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UPDATING AS INFORMATION IS RECEIVED. UPDATED: 9/25/2020



WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, September 25, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending September 25, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other state initiatives. 

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine unveiled a new case demographics dashboard on coronavirus.ohio.gov

The new dashboard gives citizens access to COVID-19 case data by race or ethnicity. The data can be broken down by age and county and compared to the overall Ohio population.

"Improving data collection and reporting, as well as creating a publicly-available dashboard, were recommendations from the COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force," said Governor DeWine. "This dashboard will help better track health inequities and disparities, and we believe this data will also help put critical decisions into context for policymakers."

CONTRACT TRACING

Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to answer the call if contacted by a contact tracer. 

Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by notifying people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and advising them to monitor their health for signs and symptoms; helping those who may have been exposed get tested; asking people to self-isolate or self-quarantine if appropriate; helping people identify the resources they need to safely stay at home.

Contact tracers will not disclose a person's identity to their contacts, however, those who test positive will be encouraged to notify those they've been in contact with so that these individuals also respond to contract tracers and begin to isolate.

FACE MASK DONATION

Lt. Governor Husted announced that Ford is donating 2 million medical grade face masks to the state of Ohio for healthcare providers, first responders, underserved populations, and senior living communities. The donation is part of the Ford Fund’s commitment of 100 million medical-grade face masks through 2021.

The company, currently manufacturing 2.5 million medical-grade masks a week for its employees and at-risk communities, is growing the number of mask-making machines by mid- to late-October to increase production and deliver on its goal. Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services and Development Services Agency have partnered with JobsOhio to work with the Ford Government Relations Team, as well as many others, to secure lifesaving personal protective equipment since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

OHIO BENEFITS 

On Monday, September 14, 2020, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services sent voter registration forms to 59,000 individuals who previously requested these forms through the Ohio Benefits system but had not yet received them due to a system error.

Ohio Benefits provides online services for Ohioans who receive benefits through programs within Ohio Medicaid and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  Pursuant to legal requirements, Ohio Benefits offers users an opportunity to receive a voter registration form at their request.

Of the 59,000 Ohioans affected by the error, a review determined that approximately 18,900 were already registered to vote, 7,500 received voter registration forms from Ohio Benefits through other transactions, and 32,400 had not yet received a form at the time of the review.

The deadline to register to vote is October 5, 2020. Citizens can register online at VoteOhio.gov.  

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

Lt. Governor Husted also recognized National Small Business Week, which celebrates America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Ohio is home to more than 965,000 small businesses that account for 99.6 percent of the businesses in the state. Together they employ 2.2 million people, which is 45 percent of Ohio’s total employees. Additionally, small businesses created more than 44,000 jobs in 2019.

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine announced that the following order to reopen self-serve food stations has been signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director’s Third Amended Order that Reopens Restaurants, Bars, Banquet and Catering Facilities and Services to Dine-in Service, with Exceptions

On Thursday, Governor DeWine released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that nine counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread: Ashland, Butler, Delaware, Mercer, Montgomery, Pike, Putnam, Scioto, and Stark.

A total of 67 counties stayed at the same level as last week, and Portage County dropped from Level 3 to Level 2.

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

HIGHER EDUCATION SCREENING

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio's ResponsibleRestart guidelines for higher education will now include a recommendation that all residential colleges and universities regularly test a sample population of asymptomatic students.  

"Some schools are already doing this, and screening asymptomatic students really gives school leaders a good idea about virus spread on their campuses," said Governor DeWine. "Our expectation is that colleges and universities will screen at least 3 percent of their at-risk population on a regular basis." 

The updated ResponsibleRestart Ohio guidance will be posted to coronavirus.ohio.gov in the next few days. 

INDOOR VISITATION

Governor DeWine announced two new health orders that will allow for indoor visitation at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and intermediate care facilities in Ohio.

Intermediate Care Facilities:

The Ohio Department of Health issued the Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and to Permit Visitation. Intermediate care facilities for Ohioans with developmental disabilities can resume indoor visitation beginning on Monday, September 28, if safety standards outlined in the order are met. 

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can begin allowing indoor visitation on Monday, October 12. This date was selected to allow adequate time for the facilities to prepare their physical plants, adjust staffing levels, update visitation policies, and communicate expectations with residents and families. 

Indoor visitation at nursing homes and assisted living facilities should only resume if certain safety standards are met. These standards will be outlined in a forthcoming public health order.

When visitation resumes, a Long-Term Care Facility Dashboard will be added to the COVID-19 data dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov where users can access facility-specific visitation information.

SPORTS ORDER MODIFICATION

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the one-game-per-calendar-day limit on sports competitions has been removed from the current sports order, and is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

This change comes over a month after the most recent guidelines were published with evidence showing that events have gone on without any noticeable increase in spread.

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD - PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Following a request from authorities in Cleveland, Governor DeWine issued a proclamation to activate approximately 300 members of the Ohio National Guard to assist the Cleveland Police Department during the presidential debate in Cleveland on Tuesday.

The deployed National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be activated as part of the National Guard Response Force and will assist police in areas such as traffic control, site security, and critical infrastructure protection.

The Ohio National Guard has provided support for similar events in the past, including the Republican National Convention in 2016 and several presidential inaugurations.

On Friday, Governor DeWine announced that the following order removing the one-game-per-calendar-day limit on sports competitions has been signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director’s Second Amended Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports

As of Friday afternoon, there are 148,894 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,734 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 15,127 people have been hospitalized, including 3,243 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Governor DeWine COVID-19 Banner

WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, September 18, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending September 18, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other state initiatives. 

On MondayGovernor DeWine signed House Bill 606 into law. House Bill 606, sponsored by Representative Diane Grendell, ensures civil immunity to individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses, and other entities from lawsuits arising from exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, or any mutation of the virus, as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct.

It also shields health care providers from liability in tort actions regarding the care and services they provide during this pandemic unless they were acting recklessly or displaying intentional misconduct.

House Bill 606 was supported by several associations, including the AICUO, CCAO, Inter-University Council of Ohio, NFIB, Ohio Association of Community Colleges, Ohio Business Roundtable, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, the Ohio Manufacturers' Association, Ohio Metro Chambers Coalition, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Restaurant Association, Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio's Superintendent Association and Ohio Township Association among others.  

Bill Signing

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine and Director Ursel McElroy of the Ohio Department of Aging provided an update on testing in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult day centers, and adult day cares. Directory McElroy explained that frequent testing in congregate settings is important to control the spread of the virus.

She also mentioned that adult day care and senior centers will open on September 21st. The facilities will test staff every other week and participants if they present symptoms. Outdoor visitation started at Ohio nursing homes on July 20th. If visitors have questions about protocols or concerns about a facility in their area, they can contact the Ohio Department of Aging. The Department of Aging is working on a dashboard to increase transparency about the status of visitation at facilities across the state.

OHIO VETERANS HALL OF FAME

Governor DeWine announced that 20 women and men, representing four branches of the military, will be inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame at a virtual ceremony on November 5th. These Ohioans, from 16 counties, have continued to serve the United States, as well as Ohio, as business owners, community volunteers, scientists, advocates, engineers, and much more.

The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established by Governor George Voinovich in 1992. Governor Voinovich established the Hall of Fame to recognize Ohio veterans’ military service, as well as their service to Ohio and their communities after leaving the military. A total of 895 of Ohio’s Veterans have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.  

The virtual ceremony can be viewed on November 5th at OhioVets.gov.

Class of 2020

OHIO TO WORK

Governor DeWine, along with JP Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio, announced that JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Development Services Agency will launch a pilot initiative called Ohio To Work.

The initiative will help connect Ohioans looking for a job to a new job opportunity. Ohio To Work brings together employers, nonprofits, educators, and training providers to help Ohioans reskill and restart their careers. Individuals participating in Ohio To Work will be provided a career coach, be invited to virtual career fairs, and be connected to employers ready to hire. The first Ohio To Work initiative will be launched in Cleveland- Cuyahoga County. Ohioans can learn more at OhioToWork.com.

On Wednesday,  Governor Mike DeWine signed the following bills into law. Each bill will take effect in 90 days. 

House Bill 203, sponsored by Representative Scott Lipps, which specifies requirements for mobile dental facility operations. 

House Bill 272, sponsored by Representatives Scott Oelslager and Brett Hudson Hillyer, which expands court jurisdiction to any constitutional basis. 

House Bill 341, sponsored by Representative Timothy Ginter, which details the administration of addiction treatment drugs. 

Bill Signing

On ThursdayGovernor DeWine released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that five counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread: Butler, Mercer, Montgomery, Portage and Putnam. 

A total of 69 counties stayed at the same level as last week, and one county, Preble, dropped from Level 3 to Level 2.

In addition to the five Level 3 counties listed above, five additional counties meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of high incidence: Athens, Delaware, Greene, Harrison, and Pickaway. Although these counties do not meet enough indicators to trigger a Red Level 3 Public Emergency, these counties have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks which could lead to rapid virus transmission if steps are not taken to slow the spread. 

A county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website.

Health Advisory Map

NEW DATA DASHBOARDS

Governor DeWine announced the state has launched the Schools Dashboard and the Children’s Dashboard to provide school districts and parents the best information to make decisions about their child’s education and social interactions. The Schools Dashboard will show new and cumulative COVID cases reported to schools by parents/guardians and staff. The data can be sorted by county or school district and includes students and staff. Schools are required to report cases to their assigned Local Health Department who then report to the Ohio Department of Health.

The Children’s Dashboard, developed in consultation with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, includes information about cases and hospitalizations related to COVID-19 among children aged 0-17 in Ohio by selected demographics and county of residence. Both dashboards are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

FLU SHOT REMINDER

Governor DeWine announced that the state of Ohio has its first, documented case of the flu in Putnam County. He reminded Ohioans of the importance of getting a flu shot this year to reduce the spread of the flu and its impact on our hospital systems. While it doesn’t protect you from COVID-19, it does provide another layer of protection to keep yourself, your family, friends and communities healthy.

Those who are elderly and need help getting to their physician's office can contact their local Area Agency on Aging at 866-243-5678 to access transportation resources and other services.

Anyone without a primary healthcare provider can visit vaccinefinder.org to find nearby pharmacies and other healthcare locations offering the flu vaccine.

RAPID RESPONSE GUIDE FOR MIGRANT AND SEASONAL FARMWORKERS

Governor DeWine announced that the state is releasing the Rapid Response Guide for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers. This guide will support local health districts in developing culturally appropriate plans to respond to outbreaks in the migrant and seasonal farmworker communities. A copy of the guide will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

In addition, the Ohio Department of Health is awarding $2.6 million in CARES Act funding to agricultural camp operators to improve the health and safety of migrant workers worksites and camps to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The improvements will focus on reducing housing density, installing touchless equipment, partitions, and hand washing stations. The Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services are distributing face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant cleaner, and digital forehead thermometers to workers and operators.

Rapid Response Guide for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

CORONAVIRUS WASTEWATER SURVEILLANCE NETWORK

Governor DeWine also provided an update on Ohio’s Coronavirus Wastewater Surveillance Network. Since mid-July the network has been monitoring income waste at wastewater treatment plants around the state to test for gene fragments of COVID-19. Ohio is currently testing in more than 30 cities across the state and will expand testing to more than 50 locations in the next month. The state will continue to closely monitor the wastewater data and ensure communities are aware of trending increases in gene copies to assist with quick response and prevent further spread of disease. More information about the program can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

HALLOWEEN

Governor DeWine reminded parents that Halloween activities will be different this year than in years past. He encouraged parents and children to wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid large groups, and to stay home if sick. Final decisions on whether to hold or participate in trick-or-treating or other events should be made by local communities, individuals, and parents. The state has developed guidance for Halloween and it can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

LOST WAGES ASSISTANCE

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has started distributing $300 per week in Lost Wages Assistance to eligible unemployment insurance recipients. This assistance is available to Ohioans who received traditional unemployment benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Trade Readjustment Assistance, SharedWork Ohio or extended benefits for weeks ending August 1st through September 5th. PUA claimants will receive payments first, in a staggered manner with individual payments for each week they qualified for the program.  For Ohioans receiving other types of unemployment benefits, there will be one retroactive payment for all weeks they qualify.

Currently ODJFS is working to complete the programming necessary to disperse payments. Updates on this process can be found at jfs.ohio.gov/lwa.

CENSUS

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans that the deadline to complete the 2020 Census is quickly approaching. As of this morning, Ohio’s self-response rate was 69.9 percent, which is above the national rate of 65.9 percent but one percentage point behind Michigan. The census, which only takes about 10 minutes to complete, impacts the state for the next 10 years, including how federal, state, and local funding is distributed and determines congressional representation.

Ohioans can complete their census by either going to 2020Census.gov or calling 1-844-330-2020.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 142,596 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,608 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,687 people have been hospitalized, including 3,161 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Governor DeWine COVID-19 Banner

WEEK IN REVIEW
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending September 5, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other state initiatives. 

On Monday, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted announced the approval of assistance for five projects set to create 574 new jobs and retain 1,058 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $23 million in new payroll and spur more than $68 million in investments across Ohio.  

Also on Monday, First Lady Fran DeWine announced progress in reaching young Ohio readers in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library (OGIL) Program’s first year. 

Now, 206,463 Ohio children from birth to age 5 are enrolled to receive a free Imagination Library book in the mail every single month.  The program is currently offered countywide to children in 78 of Ohio’s counties, with an additional three – Crawford, Van Wert, and Mercer – launching the OGIL Program in September.    

Aug Updated

“Thanks to dedicated Ohio lawmakers, who are investing in our kids with matching funding, and our wonderful local partners, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library has made outstanding progress in its first year,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “But we still have more work to do. Mike and I look forward to the day that every young child in Ohio– no matter what city, county, village or township that child lives in -- has access to the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library books.”

Last summer, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program was available in pockets of Ohio when the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library partnered with the Dolly Parton program. 93,483 children were enrolled in August 2019. In September 2020 enrollment will more than double to 206,463.

Lawrence Co.

First Lady DeWine in Lawrence County on February 3, 2020

“I really enjoyed visiting with our local partners and families in 16 Ohio counties between January and March of this year,” said Mrs. DeWine. “Of course, that was before the COVID-19 pandemic.  But we’ve continued working to find county partners during these recent months, because we know this program works. Young children are excited to receive the book each month in the mail, which is addressed to them. And just having these books in the home promotes a love of learning and family bonding that we know adds up to preparing children for kindergarten. I encourage all Ohio children to sign up for these free books!”   

Only seven Ohio counties -- Ashland, Columbiana, Lake, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, and Seneca – remain without a countywide program.

Parents and caregivers can sign up children at www.OhioImaginationLibrary.org.

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that the following order has been signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director’s Order on the Opening of Adult Day Care Services and Senior Centers

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine reminded citizens to take safety precautions when celebrating with others outside of their households. 

"Ohio reported its highest number of new cases since the end of July, which is a stark reminder that this virus has not gone away and it continues to spread in our communities," said Governor DeWine. "As you consider gathering with family and friends this weekend, please remember that COVID-19 still represents a significant risk to the lives and livelihoods of citizens in Ohio."

Governor DeWine encourages citizens to continue regular hand-washing, social distancing, and disinfecting. The mask mandate in Ohio remains in effect for all 88 counties.

In the weeks following the Fourth of July, Ohio began to see a significant increase in cases caused, in part, by holiday gatherings. The graphic below demonstrates one example of COVID-19 spread from an Independence Day gathering.

Community Spread

ADDED TRAFFIC-SAFETY EFFORTS

Governor DeWine announced three new traffic-safety efforts aimed at reducing the number of fatalities on Ohio's roads and better ensuring that Ohio's young drivers have the necessary skills to safely navigate the streets. 

  • Ohio Traffic Safety Council: The new council, led by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, will be composed of representatives of several state agencies and outside groups. The role of the council will be to coordinate and monitor all statewide traffic safety initiatives, analyze trends, and advise the Governor on creating safer roads through education, enforcement, engineering, and emergency response.
  • Work Zone Enforcement: Because enforcing traffic laws can be a challenge in work zones, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation Unit, which already conducts speed checks from the air, will conduct targeted enforcement on crash-causing violations in Ohio Department of Transportation construction zones. The increased enforcement is in response to the nearly 9,000 work-zone crashes in Ohio between 2019 and 2020. 
  • Juvenile Court Grants: Eight juvenile courts in Ohio have been awarded grant funding through the Ohio Department of Public Safety to help them provide young drivers more access to advanced driver training. Courts in Adams, Athens, Medina, Knox, Delaware, Miami, Fairfield, and Delaware counties will each receive $20,000 through Ohio's new Youthful Driver Safety Fund which was developed as part of Ohio's biennium budget.

The new traffic safety efforts are in addition to several other initiatives launched by Governor DeWine since 2019 including the creation of the Intersection Safety Program to improve the safety of 150 rural, urban, and suburban intersections across the state; the development of the "Ohio - Ready, Test, Drive!" program to help enhance the skills of new drivers; and the creation of several distracted driving corridors to reduce distracted driving in Ohio. Governor DeWine also worked with members of the General Assembly to introduce the Hands-Free Ohio bill, which is currently pending in the Ohio General Assembly, to strengthen Ohio's laws related to the use of wireless devices while driving. 

Governor DeWine also encouraged Ohio's drivers to watch their speeds after Ohio recorded 154 traffic fatalities in July - the highest number of traffic fatalities in one month since 2007. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, one in three of those killed in July was involved in a speed-related crash.

BROADBAND EXPANSION EFFORTS

Lt. Governor Husted announced that over 900 grant requests have been approved for the K-12 Broadband Connectivity Grant to go towards hotspots and internet-enabled devices. This enables 121,000 students to gain high-speed internet in their homes, thanks to the devices provided by this grant based on information provided by the schools. In areas where there are barriers to take-home devices, the grant will also support the creation of new public wi-fi and mobile wi-fi spaces to help students connect to the internet. There are over 645,000 students in schools that are increasing their public wi-fi or using mobile wi-fi.  Those students will have a place to go to access the internet if they do not have access in their homes.

By the end of this week, schools will receive notifications of their final award and can begin the process of purchasing these items through the Ohio Department of Education and BroadbandOhio.

The Lt. Governor also provided an update on Ohio’s telehealth pilot project at Switzerland of Ohio School District in Monroe County. The objective is to connect the school district with behavioral health services. Districts interested in developing telehealth services can now review the Telehealth in Schools Blueprint, which provides a better understanding of lessons learned through the pilot project.

The Blueprint can be found here: innovate.ohio.gov/broadband.

Progress has also been made through Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) to streamline broadband regulations through their new Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool.

The tool found:

  • 303 definitions related to the regulation of broadband, found in Ohio’s rules or statutes across 25 different state agencies
  • 16 different definitions of public utility in Ohio law across 5 different agencies

In an effort to develop a strategy that will create a clear and concise set of terminology for broadband providers to follow, the Lt. Governor and CSI will work with agencies to streamline these definitions.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Lt. Governor Husted also unveiled a new public service announcement to encourage Ohioans to wear masks. The PSA features 99-year-old Jim “Pee Wee” Martin who lives in Sugarcreek Township in Greene County.

Jim volunteered to be a WWII Paratrooper, an original member of Company “G”, 3rd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. His nickname “Pee Wee” was earned because he was 106 pounds, the smallest and lightest guy in the company. In 1944, Jim jumped into France over Utah Beach the night prior to D-Day and fought for 33 days in the Normandy campaign. He also fought in Holland, Belgium, and Germany.

Among his many awards, Jim earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his great work.

“Wearing a mask to protect Jim “Pee Wee” Martin seems like a small sacrifice for us to protect people like him, considering all he did to protect us,” said Lt. Governor Husted.

The PSA can be viewed below. 

PSA

On Thursday, Governor DeWine released this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health indicates that seven counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread. 

Advisory

A total of 67 counties stayed at the same level as last week, and 12 counties moved from orange to yellow. There are now a total of 39 counties in the yellow level, the highest number since July 2. Detailed information all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. 

SCHOOL REPORTING ORDER

Beginning Tuesday, September 8, parents or guardians and school staff should notify their school within 24 hours of receiving a positive test or a clinical diagnosis. Within 24 hours after receiving that notification, the school should notify other parents and guardians about that case in writing, providing as much information as possible without releasing protected health information. The school must also notify their local health department within 24 hours. 

Beginning Tuesday, September 15, and each Tuesday thereafter, local health departments will report the number of newly reported and cumulative cases to the Ohio Department of Health. The Ohio Department of Health will publish this data by school or school district, including a breakdown by students and staff, each Thursday.

"We understand there is a balance between privacy and transparency, and we do not intend for protected health information to be released in our effort to provide information to Ohioans so they can make the right decisions for their family," said Governor DeWine. "Please remember that if a school has positive cases among their students or staff, it does not mean the school did anything wrong. Schools cannot control spread in the community, so it is important to practice safety measures not only in the classroom but also when you’re out in the community."

The order will also require each school district or school to identify a COVID-19 coordinator to facilitate the reporting of case information, and upon request, schools or buildings are required to provide the local health department a copy of their pandemic plan.

LABOR DAY AND SPREAD BY YOUNG OHIOANS

Governor DeWine once again encouraged Ohioans to take proper safety precautions over the upcoming Labor Day weekend. He stressed that citizens can still have fun, visit family, and travel, but face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing should also be part of your plans. 

"It's not about where we go, but rather, what we do when we get there," said Governor DeWine. "It's about how we act when we're with family and friends and what precautions we take. The decisions we make as we celebrate the unofficial end of summer will play a major role in how we begin the fall."

Governor DeWine also reminded young Ohioans of their responsibility to follow safety precautions, especially students attending a college or university.

Case data shows that those aged 18-22 currently make up 35-40 percent of all young Ohioans who have tested positive for the virus which is a significant increase from previous months.

"In Cincinnati, multiple off-campus parties with students attending from several universities on August 17 have resulted in at least 78 confirmed cases," said Governor DeWine. "Although college students might not get seriously ill, they could spread the virus to others who could. The responsibility falls on all of us to protect each other."

Cases

WASTEWATER MONITORING NETWORK

Governor DeWine announced that information from Ohio's new Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network is now available at coronavirus.ohio.gov

The network was developed to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the study of wastewater samples. The presence of coronavirus gene copies/fragments can be found in the waste of symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals and can be detected in wastewater as many as three to seven days before those infections lead to increases in case counts or hospitalizations in a community.

DEFENSE MANUFACTURING COMMUNITY

Lt. Governor Husted announced that, in an effort led by the Development Services Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense has made a commitment to Ohio’s defense manufacturers and put the state in a position to receive a $5 million grant to improve manufacturing processes and train workers for next-generation jobs.

Ohio has been designated as a Defense Manufacturing Community, which is a program designed to support long-term community investments that strengthen national security innovation and expand the capabilities of defense manufacturing.

STEP UP TO QUALITY

As of last Tuesday, all child care providers in Ohio that serve publicly funded children were required to be rated on Ohio’s child care quality rating system, called Step Up To Quality.

Governor DeWine announced that over 4,400 providers are now rated through the system. This is more than double the number of rated quality child care providers when he took office in 2019. By 2025, all providers must be rated three stars or higher on the rating system. 

H2OHIO LEAD UPDATE

Governor DeWine announced that Greater Cincinnati Water Works will receive $725,000 in H2Ohio funding from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to remove and replace lead service lines and fixtures at nearly 200 child care facilities in Cincinnati. 

The H2Ohio initiative launched last year to address a number of water quality issues in Ohio including lead pipes feeding into childcare centers. Although lead in water is rarely the sole cause of lead poisoning, it can significantly increase someone’s total lead exposure – especially infants who drink baby formula or concentrated juices mixed with contaminated water.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT 

Governor DeWine shared a public service announcement from Dr. Sophia Tolliver, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Tolliver shared information on the importance of wearing a mask to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

The PSA can be viewed below. 

Tolliver

On Friday, Governor DeWine has ordered that flags of the United States and the State of Ohio be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout Cuyahoga County and at the Ohio Statehouse, Vern Riffe Center, and Rhodes Tower in Columbus in honor of the life and service of Cleveland Police Detective James Skernivitz,. Flags will remain lowered until sunset on the day of Detective Skernivitz’s funeral.

All other public buildings and grounds throughout the state may fly the flags of the United States and the State of Ohio at half-staff at their discretion for the same time period.

Friday afternoon, Governor DeWine announced that the following order has been signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director's Order Requiring Reporting and Notification Regarding COVID-19 Cases in Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Schools

Also on Friday, Governor DeWine issued the following three reprieves of execution:

  • Cleveland Jackson, who was scheduled to be executed on January 13, 2021.  The new date of execution has been moved to June 15, 2023. 
  • James O'Neal, who was scheduled to be executed on February 18, 2021.  The new date of execution has been moved to August 16, 2023. 
  • Melvin Bonnell, who was scheduled to be executed on March 18, 2021.  The new date of execution has been moved to October 18, 2023. 

