health

No vaccine mandate for state health department, spokeswoman says

BY: - August 5, 2021

The Ohio Department of Health will not require its employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to return to the office, a spokeswoman said this week. Some employees are already working on-site at the department, mostly on hybrid schedules. More employees and departments will be “gradually phased in” to working on site, according to department spokeswoman […]

New pandemic law takes effect; experts say it undermines public health

BY: - June 23, 2021

As of Wednesday, there are 132 new sheriffs in town. When the new coronavirus emerged in Ohio, state law conferred “ultimate authority in matters of quarantine and isolation” to the Ohio Department of Health. It was the ODH director, and the governor who appointed her, who called the shots. The paradigm shifted Wednesday via the […]

Former equity chief accused Ohio Department of Health of ‘toxic’ and ‘discriminatory’ culture

BY: - April 23, 2021

After a drawn-out drafting process, the Ohio Department of Health’s top spokeswoman agreed to stamp ODH’s name on a statement with the Ohio NAACP and Commission on Minority Health correcting a myth that racial minorities are less susceptible to COVID-19. However, communications director Arundi Venkayya clarified in an April 1, 2020 email that ODH would […]

Book spotlights Ohio hospital and the fractured health care system it operates in

BY: - March 23, 2021

Keith Swihart couldn’t afford his insulin, so he started rationing it out or skipping doses. It wasn’t laziness — Swihart had been working since he was 13. Even with health insurance from employers, he couldn’t afford his cost-share of the hormone he needed. His unmitigated diabetes went into a tailspin, costing him his sight in […]

Ohio lawmaker to retiring anti-vaccine leader: ‘You are wonderful, don’t leave!’

BY: - March 11, 2021

An Ohio House Republican lamented the retirement of an anti-vaccine activist Wednesday amid the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history. Michelle Cotterman — president of Health Freedom Ohio — recently said she will be stepping down from the helm of the organization. Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Geauga, responded to Cotterman’s Facebook post sharing the news. “I […]

During pandemic, Ohio school district saw mental health hospitalizations surge

BY: - March 3, 2021

Eighty-four students at Hilliard City Schools have been hospitalized for mental health issues during the pandemic, officials say, an estimated fourfold increase over the average year. The district, home to about 16,000 students, has also seen 660 students contract COVID-19, seven of whom were hospitalized with the new disease, according to state and local records. […]

‘Stand Your Ground’ laws tied to racial inequities, increase in violent crime, researchers say

BY: - February 26, 2021

Laws that expand the right to shoot to kill in perceived self-defense yield unequal consequences in the justice system depending on whether the person shot was white, according to research published Monday. So-called “stand your ground” laws, one of which was passed in Ohio last year, are also associated with a modest to robust increase […]

Along with health department, state auditor missed 4,000 COVID-19 deaths during probe

BY: - February 18, 2021

The Ohio State Auditor’s months-long investigation into the state health department’s COVID-19 data practices failed to detect the 4,000 newly discovered COVID-19 deaths announced by the Ohio Department of Health last week. Auditor Keith Faber’s staff have declined to fully explain how they missed the deaths — which sprung Ohio’s death toll from about 12,000 […]

Health department epidemiologist resigns after state discovers 4000 omitted COVID-19 deaths

BY: - February 12, 2021

An epidemiology investigator resigned this week and the head of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases was reassigned after the state health department discovered it undercounted Ohio’s COVID-19 death toll by about 34%. Karthik Kondapally resigned from the Ohio Department of Health, said Arundi Venkayya, the department’s chief communications officer, in an email Friday. Likewise, Sietske […]

Judge blasts COVID-19 lawsuit against health department as “incomprehensible”

BY: - February 10, 2021

A federal judge expressed tremendous skepticism of a lawsuit alleging “absolute tyranny” of the Ohio Department of Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, deeming the plaintiff’s arguments nearly “incomprehensible.” U.S. District Judge James G. Carr didn’t rule on ODH’s motion to dismiss the suit, which was filed by a self-described citizens group called Ohio Stands […]

How some Columbus prosecutors got vaccinated before health care workers and the elderly

BY: - January 7, 2021

A 29-year-old Columbus prosecutor received a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday despite officials limiting the scarce doses to nursing home residents, health care workers and certain emergency responders. Brandon Edwards, a lead prosecutor for Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein, posted a photograph of his CDC-issued COVID-19 vaccination record card on Instagram. He is one of about 175,000 […]

Analysts: COVID-19 becomes 2nd leading killer of Ohioans in December

BY: - December 23, 2020

Since early December, COVID-19 has been killing more Ohioans per week than cancer, making it the second leading killer of Ohioans behind only heart disease, according to an analysis of state data. Health Policy Institute of Ohio, a nonpartisan health policy and research group, gathered state data on Ohioans’ deaths from COVID-19 by week and […]