Complete Story
 

COVID-19 Resource Center

In an effort to keep our members up to date on the latest news regarding the novel coronavirus, OABA has established this resource page. Links to important news stories and important resources will be added as they are made available. 

Resources:

Coronavirus Impacts by State

 

August 10

Executive Order Signed

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed the following Executive Order:

 

August 8

Governor Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine Test Negative For COVID-19

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

The test results today 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.  

Executive Orders Signed

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed the following Executive Orders:

 

August 7

School Broadband Connectivity

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following update on the status of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Lt. Governor Husted announced today 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.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 98,675 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,652 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 11,447 people have been hospitalized, including 2,641 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

 

August 6

Governor DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Staff All Test Negative for COVID-19

In a second test administered today in Columbus, Governor Mike DeWine has tested negative for COVID-19. First Lady Fran DeWine and staff members have also all tested negative for COVID-19.

A PCR test was administered to the Governor and members of his staff this afternoon.  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.

The test administered this morning to the Governor in Cleveland, as part of the protocol required to meet the President, was an antigen test.  These 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. 

Out of an abundance of caution, and at the direction of medical professionals, the Governor and First Lady plan on having another PCR test on Saturday.  Results of these tests will also be released.

Governor DeWine Tests Positive for COVID-19

Today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine took a test for COVID-19 as part of the standard protocol to greet President Donald Trump on the tarmac at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. 

Governor DeWine tested positive. Governor DeWine has no symptoms at the present time.

Governor DeWine is returning to Columbus where he and First Lady Fran DeWine, who also has no symptoms, will both be tested.

Governor DeWine plans to follow protocol for COVID-19 and quarantine at his home in Cedarville for the next 14 days.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted also took the COVID-19 test today as part of the protocol to greet the president.  Lt. Governor tested negative.

 

August 4

Masks in Schools, Rapid Testing, Community Spread and Spread from Faith-Based Settings, Dr. Amy Acton

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on the status of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

MASKS IN SCHOOLS

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children 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 today 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 today 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. 

LETTER TO FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY

Governor DeWine today 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."

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. 

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 95,106 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,570 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 11,119 people have been hospitalized, including 2,593 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

 

July 29

Liquor Sale and On-Premises Consumption Limits, Mass Gathering Order, Updated Risk Levels

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

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."

Remaining at Level 3:

  • Allen
  • Cuyahoga
  • Erie
  • Fairfield
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Licking
  • Lucas
  • Henry
  • Lawrence
  • Marion
  • Medina
  • Montgomery

Downgraded from
Level 3 to Level 2: 

  • Clark
  • Defiance
  • Hardin
  • Athens
  • Clermont
  • Delaware
  • Pickaway
  • Scioto
  • Union

Downgraded to from
Level 3 to Level 1:

  • 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 today 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.

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission will hold its emergency meeting tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. If the emergency administrative rule is approved, Governor DeWine will sign an executive order making it effective tomorrow night. 

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.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 89,626 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,442 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

Health Order Signed

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

 

July 28

Child Care Ratios to be Lifted, Additional Restrictions Announced for Local Fairs

Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates related to Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CHILD CARE RATIOS

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 today 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 FFA 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. 

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 86,497 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,382 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 10,425 people have been hospitalized, including 2,488 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

 

July 23

Eight Counties Increase to Red Alert Level Three, Importance of Self-Quarantines, Broadband Expansion

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine announced today 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.

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 tonight.

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 today 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.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 80,186 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,256 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 9,968 people have been hospitalized, including 2,403 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

 

July 22

Governor DeWine Issues Statewide Mask Order, Travel Warning

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

STATEWIDE MASK ORDER

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 today 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.  

Visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for tips on how to effectively quarantine.

INFORMAL GATHERINGS

Governor DeWine today 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 today 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 today 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 tomorrow'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.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 78,742 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,235 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 9,864 people have been hospitalized, including 2,386 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

 

July 17

19 Red Alert Level Three Counties, Executive Order, PPE Manufacturing Grants

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine announced today that new public health data has led the Ohio Department of Health to designate 19 counties as being in a Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency as defined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Upgraded to Level 3:

  • Athens*
  • Allen
  • Delaware
  • Licking
  • Lucas
  • Richland
  • Scioto
  • Union

Continuing at Level 3: 

  • Butler
  • Clermont
  • Cuyahoga
  • Fairfield
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton
  • Lorain
  • Montgomery
  • Pickaway
  • Summit
  • Wood

Downgraded to Level 2:

  • Trumbull

Athens County is also on Ohio's Watch List because it is closely nearing Purple Alert Level 4. Butler, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties were removed from the Watch List but the threat of exposure and spread remains high.

New counties upgraded to Red Alert Level 3 will be mandated to begin wearing masks in public beginning at 6 p.m. on July 17, 2020. Mask mandates will remain in effect in all counties continuing in Red Alert Level 3. Residents in Trumbull County are no longer required to wear masks in public, however, they are strongly encouraged to do so.

"As of tomorrow night at 6:00, nearly 60 percent of Ohio's population will be under a mask order, and I strongly encourage citizens living in other counties to wear masks in public as well," said Governor DeWine.

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

EXECUTIVE ORDER

Governor DeWine today signed an executive order to extend and improve emergency rules that will provide additional flexibilities to allow health care professionals to deliver services via telehealth.

