5 things to know about the coronavirus today: Voting, scammers and UC football

It is Thursday, August 13, 2020, and these are five things to know about the coronavirus today.

The American Athletic Conference is still moving forward with fall football

While the Mid-American Conference canceled its season and both the Big Ten and Pac 12 have postponed their football season, the American Athletic Conference, which includes the University of Cincinnati, has said that it is moving forward with a fall football season.

A county prosecutor is warning about scammers posing as contact tracers

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck, Jr., is warning people to be aware of scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers. He said that a real tracer will reach out to someone to discuss their test results and if they are in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. However, a real tracer will not ask for money. “Anyone who says you need to pay is a scammer,” Heck said.

Ohio Secretary of State urges residents to request absentee ballots now

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said that Ohioans should request their absentee ballots now, and told voters to ignore conspiracies and “wazoo things” that people pass around on the internet. The registration deadline to vote is October 5, and early voting in person or by mail begins October 6. However, waiting for the deadline to request absentee ballots, just three days before Election Day, almost guarantees voters won’t get ballots in time, since it can require three trips through the mail.

The Ohio Department of Health is warning against traveling to six states

The Ohio Department of Health warned residents against traveling to six states with high rates of coronavirus positivity. These include Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Anyone coming to Ohio from those states are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Each of those states had rates of 15% positivity or more, with Texas sitting at 24.2%. For reference, Ohio’s positivity rate is 5%.

There are serious questions about the President’s unemployment benefit

Ohio officials are waiting for guidance on whether the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans on expanded unemployment will qualify for the extra $300 per week offered by the White House. It is unclear whether Ohioans already receiving federally-funded unemployment funds would be eligible to receive the extra money. It is also unclear whether the White House even has the authority to set up the fund or when people might receive benefits.

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