Governor DeWine is issuing these reprieves due to ongoing problems involving the willingness of pharmaceutical suppliers to provide drugs to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), pursuant to DRC protocol, without endangering other Ohioans. 

On Saturday, Governor DeWine announced that the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals have been granted a variance to the state sports order that will allow a total of up to 6000 spectators at two home games. 

The variances allow no more than 1500 spectators in each side of the stadium. Fans must use the designated entrance for their ticket. In addition, all fans must wear a mask in accordance with state regulations. Games included in the variance include:

  • September 17th: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
  • September 27th: Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns
  • October 4th: Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
  • October 25th: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals

"This year will certainly be different, but both the Browns and the Bengals have worked exceedingly hard and have made extensive preparations to welcome a limited number of fans to their stadiums safely," said Governor Mike DeWine. "These very thorough plans and safety precautions warrant a two-game trial to try and accommodate fans, at reduced capacities with social distancing and masks."

DeWine spoke with leadership of both the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals organizations to inform them of the variances.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 128,444 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,248 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 13,731 people have been hospitalized, including 3,022 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Governor DeWine COVID-19 Banner

WEEK IN REVIEW
Sunday, August 30, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending August 30, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other state initiatives. 

On MondayGovernor DeWine announced that Jillian Froment, Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, has resigned her position to pursue other opportunities. Froment joined the department in 2011 and has served as director since 2017. 

Tynesia Dorsey will serve as interim director.  Ms. Dorsey has worked at the department for more than 20 years, many of them as Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Consumer Advocacy. 

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine discussed the recently-issued Director's Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club, and Professional Sports.

The order limits the maximum number of spectators gathered at a venue. It sets the maximum for an outdoor sports venue to the lesser of 1,500 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. The maximum for indoor sports venues is the lesser of 300 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity.

If a venue has more room to permit additional socially-distanced spectator capacity, a variance provision in the order allows schools to request a higher spectator limit by submitting a plan in writing to their local health department and the Ohio Department of Health. The variance plan must include a justification for increased capacity and an explanation of how social distancing will be maintained between family groups. 

It is the responsibility of the school/venue to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement, prohibition on congregating among spectators, and the other provisions outlined in the sports order.  Evaluating a sports venue’s variance plan may require conversations with school/venue officials and a site visit. The Ohio Department of Health will rely upon local health departments to conduct the first assessment of the variance plan.  

Variances will not be granted to expand the number of fans beyond family members of both teams and others who may perform during the event.

ENTERTAINMENT VENUE ORDER

Interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes signed the Director's Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues. 

2020 CENSUS

Governor DeWine reminded Ohio citizens to complete the 2020 Census.

The Census determines how $675 billion is distributed among the states and Ohio’s representation in Congress.  

Those who have not yet completed the census can do so at www.2020Census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020.

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Lt. Governor Husted provided a reminder about the Ohio Diversity & Inclusion Technology Internship Program, which pairs college students with tech companies and any company with a technology-related need.

The program is looking for additional businesses to host interns. Visit development.ohio.gov for more information.

Also on Tuesday, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 230. House Bill 230, sponsored by Representative Jeff Crossman, designates the month of May as Brain Cancer Awareness Month. 

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine announced several appointments to various boards and commissions, including to the Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board, the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools, and others. 

On Thursday, Governor DeWine released this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health indicates that six counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread. This is the lowest number of Level 3 counties since the Ohio Public Health Advisory System was developed. In addition, 76 counties have remained at a consistent level, which is the lowest movement between levels that Ohio has experienced. 

"While we do have good news in today’s alert map, this does not give us the green light to change our behavior. It’s only through the interventions that we’ve put in place that we have been able to make these strides," said Governor DeWine. "Please continue to wear a mask, stay home when you can, and refrain from gatherings, especially indoors."

Health Advisory System

Increase to Level 3: 

Continue at Level 3:

Decrease to Level 2: 

Decrease to Level 1:

  • Montgomery
  • Erie
  • Lorain
  • Lucas
  • Mercer
  • Preble
  • Clark
  • Clermont
  • Franklin
  • Trumbull
  • Marion
  • Muskingum
  • Perry
  • Sandusky

Detailed information all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators

K-12 CASE REPORTING

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing an order that requires K-12 schools to establish a mechanism for parents and guardians to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their children.

Schools should notify parents/guardians in writing about each case and include as much information as possible without disclosing protected health information. Schools should also make non-identifying information about positive COVID-19 cases publicly available. 

"Prompt reporting will help prevent potential further spread among students and staff," said Governor DeWine. "Knowing this information can help parents make informed decisions in regard to risks and exposure for their families."

The forthcoming order will also direct all K-12 schools to report confirmed cases to their local health department, which will then report new cases and cumulative case data for students and teachers to the Ohio Department of Health. This aggregate data will be published at coronavirus.ohio.gov each Wednesday. 

SPORTS ORDER MODIFICATION

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the current sports order has been modified to clarify that participants shall not compete in more than one contest or game in any calendar day, as compared to the 24-hour period outlined in the original order. The goal of this adjustment in language is to assist organizers and teams when scheduling games or contests.

ASSISTED LIVING TESTING PAUSE

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is pausing its work to test residents and staff at assisted living facilities through saliva testing instead of nasal swabs due to inconsistent test results. The Ohio Department of Health will investigate the issue through controlled validation testing to determine if the irregularities can be attributed to the test kits themselves, the labs, or the specimen collection process. 

DUPLICATE PAYMENTS IDENTIFIED

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) and InnovateOhio have identified an additional 38 duplicate payments, totaling $93,978 in savings, using the InnovateOhio Duplicate Payment Tool.

In total, $1.1 million in savings have been identified since this project launched, bringing the total number of confirmed duplicate payments to 145 since January 2019, across 29 different agencies, boards, and commissions.

OBM works with agencies to ensure that all duplicate payments are recovered.

TECH CRED REMINDER

Lt. Governor Husted reminded employers about the TechCred program, which reimburses businesses to upskill their current and prospective employees. The current application period closes on August 31 at 3 p.m. Visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov for more information or to apply.

Also on Thursday, Governor Mike DeWine sent a letter to Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Mark Esper asking DOD to enter into a cooperative agreement with Ohio EPA and the city of Dayton to take more expedient and preventative measures to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and protect the Great Buried Valley Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to more than 2.3 million people in Southwest Ohio, including more than 400,000 people in the Dayton metropolitan area.

Under December 2019 revisions to the National Defense Authorization Act, state Governors can request the Secretary of Defense to direct Department of Defense installations to enter into cooperative agreements to address PFAS issues.

The city of Dayton's Water Department accesses the aquifer through its Mad River wellfield, which is located directly adjacent to and downgradient from Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) operations. Because of the natural gradient, chemicals released onto the ground or into the storm water drainage system at WPAFB can flow directly towards the city's wellfield.

In September 2019, Governor DeWine called for Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health to develop a statewide PFAS action plan to identify the extent of PFAS chemicals in Ohio’s drinking water systems statewide.

Under the action plan, Ohio EPA is providing the test results to each public water system and publishing the data publicly on Ohio’s interactive PFAS website, pfas.ohio.gov under the “data” tab. Ohio EPA expects to complete sampling of Ohio’s 1,500 public water systems, including those that serve communities, schools, daycares, and mobile home parks, by the end of 2020.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Sunday afternoon, there are 122,262  confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,128 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 13,317 people have been hospitalized, including 2,954 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Governor DeWine COVID-19 Banner

WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, August 21, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending August 21, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other state initiatives. 

On MondayLt. Governor Husted announced he has accepted an appointment to serve as a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC).

The IAC’s mission is to aid to the FCC on the many telecommunications issues affecting local, state and Tribal governments that are within the jurisdiction of the FCC. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the new members of the committee last week.

As Director of InnovateOhio, Lt. Governor Husted has played an integral role in the state’s effort to expand and improve high-speed internet access through the Ohio Broadband Strategy released at the end of 2019, and the launch of the BroadbandOhio office within the Development Services Agency.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that an order from the Ohio Department of Health would be issued to outline how sports, both contact and non-contact, may move forward in Ohio. The order applies to all organized sports in the state and includes guidelines for spectators. The decision for high school fall sports to be postponed to the springtime will be left to the school districts.  This order is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Governor DeWine also spoke with Dr. Jim Borchers of The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Borchers specializes in sports medicine. He discussed the importance of sports, and its impact on the physical and mental health of young people. Dr. Borchers also reminded parents and students about the importance of immediately sharing information with coaching staff and a doctor if a COVID-19 case is probible or confirmed, and then following the appropriate protocols.

GEORGETOWN VETERANS HOME

Governor DeWine announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Ohio Veterans Home in Georgetown (Brown County). An employee tested positive, and two other employees may have been exposed to this individual. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services put additional safety measures in place at the home and they are tracking potential exposures. All residents in the unit where this employee works are being tested, as are the residents in the two other units where the potentially exposed employees are assigned.

OHIO GOVERNOR’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY

First Lady Fran DeWine provided an update on the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is approaching its one-year anniversary and is now available in 81 of Ohio’s 88 counties. 

With help from the Ohio General Assembly and local partners throughout the state, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library has expanded throughout the state and about 195,600 children are receiving a book in the mail monthly. Last summer, the program was only available in pockets throughout the state and about 93,000 children were enrolled at the time. 

CENTENNIAL OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans that Monday marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. He encouraged Ohioans to learn more about the history of the women’s suffrage movement by visiting the Ohio History Connection webpage, ohiohistory.org. Governor DeWine also announced that TourismOhio has created a women’s history road trip to mark the centennial. It can be found at ohio.org.

On Wednesday, Governor  DeWine announced that the following order was signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club, and Professional Sports

On ThursdayGovernor DeWine released this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health indicates that nine counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread. 

"Ohio continues to see a shift in virus spread. In urban areas, where residents have been wearing masks longer, we're seeing spread decline, but rural areas are seeing more spread," said Governor DeWine. "The best ways to stop the virus continue to be staying home when you can, wearing your mask and social distancing when you go out, and washing your hands often."

Health Advisory System- Updated

Increase to Level 3:

Continue to Level 3: 

Decrease to Level 2: 

Decrease to Level 1: 

  • Clark
  • Lorain
  • Preble
  • Trumbull
  • Clermont
  • Erie
  • Franklin
  • Lucas
  • Mercer
  • Brown
  • Cuyahoga
  • Fairfield
  • Licking
  • Marion
  • Montgomery
  • Muskingum
  • Highland
  • Huron
  • Jefferson
  • Morgan
  • Richland
  • Ross

Detailed information all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators

ADULT DAY CARE AND SENIOR CENTERS

Governor DeWine announced that adult day care centers and senior centers may open at a reduced capacity beginning on September 21st if the facilities can meet certain safety standards outlined in a forthcoming health order.

"By delaying the opening until September 21st, we are providing time for each center to properly prepare based on the order's guidelines," said Governor DeWine. "Each center should consider a variety of factors when determining its ability to reopen, including the case status in the surrounding community."

The Ohio Association of Senior Centers and those representing adult day centers nationally and locally assisted in developing the ResponsibleRestart Ohio plan for adult day care and senior centers. The full plan and health order will be posted soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov

NURSING HOME AND ASSISTED LIVING TESTING

Governor DeWine announced that a statewide testing initiative for Ohio's more than 765 assisted living facilities is now underway. It will provide baseline saliva testing to all staff and residents at no cost to the facilities.

The tests can be self-performed or performed with assistance, under the observance of licensed medical staff. Baseline saliva tests are minimally invasive and provide reliable results in approximately 48 hours upon the lab’s receipt.

An order requiring all assisting living facilities to participate in the testing initiative will be posted soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

BWC DIVIDEND AND MASK DISTRIBUTION

Governor DeWine asked the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors to send up to $1.5 billion in dividend payments to Ohio employers this fall.  This dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums paid in policy year 2019.  Dividends like this, as well as previous ones, are possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, prudent fiscal management, and employers who work hard to improve workplace safety and reduce injury claims.

If approved by the Board, this would be the second dividend of $1 billion or more since April and the third dividend since 2019.  BWC anticipated providing a dividend next year, but with Board approval, they will issue it now to provide some immediate economic relief to employers amid the ongoing pandemic. Checks would be distributed by BWC in late October. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine asked BWC’s Board of Directors to approve of a second distribution of face coverings to Ohio employers and their workforce as part of BWC’s Protecting Ohio’s Workforce- We’ve Got You Covered program.  This second round will consist of approximately 23 million masks to employers and are meant to replace any masks that have exhausted their effective use. Governor DeWine has also asked that BWC work to purchase as many masks as possible made in Ohio.

In the first distribution of face coverings, BWC shipped 20.6 masks to 197,000 employers and their workforce.

PPE FOR BOARDS OF ELECTION

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) will be working with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to ensure that Ohio's 88 boards of elections have the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to execute early in-person voting and voting on election day.

DAS will provide an estimated 800,000 masks, 64,000 face shields, and 26,000 gowns, and the Secretary of State's office is expected to distribute the PPE in early September. 

GUN VIOLENCE

Following a deadly week of gun violence that resulted in at least 56 people shot, including 17 people who were killed, Governor DeWine again called on the Ohio General Assembly to consider pending legislation to address gun violence.

The legislation would get tougher on those who’ve committed a crime with a gun and are likely to re-offend; increase penalties for those found carrying a weapon if they’re legally prohibited from doing so; and increase the penalties for knowingly providing a gun to a minor or to someone who is legally prohibited from owning one.

The legislation would also require that warrants on dangerous, wanted offenders are entered into law enforcement databases to ensure that officers have the information needed to arrest those who have committed violent crimes.

On Friday, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes will be signing a reopening order for performance theaters in the near future, but details are still being worked on. However, to give arts organizations the opportunity to begin planning for performances, the order will say that interior venue attendance will be capped at the lesser of 15% of their fixed-seated capacity or 300 people, while outdoor venue attendance will be capped at the lesser of 15% of their fixed seating capacity or 1,500 people. Many of the other guidelines in the forthcoming order will align with the limits on spectators at sports venues in the Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports.

Governor DeWine also released guidance for performing arts theaters and sports venues.

When the accompanying orders are signed they will be posted on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 113,046 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,955 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 12,719 people have been hospitalized, including 2,864 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

–30–

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, August 14, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending August 14, 2020

On TuesdayGovernor DeWine continued to stress the importance of masks, social distancing, and proper hygiene as Ohio's school students approach the start of the upcoming school year. 

"I have every confidence that Ohio's schools will do everything they can to keep children safe, but any spread happening in the broader community will, without a doubt, be reflected in Ohio's classrooms," said Governor DeWine. "If we want our kids to go to school in person, to play sports, to be in extracurricular activities - it's up to all of us to cut down the spread in our communities."

Currently, Ohio has left the decision to individual school districts on how to approach the new school year. 

According to information gathered by the Ohio Department of Education, 325 public school districts in Ohio are planning to return to school full-time which equates to approximately 590,000 students. A total of 55 districts representing approximately 398,000 public school students will begin the school year remotely.  Approximately 380,000 students in 154 public school districts will start the school year with a hybrid of online and in-person learning. Information on 78 public school distracts was not readily available. 

Dr. John Barnard from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Dr. Patty Manning from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Adam Mezoff from Dayton Children’s Hospital also participated in Tuesday's press conference. They discussed the prevalence of COVID-19 among children; how to prevent spread in schools by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, maintaining good hand hygiene, keeping surfaces clean, and ensuring good ventilation; and what schools can do if a student or staff member tests positive.

INCREASE IN CASES IN YOUNGER POPULATIONS

Governor DeWine shared updated data on the percentage of cases in Ohio by age group. The data shows a significant increase in positive cases among younger adults over the summer, particularly in the age range of 20-29. 

On ThursdayGovernor DeWine announced that new public health data has led the Ohio Department of Health to designate 12 counties as being in a Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency as defined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Increase to Level 3: 

Continue at Level 3: 

Decrease to Level 2:

Decrease to Level 1: 

  • Brown
  • Clermont
  • Muskingum
  • Cuyahoga
  • Erie
  • Fairfield
  • Franklin
  • Licking
  • Lucas
  • Marion
  • Mercer
  • Montgomery
  • Allen
  • Medina
  • Adams
  • Defiance
  • Fulton
  • Henry
  • Knox
  • Lake
  • Paulding
  • Williams

Detailed information for all of Ohio's 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators

IMPROVING MINORITY HEALTH

Governor DeWine released the final Minority Health Strike Force report and the state's executive response.

The Minority Health Strike Force was formed in April to examine the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on minority communities, as well as broader health disparities and racial injustices. Currently, African Americans represent 14 percent of Ohio's population but are 24 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 32 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 19 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio. Similarly, at least 6 percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ohio are Latino, despite only representing 3.9 percent of Ohio's population. 

The COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint lists 34 recommendations on dismantling racism, removing public health obstacles, improving the social/economic and physical environments, and strengthening data collection to better track disparities.

In response to the Strike Force's report, Governor DeWine issued Ohio’s Executive Response: A Plan of Action to Advance Equity. The action plan outlines efforts to reinforce the DeWine Administration's commitment to advancing health equity and establishing Ohio as a model for justice, equity, opportunity, and resilience. 

As part of his commitment to equity, Governor DeWine also announced the creation of the new Ohio Governor's Equity Advisory Board. 

The Board will work to improve Ohio’s work to dismantle racism and promote health equity. Board members will draw on the expertise within Ohio’s communities of color and will represent diverse viewpoints from sectors like education, healthcare, public and private business, community organizations, and members of the criminal justice community.

"We are committed to solutions, because as I have stated before, racism is a public health crisis. Each of us has a responsibility to be mindful of and work to counteract racial and other disparities that hold Ohioans back from reaching their full God-given potential," said Governor DeWine. "I will not shy away from addressing these long-entrenched inequalities among our fellow Ohio citizens. Fortunately, we have many great partners in this mission, and we are grateful to the individuals and organizations that provided feedback to the strike force and who have worked with my administration on this issue."

“Being a person of color should not dictate your health outcomes. As the Health Commissioner for the City of Cincinnati and member of the COVID-19 Minority Health Strike Force, I am proud of the work of my fellow strike force members to address these health inequities. The interim report and blueprint address short term and long term recommendations, as we need sustainable efforts to address these multi-faceted issues. The Governor’s response to the blueprint is action-oriented and his formation of the Governor’s Equity Impact Board shows that he is serious about the plan being implemented and committed to all Ohioans,” Dr. Melba R. Moore, Cincinnati Health Department Health Commissioner.

“The COVID-19 Ohio Minority Health Strike Force Blueprint sets a foundation that promotes sustained long-term and lifetime wellness and focuses on individuals and communities of color who disproportionately are afflicted with health disparities and chronic disease conditions. We understand that improvements to healthcare access and social and economic factors and determinants of health are critical to addressing disparities and improving health outcomes for all Ohioans. I commend Governor DeWine for taking the blueprint and quickly working with his administration to outline concrete next steps to improve the health and wellbeing of all Ohioans and advance equity across the state of Ohio,” Dr. Charles Modlin, MD, Executive Director Minority Health, Founder / Director Minority Men’s Health Center & Urologist, Cleveland Clinic.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 106,557 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,784 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 12,128 people have been hospitalized, including 2,755 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

–30–

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Governor DeWine COVID-19 Banner

WEEK IN REVIEW
Sunday, August 9, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending August 9, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other state initiatives. 

On Monday, Governor DeWine announced the launch of Ohio’s Top Jobs List. The list combines Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs and newly created Critical Jobs into one list of prioritized job sectors.

Critical Jobs ensure that the state’s workforce supports the health and well-being of Ohioans, their families, and their communities. Governor DeWine made developing the workforce in critical job areas a priority because of their impact on the lives of Ohioans at every stage of life.

The eight career clusters include:

  • Children & Community Health
  • Early Childhood Education
  • First Responders
  • Lead Abatement
  • Mental & Behavioral Health
  • Nursing
  • Physicians
  • Wellness Research & Technology

In addition to creating the Top Jobs List, Governor DeWine announced the new career pathways feature on TopJobs.Ohio.gov. Career pathways illustrate the progress Ohioans can make within the career clusters and information on the skills and education needed for Ohioans to advance to the next level of their chosen career pathway.

Both the list and the career pathway feature are available at TopJobs.Ohio.gov.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children to wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children's Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter  recommending widespread use of masks in schools with the following exceptions: 

  1. Children under the age of 2 years old
  2. Any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance
  3. A child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated specifically by the use of a facial covering (e.g. severe anxiety or a tactile aversion)
  4. A child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask
  5. A child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction

"Without a vaccine, we are limited in the ways that we can protect the people of Ohio," said Governor DeWine. "For schools to have a fighting chance to stay open this fall, widespread face coverings for K-12 students will increase the odds that kids will go to school and stay in school." 

RAPID TESTING MULTI-STATE PURCHASING AGREEMENT

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is entering into a multi-state purchasing agreement with Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia to expand the use of rapid point-of-care tests. 

"Over the past week, we have conducted an average of 22,334 COVID-19 tests a day with Ohio's current testing procedure, but rapid point-of-care tests are faster, simpler, and less expensive," said Governor DeWine. "Expanding the use of this testing will serve as an important screening tool and a critical addition to our plan to limit the spread of COVID-19."

More rapid point-of-care testing will help Ohio detect outbreaks sooner with faster turnaround time, expand testing in congregate settings, and make testing more accessible for the most high-risk and hard-hit communities.

COMMUNITY SPREAD

Governor DeWine also continued to warn Ohioans about community spread connected to informal gatherings between family and friends. 

"The truth is that it is easier to be scared of a stranger than a friend. Maintaining social distance and choosing to not gather together is really a sign that you care about your loved ones," Governor DeWine said. 

New data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows the amount of community spread per county over the past two weeks. 

Cases

LETTER TO FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY

Governor DeWine announced that he will send a letter to Ohio's faith-based community to share important health information with Ohio churches, synagogues, and mosques and to share ways to better protect their worshipers.

One case study shows that a man with COVID-19 attended a church service in Ohio, and following that service, 91 additional people from five counties developed symptoms. 

"I know that our faith-based leaders want nothing more than to protect their worshipers, but we also know that the virus can easily spread in places where people gather," said Governor DeWine. "It is vital that, any time people gather together, everyone wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands, and while indoors, making sure there is good ventilation and airflow."

Case Study

DR. AMY ACTON

Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio's former director of the Ohio Department of Health, has decided to leave state employment and return to her role at the Columbus Foundation, where she worked previously.

"While it saddens me that she will be leaving my office, she has assured me that she is just a phone call away and will be available to continue advising us as we move through this pandemic," said Governor DeWine. 

On Thursday morning, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor  Husted took antigen tests for COVID-19 as part of the standard protocol to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. 

While Lt. Governor Husted tested negative, Governor DeWine tested positive and returned to Columbus where a second test was administered.

In a second PRC test Thursday evening, Governor DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, as well as members of the staff tested negative for COVID-19.

The PCR test looks for the specific RNA for the SARS CoV-2 -- in other words, the genetic material specific for the virus that causes COVID-19.  This test is known to be extremely sensitive, as well as specific, for the virus.  The PCR tests for the Governor, First Lady, and staff were run two times.  They came back negative the first time and came back negative when they were run on a second diagnostic platform.  

We feel confident in the results from Wexner Medical Center.  This is the same PCR test that has been used over 1.6 million times in Ohio by hospitals and labs all over the state.

These antigen tests represent an exciting new technology to reduce the cost and improve the turnaround time for COVID-19 testing, but they are quite new, and we do not have much experience with them here in Ohio.  We will be working with the manufacturer to have a better understanding of how the discrepancy between these two tests could have occurred. 

On Friday, Lt. Governor Husted announced that schools can begin applying for the new BroadbandOhio Connectivity Grant on Monday, August 10.

A total of $50 million will be allocated through the grant program to help provide hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students.

Schools can begin applying for this grant opportunity at https://ohio-k12.help/broadbandohio-connectivity-grant/. The public website will be live today, however schools will not be able to apply until Monday.

After hearing feedback from various groups that the matching grant requirement would create a barrier for districts, it has been removed from the program. Many school districts have already begun to make purchases for the upcoming school year, and as a result, purchases made since July 1 of this year are eligible for support from this program.

The application period will close Friday, August 21.

In the coming days, the Ohio Department of Education will begin notifying district superintendents and school leaders around the state to make them aware of this program.

To help schools make the best purchasing decisions based on their needs, internet providers have begun to list their equipment and pricing information in one centralized location to the benefit of Ohio schools through a Request for Information. Visit procure.ohio.gov to review the RFI.

The K-12 School Computer Products and Services RFI was released to the public on July 23, 2020, and a variety of companies have provided responses.

On Saturday, Governor DeWine and First Lady DeWine have tested negative for COVID-19 in a PCR test administered and run by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. 

These test results follow the negative PCR test results for the Governor and First Lady on Thursday.  The PCR tests taken Thursday were negative for the Governor, First Lady, and staff members, and were run on lab machines twice with results coming in negative both times.