Through the emergency rules, the executive order permits the use of audio, video, and even text messaging to allow people to access critical health care services while remaining socially distant and safe. This rule will apply to a variety of healthcare services, including critical mental health and addiction services.

PPE RETOOLING AND RESHORING GRANTS

Lt. Governor Husted announced today that Ohio Development Services Agency awarded $20 million in grants to 68 Ohio manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) and help ensure the safety of Ohioans during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring grants provide up to $500,000 to small and medium-sized manufacturers to expand production or convert their facility to start producing PPE including cleaning and sanitizing products, community dividers, components for ventilators, masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, nasal swabs, surgical masks, and thermometers. 

The projects are expected to create 829 new jobs and retain 1,133 existing jobs.  More than half of the awards will help small businesses with less than 25 employees. Grant funds can be used to retool or expand existing facilities in Ohio, construct new facilities, purchase equipment, or upgrade technology.  Projects must be complete by December 31, 2020.

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

PPE DISTRIBUTION:

The Lt. Governor also announced that to date, Ohio has procured approximately 65 million pieces of PPE. This includes various types of face masks and shields, gloves, gowns, coveralls, and thermometers. Though not PPE, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) also ordered 1,000 ventilators. This includes purchases by the Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, DAS, and the Department of Health.

As of today, more than 50 million pieces of this PPE have been distributed across the state.

In addition to large and small companies, groups, and citizens who donated PPE, JobsOhio has been a consistent partner in this effort, allocating nearly $70 million for more than 40 million units of lifesaving PPE.

Next week, in an effort to help Ohio’s small businesses and their workers operate in a safe environment, JobsOhio and its six network partners will distribute 15,000 PPE toolkits, for a total of 1.5 million 3-ply masks, 150,000 KN95 masks, and 15,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. This initiative brings together partners at the local level as well as partners in the chamber of commerce and urban leagues across the state. These kits have already been allocated to small businesses across the state.  

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 70,601 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,103 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 9,324 people have been hospitalized, including 2,280 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

 

July 9

New Risk Levels, Higher Education Guidance, Funding for Schools, Homelessness Grant, IMAP Launch, SharedWork Program, Plasma Donation

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine announced today 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.

Upgraded to Level 3:

  • Clermont
  • Fairfield
  • Lorain
  • Pickaway
  • Summit
  • Wood

Continuing at Level 3: 

  • Butler*
  • Cuyahoga*
  • Franklin
  • Hamilton*
  • Montgomery
  • Trumbull

Downgraded to Level 2:

  • Huron

Three Red Alert Level 3 counties marked with a star (*) are on Ohio's Watch List as they are approaching Purple Alert Level 4. Franklin County was removed from the Watch List due to a decrease in hospital admissions.

Mask mandates for the new counties upgraded to Red Alert Level 3 will be mandated to begin wearing masks in public beginning at 6 p.m. on July 10, 2020. Residents in Huron County are no longer required to wear a mask in public, however, they are strongly encouraged to do so.

Governor DeWine announced the creation of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System last week 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

HIGHER EDUCATION GUIDANCE:

The Ohio Department of Higher Education, in consultation with Ohio colleges, universities, the Ohio Department of Health, and health experts across the state have developed guidance to help campuses safely reopen.

The Responsible RestartOhio guidance for Institutions of Higher Education includes minimum operating standards for all campuses, as well as best practices to further enhance those standards.

"By implementing these minimum requirements and implementing best practices, our higher education communities can continue to educate students and prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Governor DeWine. 

Because each campus must develop policies and procedures related to COVID-19 testing, new Guidance for COVID-19 Testing at Institutions of Higher Education was also released to help institutions tailor their testing plan to their community and develop policies related to the isolation of symptomatic students, faculty, and staff members.

K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION FUNDING: 

To help K-12 schools and institutions of higher education address increasing costs associated with the COVID-19 safety measures, Governor DeWine and leaders of the Ohio General Assembly are requesting that the Ohio Controlling Board approve an initial request on Monday to allocate $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K-12 schools from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. 

"This funding comes from federal CARES Act dollars to help schools meet their unique individual needs," said Governor DeWine. "We intend for this funding to be very flexible to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

The funding would be available to all public and private schools and for all two and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private, including adult career tech providers.

The funding request is in addition to the more than $440 million in direct federal CARES Act funding that Ohio K-12 schools are receiving and the more than $190 million in direct federal funding provided to Ohio's colleges and universities.

HOMELESSNESS GRANT: 

Governor DeWine announced that he is awarding an additional grant of $15 million to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. 

The funds will be used to support homelessness prevention efforts and rapidly rehouse individuals and families experiencing homelessness who could be at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, especially those in congregate facilities such as homeless shelters.  

The grant funding is in addition to a $1 million grant that Governor DeWine award the coalition in April which helped to keep hundreds of Ohioans safely housed during the pandemic. 

IMAP LAUNCH:

Lt. Governor Husted announced the launch of the Individual Micro-credential Assistance Program (IMAP) which will provide $2.5 million in grants to help unemployed Ohioans earn in-demand, technology-focused credentials that will give them a leg up in finding a job in the increasingly tech-focused economy.

