UPDATED: Ohio announces 5th coronavirus death of prisons worker; no local pro tennis this year


COLUMBUS (AP) — A guard at a private prison is the fifth corrections worker in Ohio to die from the coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine and the prison announced Tuesday.

Terry Loomis, a guard at Lake Erie Correctional Institute in northeastern Ohio, died Tuesday after being hospitalized on May 24. Loomis had worked at the facility, owned by CoreCivic, for 18 years, said CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist.

Two other Ohio prison guards and two prison nurses have also died during the pandemic. More than 4,900 inmates have tested positive and 83 have died.

Also Tuesday, the governor said Ohio has arranged with the U.S. Department of Labor to borrow up to $3.1 billion to pay unemployment insurance claims. States are obliged to borrow the money from the government when they run out of state funds. Ohio borrowed more than $3.3 billion after the 2008 recession, finally paying off the debt in 2016.

DeWine also said he expects to announce guidelines for school reopening plans in about 10 days. The governor has that specific decisions are up to individual districts.

The state has seen more than 42,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, and 2,597 confirmed and probable deaths, the Health Department said. Cases remain flat, with a 21-day daily case average of 429 as of Tuesday.

No tennis here

The local economy received another blow when it was announced Wednesday that the annual men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament in Mason — the Western & Southern Open — would move this year to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City, which is also home to the U.S. Open.

The U.S. Open as well as this year’s Western & Southern Open will be held without fans in the stands.

Southwest Ohio businesses not only get a big boost to their bottom lines during the tournament; it also has generated millions of dollars for local and regional charities.

A news release from the Western & Southern Open stated:

“The ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 event will be the first combined tournament hosting players from both circuits at a single venue since the tours suspended play in early March. The Western & Southern Open had originally been scheduled to take place Aug. 15-23 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

“’We will work with our partners at the USTA as well as both tours to stage the tournament in New York this year,’ COO Katie Haas said. ‘We will then quickly turn our attention to making preparations to welcome all our fans and the players back to Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open in 2021.’”

Patrons holding tickets for the 2020 tournament that were purchased directly from Western & Southern Open or Ticketmaster are eligible for a full refund. In addition, the holders of certain categories of tickets will be given an option to retain their seats for 2021. Full details on the 2020 ticket policy can be found at wsopen.com/2020 .