On Thursday morning in Cleveland, following the testing protocol established to be able to greet the President, Governor DeWine took a rapid antigen test and the results reported back for that test were a false positive.  

Additionally, Governor Mike DeWine has signed the following Executive Orders:

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Sunday afternoon, there are 100,848 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,669 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 11,565 people have been hospitalized, including 2,665 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, July 31, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending July 31, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as state initiatives. 

On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the approval of assistance for 15 projects set to create 1,653 new jobs and retain 1,676 jobs statewide. During its monthly meeting, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority (TCA) reviewed economic development proposals brought to the board by JobsOhio and its regional partners. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $99 million in new payroll and spur more than $304 million in investments across Ohio.

Additional information on the approved projects can be found on governor.ohio.gov.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that child care providers in Ohio may return to their normal, statutory ratios and class sizes beginning on August 9, 2020. 

Child care providers have a choice to increase the number of children and staff members to the normal statutory ratios or to maintain their current, lower ratios to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is structuring a financial incentive to providers that maintain smaller ratios and classroom sizes.  

"Children cannot learn unless they are safe and cared for, and without access to child care, parents may resort to less-than-ideal options for their child’s care, such as relying on an elderly grandparent who is at greater risk for contracting COVID-19. By allowing normal ratios to resume, we're giving parents more options," said Governor DeWine. "We will continue to closely monitor reports of COVID-19 in child care, as well as compliance with rules and best practices, so that we can respond as needed to keep our children, families, and teachers safe."

All child care providers must comply with stringent health and safety requirements including:

  • Face coverings for all staff and children over 10, unless they have a health exemption;
  • Symptom and temperature checks when staff and children arrive;
  • Washing hands throughout the day, including upon arrival and before departure;
  • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces; and
  • Regular deep cleanings.

Additionally, providers must report any COVID-19 cases to ODJFS and their local health department.

COUNTY AND INDEPENDENT FAIRS

Governor DeWine announced that county and independent fairs with an opening day on or after July 31, 2020, will be limited to specific junior fair events. 

"We've seen several fairs that have been doing an excellent job to keep fair-goers safe, yet  other fairs have been connected to outbreaks; some have disregarded social distancing; and we've also seen a lack of enforcement of the statewide mask order. It's just a real shame," said Governor DeWine. "Because it is becoming increasingly clear that we cannot have a regular, safe fair in the summer of 2020, I believe we must now scale fairs back."

Junior fair activities, such as livestock competitions and 4-H and Future Farmers of America competitions for kids and teenagers, may continue as planned, but junior fairs must develop a plan that reduces crowding in barns, such as limiting entrance to only the immediate family of those actively showing their animals or projects. A 10 p.m. curfew will also be instituted for the barns, buildings, and midways.

Harness racing can proceed with no spectators, but rides, games, and grandstand events will be prohibited to limit crowds and better prevent coronavirus spread. 

Thursday afternoon, Governor DeWine released this week's new Ohio Public Health Advisory System map.

"The good news is that more people are wearing masks in our urban counties and we are seeing the spread slow because of that," said Governor DeWine. "The bad news is that Ohio's more rural counties are turning orange with significantly more spread taking place. I will again urge those who live in rural counties to wear masks while in public."

Health Advisory Map Updated July 30, 2020

Remaining at Level 3: 

Downgraded from Level 3 to Level 2: 

Downgraded from Level 3 to Level 1: 

  • Allen
  • Cuyahoga
  • Erie
  • Fairfield
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Licking
  • Lucas
  • Henry
  • Lawrence
  • Marion
  • Medina
  • Montgomery
  • Clark
  • Defiance
  • Hardin
  • Athens
  • Clermont
  • Delaware
  • Pickaway
  • Scioto
  • Union
  • Richland

There are no counties on Ohio's Watch List. 

Detailed data on all 88 counties are now available on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators

ALCOHOL SALE AND ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION LIMITS

Governor DeWine announced that he has asked the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to call an emergency meeting to consider enacting a statewide emergency rule to limit liquor sales at establishments that serve alcohol for on-site consumption. 

The rule would prevent the sale of alcohol at these liquor-permitted establishments beginning at 10:00 p.m. each night. On-premises consumption must end by 11:00 p.m. Businesses may stay open, and establishments that sell food can continue serving meals until closing. 

Governor DeWine requested the new administrative rule after seeing outbreaks associated with bars across Ohio including Toledo, Cleveland, and Columbus. 

"The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors, with interactions between many different people," said Governor DeWine. "While this may have been fine during normal times, these are not normal times. We must make a change to curb the social behaviors that will cause this virus to continue to spread." 

Separately, Governor DeWine is also asking the commission to raise the number of liquor and mixed drinks permitted to be purchased for carryout with a meal from two drinks to three drinks.

MASS GATHERING ORDER

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will separate its mass gathering guidance into its own order. Mass gathering guidance was most recently referenced as part of other orders, and combining this information into a stand-alone order will allow citizens to easily find guidance on holding gatherings in a safe manner. 

Mass gatherings in Ohio remain limited to 10 people.

"We have seen cases in recent weeks where outbreaks have been connected to informal social gatherings like birthday parties, neighborhood gatherings, graduation parties, weddings, funerals, and gatherings at people’s homes," said Governor DeWine. "The fact remains that this virus spreads when someone with the virus comes in contact with others who don’t yet have it. When we gather together with people outside our households, we increase the likelihood this virus can spread."

The order will still permit Ohioans to go to work, worship, go to school, and acquire goods and services, however, this order will offer clear recommendations on safely holding gatherings.

  • Gatherings at a household or family residence should be limited to close friends and family and are recommended to be 10 visitors or less.
  • Residents in a red or purple county, as designated by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, should limit hosting or attending gatherings of any size.
  • Wear a mask at all times at gatherings and maintain physical distance.
  • Use take out, outdoor dining, or indoor dining only when strict social distancing can be maintained.
  • Take extra precautions if you go to bars or nightclubs, where use of masks typically is inconsistent and drinking alcohol can lead to less social distancing.
  • Protect anyone with serious medical conditions at home by social distancing at home, wearing a mask, and using high levels of personal hygiene.
  • High-risk individuals should take extra precautions to limit the number of people they interact with.
  • Make the group of people you interact with most often as small as possible and make sure that they are taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions – even if you are just gathering with family friends or neighbors at your home.

Additionally, the following order has been signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director's Amended Order Limiting County Fairs to Junior Fair Activities and Animal Exhibitions, with Exceptions

Governor DeWine issued the following statement upon the election of Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima) as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.

"I congratulate Bob Cupp upon his election as the new Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.  Speaker Cupp is a man of integrity who will serve Ohio well. I look forward to working with Speaker Cupp and Senate President Obhof in the days ahead."

The following statement may be directly attributed to Ohio Lt. Governor Husted, who served as 99th Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, in regard to the election of Representative Robert Cupp (R-Lima) as Speaker of the House:

“Rep. Cupp has served the people of our state honorably in the Ohio House, the Ohio Senate, and as a Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court. His character is well known and his selection as Speaker is an excellent choice. I am confident he will lead the House with integrity and I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Friday morning, the Liquor Control Commission voted 3-0 to approve an emergency rule that would prevent the sale of alcohol at all liquor-permitted establishments beginning at 10:00 p.m. each night with consumption required by 11:00 p.m.

On Friday, Governor DeWine signed the following Executive Order:

Executive Order 2020-30D: "Rescission of Executive Order 2020-10D and Emergency Adoption of Rule 4301:1-1-80 of the Ohio Administrative Code by the Liquor Control Commission

Additionally, Governor DeWine made several appointments to boards and commissions, including to The University of Akron Board of Trustees, Wright State University Board of Trustees and others.  

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 91,159 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,489 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 10,678 people have been hospitalized, including 2,534 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Governor DeWine COVID-19 Banner

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 24, 2020

 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review 

For the week ending July 24, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as state initiatives. 

Last Saturday, Governor DeWine issued the following statement on the death of Congressman John Lewis.

"Fran and I were very saddened to learn this morning of the death of our friend Congressman John Lewis.  

"John Lewis changed America. 

"In 2004, when I was in the U.S. Senate, Congressman Lewis led a small group of lawmakers to Tennessee and Alabama and showed us history.  He opened our eyes with first-hand accounts of the abuse and prejudice he experienced.  He told us about his time as a Freedom Rider, when he and fellow activists were badly beaten while riding buses throughout the South to protest segregation.

"He took us to the Rosa Parks Museum and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Reverend King had been pastor and preached hope and perseverance.  We also walked with him to the Civil Rights Memorial, as he led us in singing "We Shall Overcome."

"John also took us across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL, where on March 7, 1965 -- known as Bloody Sunday -- he and so many other civil rights protesters were attacked and beaten as they peacefully marched. 

"Fran and I had taken our two youngest children, Mark and Anna, with us, and we will all be forever grateful to John for what he taught us on that journey. 

"John Lewis was an extraordinary leader, teacher, and role model for us all.   He left a legacy for which we all have a responsibility now to carry on."

Governor DeWine also ordered that all United States and Ohio flags be flown at half-staff on all public buildings and grounds throughout Ohio

Governor DeWine with Congressman John Lewis

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine issued the following statement following the news conference by U.S. Attorney DeVillers announcing a criminal complaint against Speaker Larry Householder and others for an alleged $60 million bribery scheme. 

“I am deeply concerned about the allegations of wrongdoing in the criminal complaint issued today by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.   Every American has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.  Because of the nature of these charges, it will be impossible for Speaker Householder to effectively lead the Ohio House of Representatives; therefore, I am calling on Speaker Householder to resign immediately.

"This is a sad day for Ohio."

Additionally, Lt. Governor Husted, who served as the 99th Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives from 2005- 2009, released the following statement regarding the criminal complaint against Speaker Larry Householder. 

"As a former House Speaker, it makes me incredibly sad.

"With the announcement of today’s criminal complaints, the Speaker can no longer effectively perform his duties and should resign.

"Ohio is in the midst of a pandemic response and economic downturn, and the institution of the House of Representatives must remain operational, and the integrity of the office and the institution must be restored.”

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine announced that beginning on Thursday, July 23, at 6:00 p.m., a statewide mask mandate will go into effect for citizens living in all 88 Ohio counties. 

"Our preliminary data indicate that the rate of increase in new cases has slowed in the high-risk counties where masks are already mandated, so we are cautiously optimistic that things are heading in the right direction," said Governor DeWine. "We believe that requiring masks statewide will make a significant difference and will be key to making sure other counties do not progress to a higher level of increased spread."

All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when:

  • At an indoor location that is not a residence
  • Outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members
  • Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing.

The order only requires those 10 years old or older to wear a mask. Additional exclusions include: 

  • Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability;
  • Those who are actively exercising or playing sports;
  • Those who are officiants at religious services;
  • Those who are actively involved in public safety; or
  • Those who are actively eating or drinking.

Schools should follow the guidance previously issued pertaining to masks.

STATEWIDE TRAVEL WARNING

Governor DeWine announced a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio from states reporting positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15 percent or higher. 

Those traveling from one of the following states should self-quarantine for 14 days at home or in a hotel.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Texas

The self-quarantine recommendation applies to those who live in Ohio and to people who are traveling into Ohio from any of these states.

"I know this will be hard and is a sacrifice, especially as summer vacations are in full force, but when we have a higher likelihood of being exposed, we should take precautions to limit the exposure of others," said Governor DeWine. 

Ohio's positivity rate, which is an indicator of the percentage of people who have tested positive for COVID-19, has been around 6.2 percent.  

INFORMAL GATHERINGS

Governor DeWine urged citizens to use extreme caution when considering attending or hosting an informal gathering. 

"We are seeing serious exposures to the virus that are arising from everyday events like church services, small house parties, neighborhood get-togethers, children’s sleepovers, weddings, and even bridal showers," said Governor DeWine. "This virus is real, and we cannot let our guards down."

COUNTY FAIRS

Following a 19-case outbreak linked to a county fair in Ohio, Governor DeWine spoke with fair managers from across Ohio to stress the importance of following safety guidance during county fair events. 

"We've seen photos of packed grandstands and little social distancing," said Governor DeWine. "We want fairs to continue, but I expressed in the phone call today that fairs must follow the rules."

Guidance for fairs is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov

CONGRESSIONAL LETTER

Lt. Governor Husted announced that Governor DeWine has signed onto a letter to Congressional leadership with 20 other fellow Governors from across the nation, calling for reasonable limited liability protections for businesses, schools, healthcare workers, and governments as they are reopened during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The letter calls for predictable, timely, targeted liability protections to shield employers from legal risks associated with the spread of the novel coronavirus, so long as they are following the appropriate standards of care to protect their employees, customers, and students. The letter specifically requests that the protections be drawn in a narrow fashion as to not give license for gross negligence, misconduct, or recklessness.

Similar calls for liability protection have been made by Ohio’s leading business organizations. In addition to Governor DeWine, the letter was co-signed by the Governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

DROPPING UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

In the first press conference since Ohio’s latest unemployment figures were released, Lt. Governor Husted also highlighted Ohio’s strengthening economy as the state responsibly restarts in the midst of the pandemic. Ohio’s unemployment rate dropped three percentage points in the last month to 10.9%. The Lt. Governor also highlighted how Ohio companies continue to go to great lengths to support their employees and customers.

HOSPITAL INDICATORS

Beginning with Thursday's updated Ohio Public Health Advisory System map, Governor DeWine announced that the ICU indicator will be enhanced to address concerns in the event ICU levels increase due to reasons other than COVID-19.

The indicator will trigger if ICU capacity for a county’s hospital region exceeds 80 percent of normal capacity and if 20 percent of the normal ICU capacity is being used for COVID-19 positive patients.

"The 80 percent indicator is a good early warning to measure increasing utilization of ICU services, and this enhancement improves the indicator to ensure we are capturing developments in ICU utilization related to COVID-19 and changes from unrelated things," said Governor DeWine. 

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System will also be updated in the coming weeks to include more localized testing data and an indicator related to known contacts spreading the virus when such local data is widely available.

NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will sponsor two new public service announcements created in partnership with the Ohio Restaurant Association, OhioHealth, JobsOhio, and the Ohio Business Roundtable.

The first PSA features real Ohioans explaining why all Ohioans should all wear a mask.

The second PSA features Dr. Steve Markovich, a former Air National Guardsman and fighter pilot, who is CEO of OhioHealth. He encourages younger adults to wear masks to protect family, friends, and coworkers. 

On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that new public health data has led the Ohio Department of Health to designate 23 counties as being in a Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency as defined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Updated Alert Level Map

 

Upgraded to Level 3:

  • Clark
  • Defiance
  • Erie
  • Hardin
  • Henry
  • Lawrence
  • Marion
  • Medina

Continuing at Level 3: 

  • Athens
  • Allen*
  • Clermont
  • Cuyahoga
  • Delaware
  • Fairfield
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Licking
  • Lucas
  • Montgomery
  • Pickaway
  • Richland
  • Scioto
  • Union

Downgraded to Level 2:

  • Butler
  • Lorain
  • Summit
  • Wood

Allen County is also on Ohio's Watch List because it is closely nearing Purple Alert Level 4.

Franklin and Licking counties, despite meeting fewer indicators, remain at Red Alert Level 3 due to meeting the CDC guidelines for high incidence of COVID-19. 

Butler, Lorain, Summit, and Wood counties were downgraded to Orange Alert Level 2, however, these counties remain at the CDC definition of moderately high incidence of COVID-19. Both Wood and Butler counties nearly meet the definition of high incidence.

"Overall, the downgrade in the risk levels in these four counties tells us that the measures to mitigate COVID-19 spread in red counties - including increased diligence in social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and reducing interactions with others outside your household - may be helping to slow the spread in these counties," said Governor DeWine. "We are cautiously optimistic about this, but these are still high levels of spread, and citizens across Ohio must continue to be vigilant."

Detailed information on each Red Alert Level 3 county can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's website. The system was developed to provide local health departments, community leaders, and the public with data and information on the severity of the COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. The system consists of four levels with specific risk-level guidelines. Each level is calculated with data gathered on seven public health indicators

Ohio's statewide mask order goes into effect at 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening.

IMPORTANCE OF SELF-QUARANTINES

Following an outbreak at an Ohio long-term care facility in which more than two dozen residents and staff tested positive for COVID-19, Governor DeWine continued to encourage Ohioans to self-quarantine for 14-days after traveling to high-risk areas.

Contact tracing found that the long-term care facility's outbreak occurred due to a group of people who traveled to a high-risk area outside of Ohio and became sick upon return. Members of the group did not isolate and spread the virus into the nursing facility.

"When we look at the way this virus is progressing, we have to do everything we can to stop it in its tracks, and that may mean deferring a vacation so you’re not putting yourself or your friends and family at risk," said Governor DeWine. "This may mean that you need to stay home from work, but these are critical sacrifices that we are calling on all Ohioans to make when necessary."

BROADBAND EXPANSION

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the next steps in OhioBroadband’s plans to expand broadband access across the state.

In an effort to provide schools with the ability to search, review and compare prices for purchasing hotspots and equipment, a Request for Information (RFI) will be issued to internet providers for everything from hotspots to laptops to tablets.

Respondents to the RFI will need to provide the specific equipment they have available, number of units available, price, and amount of time it would take to implement an order. This RFI will be specific to K-12 plans and will be housed in a single location, giving every school district a chance to compare what is available and make the best decision for their district and their students.

Additionally, pending upcoming Controlling Board approval, schools can apply for a dollar to dollar matching grant program with the state for hotspots, in-home internet, and internet-enabled devices to students. This funding will be facilitated through the federal CARES Act and will total $50 million. Schools will have the flexibility to use the funding through a connectivity plan that makes the most sense for their student population and district.

The Lt. Governor also announced the launch of a new E-Permitting system through InnovateOhio and the Ohio Department of Transportation. The new system fulfills a goal outlined in the December 2019, Ohio Broadband Strategy, and replaces a paper-only right-of-way permitting system with an online process that is more convenient for permit requesters and is expected to reallocate 24,000 hours of labor per year.

Thursday evening, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes has signed the Director's Order for Facial Coverings Throughout the State of Ohio.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

As of Friday afternoon, there are 81,746 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,297 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 10,072 people have been hospitalized, including 2,419 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


WEEK IN REVIEW
Monday, June 22, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending June 21, 2020

Throughout the past week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and provided updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as state initiatives. 

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine released the latest basic reproduction number or R0 (pronounced “R naught”) for eight regions of Ohio. The R0 represents the number of people, on average, that a person will spread a disease to.

With Ohio's interventions, the R0 for the state measured at 0.87 on June 7. 

POP-UP SITES

Governor DeWine announced additional pop-up testing sites available throughout the state this week and next week.  Locations include Cincinnati, Middletown, Elyria, Portsmouth, Xenia, and others.  More information on pop-up sites can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio will borrow money to meet its unemployment obligation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state requested $3.1 billion in borrowing authority from the U.S. Department of Labor. This is not an unprecedented situation, Ohio borrowed more than $3.3 billion during the last recession and joins states such as California and Texas in borrowing money during this crisis. 

MULTI-SYSTEM YOUTH GRANT

Governor DeWine also announced $1 million in grant funding to Ohio’s local Family and Children First Councils (FCFC). Local FCFC’s serve some for Ohio’s must vulnerable children and often need services from many different agencies. These grant dollars will help local FCFC’s ensure that children can continue to connect with their loved ones and access essential medical services.

OBM, INNOVATEOHIO SAVINGS

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) and InnovateOhio have identified $950,027 in savings to state taxpayers through data analytics applied to state agency spending ledgers. These are actual taxpayer dollars recovered, not just potential savings identified. The total dollar amount of duplicate payments identified totals $1,008,876, leaving $58,849 still in the process of being recovered.

The total number of confirmed duplicate payments identified by InnovateOhio from January 2019 to May 2020 is 107 across 27 different agencies, boards, and commissions. The duplicate payments tool was initially announced in November 2019. 

FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY

Lt. Governor Husted also reminded Ohioans to be on alert for individuals that may want to take advantage of them with potential fraudulent cures, work-from-home offers, and messages asking for personal information.  

He also warned Ohioans of fraudulent unemployment claims. For resources on how to protect your personal information and protect yourself from fraud, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or the Ohio Department of Commerce, or the Ohio Department of Insurance websites.  If you think you have been a victim of fraud contact the Ohio Attorney General office.

SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM

More than 65,000 children a day are expected to take part in Ohio's Summer Food Service Program this summer. With more than 1,500 sites across the state, many of the programs have set up new guidelines for distributing food to kids.

Additional information can be found at education.ohio.gov/kidseat or by calling 866-3-HUNGRY.   

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine and Attorney General Dave Yost announced the following actions and proposed legislative reforms aimed at making meaningful improvements to law enforcement training, transparency, and accountability. 

The proposed reforms were developed with feedback from the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, Ohio Conference of NAACP, Ohio Chiefs of Police Association, Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and others.

Conversations regarding additional actions to improve Ohio's overall criminal justice system will continue and more reforms are anticipated in the future. 

LAW ENFORCEMENT OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD

Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost outlined their plan to create a law enforcement oversight and accountability board comprised of members of the law enforcement community and the public. They called on the Ohio General Assembly to move swiftly to permit this law enforcement oversight under Ohio law.

The oversight and accountability board as envisioned would be established within the Ohio Attorney General's Office as part of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC). Board members would work with law enforcement experts to establish standards and a code of conduct for Ohio’s law enforcement professionals. The board would also be responsible for ensuring that Ohio’s law enforcement officials adhere to the professional code of conduct. Violations could result in the suspension or revocation of a peace officer’s certificate. 

INDEPENDENT USE-OF-FORCE INVESTIGATIONS/PROSECUTIONS

Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost both called on the Ohio General Assembly to mandate that qualified, neutral investigative agencies investigate all officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths.

Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost additionally announced that they will immediately begin requiring independent investigations on cases of this nature involving the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI). BCI will investigate any cases involving OSHP and vice versa. 

To further eliminate any perceptions of impropriety, Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost also recommended that the Ohio General Assembly mandate that outside prosecutors also be assigned to all officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths to independently evaluate the evidence and prosecute cases in which charges are filed.

BCI OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING INVESTIGATIVE UNIT

Attorney General Yost announced that his BCI Special Investigations Unit will dedicate highly-trained special agents to form a team that will conduct independent investigations after an officer-involved shooting. 

The BCI Special Investigations Unit currently investigates critical incidents upon receiving a request for assistance from a local law enforcement agency. This specialized response team will leverage existing BCI expertise, including BCI’s Crime Scene Unit, Laboratory Division, and Criminal Intelligence Unit.   

USE-OF-FORCE TRANSPARENCY

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) will begin developing a public database to house information on use-of-force incidents in Ohio. He also asked the Ohio General Assembly to develop a standard use-of-force definition and enact a law that mandates the reporting of all use-of-force incidents to OCJS. 

The use-of-force data will help Ohio identify the scenarios that most often lead to use-of-force and offer specific de-escalation training related directly to these situations.  The data can also be used by OCJS to direct federal grants into targeted areas to help improve community-police relations. 

CHOKEHOLDS

Governor DeWine asked the Ohio General Assembly to ban the use of chokeholds by Ohio law enforcement officers unless the officer is justified in using deadly force in situations where an officer is fighting for his or her own life or protecting the life of another.

Governor DeWine also directed all cabinet-level agencies that possess law enforcement authority to examine their use-of-force policies to ensure that chokeholds are only permitted in situations where use-of-force would otherwise be justified. 

BODY CAMERAS

Governor DeWine announced that he has asked Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath and Col. Richard Fambro of the Ohio State Highway Patrol to begin outfitting troopers with body cameras where appropriate.

Governor DeWine also asked the Ohio General Assembly to determine if the state can provide monetary assistance to local agencies to help defer the cost of purchasing equipment and storing video.

ADVANCED TRAINING

Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost asked the Ohio General Assembly work with them to identify a permanent funding stream for law enforcement training to ensure that every Ohio officer receives advanced training every year.

With the exception of annual firearm re-qualification training, current law prohibits the state from mandating advanced law enforcement training without offering reimbursement.

As a short-term solution, Governor DeWine announced that he has directed OCJS to reimburse local agencies for up to six hours of law enforcement training on use-of-force, implicit bias, and the de-escalation of situations involving individuals in a mental health crisis or suffering from drug or alcohol addiction issues.

The reimbursement would apply for any officer who has not yet received this training in 2020.

BASIC TRAINING PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAM 

To better ensure that only those with the appropriate character and temperament enter law enforcement basic training in Ohio, Governor DeWine and Attorney General Yost announced that they are encouraging the Ohio General Assembly to require that all basic training applicants pass a psychological exam as a condition of their acceptance into a police academy.

Following a cadet’s graduation from basic training but before issuing a peace officer certificate, OPOTC would check references and take other critical steps to further ensure that the candidate possesses the appropriate character, fitness, and temperament to be a certified peace officer in Ohio.

OHIO OFFICE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RECRUITMENT

Governor DeWine also provided an update on the creation of the new Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment within OCJS.

Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Patrick Oliver, Ph.D., who currently serves as the director of Cedarville University's criminal justice program, has agreed to serve as the lead consultant to the new recruitment office. Dr. Oliver served for 27 years in law enforcement, including 11 years as a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. He also served as the police chief in the cities of Fairborn, Grandview Heights, Cleveland, and as the Ranger Chief of the Cleveland Metropolitan Parks. 

The new Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment will assist agencies that are working to hire more minorities and women and will encourage these populations to explore a law enforcement career. The office will also develop and share best practices on the hiring of candidates who are best suited for the law enforcement profession.

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that the following order has been signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes:

Director's Order Reopening County Fairs and Animal Exhibitions, with Exceptions

Also on Wednesday, Governor DeWine also signed several bills into law, including House Bill 16, House Bill 81, House Bill 287, House Bill 285, and House Bill 168.

Governor DeWine Signs Bill Into Law

On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that although Ohio is seeing an overall declining number of COVID-19 cases, there is currently an uptick in cases in Southwest Ohio. 

Increases are being seen in Montgomery County, Greene County, Clark County, Warren County, and Hamilton County. Case counts in these counties by zip code can be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov

INCREASE IN COVID-19 CASES IN CHILDREN

Dr. Amy Edwards, a pediatric infectious disease doctor and associate medical director for infection control at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, provided information on an increase in the percentage of children testing positive for COVID-19 at Rainbow Babies. 

Dr. Edwards said that hospital admissions for COVID-19 in children at Rainbow Babies have also increased. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 in kids are similar to symptoms in adults. If your child seems to be having trouble breathing or is not eating or drinking, Dr. Edwards recommends calling your pediatrician to get your child tested. 

In addition, Dr. Edwards reported that cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children have also increased at Rainbow Babies. Symptoms include high fever, rash, red eyes, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains. More information on multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is available at uhhospitals.org

HOSPITAL PPE READINESS STOCKPILE

Governor DeWine announced the creation of a new Hospital PPE Readiness Stockpile, which will be compiled and stored by Ohio hospitals throughout the state. Items in the PPE stockpile will be distributed to residents and staff at long-term care facilities should there be an increase in COVID-19 cases.    

Hospitals have begun to build a 30-day reserve of PPE based on several calculations, including the state’s surge models, the number of residents and staff at Ohio nursing homes, as well as recent FEMA PPE allocations to each Ohio nursing home. Each hospital will have a different amount of stockpile that is calculated specifically for the region. 

The stockpile is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Hospital Association, hospitals throughout the state, and several state agencies, including the departments of Health, Medicaid, and Public Safety. 

GOOD CAUSE EXECUTIVE ORDER 

For the seventh straight week, renewals of unemployment claims have declined. Last week, more than a quarter a million fewer people filed for continued unemployment insurance than they did during the COVID-19 unemployment peak.  

Governor DeWine signed an executive order that expands the definition of good cause throughout the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

OHIO MEANS JOBS 

Lt. Governor Husted announced that because most of Ohio's economy is now open, the coronavirus.ohio.gov/JobSearch website will transition back to Ohio's regular job-search website, OhioMeansJobs.com

OhioMeansJobs.com currently has over 120,000 job postings, with almost half paying over $50,000. Approximately 76,000 jobs require less than a bachelor’s degree, while 36,000 require either a bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree. Approximately 77 percent of the job openings are considered in-demand. 

RESUMING SPORTS ACTIVITIES 

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that Phase II of the Responsible RestartOhio plan for sports activities will allow contact practice for all sports to resume on Monday, June 22. 

Training guidance is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The Ohio High School Athletic Association and the summer league work group worked together with the Ohio Department of Health on this plan. 

On Friday, Governor DeWine signed several bills into law, including House Bill 11, House Bill 65, House Bill 481, and House Bill 164. 

Also on Friday, Governor DeWine issued the following statement on the recent vandalism at the Ohio Statehouse: 

“I have spoken with Ohio State Highway Patrol Col. Richard Fambro about security at the Statehouse, and I shared with him my anger and disgust at the vandalism that occurred at the Ohio Statehouse yesterday.  I support the right to peacefully protest. However, defacing, damaging, and vandalizing our state capitol and its grounds are wrong, and such actions are criminal. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is conducting a criminal investigation into yesterday’s acts, and they will send their findings to the appropriate authorities for potential prosecution.”

VIDEO

On Friday, Governor DeWine gave remarks to commemorate Juneteenth Day, celebrating the end of slavery.  

On Sunday, Governor DeWine ordered that all United States flags be flown at half-staff on all public buildings and grounds throughout Geauga County and at the Ohio Statehouse, Vern Riffe Center, and Rhodes Tower in Columbus in honor of the life and service of Ohio Marine, Sgt. Wolfgang Kyle Weninger. 

As of Sunday afternoon, there are 44,808 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,700 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,242 people have been hospitalized, including 1,844 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


WEEK IN REVIEW
Saturday, June 6, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending June 6, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, and provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as announced  new opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that he is intensifying efforts in Ohio to improve issues of health and economic disparities, racism, and inequity. 

"I am seeking dialogue to solve these problems and seeking strategies for the implementation of reforms," said Governor DeWine. "Whether it is in the urban core or the hills of Appalachia, we have Ohioans who are not living up to their God-given potential because they simply do not have the same opportunities. That is wrong, and we have a moral obligation to change that.

"Race is indisputably a factor in all kinds of health, education, and economic disparities.  The divisions of race have plagued us since our country’s inception. 

"While there are no simple solutions, we must be a positive voice in advancing change for all of those who are marginalized and in creating equity in health, education, and economic opportunity."

The efforts will include new plans to improve law enforcement access to quality training, enhancing transparency between the police and the public, recruiting more minorities to serve as peace officers, and adding more oversight to Ohio's law enforcement agencies to ensure accountability.

Other continuing work will include addressing lead paint poisoning in children, reducing infant and maternal mortality in the African American community, increasing home visiting programs for at-risk, first-time moms, fighting the drug epidemic in Ohio, and prioritizing the availability of mental health services in Ohio's schools for children who need them.

Governor DeWine also announced that, as of right now, Ohio intends to reopen schools in the fall, but individual starting dates will be up to each local school board. 

In the near future, broad reopening guidelines will be issued for schools in regard to protecting the health of students and staff when the school year resumes.

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that health care providers, including dentists, may resume all surgeries and procedures that had previously been delayed if they meet safety criteria, including: 

  • Maintaining adequate inventories of PPE, supplies, equipment, and medicine
  • Creating a plan for the conservation and monitoring use of PPE, as well as other supplies and equipment that could include decontamination and reuse
  • Maintaining a reliable supply chain to support non-COVID-19 cases and to respond to an unexpected surge in COVID-19 cases, if needed
  • Defining processes for timely COVID-19 testing of patients and staff
  • Continuing the use of telehealth whenever possible.

Additional information can be found in the new Ohio Department of Health Director's Order that Amends the Requirements for Non-Essential Surgeries and Procedures. 

Lt. Governor Husted announced the creation of three programs to help small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency:

  • Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program
  • Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program
  • Appalachian Region Loan Program

Ohio small businesses can learn more about these and other resources available through the Office of Small Business Relief and Development at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp.

First Lady Fran DeWine joined Slider of the Cleveland Indians and Mr. Red from the Cincinnati Reds in a special video message for Ohioans related to the Pandemic EBT Program. 

Ohio was approved for the federal P-EBT Program on May 12 in response to Ohio children who missed out on their free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school because of COVID-19. Now, children are starting to receive that benefit – representing the meals they missed – in the form of a credit to spend at local grocery stores and other retailers. Because Ohio schools physically closed for more than 50 days, the benefit amounts to approximately $300 per child.

For most of the 507,000 Ohio children who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the P-EBT benefit was loaded onto their card recently. For 343,000 Ohio children who do not currently receive SNAP benefits, a P-EBT card will be sent in the mail. This benefit is automatic. Families are not required to sign up for this program.

Families can call the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services at 866-244-0071 with questions.

On Thursday, Governor DeWine requested that all Ohioans observe a moment of silence at 2:00 p.m. in remembrance of George Floyd. The statewide moment of silence corresponds with the scheduled start of his memorial service in Minneapolis. 

Also on Thursday, Governor Mike DeWine announced that day camps and residential camps may open at any time.  Entertainment venues listed below may open beginning Wednesday, June 10th if they are able to follow Retail, Consumer, Service & Entertainment Guidelines and other applicable additional guidance:

  • Aquariums
  • Art galleries
  • Country clubs
  • Ice skating rinks
  • Indoor family entertainment centers
  • Indoor sports facilities
  • Laser tag facilities
  • Movie theaters (indoor)
  • Museums
  • Playgrounds (outdoor)
  • Public recreation centers
  • Roller skating rinks
  • Social clubs
  • Trampoline parks
  • Zoos

Health orders will be posted on coronavirus.ohio.gov when available. 

On Friday, Governor DeWine announced that the following sectors are permitted to reopen on Friday, June 19, 2020:

  • Casinos
  • Racinos
  • Amusement parks
  • Water parks

Governor DeWine also authorized the Memorial Golf Tournament to be held from July 13th to 19th. 

Dr. Acton has signed the Third Amended Director's Order to Limit Access to Ohio's Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, with Exceptions. 

This order allows properly prepared assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities to begin to allow outdoor visitation on June 8. The lifted restrictions do not yet apply to nursing homes. 

Governor DeWine also announced that he has directed Adjutant General John C. Harris Jr. to work with Ohio Department of Public Safety Director Tom Stickrath to set up enhanced procedures to ensure that members of the Ohio National Guard do not have ties to hate groups.

The announcement comes after a member of the Ohio National Guard was removed from a mission in Washington, D.C., after the FBI uncovered information that the individual expressed white supremacist ideology on the internet prior to the assignment.

"While I fully support everyone's right to free speech, the men and women of our National Guard are sworn to protect all of us, regardless of race, ethnic background, or religion," said Governor DeWine. "Our Ohio National Guard members are in a position of trust and authority during times of crisis, and anyone who displays malice toward specific groups of Americans has no place serving."

The Ohio National Guard and Ohio Department of Public Safety are fully cooperating with the FBI investigation. The Guardsman has been suspended from all missions at this time, and following due process, it is highly likely that he will be permanently removed from the Ohio National Guard.  

As of Friday afternoon, there are 37,758 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,355 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 6,385 people have been hospitalized, including 1,632 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

–30–

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

UPDATE: Disparity, K-12 Reopening, Medical Procedures, Funding Opportunities for Businesses 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following updates. 

OHIO DISPARITY: 

Governor DeWine announced today that he is intensifying efforts in Ohio to improve issues of health and economic disparities, racism, and inequity. 

"I am seeking dialogue to solve these problems and seeking strategies for the implementation of reforms," said Governor DeWine. "Whether it is in the urban core or the hills of Appalachia, we have Ohioans who are not living up to their God-given potential because they simply do not have the same opportunities. That is wrong, and we have a moral obligation to change that.

"Race is indisputably a factor in all kinds of health, education, and economic disparities.  The divisions of race have plagued us since our country’s inception. 

"While there are no simple solutions, we must be a positive voice in advancing change for all of those who are marginalized and in creating equity in health, education, and economic opportunity."

The efforts will include new plans to improve law enforcement access to quality training, enhancing transparency between the police and the public, recruiting more minorities to serve as peace officers, and adding more oversight to Ohio's law enforcement agencies to ensure accountability.

Other continuing work will include addressing lead paint poisoning in children, reducing infant and maternal mortality in the African American community, increasing home visiting programs for at-risk, first-time moms, fighting the drug epidemic in Ohio, and prioritizing the availability of mental health services in Ohio's schools for children who need them.

K-12 REOPENING UPDATE: 

Governor DeWine announced today that, as of right now, Ohio intends to reopen schools in the fall, but individual starting dates will be up to each local school board. 

In the near future, broad reopening guidelines will be issued for schools in regard to protecting the health of students and staff when the school year resumes.

MEDICAL SURGERIES/PROCEDURES:

Governor DeWine announced today that health care providers, including dentists, may resume all surgeries and procedures that had previously been delayed if they meet safety criteria, including: 

  • Maintaining adequate inventories of PPE, supplies, equipment, and medicine
  • Creating a plan for the conservation and monitoring use of PPE, as well as other supplies and equipment that could include decontamination and reuse
  • Maintaining a reliable supply chain to support non-COVID-19 cases and to respond to an unexpected surge in COVID-19 cases, if needed
  • Defining processes for timely COVID-19 testing of patients and staff
  • Continuing the use of telehealth whenever possible.

Additional information can be found in the new Ohio Department of Health Director's Order that Amends the Requirements for Non-Essential Surgeries and Procedures. 

OHIO BUSINESS FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the creation of three programs to help small and medium-sized businesses in Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency:

  • Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program
  • Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program
  • Appalachian Region Loan Program

Ohio small businesses can learn more about these and other resources available through the Office of Small Business Relief and Development at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp.

PANDEMIC EBT PROGRAM: 

First Lady Fran DeWine joined Mr. Red of the Cleveland Indians and Slider from the Cincinnati Reds in a special video message for Ohioans related to the Pandemic EBT Program. 

Ohio was approved for the federal P-EBT Program on May 12 in response to Ohio children who missed out on their free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school because of COVID-19. Now, children are starting to receive that benefit – representing the meals they missed – in the form of a credit to spend at local grocery stores and other retailers. Because Ohio schools physically closed for more than 50 days, the benefit amounts to approximately $300 per child.

For most of the 507,000 Ohio children who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the P-EBT benefit was loaded onto their card recently. For 343,000 Ohio children who do not currently receive SNAP benefits, a P-EBT card will be sent in the mail. This benefit is automatic. Families are not required to sign up for this program.

Families can call the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services at 866-244-0071 with questions.

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 36,350 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,258 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 6,176 people have been hospitalized, including 1,583 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


WEEK IN REVIEW
Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending May 31, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, and provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as announced  new opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced the formation of new Congregate Care Unified Response Teams, which include medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard.  The teams will begin testing residents and staff within nursing homes on two parallel paths: 

  • All staff in all Ohio nursing facilities will be tested to gauge the status of the virus in their facilities and help isolate the virus to stop it from infecting their community.
  • Testing will be conducted in facilities where residents or workers have confirmed or assumed positive cases. Testing will be conducted on all staff, and the testing of residents will be based on a clinically-driven strategy that targets those who have likely been exposed to COVID-19.  By testing residents based on their potential interaction with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the nursing facility will be better equipped to isolate the virus and contain spread within the facility.

In addition, the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams will begin the testing of all residents and staff members in the state’s eight developmental centers to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 in these facilities.   

On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has clarified rules that allow pharmacists to order and administer tests for COVID-19. 

To help Ohioans find testing locations, a map has been added to coronavirus.ohio.gov that lists COVID-19 testing centers in Ohio. The map includes links to community health centers and pharmacy sites to assist citizens in finding information about how to get a test referral or schedule an appointment.

Under the guidance of clinical experts, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has modified priorities in light of changes in testing availability and evolving knowledge of COVID-19 and its impact on Ohioans.

Testing must be first available to individuals described in Priority Groups 1, 2 and 3, but Ohio is expanding to allow testing in Priority Group 4, which includes testing “individuals in the community to decrease community spread, including individuals with symptoms who do not meet any of the above categories.”

Additionally, beginning on June 8, 2020, properly prepared assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities can begin to allow outdoor visitation.

The lifted restrictions do not yet apply to nursing homes. 

The decision to move forward with outdoor visitation for assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities was made  with input from advocates and providers in the aging and development disabilities communities, as well as families and residents.  Guidelines for visitation were jointly developed by the Academy for Senior Health Sciences, Leading Age Ohio, the Ohio Assisted Living Association, the Ohio Health Care Association, and the Ohio Medical Director’s Association.

Because each facility is different, each facility will determine how to best implement outdoor visitations, however, at a minimum, all facilities must develop a policy that includes:

  • Screening for temperatures and symptom-reporting for visitors
  • Scheduled hours and time limits for visits
  • Proper social distancing measures
  • Face coverings
  • Resident, family, and friend education about the risks of the spread of COVID-19

Consideration for visitors during end-of-life situations will also be expanded. Providers should notify family members when a resident's substantial change of condition indicates end-of-life is approaching. Providers should not wait until a resident is actively dying to allow visitors.

Also, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is deferring Ohio employers' premium installments for the months of June, July, and August. Businesses will have the option to defer the monthly premium payments with no financial penalties. 

This is the second payment deferral BWC has given to employers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The deferral is designed to help employers focus financial resources on re-opening their businesses under the Responsible RestartOhio Plan.

Governor DeWine's Fair Advisory Group has released guidelines for how county fair boards and agricultural societies can work with county health departments to safely operate junior fairs for kids.

The guidelines focus on maintaining social distancing, limiting crowds, ensuring the health of everyone involved in the junior fair activities, and animal care and welfare.

Additionally, Lt. Governor Husted announced that 150 Ohio companies have been approved for TechCred funding.

In order to support the changing needs of Ohio businesses and workers during the economic recovery, following the COVID-19 crisis, the following changes have been made to the TechCred program:

  • To make TechCred more flexible for upskilling new hires, employers are no longer required to list employee names when applying for TechCred. Instead, they will identify the number of current or prospective employees they will upskill.
  • To account for possible staffing changes, employers who were awarded in the October 2019, January 2020, and March 2020 rounds of TechCred may now substitute employees listed in their original application.
  • Employers awarded in October 2019 and January 2020, who had credential programs interrupted by the crisis, may request to extend their 18-month award eligibility timeline.
  • Employees can now earn multiple credentials during each application period.

The next application period of the TechCred program will open June 1st and run through June and run through June 30th

On Saturday, Governor DeWine granted a request from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan to activate the Ohio National Guard to assist in responding to incidents of violence during demonstrations within the City of Columbus. Governor DeWine also ordered the Ohio State Highway Patrol to help enforce the criminal laws within the city.

The following can be attributed to Governor DeWine:

"The majority of demonstrators want simply to be heard, and we welcome the voices of the individuals who are focusing attention on the tragic death of George Floyd and on other injustices. But, sadly, these voices calling for justice and change are being drowned out by a smaller group of violent individuals who threaten the safety of the citizens of our community. Acts of violence will not be accepted nor tolerated.  This violence must stop.

"I am activating our National Guard to drive out hate and violence and to instill order.  This is about the safety of our communities - our neighbors, our families, and our friends. It is about protecting from unnecessary destruction the small businesses that our fellow Ohioans have worked so hard to create. It is also about protecting the First Amendment and creating the environment for peaceful protests so that people can be heard, so that voices are not stifled, so that justice can prevail, and so that love, kindness, compassion, and peace can triumph over hate and violence.

"I understand that people are angry and have pent up rage. I understand that we are living in very uncertain times right now in this country. But it is in these times of uncertainty and  division that we must call upon the 'better angels of our nature' and come together as one state and as one people to care for one another, to value one another, and to protect one another."

Mayor Ginther also implemented a city-wide curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. beginning tonight. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine granted a request from Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams to activate the Ohio National Guard to assist in responding to incidents of violence during demonstrations within the City of Cleveland. 

Governor DeWine also announced that Dr. Acton signed the Director’s Order that Reopens Facilities Providing Child Care Services, with Exceptions.

In keeping with the Memorial Day tradition of a wreath-laying ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse, Governor DeWine placed a wreath at Veterans Plaza in remembrance of the men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. 

"Each Memorial Day we remember those throughout history who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we know today," said Governor DeWine. "Although we could not gather together to pay tribute to these brave Americans this year, it is still important to take time to recognize the meaning of Memorial Day and remember Ohio's fallen service members." 

Video of Governor DeWine placing the wreath at the Ohio Statehouse's Veterans Plaza is available.

Additionally, Governor DeWine issued the following statement on Tuesday about threats of violence made over the weekend against Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and State Senator Vernon Sykes.

"I was very disturbed to learn that threats of violence were made over the weekend against Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes and State Senator Vernon Sykes.   It is wrong.  It is reprehensible, and it is unconscionable to threaten someone with violence for doing the job they were elected to do.

"Simply put: hatred has no place in Ohio, and violence will not be tolerated."    

As of Sunday afternoon, there are 35,513 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,155 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 6,049 people have been hospitalized, including 1,556 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

–30–

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 26, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update:  Congregate Care Unified Response Teams 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NEW CONGREGATE CARE UNIFIED RESPONSE TEAMS:

Governor DeWine announced today the formation of new Congregate Care Unified Response Teams to test residents and staff members in Ohio's nursing homes.

"Nursing facilities have been aggressive regarding testing and managing COVID-19 outbreaks on their own, but this effort will provide them with additional resources," said Governor DeWine. "As we continue to ramp up our testing in Ohio, we must deploy our resources in a way that will save the most lives."

Beginning this week, the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams, which will include medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard, will begin testing residents and staff within nursing homes on two parallel paths: 

  • All staff in all Ohio nursing facilities will be tested to help nursing home administrators gauge the status of the virus in their facilities and help isolate the virus to stop it from infecting their community.
  • Testing will be conducted in facilities where residents or workers have confirmed or assumed positive cases. Testing will be conducted on all staff, and the testing of residents will be based on a clinically-driven strategy that targets those who have likely been exposed to COVID-19. By testing residents based on their potential interaction with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the nursing facility will be better equipped to isolate the virus and contain spread within the facility.

In addition, the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams will begin the testing of all residents and staff members in the state’s eight developmental centers to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 in congregate care settings.  

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 33,006 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,002 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 5,579 people have been hospitalized, including 1,450 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, and provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as announced several new opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

On Monday, Governor DeWine announced that he is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants are operating safely under the Responsible RestartOhio plan. 

The enforcement team will operate as part of the Ohio Department of Safety's Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and will conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants.  

Three patients at Twin Valley Behavioral Health Hospital in Columbus have tested positive for COVID-19. In response, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is working with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to test all patients in the 25-person unit. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that he ordered mass testing to take place at Ohio's two state nursing home facilities for veterans. 

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services (OVS) operates nursing homes in Sandusky and Georgetown.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine released details of the new "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory" which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health on April 30, 2020.  

"Ohioans take care of Ohioans because that is at the core of who we are, and that is how we are going to save our economy," said Governor DeWine. "What this comes down to now is that each of us has a responsibility to each other to slow the spread.  No other time in our lives will our individual actions play a greater role in saving lives." 

The health order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay at home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those who are high-risk, stay at home as much as possible. The order does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remain at a 10-person limit.

The new health advisory also lifts overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio. Unnecessary travel within or outside of Ohio is not encouraged. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will begin distributing at least 2 million non-medical-grade face coverings to Ohio employers who are covered by BWC. 

Public and private employers that participate in the State Insurance Fund will receive a package from BWC containing at least 50 face coverings.

On Wednesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the following orders have been signed by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH:

On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced initial findings from his Minority Health Strike Force. The team was formed in April in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans who make up 14 percent of Ohio's population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio.

Recommendations were created using feedback from the Strike Force's Health Care, Resources, Data, and Education subcommittees. Examples of these recommendations include: 

  • Establishing culturally appropriate and accessible COVID-19 exposure notification services for communities of color.
  • Expanding testing capacity and access for minorities and high-risk populations.
  • Using data to prioritize resources in the communities that have the highest need. 
  • Developing and launching a statewide, culturally-sensitive outreach campaign that educates African Americans and communities of color on COVID-19, health disparities, and social determinants of health.

The Minority Health Strike Force's preliminary report will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Final recommendations will be issued on June 11. 

Also, the Ohio Department of Health and Minority Health Strike Force will work with Us for Us to unveil a new communications campaign aimed at Ohio's minority populations called, “Stay in the Fight.” This campaign will focus on the need to stay informed, stay involved, and stay inspired during the pandemic.

Ohio has also partnered with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers which represents Ohio’s Federally Qualified Health Centers, including 55 Community Health Centers at 378 locations to expand access to testing.  It has multiple mobile units in 68 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

For testing, individuals should contact their Federally Qualified Health Center or community health center for information and direction about how to be tested.

Additionally, Ohio is partnering with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers and the Nationwide Foundation to distribute thousands of Community Wellness Kits that contain COVID-19 protection-related items, such as face coverings, hand sanitizer, and soap.  

Governor DeWine's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will award $1 million in grants to provide mental health and addiction services for hard-to-reach individuals.  

The grants will allow faith-based and local community-based organizations to develop culturally appropriate messages that target those who may not be as easily reached by mass-media messaging efforts, such as racial and ethnic minorities, Appalachian and rural communities, older adults, and others.  

Lt. Governor Husted announced several new sector opening dates in Ohio:

  • Beginning Tuesday, May 26, miniature golf, batting cages, and bowling alleys may resume operations if they can meet required safety protocols. 
  • Beginning Tuesday, May 26, skills training for all sports, including contact sports, may resume if required safety protocols can be met. Tournaments, games, and competitions for contact sports are still prohibited. 
  • Beginning Monday, June 1, catering and banquet centers may reopen if they can meet required safety protocols. Protocols include six feet between tables, no congregating, and a crowd size of no more than 300 people.

