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700,000 in Ohio file for unemployment

(AP) A look at coronavirus-related developments on Thursday:

ECONOMY: Nearly 700,000 people filed for unemployment in the last three weeks, the state Department of Job and Family Services said, almost double the 364,603 claims filed in all of 2019.

The 226,007 claims filed for the week ending April marked the second consecutive week that claims topped 200,000.

Ohio has paid more than $124 million so far to more than 195,000 people who have filed unemployment claims, Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall said on Wednesday.

Nationally, 1 in 10 members of the U.S. labor force are now out of work as 6.6 million file for jobless aid across the country.

In Ohio, the staggering claims data comes even as many employers are looking for workers.

Nearly 500 employers have posted more than 33,000 jobs including health care, protective equipment manufacturing, and food distribution positions, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.

About 75 people wearing masks and carrying signs protested outside the Ohio Statehouse, calling on Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen businesses and questioning the models used by Health Director Dr. Amy Acton to continue her shelter-at-home order.

DeWine, who noted during his daily briefing that he could hear the protesters, said he understood their frustration and supported their right to protest.

He said Ohio must continue its measures, but promised the shut-down would not last “one day longer than we have to.”

• THE NEW NORMAL: In northeastern Ohio, Trumbull County health inspectors filed a violation notice against a group that gathered for a reception after an Amish wedding in Mesopotamia, WKBN-TV reported.

Weddings are exempt from the state’s state-at-home order, but wedding receptions are not and are limited to 10 people.

A black-tie art museum fundraiser that dates to 1957 has postponed its June 13 event.

The Dayton Art Institute said Thursday it hopes to hold its Art Ball gala this fall, but no date was set immediately.