The grant application is open to training providers, such as universities, colleges, Ohio technical centers, or private sector training businesses. Training providers who receive awards will be reimbursed up to $3,000 for each completed technology-focused credential issued and up to $250,000 per provider.

The program was created in partnership with the Ohio House of Representatives. 

Training providers interested in applying can find more information at IMAP.Development.Ohio.gov. The deadline to apply is July 24, 2020.

SHAREDWORK PROGRAM: 

Governor DeWine recently signed an executive order enabling the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to use federal funding authorized under the CARES Act to enhance the state’s SharedWork program.

Participating employers agree to reduce the affected employees’ hours by a uniform percentage, between 10 percent and 50 percent, for up to 52 weeks. In return, those employees receive SharedWork compensation (which is a prorated unemployment benefit) and, while federally available, may also receive the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit each week.

Since March 15, ODJFS has approved 909 employers who have participated in 1,680 SharedWork Ohio plans, benefiting 46,352 participating employees.

For more information visit jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/SharedWorkOhio.

PLASMA DONATION

Lt. Governor Husted encouraged Ohioans who have been fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks to consider donating plasma. 

"Convalescent plasma, which is plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, is rich in antibodies that could possibly attack the virus that causes COVID-19," said Lt. Governor Husted. "Although the treatment of COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma remains in the investigation stage, it shows promise to lessen the severity or shorten the length of COVID-19 and is something that could potentially save lives in our continual fight against the coronavirus."

For more information or to sign up to donate, visit redcrossblood.org/plasma4covid or contact a local blood donor or plasma collection center.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 61,331 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,006 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 8,570 people have been hospitalized, including 2,146 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Health Order Signed

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

 

July 8

Health Order Signed

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

Director's Order for Facial Coverings in Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery, and Trumbull Counties in Level 3 Public Health Advisory

 

July 7

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that effective on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., a new Ohio Department of Health order will mandate face coverings in public in all counties that are designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency or a Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergency. 

Currently, seven counties in Ohio are designated at Red Alert Level 3 which indicates that those in these counties have a very high risk of exposure and spread: 

  • Butler County
  • Cuyahoga County
  • Franklin County
  • Hamilton County
  • Huron County
  • Montgomery County
  • Trumbull County

As of today, no counties have reached Purple Alert Level 4, however, Franklin County is approaching this top tier. 

"In addition to social distancing and reducing unnecessary interactions with others, we know that wearing a mask helps protect others in the community.  It has been, and remains, a very strong recommendation that I urge all Ohioans to continue doing even if you are not in a red-alert county," said Governor DeWine. "In red-alert and purple-alert counties, however, we must do more to help protect citizens because the risk of spread is increasing even more."

Last week, Governor DeWine announced the creation of Ohio's Public Health Advisory System, which consists of four alert levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of COVID-19 spread in the counties in which they live. Each level is calculated based on seven data-driven health indicators.

Those in counties designated as Red Alert Level 3 or Purple Alert Level 4 are required to wear a face covering: 

  • In any indoor location that is not a residence;
  • When outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; or
  • While waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service, or a ride-sharing vehicle.

The order does not apply to children under the age of 10 or any other minor who cannot safely wear a face covering. The order also reflects the mask guidance in place for employees and businesses which does not require a person to wear a mask if their physician advises against it, if wearing a mask is prohibited by federal regulation, if communicating with the hearing impaired, when alone in an office or personal workspace, and other similar measures.

Schools that offer Kindergarten through Grade 12 instruction should follow the guidelines set forth last week by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Health. 

The Ohio Department of Health will update county rankings every Thursday. Any county that increases to Red Alert Level 3 will automatically be included in the face-covering mandate. Any county that decreases from Red Alert Level 3 to Orange Alert Level 2 will automatically be released from the face-covering requirement. 

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 58,904 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,970 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 8,383 people have been hospitalized, including 2,101 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio is offering free COVID-19 testing for all residents at pop-up testing sites across Ohio. Pop-up testing locations for July 7 - July 12 are listed below. 

 

July 2

School Guidelines, Public Health Advisory System 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

K-12 SCHOOL GUIDANCE: 

Governor DeWine today announced new guidance for resuming school in the fall.

"We know that each school system, and perhaps each school building, will likely look different in the fall.  We also know that Ohio has a long history of local control and that school administrators and teachers know their schools best," said Governor DeWine. "Working together and consulting with educators and other health officials, we have developed a set of guidelines, backed by science, that each school should follow when developing their reopening plans."

The newly issued guidance report advises schools to vigilantly assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy. 

"Just as we have done in the business sector with employees, we are requiring school staff to wear face coverings to reduce the spread of the virus, unless it is unsafe or when doing so could significantly interfere with the learning process.  When face coverings aren’t practical, face shields may be considered," said Governor DeWine. "We strongly recommend that students in 3rd grade and up wear face coverings as well."  

More details on the new school guidance will soon be available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

To assist schools in their efforts to implement the guidance, the Ohio Department of Education has created a document titled, “The Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts,” which is designed to help teachers, principals, and administrators with solutions to safety challenges.  The document provides resources and information for community decision-makers as they contemplate how to reopen safely.

The guidance announced today was developed in consultation with school superintendents, teachers, parents, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Association of Public School Employees, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Alliance for High Quality Education, and Ohio Association of Career Tech Education.

