country region, which includes three states, 5,745 cases were reported as of Monday evening.

The Northern Kentucky Department of Health announced Monday that there are now 1,268 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and a total of 67 deaths in the area. A total of 671 people in northern Kentucky have recovered from COVID-19.

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Local cases

Gyms are now open in Kentucky

Fitness facilities are allowed to reopen on June 1, two and a half months after Governor Andy Beshear closed public health clubs, gyms and pools to control the spread of COVID-19.

But don’t show up in your favorite establishment expecting it to be a normal store. Once you’ve passed the plexiglass barrier at the front desk, you’ll notice the obvious changes, such as additional sanitizing stations, improved cleaning procedures, and social distancing decals in your gym.

State parks, movie theaters, and bowling alleys will also reopen.

Childcare and day camps in Ohio open this week

Childcare facilities can reopen from this week, but they will look very different from March.

There are new rules for cleaning and hand washing. Classrooms are limited to six for infants and toddlers or nine for preschoolers and school-age children – half or less than before the coronavirus pandemic.

Day camps were also given the green light to open Sunday with a maximum of nine children.

But not all will start this week. Some may not open at all.

Ohio Misses COVID-19 Test Target

The pace of Ohio coronavirus testing, billed by Governor Mike DeWine as “Key to Protecting Ohioans” in reopening the virus-ravaged economy, is falling dramatically behind the state’s goal.

On April 24, DeWine announced a “breakthrough” – increased availability of Ohio-made swabs and reagent solutions for analyzing samples – would enable up to 22,000 tests per day by the end of May.

While the average daily tests increased by 21% over the past month, an average of just 9,479 people were tested for the virus daily in the last week of May – less than half of DeWine’s original target.

Zoos and amusement parks won’t open in Ohio until July

A revised ordinance signed Friday by State Health Director Amy Acton continued Ohio’s ban on most gatherings of more than 10 people outside of permitted locations.

The closure of concert and music halls, stadiums, arenas, casinos, museums, zoos, amusement parks and other venues has been extended to July 1.

In Kentucky, these facilities will open next week on June 8th.

Experts warn that large protests could become breeding grounds for the coronavirus

Public health officials are warning of new cases of COVID-19 likely to emerge after mass gatherings fueled by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and racial unrest in cities across America.

Health experts fear that without symptoms, carriers of the coronavirus that causes the disease could inadvertently infect others during protests where social distancing just doesn’t happen. The protesters’ merits “don’t stop them from getting the virus,” said Bradley Pollock, chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of California at Davis.

At least one protester in Tampa, Florida has COVID-19. Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, who expressed dismay over Floyd’s death last week, tweeted Monday that five of his officers had been exposed to the protester he did not identify.

40,600 deaths in U.S. nursing homes

In the past three months, more than 40,600 residents and long-term care workers have died of COVID-19 – roughly 40 percent of the country’s death toll from the coronavirus, according to an analysis of state data collected by USA TODAY.

That number surpasses a count released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This is the first attempt by the federal government to take stock of the situation. CMS said 25,923 residents died, but its number includes only state-regulated nursing homes, not assisted living facilities.

Even the larger USA TODAY number – which totals around 450 deaths per day at COVID-19 geriatric care facilities – is under counted. Seven states did not report the number of deaths in long-term care. And New York, the state with the highest number of deaths, did not include those transferred to hospitals in long-term care deaths.

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