Some kids are affected by COVID-19 Delta variant in a different fashion:

The Bookmobile:

Ashland hires company for $200K to fix 'overflow' problem at water treatment plant:

David McFadden:

You're listening to Source Daily. Join us Monday through Friday to stay up to date with what's happening in North Central Ohio. We’ll be sharing a closer look at one of our top stories, along with other news, local history, memorials, answers to your questions, and more. 

Today - COVID-19 is already wreaking havoc on the 2021-2022 school year. Cases are spreading rapidly among Richland County students, many of whom are too young to be vaccinated. Multiple school districts have been affected as COVID-19 cases rise across the country. Some have had to cancel school for the day, while others have had entire buildings go to a temporary period of remote learning as a result. As of Sept. 9, there have been 1,728 cases of COVID-19 among Richland County children. The case rate for children under 18 has risen sharply over the last month. With the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant, public health officials are looking with renewed interest on the impact of the virus on children. While the variant and its effects are still being studied, most public health officials believe the variant is less dangerous to children than other strains of COVID-19. It is, however, more contagious.

Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, the medical director of infectious diseases at OhioHealth, said it's also crucial to understand that children can get and spread COVID-19. As case rates rise in the community, case rates will rise among children too. He says it’s still true that if kids get COVID, they don't get as sick; however they’re seeing more pediatric hospitalizations and more deaths. 

Sherry Smith, the nursing supervisor at Richland Public Health, confirmed that public health officials are beginning to see cases of “long COVID” in both children and adults. Long COVID happens when formerly infected people continue to experience complications or health problems months after infection.

Nevertheless, most children infected with COVID-19 are experiencing more mild symptoms. Gastaldo says in his own practice, he’s seeing children infected with the delta variant show symptoms similar to those of the common cold or an upper respiratory infection -- like a headache, runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat. Less common symptoms include diarrhea and a change in taste and smell. And Smith said she’s also seeing cold-like symptoms among pediatric COVID-19 cases. 

Gastaldo thinks that despite the rise in COVID-19 cases among children, keeping kids in school should remain a public health priority. To do that, Gastaldo believes schools should use every mitigation strategy available, including masks, contact tracing and adequate ventilation systems. Smith agreed masks are one of the best prevention measures that we have right now, especially in individuals who are not vaccinated.

Both Ontario Local Schools and Mansfield City Schools have chosen to implement mask requirements for students and staff after an uptick of COVID-19 cases. Gastaldo believes vaccination also has a role to play in limiting pediatric COVID-19 cases.  In fact, studies done by the CDC argue that both individual vaccination and a high level of vaccination in the community can protect children from the virus.

They found that the rate of hospitalization for children was nearly four times higher in states with the lowest overall vaccination coverage when compared to states with high overall vaccination coverage. Ultimately, according to the data it’s clear that cases, emergency room visits and hospitalizations are much lower among children in communities with higher vaccination rates.

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Now, some local history… Richland County is fortunate to have nine locations of the Mansfield/Richland County Public Library. But this wasn’t always the case. The library branches really only came into existence in the last 30 or 40 years. Before that, the work of sharing Library materials was carried out by the Bookmobile.

Starting in the 1920s, the Bookmobile made regular stops at Plymouth, Bellville, Lucas, Little Washington, Newville and Shenandoah. The Bookmobile effectively was a surrogate Branch location all around Mansfield for decades — in fact they called the trailer facility the Branchmobile. It was a familiar sight in the parking lots of shopping centers around town until the end of the '80s when the traveling books finally had places to become rooted in permanent Branch locations. But just because the mobile branch concept declined doesn’t mean book delivery isn’t still important. Books are delivered regularly to folks who can’t make it out of their homes and are in senior living.

Next, From Ashland Source… An engineering firm will narrow down a solution to a potentially costly overflow problem at the Ashland Water Treatment Plant to the tune of $202,500. The city council unanimously approved officials to hire Columbus-based Burgess & Nigle on Tuesday. Although complex, the problem can be boiled down to two simple facts: when it rains hard in Ashland, the water treatment plant's holding basin overflows. And when that happens, the federal Environmental Protection Agency isn't happy. 

The city receives a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit from the EPA every five years. When Ashland received the last permit two years ago, there was a condition. The condition said the city must find a solution to the issue before the next NPDES permit is issued. 

"Depending on how long this event occurs, how long the impact is to the plant, we have a five million gallon separate holding tank. Once that five million gallon (tank) is eclipsed, there must be an overflow," Hunter said. He said there have been three such events this year, which is in line with the three to six events that have been happening per year lately. Hunter said the study should be completed by June 2022.

The comprehensive study will explore options to reduce overflow events or eliminate them altogether, he said. Hunter said the EPA will review the study next year, at which point the city will need to decide on a project that could cost up to $30 million. Mayor Matt Miller said addressing this issue is essentially the city's next phase in its effort to update infrastructure — the first being repaving old streets. 

Finally, we’d like to take a moment to remember David McFadden of Mansfield.

David was born in 1951 in Mansfield. He graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in the Class of 1970 and was immediately drafted into the military serving in the United States Army in the Vietnam War. He continued to serve in the US Army for eight years, where he received The Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. He left active military service and started working for the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Outpatient medical center in Cleveland until he transferred and continued working for the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Mansfield Center until he retired after 35 years of service.

David spent several years traveling to other countries and across the United States. He loved to snow ski, and spent lots of this time in Colorado on the slopes. He was a member of the Moose Lodge FOE Aerie #336. David also loved spending time with his family and friends. He loved sports, and he was a dedicated Cleveland Browns, Ohio State football, and Cleveland Cavaliers. He loved all animals and throughout his adult life had many cats and dogs and he left behind his beloved giant poodle, Mia. He’ll be greatly missed by his friends and family and all who knew him. Thank you for taking the time today to remember and celebrate David’s life.

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