Full guidelines to ensure that these sectors operate in the safest manner possible are/will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Last weekend, Governor  DeWine gave a virtual commencement address for Miami University's online graduation ceremonies.   Governor DeWine was originally scheduled to be the speaker for the in-person ceremony in Oxford, which was canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

To watch the remarks, please click here

As of Friday afternoon, there are 30,794 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,872 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 5,379 people have been hospitalized, including 1,416 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


Please share this latest information from the Office of Gov. DeWine with your stakeholders as appropriate. Thank you!

WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, May 15, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending May 15, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, and provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as several new opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (OJFS) has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for its Pandemic EBT plan. The Pandemic EBT program was included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.

The approval will allow OJFS to distribute SNAP benefits to 850,000 students across Ohio who relied on free or reduced-price meal programs when school was in session to have access to a hot, nutritious meal.  The benefits will be mailed directly to students, and families do not need to apply to be eligible.  

Families will receive approximately $300 to purchase healthy and nutritious foods to feed their children. These benefits amount to more than $250 million that will go to our grocery stores and other eligible retailers.

Lt. Governor Husted announced that sectors licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio, including massage therapy, acupuncture, and cosmetic therapy, will be permitted to reopen on Friday, May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures. 

The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine's Personal Services Advisory Group and the Ohio Department of Health can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Beginning Friday, May 15, tattoo and body piercing services will also be permitted to reopen on with the implementation of proper safety measures.

The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine's Personal Services Advisory Group can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Additionally, Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy announced a new service that will provide a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older to ensure that older Ohioans stay connected while staying at home.

The Staying Connected program will call older adults who sign up for the service during a predetermined window of time. When participants answer the phone, they will be asked to respond via touch-tone to confirm that they are OK or to access live support. 

If no one answers after three attempts, a call is then made to an alternate contact (if provided) or to non-emergency services.  The service can be canceled at any time.

Eligible Ohioans can sign up at aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-266-4346. Staying Connected is not an emergency response service, and participants should always use 911 or their emergency response system if they are injured or in need of emergency assistance.

On Thursday, Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted and Dr. Acton provided the following sector opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

Beginning Sunday, May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these providers can meet required safety protocols. 

The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine's Early Childhood Advisory Council can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

To assist in the reopening of child care centers, Ohio will use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers, including family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers. More information on how to apply will be posted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' website soon. 

Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will fund a research project to study best practices for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in childcare settings. Information gathered from the study will continue to inform childcare regulations moving forward. 

The reopening date of May 31 also applies to day camps that can meet required safety protocols. A detailed list of guidelines and best practices for day camps will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Beginning Thursday, May 21, campgrounds in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices for both campgrounds and campers from Governor DeWine's Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) locations in Ohio will be permitted to reopen for certain services if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

Services that can be accomplished online should still be done online. More details on online BMV services can be found at oplates.com

The BMV is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for deputy registrars to follow.  A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine's Gyms Advisory Group will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, non-contact and limited contact sports leagues in Ohio will be permitted to operate if these leagues can meet required safety protocols. This applies only to non-contact and limited-contact sports.

A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine's Large Venue Advisory Group will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development. 

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, public pools and club pools that are regulated by local health departments in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.

A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine's  Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

This does not apply to water parks or amusement parks. Safety protocols for these venues are in development. 

Beginning Friday, May 22, horse racing in Ohio will be permitted if these operations can meet required safety protocols. Spectators will not be permitted. 

A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices from Governor DeWine’s administration and the Ohio State Racing Commission will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

This does not apply to casinos and racinos. Safety protocols for these venues are in development. 

Additionally, Governor Mike DeWine announced two appointments to fill judicial vacancies. He appointed John M. Halliday to serve as a judge on the Washington County Court of Common Pleas, General and Domestic Relations Division, and Patrick T. Murphy to serve as a judge on the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, Probate and Juvenile Division.

Check out this video which highlights many of the safety measures Ohio businesses are taking to keep employees and customers safe.  

As of Friday afternoon, there are 26,954 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,581confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 4,791people have been hospitalized, including 1,277admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

MEDIA CONTACT: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


May 15, 2020

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

Ohioans can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers than the traditional unemployment program.

Those who believe they may be eligible should visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says, “Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.” Individuals who pre-registered for the program received an email with instructions for how to complete their applications.

PUA was made possible by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The program offers up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who traditionally have not qualified for unemployment benefits, including self-employed individuals, 1099 tax filers and part-time workers. The benefit amount is similar to traditional unemployment payments, plus an additional $600 per week through July 25.

If you have additional questions, please visit www.unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov or call (833) 604-0774.

RESPONSIBLE RESTARTOHIO

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted yesterday provided the following sector opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

CHILDCARE: MAY 31

Beginning Sunday, May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these providers can meet required safety protocols. 

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Early Childhood Advisory Council created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for childcare centers to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

To assist in the reopening of childcare centers, Ohio will use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers, including family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers. More information on how to apply will be posted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' website very shortly. 

Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will fund a research project to study best practices for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in childcare settings. Information gathered from the study will continue to inform childcare regulations moving forward. 

The reopening date of May 31 also applies to day camps that can meet required safety protocols. A detailed list of guidelines and best practices for day camps will be available very shortly at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

OTHER OPENINGS

Campgrounds

  • Beginning Thursday, May 21, campgrounds in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

Horse Racing

  • Beginning Friday, May 22, horse racing in Ohio will be permitted if these operations can meet required safety protocols. Spectators will not be permitted. 

This does not apply to casinos and racinos. Safety protocols for these venues are in development. 

Bureau of Motor Vehicles

  • Beginning Tuesday, May 26, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) locations in Ohio will be permitted to reopen for certain services if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

Services that can be accomplished online should still be done online. More details on online BMV services can be found at oplates.com

Gyms, Fitness Centers

  • Beginning Tuesday, May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

Sports Leagues (non-contact and limited-contact)

  • Beginning Tuesday, May 26, sports leagues in Ohio will be permitted to operate if these leagues can meet required safety protocols. This applies only to non-contact and limited-contact sports.

Safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development. 

Public/Club Pools

  • Beginning Tuesday, May 26, public pools and club pools that are regulated by local health departments in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.

This does not apply to water parks or amusement parks. Safety protocols for these venues are in development. 

To ensure that these sectors operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine established advisory groups that created detailed lists of guidelines and best practices.  The full lists of mandatory and recommended best practices for these and previously opened sectors are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

ONLINE:

Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health.

PHONE:

For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m (7 days/week).

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@GovMikeDeWine

@LtGovHusted

@OHDeptofHealth

DAILY UPDATES:

Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org.

                            


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2020

Bret Crow, Bret.Crow@jfs.ohio.gov or
Angela Terez, Angela.Terez@jfs.ohio.gov

 

(614) 728-9656

 

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program Available

 

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Ohioans can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers than the traditional unemployment program, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced today. Those who believe they may be eligible should visit pua.unemployment.ohio.gov and click the button that says “Click Here to Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.” Individuals who pre-registered for the program received an email earlier this week with instructions for how to complete their applications.

 

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we diligently worked to build this new system in record time for the agency,” said ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall. “We encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible to apply. Even after you return to work, you still may be eligible to receive retroactive benefits, dating from as early as February 2.”

 

PUA was made possible by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27. The program offers up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who traditionally have not qualified for unemployment benefits, including self-employed individuals, 1099 tax filers and part-time workers. The benefit amount is similar to traditional unemployment payments, plus an additional $600 per week through July 25.

 

Many who were denied regular unemployment benefits may be eligible for PUA. Those who have pending unemployment claims may apply before they receive a determination, and individuals who have exhausted traditional unemployment benefits and any available extensions also may be eligible. The program is effective through December 31. There is no minimum income requirement. To be eligible, individuals must NOT be eligible for regular unemployment benefits and must meet one of the following circumstances:

  • The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis.
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or member of the household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the school or care is required for the individual to work.
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because a healthcare professional has advised him or her to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • The individual has quit his/her job as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.

 

Over the last seven weeks, ODJFS has received more than 1 million initial regular unemployment claims, more than the previous three years combined. More than 89% of those applications have been approved, and fewer than 11% are pending.

 

For more information, visit unemployment.ohio.gov/expandedeligibility.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Pandemic EBT, Additional Services to Reopen, Staying Connected

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following COVID-19 updates. 

PANDEMIC EBT PLAN:

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (OJFS) has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for its Pandemic EBT plan. The Pandemic EBT program was included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020.

The approval will allow OJFS to distribute SNAP benefits to 850,000 students across Ohio who relied on free or reduced-price meal programs when school was in session to have access to a hot, nutritious meal. The benefits will be mailed directly to students, and families do not need to apply to be eligible.  

Families will receive approximately $300 to purchase healthy and nutritious foods to feed their children. These benefits amount to more than $250 million that will go to our grocery stores and other eligible retailers.

MASSAGE THERAPY, ACUPUNCTURE, COSMETIC THERAPY:

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that sectors licensed by the State Medical Board of Ohio, including massage therapy, acupuncture, cosmetic therapy will be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures. 

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, the State Medical Board of Ohio worked with members of Governor DeWine's Personal Services Advisory Group and the Ohio Department of Health to create a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for these service providers to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

TATTOO AND BODY PIERCING SERVICES: 

Tattoo and body piercing services will also be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures.

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Personal Services Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for these service providers to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

OLDER ADULTS - STAYING CONNECTED:

To help ensure that older Ohioans stay connected while staying at home, Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy announced a new service today that will provide a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older.

The Staying Connected program will call older adults who sign up for the service during a predetermined window of time. When participants answer the phone, they will be asked to respond via touch-tone to confirm that they are OK or to access live support. 

If no one answers after three attempts, a call is then made to an alternate contact (if provided) or to non-emergency services. The service can be canceled at any time.

“Especially during this very challenging time, we encourage older Ohioans to sign up for the Ohio Department of Aging’s Staying Connected phone program. This program will help reduce isolation and support the health and well-being of older adults in our state,” said Robert Cornwell, Executive Director, Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.

Eligible Ohioans can sign up at aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-266-4346. Staying Connected is not an emergency response service, and participants should always use 911 or their emergency response system if they are injured or in need of emergency assistance.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 25,250 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,436 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 4,539 people have been hospitalized, including 1,232 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, May 8, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending May 8, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, and provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Governor DeWine provided an update on Ohio's plan for increased COVID-19 testing. 

A new partnership announced last week between the state of Ohio, Thermo Fisher, and ROE Dental Scientific will allow for a steady supply of testing reagent and swabs. With Ohio's new increased testing capacity, Ohio will prioritize testing in the following categories: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced that, although opening dates for individual locations have not yet been finalized, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) deputy registrars around the state may begin reopening later this month.

Upon reopening, every deputy registrar will offer online the Ohio BMV's Get In Line, Online program that was launched by Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted as a pilot project last year. A partnership between InnovateOhio and the Ohio BMV has been expanding the project to locations statewide. There are currently 48 deputy registrars that had been offering Get in Line, Online, and all other locations that had not yet offered the service will offer it to customers upon reopening. 

In preparation for reopening, deputy registrars are also reactivating and hiring staff, making accommodations to their facilities to ensure social distancing, and ensuring that safety measures are in place, such as cough/sneeze shields, at customer-facing workstations. 

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. 

Because Ohio is mandated to balance its budget each year, and in addition to identifying areas of savings, the following budget reductions will be made for the next two months:

  • Medicaid:  $210 million
  • K12 Foundation Payment Reduction:  $300 million
  • Other Education Budget Line Items:  $55 million
  • Higher Education:  $110 million
  • All Other Agencies:  $100 million

The budget reductions are in addition to Governor DeWine's March 23 directive to freeze hiring, new contracts, pay increases, and promotions at all state agencies, boards, and commissions.

The new budget reductions will not apply to critical services available to Ohioans or COVID-19 pandemic services. Money to balance the Fiscal Year 2020 budget will not be drawn from Ohio's Budget Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the "rainy-day fund."

Projections by Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks indicate that the state’s revenues will continue to be below estimates in the coming months as Ohio moves through the COVID-19 crisis. Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and Director Murnieks will continue to work with the Ohio General Assembly to identify ways to continue supporting Ohio’s economy through the COVID-19 crisis.

On Thursday, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted announced the next phase of the Responsible RestartOhio plan as it related to restaurants, bars, and personal care services.

Restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen as follows: 

  • Outdoor dining: May 15
  • Dine-in service: May 21

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Restaurant Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for restaurant and bar owners to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at coronaviurs.ohio.gov.

Personal care services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15. 

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Personal Services Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for personal care service providers to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at coronaviurs.ohio.gov.

Additionally, on Monday, Governor DeWine ordered that all United States and Ohio flags be flown at half-staff In honor of the lives of those killed and injured and those whose lives were forever altered by the tragedy of May 4, 1970, at Kent State University.

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine issued the following statement regarding the death of former Pickaway County Sheriff Dwight Radcliff: 

"Former Pickaway County Sheriff Dwight Radcliff has been my friend for four decades. I first met him when I was running for Congress in 1982.  We hit it off because of my background as a county prosecutor.  Even then Dwight was a legend in law enforcement!  

"He combined his skills as a people person with the drive and skills of an experienced lawman.  That combination served the people of Pickaway County and the people of Ohio for 48 years.  After he left the Sheriff’s office when I was Attorney General, I asked him to be my liaison with law enforcement around the state.  His people skills and law enforcement savvy served us so very well. 

"He was both a great judge of character and an old-fashioned law enforcement officer, who combined his law enforcement savvy and experience with respect and compassion for people.  Simply put, he just knew how to treat people.

"Fran and I have lost a dear friend.  His beloved wife Betty has been his partner and by his side for his entire law enforcement career -- and she also served the people of Pickaway County so very well. Our hearts go out to Betty; their children Vicky, Dwight, and Sheriff Robert Radcliff; and their families."

Governor DeWine also ordered that U.S. and Ohio flags in Pickaway County be flown at half-staff in honor of the life and service of former Pickaway County Sheriff Dwight Radcliff, who served as the elected sheriff of Pickaway County for 48 years and at the time of his retirement was the longest serving sheriff in the United States.

Wednesday evening, Governor DeWine issued the following statement on the proposed legislative amendments regarding state public health orders:

"My administration is focused on the important things we need to do to help businesses responsibly reopen while protecting Ohioans' health and safety. This week alone, this included increasing coronavirus testing and tracing, balancing Ohio's budget, and working on plans to move Ohio's economy forward. Ohioans need their legislators focused on these important issues. Creating more uncertainty regarding public health and employee safety is the last thing we need as we work to restore consumer confidence in Ohio's economy."

As of Friday afternoon, there are 23,016 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,306 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 4,218 people have been hospitalized, including 1,188 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Testing Priority, Ohio BMVs

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

TESTING UPDATE: 

Governor DeWine today provided an update on Ohio's plan for increased COVID-19 testing. 

A new partnership announced last week between the state of Ohio, Thermo Fisher, and ROE Dental Scientific will allow for a steady supply of testing reagent and swabs. With Ohio's new increased testing capacity, Ohio will prioritize testing in the following categories: 

COVID19 grid

"It’s important to remember, that testing is only one response to this virus. It allows us to quickly identify individuals infected with COVID-19, promptly isolate them, and determine who they’ve been in close contact with to minimize the spread," said Governor DeWine. "Increased testing capacity does not replace infection control and prevention practices such as social distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands, and sanitizing high-touch surfaces."

OHIO BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES REOPENING PLAN: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced today that, although opening dates for individual locations have not yet been finalized, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) deputy registrars around the state may begin reopening as early as later this month.

Upon reopening, every deputy registrar will offer online the Ohio BMV's Get In Line, Online program that was launched by Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted as a pilot project last year. A partnership between InnovateOhio and the Ohio BMV has been expanding the project to locations statewide. There are currently 48 deputy registrars that had been offering Get in Line, Online, and all other locations that had not yet offered the service will offer it to customers upon reopening. 

"So far, this system has saved Ohioans nearly 9,000 hours of wait time," said Lt. Governor Husted. "In order to reduce lines and the time each Ohioan has to physically spend in the BMV, we are working with InnovateOhio to expand the program throughout the state by the end of May so that every open BMV will offer this service."

In preparation for reopening, deputy registrars are also reactivating and hiring staff, making accommodations to their facilities to ensure social distancing, and ensuring that safety measures are in place, such as cough/sneeze shields, at customer-facing workstations. 

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 20,474 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,090 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,809 people have been hospitalized, including 1,090 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


WEEK IN REVIEW
Friday, May 1, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week ending May 1, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, and provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor and Dr. Acton announced Ohio’s plan to responsibly restart Ohio’s economy.  The guiding principles of the Responsible RestartOhio plan are protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families, supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly getting Ohio back to work. 

Beginning May 1, 2020, all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility, or do not require inpatient hospital admission and minimizes use of personal protective equipment, may move forward. This includes regular doctor visits, well-care checks, well-baby visits, out-patient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests. Dental services and veterinary services may also proceed if a safe environment can be established.

Beginning on May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. 

Beginning on May 4, 2020, general office environments may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. 

Beginning on May 12, 2020, consumer, retail and services, may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. 

The following types of establishments are ordered to remain closed due to their increased risk of potential COVID-19 exposure: 

  • Schools and daycares
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars (carry-out is still permitted) 
  • Personal appearance and beauty businesses
  • Older adult daycare serveries and senior centers 
  • Adult day support or vocational rehabilitation services in group settings
  • Entertainment, recreation, and gyms

For greater detail on the Responsible RestartOhio plan, or the types of businesses that must stay closed, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

On Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced that the state of Ohio will not require customers entering retail establishments wear face coverings. Wearing face coverings in public is still, however, strongly recommended. 

Governor DeWine also noted that individual business owners could still choose to develop a business policy requiring face coverings for customers to enter their facilities. 

Face coverings would still be mandated for employees unless wearing a face covering is not advisable by a healthcare professional, goes against industry best practices, or is not permitted by federal or state laws and regulations.

Governor DeWine also announced that he will form two separate advisory groups to develop best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops, and salons. 

The goal of these groups is to develop recommendations for these businesses that balance the need to protect the health of employees and customers as they reopen to the public.

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine announced that the state of Ohio has shipped 4.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local emergency management agencies (EMA) across Ohio. 

Although this is not the first shipment of PPE, this is the largest one-time distribution of PPE from the state of Ohio to the local EMAs in Ohio history.

Lt. Governor Husted reemphasized that face coverings are required for employers and employees while on the job. Exceptions for employers and employees include when:

  • An employee in a particular position is prohibited by a law or regulation from wearing a face covering while on the job
  • Wearing a face covering on the job is against documented industry best practices
  • Wearing a face covering is not advisable for health purposes
  • If wearing a face covering is a violation of a company’s safety policies
  • An employee is sitting alone in an enclosed workspace
  • There is a practical reason a face covering cannot be worn by an employee

If any of these exceptions apply to a business or employee, written justification must be provided upon request.

Governor DeWine also announced that nearly $16 million in grant funding is now available for local law enforcement agencies, probation and parole offices, local courts, victim service providers, and adult, juvenile, and community corrections agencies. 

This funding was awarded to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS), a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, as part of the CARES Act and will support agencies in:

  • Taking measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as purchasing cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment
  • Taking measures to prepare for COVID-19 such as supporting proper planning, staffing, and communications to ensure effective operations and maintain the safety of criminal justice employees, citizens, and correctional populations
  • Taking measures to respond to the spread of COVID-19 such as medical visits, hospitalizations, purchasing medical supplies, and securing alternative housing

OCJS will accept applications on a continual basis while funding is available, and there is no cap.  For more information, please visit www.ocjs.ohio.gov.

Additionally, Governor DeWine reminded Ohio educators that they must ensure social distancing during any and all graduation ceremonies. 

The Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health today issued the following suggestions for local schools and health departments: 

  • Virtual graduation ceremonies (preferred)
  • Drive-in ceremonies where students drive to a designated location at a designated time to get their diplomas
  • Outdoor ceremonies with 10 people or less who are socially distanced

Additional guidance can be found on the Ohio Department of Education's website

Governor DeWine also stressed that any graduation parties cannot exceed 10 people in one space.

On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has provided more than 1.1 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to Ohio's state prisons. 

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) Director Annette Chambers Smith provided an overview of the steps taken within Ohio's state correction facilities to protect inmates and staff, as well as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.

ODRC has implemented several safeguards for inmates, including increasing hygiene products and sanitation materials, offering cloth face coverings, and preventing intermingling between inmate cohorts.

Although ODRC's inmate population is the lowest it has been since 2006, social distancing measures have also been implemented by expanding housing units into prison chapels and gyms. Additionally, the Ohio National Guard has constructed tents at two facilities to further separate inmates. Members of the Ohio National Guard are also assisting with staffing and health care.

Mass testing at the Marion Correctional Institution revealed that approximately 96 percent of inmates who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic, further demonstrating that individuals can spread the virus without knowing that they are infected. Mass testing also took place at the Pickaway Correctional Institution and the prison medical center in Columbus. ODRC plans to test inmates in all state prison facilities who are symptomatic, as well as those who are being released early or at the conclusion of their full sentences. Any inmates who have been granted early release and test positive for COVID-19 will not be released until medically cleared.

ODRC has surged an ample amount of PPE to facility staff, and staff members at high-risk locations have also been offered the use of hotel rooms instead of going home or for showering before returning to their families.

On Friday, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health has issued a "Stay Safe Ohio Order." The new order, which incorporates the openings of businesses and services announced as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan, will replace the previous "Stay at Home" order, which expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday night.

Governor DeWine announced the members of two separate advisory groups for recommendations and best practices when reopening dine-in restaurants, and personal service locations throughout the state. 

Members of the two advisory groups were identified by relevant business association, along with Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder, Senate President Larry Obhof, House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko.

The restaurant advisory group will develop and recommend best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants throughout the state and balance the need to protect the health of employees and customers.  A listing of individuals serving on the restaurants advisory group can be found here

The personal services advisory group will also develop and recommend best practices for reopening hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy locations, and tanning facilities throughout the state.  A list of individuals serving on the personal services advisory group can be found here

As of Friday afternoon, there are 18,743 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,002 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,634 people have been hospitalized, including 1,056 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Additionally, Governor DeWine made the following appointments this week:

  • Chauncey A. Cochran of Newark (Licking Co.) has been reappointed to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors for a term beginning June 12, 2020, and ending June 11, 2023.
  • David W. Johnson of Salem (Columbiana Co.) has been reappointed to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors for a term beginning June 12, 2020, and ending June 11, 2023.
  • Peggy Griffith of Deerfield (Portage Co.) has been reappointed to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors for a term beginning June 12, 2020, and ending June 11, 2023.

Check out Governor DeWine’s video featuring many Ohio businesses, who are making parts, new machines, and producing in-demand products related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 1, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-644-0957

 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that the Ohio Department of Health has issued a "Stay Safe Ohio Order." The new order, which incorporates the openings of businesses and services announced as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan, will replace the previous "Stay at Home" order, which expires at 11:59 p.m. tonight.

The "Stay Safe Ohio Order" is available on Ohio's Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.


4/29/2020: COVID-19 Update: PPE Delivery, Employee Face- Covering Exceptions, Criminal Justice Grants, Class of 2020 Graduation

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PPE DELIVERY:

Governor DeWine announced today that the state of Ohio has shipped 4.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local emergency management agencies (EMA) across Ohio. 

Although this is not the first shipment of PPE, this is the largest one-time distribution of PPE from the state of Ohio to the local EMAs in Ohio history.

"When this crisis began, I told you that we were going to do everything we could to ensure that those on the front line of this crisis have the personal protective equipment they need," said Governor DeWine. "The PPE will be distributed locally by county EMAs to nursing homes, jails, congregate living facilities, hospitals, and first responders."

The shipment includes: 

  • 500,000 N95 masks
  • 850,000 face shields
  • 750,000 surgical-type masks
  • 2 million non-medical gloves

The PPE was secured through the work of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, JobsOhio, Ohio Department of Health, and Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

EMPLOYEE FACE COVERING EXCEPTIONS:

Lt. Governor Husted today reemphasized that face coverings are required for employers and employees while on the job. Exceptions for employers and employees include when:

  • An employee in a particular position is prohibited by a law or regulation from wearing a face covering while on the job
  • Wearing a face covering on the job is against documented industry best practices
  • Wearing a face covering is not advisable for health purposes
  • If wearing a face covering is a violation of a company’s safety policies
  • An employee is sitting alone in an enclosed workspace
  • There is a practical reason a face covering cannot be worn by an employee

If any of these exceptions apply to a business or employee, written justification must be provided upon request.

“Wearing a mask is something we do out of mutual respect for one another,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “At work, you wear a mask because you want to protect your fellow employees and because you want to protect your customers. And when you are a customer, though it isn’t required, you should still wear a mask because it will help protect those around you.”