Governor DeWine today also committed to working with the Ohio General Assembly on a plan to ensure that federal CARES Act dollars are made available to Ohio’s school districts for unforeseen expenses associated with creating a safe environment. 

PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY ALERT SYSTEM: 

Governor DeWine announced today that going forward, Ohio will maintain vital, necessary baseline orders to control the spread of COVID-19 while also implementing a new alert system. 

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System will provide local health departments and community leaders data and information to combat flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. The system consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live.

"Our new Public Health Advisory System will help make clear the very real dangers happening in individual counties across Ohio," said Governor DeWine. "This is a color-coded system built on a data-driven framework to assess the degree of the virus’ spread and to inform, engage, and empower individuals, businesses, communities, local governments, and others in their response and actions."

Data Indicators: 

A county's alert level is determined by seven data indicators:

  1. New Cases Per Capita
  2. Sustained Increase in New Cases
  3. Proportion of Cases that Are Not Congregate Cases
  4. Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits
  5. Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits
  6. Sustained Increase in New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions
  7. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy

Additional measurements still in development include county-level data on contact tracing, tests per capita, and percent positivity. 

Detailed descriptions for each indicator can be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov

Alert Levels:

Alert Level 1 Public Emergency (Yellow):
Baseline level. County has met zero or one indicator. Active exposure and spread. Follow all health orders. 

Alert Level 2 Public Emergency (Orange): County has met two or three indicators. Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders. 

Alert Level 3 Public Emergency (Red): County has met four or five indicators. Very high exposure and spread. Limit Activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders. 

Alert Level 4 Public Emergency (Purple): County has met six or seven indicators. Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders. 

Counties that are approaching Alert Level 4 are indicated with a star.

Each alert level includes specific risk-level guidelines, including the requirement that all citizens comply with all health orders.

Profiles for the seven counties currently categorized in Alert Level 3 can be found below and are also available on the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System website

RESTAURANTS & BARS: 

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control has granted over 300 expansion requests to bars and restaurants to allow patrons more opportunities to enjoy dinner or drinks in a safe environment.

Liquor Control has been working with local jurisdictions to extend liquor permits to outside spaces next to bars, such as parking lots and sidewalks, to expand seating capacity outside to keep patrons socially distanced.  

"We encourage owners to continue to work with us and their local governments to come up with creative ways to expand their outdoor seating capacity so that everyone can stay safe and be socially distanced," said Governor DeWine. "I ask our restaurant and bar owners to continue to insist on social distancing and other efforts to control the spread.  This is absolutely vital."

PRESUMED RECOVERED DATA:

Lt. Governor Husted announced that "Presumed Recovered" is a new data point now reported in Ohio's COVID-19 data metrics shared on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

"Many have been asking why the number of people recovered isn’t reported and that's because this data isn’t reported to the Ohio Department of Health, so we don’t have an exact figure," said Lt. Governor Husted. "However, we can presume what that number is based on the other data we have." 

Ohio's current presumed-recovered count is 38,987.

 

June 29

Increases in Hospitalizations and Positivity Rate, Nursing Home Visitation, Order Extension

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

HOSPITALIZATIONS:

Last week was the first week of increasing COVID-19 hospital utilization in Ohio after over two months of decreasing utilization since late April. From June 21, 2020, to June 27, 2020, Ohio had approximately 500 to 550 total COVID-19 patients in hospitals statewide. This week, there are approximately 650 COVID-19 patients in hospitals statewide.

In comparison, the number of standard hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 positive patients had peaked in late April and early May at about 1,000 and reached a low of 513 on June 20th.

"Thankfully, ICU and ventilator utilization at the state level is still holding steady, but we are seeing increases in some areas of the state, such as in the Cleveland, Dayton, and Cincinnati areas," said Governor DeWine. "In other regions of the state, COVID-19 hospital occupancy had been declining but now appears to have leveled off."

Although COVID-19 utilization in hospitals is increasing, there is still adequate overall capacity available across the state as of today. No region has reached the concern threshold of 80 percent overall utilization for ICU beds, however lessons of recent history in NYC, Houston, and Arizona indicate that this can quickly change.

POSITIVITY RATE:

Governor DeWine explained that the increase in positive COVID-19 cases is not fully due to Ohio's increase in testing.

"Ohio's positivity rate has increased slightly as our testing totals have increased," said Governor DeWine. "If the spread of this virus remained at a low level, more testing should show a lower positivity. The increase of our positivity rate, even as we are doing more testing, means that we are likely picking up signs of broader community spread."

NURSING HOME VISITATION:

Governor DeWine announced that beginning July 20, 2020, nursing homes are permitted to begin outdoor visitation as long as all safety standards are met. 

When assessing their readiness to permit outdoor visitation, nursing homes should consider:

  • Case status in the surrounding community
  • Case status in the nursing home
  • Staffing levels
  • Access to adequate testing for residents and staff
  • Personal protective equipment supplies
  • Local hospital capacity

The decision to move forward with outdoor visitation considered requests from families and residents and the impact on the quality of life that a prolonged loss of connection can have on an individual. The plan was made in consultation with advocates and providers in the aging and development disabilities communities. 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 Directors Association.

"We are confident that our approach provides each facility the flexibility needed to assess their readiness to safely facilitate outdoor visitation and to do so in a transparent way that keeps residents and families informed," said Governor DeWine.

