Kent City Council passes emergency motion banning mass gatherings

Kent City Council’s Oct 21. meeting continued further discussions on preventing the spread of coronavirus, including an emergency motion to approve a ban on mass gatherings. The council previously heard from the city’s Public Health and Safety Committee on Oct. 7 in which the council voted 6-2 to approve ordinance 2020-97, which limits mass gatherings to 10 or less people. With the council’s initial vote to approve the motion, the ordinance was expected to take effect on Nov. 7, as it was not approved on emergency due to Councilwoman Tracy Wallach’s absence during the Oct. 7 meeting. Councilwoman Heidi Shaffer Bish elected to reconsider the motion in order to approve

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City of Kent’s plan for Halloween during COVID-19 pandemic

KENT, Ohio — The City of Kent Trick-or-Treat event and annual Halloween party are coming up, and with the COVID-19 risk level increasing in Portage County, the Kent Police Department and Health Department plan to ensure everyone taking part in the festivities this year stays safe. Every year, the city of Kent gets a little spooky for the first popular holiday of the fall season. As Halloween creeps closer, friends and families visit orchards, haunted houses and corn mazes, decorate their houses and carve pumpkins that are later set out on their front porch steps.  Although many of these activities are fun and attached to yearly traditions, due to the

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Kent City Council Committee sets ordinance at meeting prohibiting mass gatherings of more than 10 starting Nov. 7

KENT, Ohio — The Kent city council committee voted to implement an ordinance to prohibit mass gatherings of more than 10 people during their monthly city council committee meeting Wednesday evening. The meeting started with a discussion on the Committee of the Whole’s topic about diversity hiring policies and practices, which dominated the discussion for the first half of the meeting. The topic was discussed specifically in relation to the police and education departments, strategizing ways for them to do better. The Health and Public Safety Committee’s topic was up next, regarding the prohibition of mass gatherings. This topic was also a highlight of the evening, dominating the conversation for

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Portage County Commissioners declare Racism a public health crisis

On Sept 11, the Portage County Commissioners declared racism a public health crisis in the county. The Portage County commissioners followed in the footsteps of six counties in Ohio, along with the Portage County Mental Health and Recovery Board, Kent City Health Department and the Portage County Democratic Party. “It declares racism a public health crisis. It says that our county is going to work in all the ways that we function as a county to promote equity, whether that be in hiring, purchasing, contracting or the policies that we promote,” Portage County Commissioner, Kathleen Clyde said. “We are also going to support, lift up and amplify organizations that are

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Long-term care facilities responsible for high death rate in Portage county

Portage county currently has one of the highest mortality and death rates in Ohio.  Despite being the 20th most populated county in the state, Portage county is currently 10th in the state for mortality rates at 14.49%. This surpasses other communities with a similar population size of more than 162,000. Franklin County is the most populated county in the state with a population of over 1.3 million residents and has one of the smallest mortality rates at 2.72%. Infogram For comparison, in Franklin county, out of every 100 people who have been infected with the coronavirus, less than 3 people have died. In Portage county, out of every 100 people

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Proposed New Budget Increase for Homelessness Programs Barely Makes a Dent in Akron

By Nadine Battah & Jay Shah Summit County consists of a massive homeless population including almost 2000 undocumented homeless individuals. The demographic of these individuals varies from at-risk youth to single parents. Despite the availability of certain services thanks to community and state funded local organizations, Summit County is far away from successfully eradicating what is considered as an important public health issue.  Earlier this year, U.S. Secreary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson approved a funding increase of about $109 million to be awarded to needy counties across Ohio. Around $28 million of this funding will be granted to Cuyahoga County and $232,125 have already been awarded to

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Coronavirus Poses No Immediate Threat to Ohio

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) swept the nation by a storm, with extensive travel restrictions and procedures in place for emergent quarantines as necessary. The outbreak which originated in the Wuhan region, Hubei Province, China has been deemed a pandemic under two criteria as determined by the Ohio Department of Health. The virus is newly discovered and communicable.  Although, the virus has primarily affected Wuhan and its immediate vicinities, travellers from China that were infected, carried the virus to a growing number of international locations including the United States. Out of the 398 total cases, 12 were confirmed positive across 6 states, 318 negative and 68 pending across 37 states

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F.D.A. cracks down on JUUL vaping devices

Back in October and September, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) combined to limit the number of nicotine salt-based vaping devices, specifically JUUL Labs, on the market. This was done in order to attempt to combat the rise in popularity in using these devices among youth. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement from the FDA, that there needs to be a better regulatory process on in this aspect of the market. “We need a regulatory process that requires product applications to show that the marketing of the product is appropriate for the protection of the health of the overall

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