CRIMINAL JUSTICE GRANTS:

Governor DeWine announced that nearly $16 million in grant funding is now available for local law enforcement agencies, probation and parole offices, local courts, victim service providers, and adult, juvenile, and community corrections agencies. 

This funding was awarded to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS), a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, as part of the CARES Act and will support agencies in:

  • Taking measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as purchasing cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment
  • Taking measures to prepare for COVID-19 such as supporting proper planning, staffing, and communications to ensure effective operations and maintain the safety of criminal justice employees, citizens, and correctional populations
  • Taking measures to respond to the spread of COVID-19 such as medical visits, hospitalizations, purchasing medical supplies, and securing alternative housing

OCJS will accept applications on a continual basis while funding is available, and there is no cap. For more information, please visit www.ocjs.ohio.gov.

CLASS OF 2020 GRADUATION:

Governor DeWine reminded Ohio educators that they must ensure social distancing during any and all graduation ceremonies. 

The Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health today issued the following suggestions for local schools and health departments: 

  • Virtual graduation ceremonies (preferred)
  • Drive-in ceremonies where students drive to a designated location at a designated time to get their diplomas
  • Outdoor ceremonies with 10 people or less who are socially distanced

Additional guidance can be found on the Ohio Department of Education's website

"Ohio has 612 school districts.  Each school district must work with their local health department to make sure that their plan is in accordance with public health guidelines to deal with the pandemic," said Governor DeWine. "I understand how hard it is for the Class of 2020.  This is not how any of us envisioned your graduation, but I am confident that our schools will be resourceful and creative in how they can honor you."

Governor DeWine also stressed that any graduation parties cannot exceed 10 people in one space.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 17,303 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 937 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,421 people have been hospitalized, including 1,014 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Face Coverings, Advisory Groups on Restaurants, Barbershops, and Salons

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CUSTOMER FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS:

Governor DeWine announced today that the state of Ohio will not require that customers entering retail establishments wear face coverings. Wearing face coverings in public is still, however, strongly recommended. 

"As Governor, it is my responsibility to make the tough decisions, but it is also my responsibility to listen and be respectful of the thoughts and ideas of our fellow Ohioans," said Governor DeWine. "Though it is not a mandate, wearing a face covering in retail locations is clearly in the best interest of all Ohioans. This gives added protection to others. When you wear a mask, you are protecting those around you from possibly getting sick."

Governor DeWine also noted that individual business owners could still choose to develop a business policy requiring face coverings for customers to enter their facilities. 

"It is because of Ohio citizens' individual actions thus far that we have collectively flattened the curve in Ohio. Ohioans have accomplished these things through social distancing, staying home, and wearing face coverings. These individual decisions have impacted the greater good for all Ohioans," said Governor DeWine. "These individual decisions are going to be even more important as we move forward.  Now is the time to double down on these efforts. We have an obligation to protect our most vulnerable Ohioans and each other."

Face coverings would still be mandated for employees unless wearing a face covering is not advisable by a healthcare professional, goes against industry best practices, or is not permitted by federal or state laws and regulations.

ADVISORY GROUPS ON RESTAURANTS AND BARBERSHOPS/SALONS:

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that he will form two separate advisory groups to develop best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops, and salons. 

Relevant business associations, along with Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder, Senate President Larry Obhof, House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, and Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, are working to identify individuals to serve on the advisory groups. They are specifically working to identify individuals who work in these fields every day, including small business owners. 

The goal of this group is to develop recommendations for these businesses that balance the need to protect the health of employees and customers as they reopen to the public.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 16,769 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 799 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,340 people have been hospitalized, including 1,004 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 27, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Governor DeWine Announces Details of Ohio's Responsible RestartOhio Plan

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today made several major announcements regarding Ohio's plan to responsibly restart Ohio's economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

HEALTHCARE: 

Beginning May 1, 2020,all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility or do not require inpatient hospital admission and minimizes use of personal protective equipment may move forward. This includes regular doctor visits, well-care checks, well-baby visits, out-patient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests. Dental services and veterinary services may also proceed if a safe environment can be established.

Healthcare providers and facilities that plan to resume providing these services must adhere to infection control practices, have sufficient PPE, and talk with patients about the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Surgeries and procedures that, if not performed, would cause a threat to a patient's life, a threat of the spread of cancer or the permanent dysfunction of a limb or organ, the presence of severe symptoms causing an inability to perform activities of daily living, and/or the risk of rapidly worsening symptoms have always been permitted even if an overnight stay is necessary. 

RESPONSIBLE RESTART OHIO: 

The guiding principles of the Responsible RestartOhio plan are protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families, supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly getting Ohio back to work. 

"We put this plan together based on all the information we have about how dangerous COVID-19 still is right now, balanced with the fact that it's also dangerous to have people not working," said Governor DeWine. "COVID-19 is still out there. It's still killing people. We're asking Ohioans to be reasonable and rational. Please don't take huge chances, and please use common sense when you go out and where you go out."

Beginning on May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. The full Responsible RestartOhio plan for manufacturing, distribution, and construction can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

Beginning on May 4, 2020, general office environments may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. The full Responsible RestartOhio plan for general office environments can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

Beginning on May 12, 2020, consumer, retail and services, may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. The full Responsible RestartOhio plan for consumer, retail and services can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

The general safe business practices that all businesses must follow as they reopen are: 

  • Requiring face coverings for all employees, and recommending them for clients and customers at all times
  • Conducting daily health assessments or self-evaluations of employees to determine if they should work
  • Maintaining good hygiene at all times such as hand washing and social distancing
  • Cleaning and sanitizing workplaces throughout the day and at the close of business or between shifts
  • Limiting capacity to meet social distancing guidelines

"I have an obligation as the Governor of Ohio to get people back to work and keep them safe. Opening everything up at once would not be consistent with the obligation to keep people safe," said Governor DeWine. "Our Responsible RestartOhio plan is the best guarantee that Ohioans will feel safe going to stores and employees will feel safe going to work. I'm optimistic about our future, but we can't be reckless."

CONTINUED CLOSURES: 

The following types of establishments are ordered to remain closed due to their increased risk of potential COVID-19 exposure: 

  • Schools and daycares
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars (carry-out is still permitted) 
  • Personal appearance and beauty businesses
  • Older adult daycare serveries and senior centers 
  • Adult day support or vocational rehabilitation services in group settings
  • Entertainment, recreation, and gyms

For greater detail on the types of businesses that must stay closed, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

STAY AT HOME ORDER / LARGE GATHERINGS: 

Because the danger of COVID-19 still exists, Ohio's Stay at Home order will remain in effect to encourage Ohioans to continue making reasonable, rational decisions about leaving home.

Although anyone is susceptible to getting sick with COVID-19, those who are 65 or older are encouraged to be especially careful, as are those with high-risk conditions such as chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease, as well as those who are immunocompromised or obese.

Large gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.  

MORE INFORMATION: 

More detailed information on the Responsible RestartOhio plan can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 16,325 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 753 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,232 people have been hospitalized, including 978 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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Please share this latest information from the Office of Gov. DeWine with your stakeholders as appropriate. Thank you!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: How Environmental Changes Impact Health Risk

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— During today's regular COVID-19 update, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted invited Mark Weir, Ph.D., an assistant professor of Environmental Health at The Ohio State University, to discuss how health risks change as changes are made to the environment.

Dr. Weir explained that cough or sneeze droplets containing the virus spread through contact with others or contact with contaminated surfaces. He explained that minimizing the spread of the disease as Ohio begins the long process of reopening depends on personal and environmental controls. Personal precautions include interrupting the infection process by practicing good hand hygiene and wearing masks.

Employers must take precautions by disinfecting surfaces often and maintaining distance between individuals. Finally, facility and building management can help interrupt the infection process by managing airflow and air filters.

“Since COVID-19 can live up to 72 hours on plastics and stainless steel, it will take a combination of efforts from all of us to interrupt the disease process,” said Dr. Weir. 

Video of Dr. Weir's full presentation can be found on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 14,694 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 656 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,960 people have been hospitalized, including 900 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 21, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: FDA Reagent Approval,
Testing Strike Team, Fair Wavier,
JobsOhio Banking Partnership, Dividend Checks

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA REAGENT APPROVAL

Governor DeWine announced today that a new testing reagent, which is a compound used to determine if COVID-19 is present in a sample, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Because reagents have been extremely limited, Ohio and other states have had limited testing capacity. On Sunday, Governor DeWine spoke with officials at the FDA and asked them to approve new types of reagents to allow Ohio to expand testing. Today, the FDA approved a new version reagent for Thermo Fisher's testing machines, which are used by most major labs in Ohio.

"This approval will greatly expand our state’s ability to increase our testing capacity," said Governor DeWine. "We are also working with other companies to make additional reagent kits available so we can continue to ramp up testing in Ohio."

TESTING STRIKE TEAM

Governor DeWine announced the formation a new strike team led by former Ohio governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft that will work to find more reliable sources of reagent and testing supplies for COVID-19 testing in Ohio. 

"I am so pleased that Governor Celeste and Governor Taft have answered this call to help Ohio and did so without a moment’s hesitation," said Governor DeWine. "I am so grateful that they have agreed to partner together and use their networks, contacts, and life experiences to help us in the critical mission to get testing supplies."

The new Testing Strike Team will also include other leaders from business, academia, and public health to help Ohio source these testing reagents and supplies.

COUNTY FAIR WAIVER

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has waived the required $50,000 local match for the Agricultural Society Facilities Grant Program.

Ohio’s operating budget set aside this grant funding to help fairs make necessary facilities and grounds improvements. Fairs could apply for the $50,000 grant with a required $50,000 from local governments and businesses.

"COVID-19 has put a strain on local budgets and businesses’ bottom lines, so this waiver will allow fairs to apply for grant funding for improvements without the local match," said Governor DeWine. "Going forward, we will continue to evaluate how, and if, we can safely operate Ohio fairs in 2020."

Fair managers have until May 30th to apply via the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website.

JOBSOHIO BANKING PARTNERSHIP

JobsOhio, Peoples Bank (headquartered in Marietta) and the recently-merged First Federal Bank and Home Savings Bank (headquartered in Defiance and Youngstown) announced a new partnership to support those banks’ existing small business clients in Ohio.

The partnership will help small businesses maintain operations and payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.  JobsOhio has committed up to $50 million to assist Peoples Bank and First Federal-Home Savings Bank.

"This assistance bolsters each bank’s ability to provide additional financing on favorable terms for local businesses in good standing that would otherwise not be able to access this credit due to the COVID-19 crisis," said Governor DeWine. "I thank these Ohio banks and JobsOhio for their partnership, which will get much-needed capital in the hands of small businesses that are so critical to Ohio’s economy."

Eligible businesses can use the loans for working capital, including payroll, rent, mortgages or other fixed debts, utilities, and other bills.

BWC DIVIDEND CHECKS:

Less than two weeks ago, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation board of directors approved to send up to $1.6 billion in dividends to Ohio employers. Today, Governor DeWine announced that a total of more than 170,000 checks will be mailed over the next five days. 

This dividend is intended to ease the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s business community and the economy.  The dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums paid in policy year 2018. 

Approximately $1.4 billion will go to private employers and nearly $200 million will go to local government taxing districts, such as counties, cities, townships, and schools.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 13,725 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 557 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,779 people have been hospitalized, including 838 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: K-12 Schools to Remain Closed, Minority Health Strike Force, Data Collection, Private Lab Testing

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

K-12 SCHOOLS: 

Governor DeWine announced today that K-12 schools in Ohio will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. 

"We balanced many issues in arriving at this decision. In the end, I believe this is what is best to protect the health of our children, our teachers, and our administrators," said Governor DeWine. "While our buildings are closed, we know that students continue to learn in new and innovative ways. I thank all of our teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents for all they have done and will continue to do in these challenging times."

At this time, no decisions have been made regarding whether or not schools will reopen in the fall. 

MINORITY HEALTH STRIKE FORCE: 

Because COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting minority groups in Ohio and across the country, Governor DeWine announced today that he has formed a new Minority Health Strike Force. 

According to data from the Ohio Department of Health, 21 percent of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ohio are African American, although they only make up approximately 14 percent of Ohio's population. 

"We must recognize that there are many Ohioans who have an increased risk of being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect all Ohioans from this pandemic," said Governor DeWine.

A list of individuals serving on the Minority Health Strike Force can be found here

NURSING HOME/HOSPITAL DATA COLLECTION: 

In addition to comprehensive data already published on coronavirus.ohio.gov, Governor DeWine announced today that he has directed the Ohio Department of Health to collect more specific information regarding cases of COVID-19 in Ohio nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.

In regard to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, this data will include COVID-19 cases broken down by the number of residents and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 at nursing homes and assisted living facilities listed by facility and county. Data will be posted to coronavirus.ohio.gov every Wednesday. 

While balancing transparency and individual privacy rights, Ohio will also begin reporting aggregate death data for nursing homes and assisted living facilities at the county level. Because Ohio's reporting module must be modified to accurately collect this information, this data will likely begin to be reported next week.

Additionally, because Ohioans are concerned about how COVID-19 is impacting hospitals and other healthcare facilities, Governor DeWine directed the Department of Health to modify the Ohio Disease Reporting System to accurately collect case information for direct care providers at hospitals who have tested positive for COVID-19. The data, which will be available soon on coronavirus.ohio.gov, will be listed by each hospital. 

PRIVATE LAB TESTING: 

The Ohio Department of Health had previously issued an order prohibiting hospitals from sending COVID-19 testing samples to private labs due to slow turnaround time. 

Governor DeWine announced today that LabCorp and Quest currently have no backlog of samples and have added more testing capacity. In response to the private laboratories' improved turnaround times, the Ohio Department of Health will again allow hospitals to utilize commercial laboratories in addition to hospital laboratories performing COVID-19 testing. 

The Ohio Department of Health will continue to monitor the turnaround times for all laboratories including commercial laboratories to make sure those who have been tested get results as quickly as possible.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 12,919 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 509 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,653 people have been hospitalized, including 798 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 16, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-644-0957

COVID-19 Update: Governor DeWine Discussed State’s Plan for Reopening Businesses, Regional Coalition Formed

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided an update on the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio and discussed how the state will develop its plan to reopen the economy.

“Ohioans have done a great job, a phenomenal job, fighting back, staying home, ensuring physical distancing. We’ve been doing all the things that needed to be done. I’ve never been prouder to be an Ohioan and I’m very grateful for what you have done. You have flattened the curve,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

Beginning May 1st, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy.  The plan will be fact-driven over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees, and their customers. In consultation with Dr. Acton, Lt. Governor Jon Husted will lead the governor’s board of economic advisors to identify best practices, similar to the current requirements on essential business operations to ensure Ohioans health and safety as businesses begin the process of reopening.

REGIONAL COALITION

Governor DeWine also announced he will work closely with the Governors of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky to reopen the region’s economy in a coordinated way. The states will review four factors as they reopen their economies: the number of cases in the state and the number of hospital admissions, the amount of hospital capacity, the ability to test and trace cases of COVID-19, and best practices for social distancing in businesses.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 8,414 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 389 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,331 people have been hospitalized, including 707 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 14, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Medicaid Waiver Application, First Responder Safety, Essential Job Openings

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MEDICAID WAIVER APPLICATION: 

In addition to previous emergency measures taken by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to help increase access to healthcare for millions of Ohioans, Governor DeWine announced today that his administration is submitting its first waiver application to the federal government, known as 1135 or Appendix K, to provide the needed flexibility to address this crisis.

This waiver will allow Ohio to:

  • Bolster the use of telehealth and other technology for health assessments and care planning;
  • Waive signature requirements for a variety of providers to ensure safe distancing without compromising access to care;
  • Ease obstacles to access nursing home care;
  • Allow services to be provided at alternative locations; and
  • Remove staffing-level requirements to give providers more flexibility.

"Removing restrictions like these during this pandemic will allow health care workers to focus on meeting the needs of Ohioans," said Governor DeWine. 

Upon approval, the waiver will be retroactively applied from March 1, 2020.  

FIRST RESPONDER SAFETY:

To protect our first responders and to ensure consistency across the state, Dr. Amy Acton announced that a new order has been issued that requires local health departments to provide to their jurisdictions' dispatch agency or agencies the names and addresses of COVID-19-positive individuals.

Dispatch agencies are required to keep this information confidential.

By knowing in advance if they will be interacting with someone who has tested positive, first responders will be better prepared when they arrive at a scene with appropriate protective gear. 

ESSENTIAL JOBS: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that 667 critical employers have listed around 41,000 essential job openings on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.

"These employers have created safe environments for their employees," said Lt. Governor Husted. "These employers need you if you can answer the call."

Examples of companies that are hiring include LiveOps, Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, CVS Health, and FedEx Ground.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 7,280 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 324 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,156 people have been hospitalized, including 654 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH

–30–


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 13, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Nursing Home Order, Liquor Sales, TANF Funding, Rapid Testing, Prison Update

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NURSING HOME ORDER: 

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health issued an order requiring long-term care facilities to notify residents and families within 24 hours of a resident or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

"The Ohio Department of Health had been strongly encouraging facilities to notify families all along, but this order makes this notification mandatory," said Governor DeWine. "Families of long-term care residents have a right to know if individuals at these facilities are sick."

Governor DeWine also announced that a list of long-term care facilities with positive COVID-19 cases will be listed on coronavirus.ohio.gov as the information becomes available.

LIQUOR SALES: 

On March 16, 2020, the State of Pennsylvania closed its state-owned liquor stores in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  In addition, multiple border counties in West Virginia have relatively recently prohibited sales of liquor to persons who do not have West Virginia identification.  This has pushed people into Ohio’s border counties to purchase liquor and creates an unacceptable public health issue.

In compliance with Ohio Department of Health orders designed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the in-person sale of liquor in the following counties is now restricted only to Ohio residents: 

  • Ashtabula
  • Trumbull
  • Mahoning
  • Columbiana
  • Jefferson
  • Belmont

For an individual to purchase liquor in the aforementioned counties, that person must present a valid Ohio photo identification or a valid military photo ID for a person on active duty status.  

Sale of liquor to a person with a valid non-Ohio photo ID may only occur with additional information showing that the person resides in Ohio, including mail with the person’s name and Ohio address on it, a bill with the person’s name and Ohio address on it, or a letter from an employer placing the person in Ohio as an essential employee.

TANF FUNDING TO OHIO FOODBANKS:

Today, Lt. Governor Husted highlighted an executive order, signed by Governor DeWine on Friday, that provides nearly $5 million in emergency funding from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant to support Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and the statewide hunger relief network.

According to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, the funding will be used to purchase available items such as canned fruits and vegetables; canned meats; cereals, pastas and rice; boxed dinners; locally grown produce; locally produced milk, butter, cheese and dairy products through partnerships with the Ohio Dairy Producers Association, Dairy Farmers of America – Mideast Area and the National Farmers Organization; fresh meat and eggs; and essential household cleaning and personal hygiene items.

Of this funding, $1 million is earmarked for the Agricultural Clearance Program, where the Ohio Association of Food banks will purchase Ohio-made commodities, such as milk, to distribute to foodbanks across the state.

An additional $1 million has been granted to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio to help Ohio's homeless shelters purchase needed cleaning supplies and provide homelessness prevention and housing services.

RAPID TESTING: 

Governor DeWine cautioned companies in Ohio that are purchasing rapid antibody tests to ensure that they are purchasing tests that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"Antibody testing is one piece to the puzzle on determining when employees can return to work, but it is not the sole answer," said Governor DeWine. "I caution all companies looking at this option to ensure they are only buying FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)- approved anti-body tests. Without this FDA Emergency Use Authorization approval, there is no way to know if the tests are valid."

A list of FDA-approved rapid testing kits is available at fda.gov

PICKAWAY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION: 

Governor DeWine has authorized members of the Ohio National Guard to support Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) medical staff at the Pickaway Correctional Institution. 

The prison currently has more than a dozen members of its medical team out sick due to COVID-19. Among other tasks, members of the guard will provide triage support, take temperatures, and help with non-COVID-19 cases. They will also help provide care at the on-site long-term care center which houses older inmates and those with chronic illnesses. 

Additionally, ODRC announced that an inmate who died over the weekend at the Pickaway Correctional Institution tested positive for COVID-19. The inmate had been suffering from a long-term, chronic illness and was tested for the virus prior to his death. The positive test results were returned today. This is the first death of a COVID-19-positive inmate at a state prison institution. 

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 6,975 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 274 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,033 people have been hospitalized, including 613 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH

 

–30–


  FROM THE STATE OF OHIO

Governor Mike DeWine

The new Ohio COVID-19 Dashboard can be found here:

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/dashboard 

  Watch Daily Ohio Press conferences here at 2:00 p.m.

 https://www.facebook.com/TheOhioChannel/   


WEEK IN REVIEW Saturday, April 11, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Week in Review

For the week of April 6 to April 11, 2020

Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH, to announce decisions made regarding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout Ohio.

Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and Dr. Acton continue to thank Ohioans who are staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and urged everyone to continue their efforts.

"Please know that this battle is still ongoing," said Dr. Acton. "We are blessed that we had early mitigation, but we need to stay there. There is no way out of this without what we're doing together. Please continue to stay home."

Gov. Press Conf

On Monday, Governor DeWine announced a plan to expand healthcare services at alternative sites in addition to the traditional medical care facilities should they be needed for potential COVID-19 surges.  The following sites have been selected based on considerations such as distance to an existing hospital, conditions safe for patients and health care professionals, and space to meet the region’s expected needs.

  1. Seagate Convention Center, Lucas County
  2. Case Western University’s Health Education Campus, Cuyahoga County
  3. Dayton Convention Center, Montgomery County
  4. Covelli Convention Center, Mahoning County
  5. Duke Energy Convention Center, Hamilton County
  6. Greater Columbus Convention Center, Franklin County

Governor DeWine also announced that he authorized the Ohio National Guard to assist federal authorities in the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County where seven inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, and three inmates have died from the disease.

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the administration’s Dispute Resolution Commission, which was initially announced last week, is now prepared to receive submissions from essential businesses as well as county health departments. The purpose of the commission is to provide clarity and ensure that similarly-situated businesses are treated fairly, regardless of which side of a county line they operate.

Monday evening at midnight, Ohio’s new stay at home order went into effect.

On Tuesday, the Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule to allow establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity, for off-premises consumption.

Lt. Governor Husted announced the Office of Small Business Relief, a new office developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) to better coordinate Ohio's efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses.

The Office of Small Business Relief will:

  • Serve as the state’s designated agency for administrating federal recovery funds awarded to Ohio for small business support and recovery;
  • Work with federal, state, and local partners to evaluate and determine possible regulatory reforms that encourage employment and job creation; and
  • Coordinate efforts of Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.

Also, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) Director Annette Chambers-Smith recommended to the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) that certain inmates scheduled to be released in the next 90 days be released sooner to allow for increased social distancing between prison staff and inmates, pursuant to Ohio's overcrowding emergency statute (ORC 2967.18). A total of 141 inmates are under consideration for release.

An additional 26 inmates who are over the age of 60 and suffering from one or more chronic health conditions are also under consideration for release. These inmates have served more than half of their sentences and meet similar criteria. 

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced that those who did not already receive the maximum monthly allotment for their household size from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in March will be issued an additional payment beginning this week. 

On Wednesday, Governor DeWine announced that a member of Ohio's state-employee family, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Officer John Dawson, died after testing positive for COVID-19 on March 30. 

Officer Dawson, 55, of Mansfield, had been a corrections officer at the Marion Correctional Institution since 1996. He most recently worked in the control center handing out equipment to staff. 

Governor DeWine made another plea to healthcare workers using N95 masks to send them to Battelle which can serialize up to 160,000 masks each day, making them reusable up to 20 times. Personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in Ohio remains severe.

Governor DeWine also thanked Apple and Apple CEO Tim Cook for recently donating 100,000 N95 masks to Ohio for frontline healthcare workers. The masks will be added to Ohio's stockpile for distribution. 

Since Ohio's stay at home order began on March 22nd, Ohio has seen approximately a 50-percent drop in child abuse and neglect cases because those who typically report suspicions of abuse - such as teachers, coaches, child care providers, and school counselors and nurses - aren’t seeing children every day.

Governor DeWine urged everyone to report any suspected abuse or neglect by calling 855-OH-CHILD. 

Additionally, Governor DeWine asked the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to give up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community. 

On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced that through the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, 19 manufacturers have partnered with three hospital groups to begin large scale production of face shields. Over the next five weeks, 750,000 to 1 million face shields will be added to the Ohio’s stockpile.

Lt. Governor Husted also announced that The Christ Hospital Lindner Research Center in Cincinnati has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma. This treatment protocol is the only protocol that incorporates a readily available, rapid turnaround (less than 1 hour) blood test that reflects risk of dying and can identify patients before it’s too late.

On Friday, Governor DeWine announced that Medicaid, the managed care plans, and MyCare Ohio plans have come together to remove barriers for members receiving Medicaid benefits during this crisis.