The order and related guidance will be made available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Questions may also be directed to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, an office within the Ohio Department of Aging, at 1-800-282-1206.

EXTENSION OF ORDERS: 

Governor DeWine announced that he is extending existing health orders through this week as his administration finalizes vital plans to help local schools safely reopen, as well as plans to keep Ohioans healthy and safe.

"These plans will take us into the next phase, a distinct and different phase of continuing to keep Ohio open as we head into the second half of 2020," said Governor DeWine. 

Details on this new phase are anticipated to be released on Thursday. 

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 51,046 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,818 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,746 people have been hospitalized, including 1,961 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio is offering free COVID-19 testing for all residents at pop-up testing sites across Ohio. Pop-up testing locations for June 29 - July 2 are listed below. 

 

June 25

Increase in Positive Cases, 2-1-1

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

INCREASE IN POSITIVE CASES - HAMILTON COUNTY REGION

Governor DeWine invited President and CEO of UC Health Richard P. Lofgren, MD, MPH, FACP to give an update on the status of COVID-19 in Hamilton County and the surrounding areas.

The effective reproductive ratio, also known as R naught, measures how many people will be infected by a sick individual. The R naught had reached 2.4 in that region in April. In recent weeks, the R naught had declined to below one. However, in the last 10 days, the R naught has doubled over the last 10 days in the Cincinnati region.

Dr. Lofgren explained that the increase in cases is not only due to the tests being performed, but the increase shows there is a greater presence of the COVID-19 in the area, and it is spreading in the community. He said it serves as a reminder about the importance of wearing a mask in public, washing your hands, sanitizing frequently touched surfaces, and keeping social distance.

OHIO 2-1-1 

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will continue funding for the valuable 2-1-1 service as Ohio enters into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2-1-1 is a phone service that connects thousands of Ohioans to local non-profit and government services for healthcare, food and meals, housing, transportation, mental health, and legal services.

At the beginning of the year, the service was available in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  When the pandemic began, Ohio EMA asked Ohio AIRS, the non-profit that governs Ohio 2-1-1, to provide service to the remaining 37 counties in Ohio, which happened in March. 

"Often, people in need require help getting connected to services, and we know that the need has grown remarkably during this unprecedented time," said Governor DeWine. "The 2-1-1 service is particularly important for those most vulnerable in our state who have been hit by COVID-19 the hardest."

Ohioans can also dial 877-721-8476 to get connected to 2-1-1.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 47,651 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,772 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,502 people have been hospitalized, including 1,897 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio is offering free COVID-19 testing for all residents at pop-up testing sites across Ohio. Pop-up testing locations for June 29 - July 2 are listed below. 

June 23

Public Awareness Campaigns, Fireworks, Criminal Justice Grants

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS

Governor DeWine today announced two public awareness campaigns aimed at spreading awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures that impact the well-being of Ohioans and the Ohio economy.

“The messages of these ads are clear,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohioans, by continuing to practice good prevention, can do two things at once, help stop the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly and safely get back to work.”

FIREWORKS: 

Lt. Governor Husted noted today that Independence Day fireworks shows can proceed, but large gatherings are still prohibited at this time. He encouraged any community that plans on holding a fireworks event to do so safely. Spectators are encouraged to find ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in small groups such as by watching displays from their porches, backyards, or cars. 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE GRANTS:

Governor DeWine announced the first round of funding being distributed to local criminal justice entities as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant.

Approximately $2.1 million will be awarded to a total of 65 local criminal justice agencies including law enforcement, probation/parole offices, corrections agencies, courts, and victim service providers. 

The funding can be used toward COVID-19 expenses such as cleaning supplies, PPE, and medical supplies like thermometers. The funding will also be used to pay for technology upgrades that are needed for teleworking or other virtual services.

A complete list of today's grant recipients can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

A total of nearly $16 million was awarded to Ohio's Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) for this program as part of the CARES Act. OCJS continues to process other grant applications they’ve already received and are still accepting new applications from agencies that have not yet requested funding.

More information on how to apply can be found at www.ocjs.ohio.gov

 

June 18

Case Increases in Children and in Southwest Ohio, PPE Readiness Stockpile, Good Cause, OhioMeansJobs, Resuming Sports Phase II

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

SOUTHWEST OHIO CASE INCREASE:

Governor DeWine announced today 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

In response to this increase in cases, Governor DeWine announced that pop-up testing sites will surge into the zip codes with the highest number of cases. Testing at pop-up sites is free, and citizens are not required to live in the community where the pop-up site is located to receive a test. 

New pop-up testing sites will also be scheduled in other locations to ensure testing accessibility throughout the state. A list of sites currently scheduled in Ohio is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov on the COVID-19 Minority Health Testing page. 

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, today provided information on an increase in the percentage of children testing positive for COVID-19 at Rainbow Babies. 

"What we've really been seeing recently is an increase of the percent of tests that are coming back positive, particularly in symptomatic children - meaning that for kids who have symptoms of a respiratory viral disease, a larger percent of them are coronavirus than earlier in the pandemic," Dr. Edwards said. "It's to be expected as the state opens that we're going to start to see more positive kids, but that rate has been going up, and it is something we're keeping our eye on. It hasn't gone up dramatically, about 5 - 6 percent or so, but it has been a steady increase, and it has not stopped increasing as of yet."

