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Ohio wastewater analyzed for COVID-19

Governor: 10 p.m. alcohol ban under review, other aid on way
(Ohio Channel)
Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 6:16 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - Ohio’s health department and department of corrections are looking to wastewater for signs of COVID-19.

Early in the pandemic, the state’s prisons were-and some still are-dealing with outbreaks among prisoners and staff.

In early September, testing of wastewater and the airflow coming from prisons got under way, to help protect whether an outbreak was imminent.

“I’m putting out an executive order that will require staff to be tested when certain indicators such as positivity of staff, positivity of the incarcerated adults or the wastewater indicators show that there’s a problem with COVID in that prison,” Corrections Department Director Annette Chambers-Smith said at Governor Mike DeWine’s Tuesday briefing.

An official of the state health department told the governor wastewater in three dozen cities is being tested, and tests are soon to be conducted in 25 others.

DeWine says the state’s ban on alcohol sales after 10 p.m. is under review.

He says he understands the hardship the ban has meant to bars and restaurants.

The ban was implemented in July to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by limiting late-night socializing.

The governor said Tuesday several big city mayors have asked that it stay in place but acknowledged one mayor asked that it be lifted. DeWine also said without providing details that he’s talking with state lawmakers about aid for small businesses hurt by the economic slowdown.

And the governor said Athens County remains among the counties in Ohio with the highest occurance of virus cases during the past two weeks.

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