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted STERIS Healthcare in Mentor a temporary Emergency Use Authorization for decontaminating compatible N95 and N95-equivalent respirators.

Many Ohio distilleries have stepped up and are now are producing large quantities of hand sanitizer.  JobsOhio has purchased more than 3,100 cases (more than 1 million ounces) of distillery-made sanitizer. JobsOhio will donate the hand sanitizer to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Governor DeWine also announced a new permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation will allow food vendors to sell food to truck drivers and other essential personnel who stop at any of the state’s 86 rest areas.  

Additionally, as Ohio reports data moving forward, there will be new data categories for total COVID-19 cases and total COVID-19 fatalities:

  • Confirmed Cases and Confirmed Deaths: Data calculated through laboratory tests. This data is consistent with Ohio's previous data reporting.
  • CDC Expanded Case Definition and CDC Expanded Death Definition: Data that follows updated CDC criteria and includes those who have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, those who've been diagnosed with COVID-19 without a laboratory test, and those who death certificates list COVID-19 as the cause of death without a laboratory test.
  • Ohio will also report the combined total numbers of cases and the combined total number of deaths.

All of Ohio's COVID-19 data can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH

Check out this Ohio Department of Health video showing how social distancing works.  #InThisTogetherOhio #StayHomeOhio

.

Stay Home Ohio

MEDIA CONTACT:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 10, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Eased Medicaid Restrictions, N95 Sterilization, Distillery-Made Hand Sanitizer, Food Trucks at Rest Areas, New Data Reporting 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MEDICAID: 

Governor DeWine announced that Medicaid, the managed care plans, and MyCare Ohio plans have come together to remove barriers for members receiving Medicaid benefits during this crisis.

"These groups have collaborated to maintain the health of individuals to keep them out of the hospital and reduce undue strain on our healthcare system," said Governor DeWine. "They are trying to reduce the administrative requirements of physicians and others in order to give them more flexibility so that they can focus on safe patient care."

Medicaid has eased several pharmacy benefit restrictions.

  • Prior authorizations will be by-passed for new prescriptions.
  • Members will receive pharmacy benefits regardless of in-network or out-of-network provider status.
  • The threshold for refills on certain prescriptions will be relaxed.
  • Pharmacists who dispense emergency refills without a prescription will be reimbursed.
  • Pharmacies that dispense over-the-counter medications without a prescription will be reimbursed.
  • Member co-pays will be waived for all prescriptions.
  • 90-day supplies on maintenance medications will be authorized.

The managed care plans have already lifted prior authorizations for all but a few services. This took effect on March 27. Physicians and other providers, without prior authorization by a managed care plan, are using clinical judgment to determine if something is a medical necessity.

More details will be available on coronavirus.ohio.gov or by calling the COVID-19 Call Center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

NEW COMPANY STERILIZING N95 MASKS: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted STERIS Healthcare in Mentor a temporary Emergency Use Authorization for decontaminating compatible N95 and N95-equivalent respirators.

More information is available at steris.com/covid-19

DISTILLERY-MADE HAND SANITIZER:

Many Ohio distilleries have stepped up and are now are producing large quantities of hand sanitizer.  JobsOhio has purchased more than 3,100 cases (more than 1 million ounces) of distillery-made sanitizer. JobsOhio will donate the hand sanitizer to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Shipments of the hand sanitizer are arriving at distribution centers this week and will be delivered to Ohio’s 12 Food Banks next week and over the coming months as they need it.

FOOD TRUCKS AT REST AREAS:

Governor DeWine announced a new permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation will allow food vendors to sell food to truck drivers and other essential personnel who stop at any of the state’s 86 rest areas.  

The permit is of no cost to the vendor and can be found on ODOT’s website at www.transportation.ohio.gov  

Vendors must display it at all times while operating, and must abide by state and local food service regulations, as well as social distancing guidelines.  The Ohio State Highway Patrol will regularly monitor rest areas to enforce compliance with all Ohio laws and regulations.

This is in addition to the regular vending machine service that is provided by Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities.

NEW CASE SURVEILLANCE DATA:

As Ohio reports data moving forward, there will be new data categories for total COVID-19 cases and total COVID-19 fatalities:

  • Confirmed Cases and Confirmed Deaths: Data calculated through laboratory tests. This data is consistent with Ohio's previous data reporting.
  • CDC Expanded Case Definition and CDC Expanded Death Definition: Data that follows updated CDC criteria and includes those who have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, those who've been diagnosed with COVID-19 without a laboratory test, and those who death certificates list COVID-19 as the cause of death without a laboratory test.
  • Ohio will also report the combined total numbers of cases and the combined total number of deaths.

"This new guidance enables us to better track who has the virus currently and those who have had virus, are recovered, and are no longer a threat in passing it along to others," said Governor DeWine. "Using this guidance will be instrumental in helping us trace the spread of the disease and eventually isolate it to smaller pockets or areas, so we can open things back up again.  At the same time, it will allow us to target limited resources for a better public heath response."

All of Ohio's COVID-19 data can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 9, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: PPE Manufacturing, Convalescent Plasma

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PPE PROCUREMENT AND MANUFACTURING:

Governor DeWine announced that through the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, 19 manufacturers have partnered with three hospital groups to begin large scale production of face shields. Over the next five weeks, 750,000 to 1 million face shields will be added to the Ohio Department of Health stockpile.

The face shield production is part of Ohio’s unique strategy to buy PPE when it is available, make PPE when it cannot be purchased, and use technology and innovation to identify ways to make Ohio's PPE supplies last.

“These face shields will make a difference as we fight this invisible enemy,” said Governor DeWine. “The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance sent out a call for help producing PPE and more than 1,500 manufacturing companies responded. This reinforces what we know about Ohio companies, they are generous and will answer the call when needed. Together, we are going to protect our protectors and strengthen our manufacturing sector.”

Manufacturers who can help with PPE production should visit RepurposingProject.com for more information. Those with donations should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

CONVALESCENT PLASMA: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced that The Christ Hospital Lindner Research Center in Cincinnati has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin treating high-risk COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma.

This treatment protocol is the only protocol that incorporates a readily available, rapid turnaround (less than 1 hour) blood test that reflects risk of dying and can identify patients before it’s too late.

"Hospitals in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland have all expressed interest in participating in the treatment protocol," said Lt. Governor Husted. "This is another great step in our efforts to save lives"

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 5,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 213 deaths. A total of 1,612 people have been hospitalized, including 497 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 8, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Continue Staying Home, Correction Officer Death, PPE Sterilization, Child Abuse Reports, Proposed $1.6 Billion Dividend for Employers     

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today thanked Ohioans who are staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and urged everyone to continue their efforts. "The fear I have when we have silent victories is that people will start to say that COVID-19 was never there to begin with or that there was never a threat," said Dr. Acton. "Please know that this battle is still ongoing. We are blessed that we had early mitigation, but we need to stay there. There is no way out of this without what we're doing together. Please continue to stay home."

CORRECTION OFFICER DEATH: 

Governor DeWine announced today that a member of Ohio's state-employee family, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Officer John Dawson, died after testing positive for COVID-19 on March 30. 

Officer Dawson, 55, of Mansfield, had been a corrections officer at the Marion Correctional Institution since 1996. He most recently worked in the control center handing out equipment to staff. 

"Our hearts go out to John's family, friends, and his co-workers," said Governor DeWine. "His death reminds us that, although Ohio is doing well compared to other states, we are still seeing a large number of deaths. These are all people who were loved, and our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19."

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT SHORTAGE: 

The personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in Ohio remains severe. Governor DeWine today made a plea to healthcare workers using N95 masks to send them to Battelle which can serialize up to 160,000 masks each day, making them reusable up to 20 times. 

"I want to make a public plea to everyone using these masks - every mask is precious, please don't throw them away," said Governor DeWine. "We are trying to get more N95 masks in Ohio, but we still don't have enough. When you throw a mask away you are depriving someone else of having a mask because we only have so many."

Hospitals should contact Battelle at battelle.org to arrange for mask sterilization. 

Governor DeWine also thanked Apple and Apple CEO Tim Cook for recently donating 100,000 N95 masks to Ohio for frontline healthcare workers. The masks will be added to Ohio's stockpile for distribution. 

More PPE donations for frontline workers are still urgently needed. To donate, please visit coronavirus.ohio.gov

CHILD ABUSE: 

Since Ohio's stay at home order began on March 22nd, Ohio has seen approximately a 50-percent drop in child abuse and neglect cases because those who typically report suspicions of abuse - such as teachers, coaches, child care providers, and school counselors and nurses - aren’t seeing children every day.

Governor DeWine urged everyone to report any suspected abuse or neglect by calling 855-OH-CHILD. 

PROPOSED $1.6 BILLION DIVIDEND: 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that he has asked the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to give up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community. 

The proposed amount equals 100% of the premium employers paid in policy year 2018.  As in previous years, the dividend is possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, and prudent fiscal management. 

BWC provides workers’ compensation insurance to more than 248,000 private and public employers in Ohio. Should the proposed $1.6 billion dividend total be approved by  BWC's Board of Directors: 

  • An estimated $1.4 billion would go to private employers.
  • Approximately $200 million would go to local government taxing districts (counties, cities, schools, etc.).

BWC has prepared a Frequently Asked Questions document to provide information about the COVID-19's impact on BWC operations. BWC’s Board of Directors will hold an emergency meeting Friday to vote on the proposed dividend.  Once approved, BWC will begin to mail the checks to employers later this month.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 5,148 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 193 deaths. A total of 1,495 people have been hospitalized, including 472 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 6, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Sites Selected for Enhanced Hospital Capacity; Ohio National Guard to Assist Federal Prison; Dispute Resolution Commission Now Active 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

HOSPITAL CAPACITY: 

Because Ohio must double its hospital capacity due to the oncoming COVID-19 surge, Ohio has developed a plan to expand healthcare services at alternative sites in addition to the traditional medical care facilities. 

Representatives from health care systems, local governments, county emergency management agencies, state agencies, the Ohio National Guard, among others, examined buildings across the state that could support large numbers of patients.

The following sites have been selected based on considerations such as distance to an existing hospital, conditions safe for patients and health care professionals, and space to meet the region’s expected needs.

  1. Seagate Convention Center, Lucas County
  2. Case Western University’s Health Education Campus, Cuyahoga County
  3. Dayton Convention Center, Montgomery County
  4. Covelli Convention Center, Mahoning County
  5. Duke Energy Convention Center, Hamilton County
  6. Greater Columbus Convention Center, Franklin County

These facilities would be used for the mildly ill, while the sickest patients will be housed in traditional hospitals. 

Assessments of other sites will continue if needed.

Health care regions in southern and southeastern Ohio have determined the existing hospital facilities in their areas will, with additional equipment, be capable to handle a surge in patients without going to an off-site location.

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD TO ASSIST FEDERAL PRISON:

Governor DeWine announced that he has authorized the Ohio National Guard to assist federal authorities in the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County where seven inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, and three inmates have died from the disease.

"To be clear, this is not a state facility, it is a federal prison - but, this prison is in Ohio. Ohio citizens work there, and their families live here," said Governor DeWine. "As we've said for weeks, we’re all in this together, and providing state help for this federal prison is the right thing to do."  

The Ohio National Guard's mission will be focused on providing medical assistance. They will not be armed, nor will they be providing security. 

The guardsmen and women will assist in the prison's infirmary with non-COVID-19 cases and with patients who are showing symptoms of the disease. These soldiers, who all work in the medical field, will have N-95 respirators for protection while they work to augment the current prison medical staff. They will treat those they can and triage others with serious symptoms for hospital care.

The guard also stands ready to help with transporting the seriously ill patients to the hospital in the event of a surge of sick inmates. In addition to staff, the guard will bring equipment and ambulances with them as well. 

Governor DeWine also requested that the Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Department of Justice cease accepting new inmates at the facility.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the administration’s Dispute Resolution Commission, which was initially announced last week, is now prepared to receive submissions from essential businesses as well as county health departments.

The panel, which includes Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield, Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik, and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo, will specifically seek to resolve disputes when two county health departments disagree on whether a type of business should or should not be deemed essential during the state of emergency. The purpose of the commission is to provide clarity and ensure that similarly-situated businesses are treated fairly, regardless of which side of a county line they operate.

For more information, visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/BusinessHelp and select the “Businesses & Nonprofits” tab for more information.

REMINDER - NEW STAY AT HOME ORDER:

Ohio's new stay at home order goes into effect at midnight. You can find the full order at coronavirus.ohio.gov

Retailers will be required to determine a maximum number of customers allowed in the store to account for proper physical distancing. That number must also be displayed at the businesses' entrances. 

REMINDER - SNOWBIRDS MUST SELF-QUARANTINE: 

Governor DeWine today reminded "snowbirds" that they must quarantine for 14 days once they arrive in Ohio. 

"I know that many of our Ohio snowbirds will soon be returning from places like Florida, and we want to make sure that you remain healthy and that those around you remain healthy," said Governor DeWine. 

In addition to those returning after spending winter elsewhere, anyone who has traveled outside of Ohio for any other reason must also self-quarantine for 14 days upon their return. This order excludes truckers, healthcare workers, other workers providing essential services, and those who live on the state border.  

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 4,450 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 142 deaths. A total of 1,214 people have been hospitalized, including 371 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Ohioans Encouraged to Wear Cloth Masks in Public; Governor Signs TeleHealth Executive Order; New Wi-Fi Hotspot Locator

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today urged Ohioans to begin wearing cloth masks while in public, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Yesterday, the CDC issued the recommendation that citizens wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. 

"In many cultures around the world, wearing a mask is just part of the culture - it is a socially accepted act of kindness," said Governor DeWine. "Wearing a mask should not scare people.  It is a good thing.  It is a considerate thing.  It is a courageous thing." 

Wearing a mask will not prevent someone from contracting COVID-19, but it can help prevent them from spreading it to others -- especially if they have it, but are not yet showing symptoms. 

Wearing a cloth mask in public is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended. Cloth masks are not a substitute for social distancing, but rather, it is a complement to social distancing.

Guidance on how to make a homemade mask can be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

Medical supply masks, such as N95 respirators, must be reserved for healthcare workers, first responders, and those who are known to be sick. Anyone with personal protective equipment to donate to frontline workers. To donate, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov

TELEHEALTH EXECUTIVE ORDER

Governor DeWine today signed an executive order that will allow Ohioans to more easily access telehealth services from individual counselors, social workers, and marriage and family counselors.  

In normal circumstances, a patient must have had a face-to-face first meeting and counselors and social workers before qualifying for a telehealth appointment; the providers would also be required to take special training in providing telehealth services.  This order will enable those requirements to be removed so that patients can more easily access these needed services.

"Mental health is just as important as physical health, and in this time of social distancing and stay at home orders, we are trying to ensure that those who need services can access them without leaving their homes," said Governor DeWine. 

HOTSPOT LOCATOR: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that BroadbandOhio has been working with providers to find public wi-fi hotspot locations for Ohioans who may not otherwise have access to the internet from home.

A list of hotspot finders and locations by provider is available at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp. You can find it by accessing the “Individuals and Families” tab. Those without internet access are urged to visit a known hotspot to access the complete list.

"Some of these hotspots offer parking lot availability so you can go there, download work emails, or school lesson plans, and then have it on your device when you return home," said Lt. Governor Husted.

Service providers offering public wi-fi hotspots that are not listed on the website are encouraged to get on the list by emailing Together@Governor.Ohio.gov with contact information. 

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 3,739 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 102 deaths. A total of 1,006 people have been hospitalized, including 326 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

COVID-19 Update: Testing Supplies; PPE Sanitizing; Inmate Release Recommendation; Remote Learning Guide 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided an update on the status of Ohio's response to COVID-19. 

TESTING SUPPLIES:

Governor DeWine announced today that The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is now partnering with the Ohio Department of Health to help increase the availability of testing supplies needed for testing citizens for COVID-19. 

"Because of supply chain problems, we can’t always get the swabs and tubes and transport liquid, and there is also a shortage in the chemicals or reagents necessary to run the tests," said Governor DeWine. "Through this new partnership, we are working to get these resources and provide them to those conducting the testing." 

N95 MASK SANITIZING: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced today that Battelle and JobsOhio have partnered to provide free N95 mask sanitizing for hospitals for the next two weeks.

Last week, after urging from Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of new Battelle technology to sanitize these masks for reuse. 

Ohio still faces a critical shortage of PPE. Anyone with items to donate should email together@governor.ohio.gov. Manufacturers that may be able to temporarily repurpose to create PPE are asked to visit repurposingproject.com.

EARLY PRISON RELEASE: 

Governor DeWine announced today that he will recommend the early release of 38 prison inmates.

The inmates fall into two categories: 

  • Pregnant inmates and those who are recently postpartum.
  • Inmates who are vulnerable to COVID-19 at 60 years old or older and have 120 days or less remaining on their sentence. 

Governor DeWine will send a letter to the judges who presided over these cases and encourage them to grant early release. These cases do not involve any individuals convicted of serious violent crimes such as, but not limited to, murder, sexual assault, and domestic violence. 

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) will work with the courts to hold these hearings remotely. If a victim was involved in the case, they will be notified and given the opportunity to provide a statement. 

NEW EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE: 

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) today released a special guide to help schools, educators, students, parents, and caregivers as they navigate remote learning. 

The new Remote Learning Resource Guide will support the ability of each child to carry on learning during this time of social distancing.

ODE consulted with educators across Ohio as they compiled the remote learning guide and incorporated their best advice for finding remote-learning information and how to use it.

The guide includes online learning resources, as well as several less technical resources.

The guide is available on the Ohio Department of Education's website and on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 3,312 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 91 deaths. A total of 895 people have been hospitalized, including 288 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 2, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Ohio Stay at Home Order Extended Through May 1

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio's Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020. 

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, signed the updated order this afternoon. It goes into effect at midnight on Monday.

"We understand that this is tough - it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn't a mater of life and death," said Governor DeWine. "We have to keep this monster down. It's not dead - it's very much alive." 

The full Stay at Home order can be found here or on coronavirus.ohio.gov

Updates to the new order include: 

  • The creation of a dispute resolution process for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business. 
  • The requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time.  These businesses must ensure that people waiting to enter the stores maintain safe social distancing.
  • Direction that travelers arriving to Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions include persons who live and work in trans-border areas, heath care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms, excepting in certain circumstances for medical care. 
  • The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
  • A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen's permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
  • The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19.  This does not apply to private residential pools. 
  • The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
  • The closure of day camps for children.
  • The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports. 
  • The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.

ECONOMIC ADVISORY BOARD: 

Governor DeWine announced the creation of his Economic Advisory Board that will help his administration work through the economic issues facing Ohio as the state looks toward the future.

Members of the advisory board include: 

  • Patrick Bowe, President and CEO, The Andersons, Inc.
  • Mike Brooks, Chairman, Rocky Boots
  • Brian Burgett, President, Kokosing Construction Company
  • Toby Cosgrove, Executive Advisor, Cleveland Clinic
  • Sam Covelli, Chief Executive Officer, Covelli Enterprises
  • Paul Dolan, Owner, Cleveland Indians
  • Jacqueline Gamblin, Founder and CEO, JYG Innovations
  • Mike Hennigan, President and CEO, Marathon Petroleum Corporation
  • Steven Johnston, President and CEO, Cincinnati Financial Corporation
  • Cameron Mitchell, Founder and CEO, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
  • Kelly Moore, Owner, GKP Auto Parts
  • Loretta Mester, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Dan Pritchard, President and CEO, A.J. Rose Manufacturing Company
  • Dwight Smith, Chairman and CEO, Sophisticated Systems
  • Frank Sullivan, Chairman and CEO, RPM International
  • Mark Smucker, President and CEO, The J.M. Smucker Company
  • David Taylor, Chairman, President and CEO, Procter and Gamble
  • Vanessa Whiting, President, A.E.S. Management Group

CORONAVIRUS.OHIO.GOV/JOBS:

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has developed a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID-19 crisis.

Both essential businesses and current job seekers can visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch to post and search.

“If you are an employer who performs a critical service, please go to Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch to post your open positions so we can help you fill them,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “If you are a person who can work, please know that there are many who need you to help keep essential services running and we encourage you to do so, even if its only part time.”

The site features a highly-streamlined interface with only two main links – one for essential businesses, and one for job seekers. Applicants can search through jobs in their area, their region, and the entire state.

Though many businesses and public places across Ohio and the nation have had to close during the COVID-19 crisis in order to promote social distancing and slow the spread of the virus, there are many businesses, such as grocery stores, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, delivery companies, and many other types of businesses that are essential to ensuring the health and wellbeing of Ohioans during the crisis. These companies are in high need for workers during this time.

SURVEY: 

Dr. Acton announced that Ohio has worked with numerous licensing boards to send a survey to identify additional personnel who have clinical or behavioral health skills to respond to potential hospital surge from COVID-19. Dr. Acton asks that anyone who is a current or retired licensee from any of the following boards take the time to complete the survey to help Ohio understand the people who are available to help.

  • State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
  • Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & Marriage and Family Therapist Board
  • Ohio State Dental Board
  • State Medical Board of Ohio
  • Ohio Board of Nursing
  • Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Athletic Trainers Board
  • State Board of Psychology
  • State Board of Emergency Medical, Fire, and Transportation Services
  • Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board
  • Vision Professionals Board

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 2,902 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 81 deaths. A total of 802 people have been hospitalized, including 260 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957 Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Ohio Takes Inventory of Ventilators; Issues Emergency Connection Order; Extends State Telework Order

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio is taking action to gather a statewide inventory of ventilators and other machines and devices that provide breathing assistance.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued an order requiring weekly online reporting of these devices by any entity in the supply chain, from creation through end-use. Examples are manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, transporters, distributors, retailers, physicians, clinics, hospitals, and medical facilities.

"This will allow for the identification and re-distribution of machines from healthcare providers who are no longer performing elective procedures," said Governor DeWine. "It also will help our regional hospital collaboratives by giving them information on the availability of these machines in their regions."

Along with mechanical ventilators, other devices to be reported are CPAP and BiPAP machines commonly used to treat sleep apnea, as well as anesthetic machines, and various treatment masks and tubing.

Exemptions include:

  • Ventilators in the possession of individuals for personal use; and
  • Ventilators that are in transit across Ohio but are being delivered from and to other states.

Inventory is to be reported on-line at http://coronavirus.ohio.gov/VentInventory each Wednesday by 5:00 p.m. with the first report due Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Innovate Ohio assisted in creating the web-based reporting form. Hospitals must also continue to report daily ventilator data through the Ohio Hospital Association reporting tool.

EPA ORDER:

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued an order today to maintain public water service during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

This order prevents a water system from shutting off a resident's water service due to non-payment during the declared state of emergency.

The order also requires water systems to reconnect water to anyone whose water was shut off dating back to January 1st to help Ohio assure that as many people as possible have safe water during the state of emergency.  Those who qualify for reconnection must call their water utility company to request the reinstatement. The reconnection will happen without any fees, but customers will be required to pay their water bill moving forward.

More information is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.  

STATE EMPLOYEE WORK FROM HOME POLICY: 

Governor DeWine announced that he is extending the directive that state of Ohio employees work remotely to the greatest extent possible. 

The current teleworking order resulted in almost 18,000 employees working remotely. Teleworking for state employees will continue through at least Friday, May 1, 2020.

Governor DeWine also asked state agencies to find additional remote work opportunities to the extent possible and to collaborate to share resources and information during this time.

JOBSOHIO

Governor DeWine has directed JobsOhio to begin collaborating on how to help the economy once the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic begins to fade. 

JobsOhio also announced that it has provided a $2 million growth fund loan to Appalachian Growth Capital (AGC) as part of a new strategic initiative to provide more economic development funds to areas of Ohio hardest hit by the economy.

AGC provides small business financing in the 32-Appalachian counties of eastern and southern Ohio.  It works with local and regional banks, as well as secondary lenders to support businesses in the region.

The JobsOhio investment is a long-term, low-interest loan that will boost AGC’s ability to provide low-interest funding to businesses in the Appalachian community. The lending support is intended to sustain small Southeast Ohio businesses during this COVID-19 outbreak and create sustainable growth for the region beyond the crisis.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 2,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 55 deaths. A total of 585 people have been hospitalized, including 198 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 26, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Personal Protective Equipment Needed; New COVID-19 Data Dashboard Unveiled

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today continued to remind Ohioans of the oncoming shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, goggles, gloves, gowns and face shields for healthcare workers and first responders.

Taking care of a patient who is in intensive care for a 24-hour shift requires:

  • 36 pairs of gloves
  • 14 gowns
  • 3 pairs of goggles
  • 13 N-95 face masks.

The state of Ohio is asking residents and businesses who can donate PPE, or any other essential service or resource, to email together@governor.ohio.gov

Staff will receive these emails and coordinate how these resources can best be used to benefit all Ohioans.

NEW DATA DASHBOARD:

An expanded COVID-19 data dashboard has been designed by the InnovateOhio Platform and is now available online.