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.    

"Having a stockpile like this is incredibly important, especially for long-term care facilities like nursing homes," said Governor DeWine. "With the recent changes to visitation rules, we must continue to recognize that these Ohioans are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus and that spikes may occur in congregate living facilities."

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.

Good Cause now includes the following situations:

  • A medical professional recommends that an individual not return to work because that person falls into a category that is considered high-risk for catching COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their employee cannot offer teleworking options.
  • The employee is 65 years of age or older.
  • There is tangible evidence of a health and safety violation by the employer that does not allow the employee to practice social distancing, hygiene, and wearing personal protective equipment.
  • The individual has been potentially exposed to COVID-19 and subject to a quarantine period as prescribed by a medical or health professional.
  • The individual must stay home to care for a family member who is suffering from COVID-19 or subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional.

OHIO MEANS JOBS: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced today 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. 

"This means football, lacrosse, and other contact sports can resume scrimmages and full training regiments as long as safety protocols are observed," said Lt. Governor Husted. "Although June 22 is the day contact practice may begin, it will ultimately be up to local sports organizers and high school leaders on when is the best time to proceed."

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. 

  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 39,973 confirmed cases
    • 3,149 probable cases  
    • 43,122 total cases
    • 7,104 hospitalizations
    • 2,401 confirmed deaths
    • 232 probable deaths
    • 2,633 total deaths
    • 1,807 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

June 16

Health Order Signed

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

 

Basic Reproduction Number, Pop-Up Sites, Multi-System Youth Grant

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.    

BASIC REPRODUCTION NUMBER:

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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that COVID-19's R0, without interventions, to be 2.5.

With Ohio's interventions, the R0 for the state measured at 0.87 on June 7. Ohio is beginning to see the R0 plateau in Region 7 and 8. 

POP-UP SITES:

Governor DeWine announced additional pop-up testing sites will be available throughout the state this week. Testing began this morning at CityLink Center in Cincinnati and will also be available on Thursday and Friday from 10:00am until 3:00pm. Testing will resume at the CityLink Center next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

Tomorrow testing will be available at the Centerpoint Health Community Building Institute in Middletown, Ohio, from 10:00am to 2:00pm. 

Additional temporary pop-up testing locations will be in Elyria, Portsmouth, Xenia, and other locations. 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. 

HOUSES OF WORSHIP REMINDER:

Governor DeWine reminded houses of worship to continue utilizing the best practices when resuming in-person services. While these are not requirements, they are best practices that include having families sit socially-distant from other families; encouraging members to wear face coverings; and eliminating the touching of common surfaces, such as the collection basket and hymnals, as much as possible.  

This guidance can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

MULTI-SYSTEM YOUTH GRANT:

Governor DeWine 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. The initial release is available on the InnovateOhio website.

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.

 

June 11

Testing Expansion, R0 in Ohio, Place of Worship Best Practices, New Role for Dr. Acton, ODJFS Employment/Training Grant

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.

Governor DeWine also announced a series of "pop-up" testing locations, beginning with six locations in Columbus. These temporary testing sites will be available all over the state, including in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Portsmouth, Dayton, Xenia, Columbiana, Akron, and other locations. 

Testing locations in Ohio can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

TESTING EXPANSION:

Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio is expanding testing and encouraged those who want a COVID-19 test, including those who are low-risk or asymptomatic, to talk with their health care provider or contact a testing location to arrange a test. 

BASIC REPRODUCTION NUMBER:

Governor DeWine today 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that COVID-19's R0, without interventions, to be 2.5. With Ohio's interventions, the R0 for the state measured slightly lower than 1.0 on June 1. Ohio is beginning to see a slight increase in the R0 measurements, more so in certain parts of Ohio such as the Dayton region. 

BEST PRACTICES FOR PLACES OF WORSHIP

Governor DeWine today sent a letter to the ministerial community in Ohio to update them on the status of COVID-19 and provide suggested best practices for resuming in-person services. 

"Although Ohio never closed churches, synagogues, mosques, or other places of worship during this pandemic, we know that most of them stopped holding their traditional in-person services and found other ways to worship to protect their members and the communities where they serve," said Governor DeWine. "Just as we did with industry, outdoor activities, and entertainment, we have put together some suggested best practices for places of worship to keep in mind as they reopen."

This guidance can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

NEW ROLE FOR DR. AMY ACTON: 

Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton will step down as director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and begin serving as his chief health advisor effective at the end of business today. Lance Himes, who previously served as ODH's director, was named interim-director. 

"Let me say how very grateful I am for Dr. Acton’s selfless and tireless service to the people of Ohio as our Ohio Department of Health director," said Governor DeWine. "It’s true that not all heroes wear capes.  Some of them wear a white coat embossed with the name Dr. Amy Acton."

In her new role, Dr. Acton will take a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing health and well-being for all Ohioans. In addition to advising on health issues, she will continue to focus on the COVID-19 crisis. 

ODJFS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING GRANT: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will receive an $8.5 million federal Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant to help reemploy individuals who lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help employers rebuild their workforces.

ODJFS will work with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to facilitate the grant program through local OhioMeansJobs centers and will distribute the funding to Ohio’s local workforce areas. ODJFS will also provide outreach to employers and services to individuals who were laid off, either permanently or temporarily, as a result of the pandemic.

  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 37,120 confirmed cases
    • 2,884 probable cases  
    • 40,004 total cases
    • 6,753 hospitalizations
    • 2,263 confirmed deaths
    • 227 probable deaths
    • 2,490 total deaths
    • 1,732 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

June 9

UPDATE: Mass Protest Standard, PPE Update, GOJO Expansion

Governor DeWine today directed Ohio's Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests.

"When protests morph from peaceful to violent, law enforcement must be empowered to act, but our peaceful demonstrators must also feel safe when asserting their First Amendment rights," said Governor DeWine. "A statewide standard for law enforcement will be beneficial to help standardize Ohio's response to large, ongoing protests in the future." 

Members of the collaborative will examine issues surrounding best practices for interaction between law enforcement and crowds that fail to disperse, when tactics involving tear gas, pepper spray, and non-lethal projectiles are necessary and when these tactics should be considered excessive, and how to better protect members of the media from injury. 

PPE UPDATE: 

As of last week, Ohio has distributed over 30 million pieces of PPE.  Sources of these resources include donations, FEMA, JobsOhio purchases, and purchases by state agencies such as our departments of Administrative Services, Health, and Public Safety using federal CARES Act funds. Of the 30 million total PPE pieces, 27.8 million pieces have been shipped to county EMAs for local distribution. 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation “Protecting Ohio's Workforce- We've Got You Covered” program has also sent over 1.5 million face coverings to employers to support and enhance any workforce safety and health efforts that businesses already have in place. 

Ohio is also providing PPE to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, through their Office of Pharmacy Services, to support requests for PPE from state agencies, boards, and commissions. 

Ohio is currently looking at long-term solutions to PPE supply chain issues plaguing the country. This includes longer-term contracts for ventilators and N95 masks. Ohio is also currently evaluating the results of a recently issued Invitation to Bid for gloves, gowns, and three-ply masks.

GOJO EXPANSION:

GOJO, an Akron-based manufacturer of hand sanitizer, and part of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, has been working with JobsOhio and today announced that it is expanding in Navarre and Maple Heights to meet the demand for their products that are helping fight COVID-19. 

The projects are expected to create 200 new jobs.

“GOJO is an Ohio-grown company whose products, including its PURELL® products are helping us combat the pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. “These new investments demonstrate the confidence GOJO has in Ohio’s talent, which is hard at work producing and distributing critical PURELL® products used worldwide.”

 

June 5

Additional Reopening Dates, Order Signed, Ohio National Guard 

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

ADDITIONAL REOPENINGS: 

Governor DeWine announced today that the following sectors are permitted to reopen on 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. 

"In all of these cases, these sectors have come up with plans that reduce the number of people, provide for sanitation, and in some cases, provide for one-way traffic," said Governor DeWine. "They are elaborate plans that we believe are consistent with protecting the public."

ASSISTED LIVING VISITATION ORDER: 

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. 

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD: 

Governor DeWine announced today 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.  

  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 35,096 confirmed cases
    • 2,662 probable cases  
    • 37,758 total cases
    • 6,385 hospitalizations
    • 2,135 confirmed deaths
    • 220 probable deaths
    • 2,355 total deaths
    • 1,632 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

COVID-19 Small Business Relief

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 outlined below will be administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency.

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.

OHIO PPE RETOOLING AND RESHORING GRANT PROGRAM

This program will provide awards of up to $500,000 to small and medium-sized manufacturers so they can repurpose existing facilities to make PPE or reshore PPE production to Ohio. These grants will allow small manufacturers and other entities an opportunity to create new business while contributing to the fight against COVID-19.

Grant funds can be used to offset costs incurred to acquire equipment necessary to manufacture PPE, retool, or construct facilities in Ohio to manufacture PPE (including, but not limited to, building costs, design/engineering costs, facility expansion, complying with FDA requirements) and technological upgrades. Only costs incurred after March 21, 2020, (the date of Governor DeWine’s state of emergency declaration in Ohio due to COVID-19) will be eligible for reimbursement.

The grant program will be funded with $20 million, and eligible manufacturers may be awarded grants of up to $500,000 per facility. Up to 20 percent of available funding may be reserved for manufacturers with fewer than 25 employees and registered nonprofits.

Companies must meet program requirements, including:

  • The applicant must qualify as a small business as defined by the SBA (typically 500 employees or fewer) or be an established nonprofit.
  • The applicant must be able to produce the PPE solely at an Ohio facility owned and operated by the applicant.
  • The applicant must be one of the following:
    • An existing manufacturer that either has retooled or is planning to retool its facility or otherwise modify its manufacturing operation to produce at least one type of PPE.
    • A new manufacturing operation being established for the purpose of manufacturing at least one type of PPE.
    • A nonprofit corporation that has undertaken or will undertake activities necessary to manufacture at least one type of PPE.

Development will administer the grant program in coordination with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, JobsOhio, and the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

OHIO MINORITY MICRO-ENTERPRISE GRANT PROGRAM

The $5 million program will provide grants to help businesses owned and operated by minorities and women in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of $10,000 per business on first-come, first-served basis. This will provide access to much needed capital for up to 500 minority- and women-owned businesses to continue operating now and to prepare for the future.