The dashboard displays the most recent preliminary data reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Ohio by selected demographics and county of residence.

There are 867 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 15 deaths. A total of 223 people have been hospitalized, including 91 admissions to intensive care units. 

In-depth data on the new dashboard can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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Governor Mike DeWine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 23, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Governor DeWine Orders Hiring Freeze for
State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio will take steps to cut expenditures in state government. 

"Commercial activity is slowing down across Ohio, and as a result, state revenues will also go down dramatically. It is important, as Governor, that I take action now," said Governor DeWine. "The earlier we start slowing down the spending, the more impact it will have."

Governor DeWine ordered an immediate hiring freeze for all agencies, boards, and commissions under the control of the Governor. The only exceptions are for positions that provide: 

  • a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • safety and security
  • direct care or institutional services

Governor DeWine also ordered: 

  • A freeze on pay increases and promotions for state of Ohio unclassified and exempt staff.  
  • A freeze on new contract services for the state of Ohio, except for those services that are necessary for the emergency response.
  • That state agencies work to cut unnecessary spending up to 20 percent for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.

Governor DeWine also pulled back spending requests for a variety of projects that needed legislative spending authority. 

CHILD CARE/DAY CARE: 

Governor DeWine announced today that any child care facility that remains open to care for children under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license must give priority to families on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Placement of children must first be offered to kids with parents who are healthcare workers, first responders, hospital and clinic staff, pharmacy staff, children service workers, adult protection workers, developmental disability aides, mental health counselors, psychiatrists psychologists, nursing home workers, elder care workers, home health care workers, and dentists. 

Any remaining childcare openings will be open to other families. 

Parents can enroll now. A full list of child care centers operating under the special license can be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc

REMINDER: 

Ohio's "Stay at Home" order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight. The full order is available here: Director's Stay At Home Order

Answers to frequently asked questions are available here: Stay at Home FAQs.

COVID-19 OHIO DATA: 

There are 442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and six deaths. A total of 104 people are hospitalized.

Confirmed Deaths: Cuyahoga (1), Erie (1), Franklin (2), Lucas (1), Stark (1)

Confirmed cases: Ashland (1), Ashtabula (3), Belmont (2), Butler (17), Carroll (2), Clark (1), Clermont (5), Clinton (1), Columbiana (2), Coshocton (3), Cuyahoga (149), Darke (1), Defiance (2), Delaware (7), Erie (1), Franklin (44), Gallia (1), Geauga (2), Greene (1), Hamilton (26), Hancock (1), Highland (1), Huron (1), Knox (1), Lake (8), Licking (1), Logan (1), Lorain (24), Lucas (9), Madison (1), Mahoning (23), Marion (3), Medina (15), Miami (17), Montgomery (7), Portage (2), Richland (1), Sandusky (1), Stark (12), Summit (28), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (2), Union (1), Warren (5), Washington (1), Wood (2)

UPDATES NOW AVAILABLE IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES:

Video of today's full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

The Ohio Channel will make these briefings available in numerous languages, including Spanish, within a few hours after each update is complete. A list of all available press conferences can be found under the "Video" tab, and translations are ready when the "CC" symbol for closed captioning is visible the lower right of the player.

To choose a language for subtitles, first click on the "CC" symbol in the lower right of the player, select the settings icon (the gear next to the CC button), and choose the subtitles/CC option. Click the "auto translate" option and choose your preferred language for closed captioning.

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 20, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Ohio Records First COVID-19 Death;
Senior Centers, Adult Day Cares to Close 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, today announced that a Lucas County man has died from COVID-19. 

The death of the 76-year-old man is the first death due to COVID-19 in Ohio. 

There are currently 169 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 28 Ohio counties including: Ashland (1), Ashtabula (1), Belmont (2), Butler (12), Clark (1), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (69), Darke (1), Delaware (2), Franklin (14), Geauga (1), Hamilton (7), Huron (1), Lake (3), Lorain (10), Lucas (2), Mahoning (7), Marion (1), Medina (6), Miami (1), Montgomery (1), Richland (1), Stark (6), Summit (10), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (1), Union (1), Warren (2).

Of these cases, 39 individuals are hospitalized. 

SENIOR CENTERS/ADULT DAY CARE

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also announced today that he is ordering all of Ohio's senior centers and adult day care services to stop providing care in congregate care settings. Congregate care settings are single locations where more than 10 people, including staff and providers, are in a confined space.

The closure will be effective at the end of business on Monday, March 23, 2020. 

"It is a significant risk for anyone to be in a group setting, and that certainly includes our senior citizens," said Governor DeWine. "We have been telling providers that this day was coming, so they have already been working to ensure every senior will have continued care in a different setting."

This order does not prohibit providing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in residential settings, which are not congregate in nature. Rules that require day services and vocational habitation to be provided in community or work settings are being relaxed to recommend those services be provided in a person’s residence.

INSURANCE GRACE PERIOD

The Ohio Department of Insurance is issuing an order for insurers in Ohio to allow employers to offer employees a grace period for insurance premiums.

The grace period is for all health insurers, and it must provide the option of deferring premium payments interest free for up to 60 calendar days from the original premium due date, which means employers can defer their premium payments for health insurance for up to two months.

Health insurers must allow employers to continue covering employees even if the employee would otherwise become ineligible for insurance because of a decrease in the hours worked a week.  

LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP

Governor DeWine also signed onto a letter that will soon be sent by multiple state Governors requesting President Trump unlock existing federal funding in the disaster unemployment account, which would make funds available to contract workers (those who file a 1099) who are ineligible for unemployment benefits under current rules.

WARNING TO NON-COMPLIANT BUSINESSES

Governor DeWine also issued a warning today to business owners who are not complying with orders to take steps to protect employees from the spread of COVID-19. 

Although many businesses are heeding the advice of the Ohio Department of Health, others continue to ignore directives to keep distance between employees and keep a clean environment. 

"I continue be notified of businesses that are recklessly risking lives of employees, their families, and everyone else they come in contact with. This must stop," said Governor DeWine. "As I continue to balance my responsibility to protect the people of Ohio with our attempt to keep this economy moving, let me make it clear that I will err on the side of protecting people. The bad, reckless behavior must stop." 

Video of today's full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's website.

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

–30–



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 19, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

 

Applications Being Accepted for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program; Governor DeWine Signs Order Expanding Telehealth Services
for Medicaid Recipients

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved their request to allow small businesses and nonprofits in Ohio to apply for low-interest, long-term loans of up to $2 million through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

“Timing is everything as we navigate this crisis,” said Governor DeWine. “We have to move quickly to not only ensure that Ohioans are safe, but also that they have the necessary support in place to weather this difficult situation. I appreciate the quick response by federal officials to provide the state’s small businesses and nonprofits with access to this resource.”

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and nonprofits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75 percent.

To keep payments affordable, the loans are long term, with up to 30 years for repayment. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on each borrower’s ability to repay.

“Governor DeWine and I are aggressively working to ensure that the state’s economy remains strong and is well-positioned once this health crisis passes,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “I encourage business owners and nonprofits to apply for this assistance if needed, and to continue to reach out to let us know how we can help.”

Loan applications can be completed online, or applicants can obtain a paper application by calling 1-800-659-2955. For more information about the loan program, visit SBA.gov/Disaster.

TELEHEALTH FOR MEDICAID RECIPIENTS: 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that he has signed an executive order to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohio Medicaid recipients and their providers amid the coronavirus outbreak. These rules relax regulations to allow recipients to safely access health care providers from their homes, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for patients, families, and health care workers

“Maintaining access to services, despite our need to socially distance ourselves, is critical to helping to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor DeWine. “This action will help reduce the number of people infected and will hopefully save lives.”

Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Traditionally, health care providers and patients interact with each other via real-time, two-way technology such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. These rules allow patients to connect with their doctors using everyday communications tools including emails, faxes, and landline telephone services.

Individuals do not have to be an established patient to receive telehealth services, and there are no limitations on the the types of practitioners who are permitted to provide telehealth services for Medicaid patients. 

There are currently 119 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 24 Ohio counties including: Ashland (1), Belmont (2), Butler (8), Clark (1), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (53), Darke (1), Delaware (2), Franklin (10), Geauga (1), Hamilton (1), Huron (1), Lake (2), Lorain (6), Lucas (1), Mahoning (5), Medina (5), Miami (1), Montgomery (1), Richland (1), Stark (5), Summit (6), Trumbull (2), Tuscarawas (1). Of these cases, 33 individuals are hospitalized. 

Video of today's full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's website.

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 18, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Breann Almos: 614-799-6480

Governor DeWine Announces Additional
Temporary Business Closures

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, announced today that the Ohio Department of Health is ordering the temporary closure of Ohio's barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, and tattoo parlors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor DeWine also ordered the temporary closure of most of Ohio's Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) deputy registrar locations and BMV driver examination stations.

Both orders went into effect at the close of business today. 

"Everyone is in this fight, but we don't need to go into the battlefield, we simply need to stay home," said Governor DeWine. "Social distancing is so critical, and many Ohioans are starting to understand its importance, but there are still some who don't yet get it. This is a crisis that we have never seen in our lifetime, and everyone must recognize that their actions could have deadly consequences." 

Of Ohio's 186 BMV locations and 57 driver exam stations, a handful will remain open to issue and renew commercial driver licenses and perform commercial knowledge exams to ensure that the transportation of necessaries necessities such as food, medical supplies, and cleaning supplies is not interrupted. Those locations are: 

Central Ohio:
Deputy Registrar – 4503 Kenny Road, Columbus 43220
Driver Exam Station – 4738 Cemetery Road, Columbus 43026

Northeast Ohio:
Deputy Registrar – 22125 Rockside Road, Bedford 44146
Driver Exam Station - 22123 Rockside Road, Bedford 44146

Southeast Ohio
Deputy Registrar/Driver Exam Station - 142 Gross Street, Suites A & B, Marietta 45750

Northwest Ohio
Deputy Registrar/Driver Exam Station – 1616 E. Wooster Street, Suite 30, Bowling Green  43402

Southwest Ohio
Deputy Registrar – 10938 Hamilton Avenue, Mt. Healthy  45231
Driver Exam Station - 10940 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati  45231

Because of these BMV closures, Governor DeWine announced that he will work with the Ohio General Assembly to extend the expiration date of driver's licenses that are up for renewal. In the meantime, the Ohio State Highway Patrol will not issue tickets to drivers whose licenses expire while BMV's services are unavailable. Governor DeWine recommended that other law enforcement agencies in Ohio do the same. 

Ohioans can still renew their vehicle registrations by mail or online at www.oplates.com, and BMV is currently working to provide other online service.

EMPLOYEE TEMPERATURES:

Governor DeWine today encouraged business owners to begin taking the temperature of employees when they arrive at work in an effort to identify anyone who is becoming ill. If this is not feasible, Governor DeWine asked that employers require workers to take their own temperatures prior to arriving at work. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should self-quarantine with members of their household. 

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD:

Because food banks and similar organizations are staffed by a large number of volunteers who are high-risk and encouraged to stay home during this pandemic, Governor DeWine signed a proclamation authorizing the Ohio National Guard to assist organizations that need help with the normal operations of distributing food and supplies.

There are currently 88 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 19 Ohio counties including: Ashland (1), Belmont (2), Butler (8), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (38), Darke (1), Delaware (1), Franklin (7), Geauga (1), Huron (1), Lake (2), Lorain (6), Lucas (1), Mahoning (3), Medina (4), Stark (3), Summit (4), Trumbull (2),and  Tuscarawas (1). Of these individuals, 26 are hospitalized. 

Video of today's full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's website.

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

–30–


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 18, 2020

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-644-0957
Catherine Sulecki: 614-644-0957

Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted Submit Formal Request for Federal Assistance for Small Businesses

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted sent a letter and application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to qualify the State of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This federal program will enable small businesses and non-profits throughout the state impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million in assistance that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

“We understand the steps being taken to keep all Ohioans safe will have a significant impact on businesses across the state, which is why we are leaving no stone unturned to identify every possible way we can support them during this time,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohioans are resilient. We will get us through this.”

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and non-profits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

Once the state is qualified for the program, Ohio Development Services Agency (Development) will work with the SBA to notify entities that the they can now apply for loans. To keep payments affordable, these loans are long-term, with up to a maximum of 30 years for repayment. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

“We know Ohio businesses are struggling and we are going to do everything we can to help them,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “We have taken quick steps to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans, and we are going to give that same attention to ensuring our businesses are successful and jobs remain available. I encourage the SBA to quickly approve our application.”

Development coordinated with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and reached out to local businesses for information to compile the application.

“In the last three days, more than 1,500 businesses have shared their stories with us about the challenges they are facing, which informed our application for these disaster loans,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of Development. “The need is urgent, and we are moving quickly to support Ohio’s small businesses and non-profits.”

As efforts to combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus continue, Governor DeWine and his administration will continue to identify ways to support the state’s small businesses and non-profits. Any of these entities impacted by the ongoing health crisis are encouraged to contact Development at BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov for assistance.

Additional information about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.

–30–




March 17, 2020

March 17, 2020

Governor Mike DeWine has taken quick and decisive action in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Each of these actions is to ensure that Ohio’s healthcare system is able to remain strong and available to anyone who needs it.

We are aware that the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is and will continue to modify regular life for all Ohioans; however, our state is home to world-renowned healthcare institutions and together we’ve taken the steps needed to keep Ohioans safe. Once the initial threat of this virus has passed, Ohioans will return to work and school, our stadiums and arenas will open their doors to spectators again, and our restaurants will fill with patrons.

We recognize that this is a difficult time. Therefore, we’d like to share information about a number of aggressive steps the administration is already taking to offer assistance to Ohio businesses and individuals impacted.

Support for Small Businesses & Non-Profit Organizations:

The Ohio Development Services Agency is working this week to qualify Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low-interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.

Non-profit organizations in Ohio will also be eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Businesses impacted by the current public health crisis can contact BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov for more information. Additional details about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.

Enhanced Unemployment Aid for Ohioans:

The Governor has issued an executive order, which will grant the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) with the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation suspending the normal 1-week waiting period.

This order will also give relief to applicants who are not offered paid leave through their job, as well as those who have been quarantined by a medical professional, their employer, or whose employers must temporarily close. Those who apply for unemployment under these circumstances will be exempt from the requirement that they be actively seeking work.

For more information, please go to Unemployment.Ohio.gov or JFS.Ohio.gov/Coronavirus.

SharedWork Ohio:

SharedWork Ohio is an alternative to layoffs for employers. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain their staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce hours to avert a layoff. The participating employee works the reduced hours, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.

Interested employers should provide the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services with a list of participating employees and specify their normal weekly hours of work, not to exceed 40 hours and not including overtime. Part-time employees may be eligible, but all employees in an affected unit must have their hours reduced by the same reduction percentage. For more information, please visit JFS.Ohio.gov/SharedWorkOhio.

TechCred:

We encourage Ohio employers to take advantage of the State of Ohio’s TechCred program and upskill their employees while they may be unable to perform their typical day-to-day duties. Many of these trainings can be completed online.

TechCred offers employers up to $2,000 in reimbursement for every technology-focused credential earned by an employee, up to $30,000 per employer per round. These technology-focused credentials take a year or less to complete and prepare current and future employees for the technology jobs Ohio employers need.

The current application period is open through March 31st on TechCred.Ohio.Gov. If a business has questions about the program they should email Workforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.  

One-time Liquor Buyback:

The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick's Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.

Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

ONLINE:

Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health.

PHONE:           

For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call

1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m (7 days/week).

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@GovMikeDeWine

@LtGovHusted

@OHDeptofHealth

DAILY UPDATES:

Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org


  

March 16, 2020

Dear EMBCC Members,

We have entered into uncharted times, a time of unprecedented disruption,  yet we recognize we have been tested before and with great resolve and determination we have overcome. I pray this for our world today.

I writing today with some important updates on things that have been announced over the last few days:

Small Business Support

The President announced loans through the Small Business Administration on Thursday evening. The Lt. Governor also talked about those in today’s State press conference. Here is a great resource page that gives some highlights on this program.

Here in Ohio, the Development Services Agency is helping to take the lead and they have asked that any small business owners who have been affected please send your contact information to the following email address: BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov and they will follow up with you.

We are also working to be of assistance here, and if you are needing help regarding this program, please feel free to reach out to EMBCC and we will do our best to assist you, Bethany Williams, EMCBB Executive Director, director@embchamber.org please note we are all trying to get familiar with these programs, but we want to help you!)

Impacted Employee Support

Your employees may be affected by the temporary restrictions put in place. The Governor’s office also announced several initiatives to help:

  • They are broadening current state policy to clarify that individuals that are quarantined by a health professional or by their employer are considered to be unemployed and will not be subject to requirements to actively seek work during the period of emergency.
  • This also applies to companies that determine it is necessary to temporarily shut down operations due to the current emergency.
  • Ohio currently has a 1-week waiting period before an individual can receive unemployment.  In order to expedite the payments to impacted Ohioans, they are waiving the waiting week so that workers eligible for unemployment benefits will receive them for the first week of unemployment.

These points were taken from the Governor’s Twitter page, but as soon as more detail is available, I will share it with you.

Unemployment & Businesses

The Governor also announced some relief for businesses regarding unemployment:

  • Because they do not want to penalize individual employers for the impact of this outbreak by increasing future taxes, the costs of these additional benefits will be mutualized.
  • ODJFS will also waive employer penalties for late reporting and payments for the next quarter to assist employers impacted by lack of staff availability.

I will also share more information on these, when available.

Bar/Restaurant Owner Support

The Lt. Governor announced a temporary buy-back of high proof liquor products purchased within the last 30 days. The goal of this is to ease cash flow for bar/restaurant owners. Here is a release by the Department of Commerce that shares more. It should be returned to the Agency where it was purchased. If you have questions you may call 1-877-812-0013 or email ohioliquorinfo@com.ohio.gov

There has also the been the closure of bars and restaurants.  We will be reaching out bars and restaurants in the area to create a social media and email campaign around for your community to be educated on who is open with what carryout and delivery services are offered.

Federal Response

Additionally, the House acted late last week to pass legislation to support businesses and families affected by the disruption. Here is a great overview by the US Chamber which breaks down what is included.

How do you respond?

The Governor has strongly urged business leaders to consider your response to this urgent situation. Can your employees work remotely? How many? They issued the strongest call yet to have businesses encourage that. I understand that many businesses cannot do that. If that is your case, what steps can you take to ensure the maximum protection of your teams and customers, and ultimately our community? It is clear that there are no easy answers here.

Coronavirus Toolkit 

Click here for the ToolKit

Additional information at the U.S. Chamber resource link

Customizable Coronavirus Flyer for your customers

How are you doing? This week we will be sending out a short survey to gauge your initial response to what is happening. I’m interested in hearing from you, how you’re being affected, and especially any ideas that you may have to help! I hope that you will take a few minutes to respond so that we can in turn share that. We can learn from each other during this time.


Please look for continued information for EMBCC. We will strive to support our EMBCC region during this time.  Please use your membership to it's fullest potential right, a way to gain information as well as disseminate information about your business.  Please call or email any updates that you have!


Bethany Williams

Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce

Executive Director

P 419-693-5580

director@embchamber.org

4350 Navarre Ave Suite C

Oregon, OH 43616



Eggleston Meinert Pavley Funeral Home golfers take first place in the 2019 Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber Golf Classic.
A sunny sky and comfortable temps made it a perfect day for the EMBCC Golf Classic presented by Genoa Bank, Toledo Refining Company and S & D Capital that took place at Eagles Landing Golf Club. Thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters.
Presenting Sponsors: Genoa Bank, Toledo Refining Company and S & D Capital
Premier Sponsors: Paramount Health, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital and Bay Area Credit Union.  Patron Sponsor: Campbell Mechanical, MT Business Technologies and Thread Marketing.   

Beverage Sponsor: Alan Miller Jewelers


Birding venues honored by Chamber’s Prism judges

Published by sports@presspub... on Mon, 05/06/2019 - 8:52am

By: J. Patrick Eaken

Maumee Bay State Park was the perfect setting for the Toledo Metroparks to receive a Community Improvement Award at the 26th Annual Prism Awards for nearby Pearson Park and Howard Marsh. This year marks the first year anniversary of the newest Metropark and the 85th anniversary of one of the oldest Metroparks,     
About 200 community leaders and guests were in attendance at the state park as Mercy Health St. Charles received the Non-Profit of the Year Award, Pete MacDonald State Farm was the Small Business of the Year, Three Girlz Urban Living was the New Business of the Year, and HOT Graphics was given the General Excellence Award.
Even Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, which hosted the event, was a winner, garnering the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Silver Award.
In March, author Mary Breymaier gave a presentation from her book about the history of Pearson Park during the park system’s annual March lecture series event and Metroparks Toledo public relations director Scott Carpenter reiterated some of that. “The park system began in 1928, and its first parks were former state-owned canal lands near the Maumee River in Maumee and Waterville,” Carpenter said. “Pearson was the first park outside the canal area. Known as the Banklands, Toledo Blade reporter George Pearson championed the cause of preserve the land for a public park. Citizens, including the East Toledo Club, even went door-to-door collecting ‘Pennies for Pearson,’   “Ten years ago, Metroparks officially dedicated an addition known as Pearson North that essentially doubled the size of the park from 300 to 600 acres. Since then, every building in the park has been renovated. Both sides of the park have examples of wetlands, which are vital to the health of the environment and the survival of numerous plant and animal species. The original part of Pearson is one of the last remaining pieces of the Great Black Swamp, a notoriously wet area that was once nearly the size of the Florida Everglades.”    Howard Marsh has already become a popular venue for the world’s birders, who are arrived here this weekend as part of the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s Biggest Week in American Birding festival.  “Howard Marsh, which opened the last weekend in April 2018, is the largest project in Metroparks 90-year history, and the second largest of the 16 parks in the system,” Carpenter said. “Eighteen months before Howard Marsh opened to the public, it was an agricultural field." “Today, more than 600 acres of the 1,000-acre property is functioning coastal wetland, which filters water runoff from surrounding land before it reaches Lake Erie. A channel extending from Lake Erie is the source of water for the marsh, which can be manipulated to promote the growth of beneficial marsh plants. Wildlife instantly took to Howard Marsh, and so did those who come to watch the amazing variety of birds we enjoy here in Lake Erie’s western basis.”
 Lodge continues to renovate, grow
Since opening in 1991, Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center has continued to grow and be a staple in the community. It is the host for the Biggest Week in American Birding Festival, which has already begun and runs through May 12.
“Within the last five years, we have updated our guest rooms and meeting spaces,” said Kendra Buchanan, director of sales at the lodge. “Within the last year, a new management company has come in with many exciting new updates. We are continuing to grow and maintain relationships with not only the community, but the friends and families that continue to visit with us year after year.”
For years Maumee Bay has been a huge supporter of local organizations such as Oregon Schools, Genoa Schools, Jerusalem Township, Clay Township and Oregon Fire and Rescue through donations for fundraisers and events.
“Maumee Bay also provides students at Clay High School with the opportunity to mentor with our employees two days a week to get experience working in a customer service environment,” Buchanan said. “We also provide a customer service training course to these students along with mock interviews prior to starting their mentor program. We also work with a group at Penta County Vocational with a resume writing and interviewing session to build their skills prior to job hunting.”
Maumee Bay also provides services to the Boy Scouts of America, local cross country teams, golf teams and Black Swamp Bird Observatory just to name a few.
The lodge also partners with local law enforcement to annually provide an active shooter/active threat training for all employees in the event that should occur while working. It also partners with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation annually for a safety walk through regarding employee areas and concerns for safety.

Look What's Blooming

Mike Jones, mjj1llc is a local horticulturalist and educational consultant who planted over 30,000 bulbs on the corner of Navarre avenue and Wheeling and within the Navarre Avenue median.  The bulbs were donated by k. Van Bourgondien & Sons. The company was looking for a location where they could donate Spring bulbs for a strong showing in a highly visible public setting where the application and use of Spring bulbs could be demonstrated to local landscaping companies, business interests and the general public.

The goal of the donation was to teach the public that bulbs should not be treated as annuals where they are removed and discarded each year after they finish blooming. The bulb and foliage need to remain for several weeks after blooming for the bulbs to store up adequate energy to bloom successfully in the following years,

Mike noted "the process of treating Spring bulbs as annuals is over ten times more expensive in terms of cost per bloom. A quality Spring bulb floral display can be accomplished by using proper horticultural practices that include adequate soil preparation, bulb installation and care of those Spring floral displays".

K. Van Bourgondien & Sons will be publishing the Oregon Ohio project on their website. The Navarre Avenue project information will be available nationally and include teaching segments on proper horticultural procedures that will accompany their visual teaching components.



Vision 

“Improving the quality of life, general welfare and prosperity of Eastern Maumee Bay”


Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce

CONTACTS

director@embchamber.org
(419)693-5580                                   4350 Navarre Avenue Ste C          Oregon Ohio 43616

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