State-certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and/or women-owned businesses with state certification in the Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity (EDGE) Program with up to $500,000 in annual revenue and 10 or fewer employees are eligible. Businesses that have received federal assistance through the federal CARES Act are not be eligible.

APPALACHIAN REGION LOAN PROGRAM

This loan program will benefit small businesses in the 32-county Appalachian region of Ohio that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative will loan $10 million to Appalachian Growth Capital LLC, which is a U.S. Treasury - certified Community Development Financial Institution serving Appalachian counties in eastern and southern Ohio. Appalachian Growth Capital then will offer low-interest loans to small businesses in the region to help them through the current economic crisis and position them for a stronger future.

The maximum loan amount will be $500,000, and businesses will have the ability to defer payment for up to six months. Businesses can apply at appcap.org. Development will administer the loan to Appalachian Growth Capital.

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)

 

June 4

Governor Announces Orders To Reopen Certain Facilities

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced the reopening of certain facilities including certain entertainment facilities with health and safety restrictions.

“As I’ve said, Ohioans are able to do two things at once. We can continue to limit the spread of COVID-19 while we safely reopen our economy. It is up to each of us to do what we can to keep each other safe and choose to keep six feet of social distance, wear masks, and maintain good hand hygiene.” said Governor DeWine. “The threat of COVID-19 remains and while it’s our responsibility to keep each other safe, business owners and employees should do their part to ensure customers visit safely, by cleaning and sanitizing surfaces regularly.”

Day camps and residential camps may open at any time.  Entertainment venues listed below may open beginning 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. 

Additional information and sector specific operating requirements can be found on the Responsible RestartOhio page coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

 

June 3

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

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.

  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 33,892 confirmed cases
    • 2,521 probable cases  
    • 36,350 total cases
    • 6,176 hospitalizations
    • 2,041 confirmed deaths
    • 217 probable deaths
    • 2,258 total deaths
    • 1,583 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

May 30

Health Order Signed

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the following order has been signed by  Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH:

 

May 29

Health Order Signed

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

 

May 28

COVID-19 Update: Testing, Assisted Living Visitation, Premium Deferrals, Fairs

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PHARMACY TESTING:

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

"As frontline health care providers, pharmacies are critical in our state’s response to this pandemic," said Governor DeWine. "I have asked the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to make sure that Ohio pharmacies have what they need to test 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.

UPDATED PRIORITY TESTING: 

Ohio has utilized COVID-19 testing priorities to manage limited testing capacity.  Under the guidance of clinical experts, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has modified these groups 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 partners and communities to test Ohioans 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.”

"Expanded test availability will allow individuals in lower-risk tiers to be tested and to help further contain and respond to COVID-19 in Ohio," said Governor DeWine. 

ASSISTED LIVING VISITATION: 

Governor DeWine announced a plan to lift restrictions on visitation at assisted living homes in Ohio. 

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. 

"We will continue to examine, monitor, and adjust as we carefully and thoughtfully lift restrictions on visitation," said Governor DeWine. "The well-being of our residents has been, and remains, central to our decision-making." 

The decision to move forward with outdoor visitation for assisting living facilities and intermediate care facilities was made while considering requests from families and residents and considering the impact on the quality of life a prolonged loss of connection can have on an individual. Advocates and providers in the aging and development disabilities communities were also consulted, and 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 can 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.

OHIO BWC DEFERS PREMIUM INSTALLMENTS: 

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. 

“By extending the premium due date, businesses can continue to focus on the safety and well-being of their employees and customers during this health pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. 

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.

JUNIOR FAIRS/COUNTY FAIRS/INDEPENDENT FAIRS:

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.

"The decisions about county and independent fairs need to be made locally because each county and independent fair is unique and has different challenges," said Governor DeWine. "Conditions may change over the course of the summer, however, we are asking all fair boards to comply with all of the orders of the Ohio Department of Health and the guidelines for other sectors that would also apply to fairs, such as for food service and rides." 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is in the process of distributing all state funding available for Ohio's 94 county and independent fairs.   

 

May 26

COVID-19 Update: Congregate Care Unified Response Teams 

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.  

 

  • Governor DeWine announced the formation of new Congregate Care Unified Response Teams to test residents and staff members in Ohio's nursing homes. Medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard will begin testing residents and staff within nursing homes beginning this week. This testing will 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. HERE is additional information.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • COVID-19 signage and health screening questions for use with customers/clients as resources for businesses and other organizations who want to use them are available on the coronavirus website HERE.
  • Here are Responsible RestartOhio documents for Deputy Registrars and Driver Examination Services.
  • Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 30,827 confirmed cases
    • 2,179 probable cases  
    • 33,006 total cases
    • 5,579 hospitalizations
    • 1,803 confirmed deaths
    • 199 probable deaths
    • 2,002 total deaths
    • 1,450 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

 

May 22

Health Orders Signed

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

 

May 21 

COVID-19 Update: Efforts to Improve Minority Health, New Sector Openings

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. 

MINORITY HEALTH STRIKE FORCE PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS:

Governor DeWine today 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. 

COMMUNITY WELLNESS KITS

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.

COVID-19 EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION

To support both the state and local health departments in efforts to fight COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact on people of color, Ohio will significantly increase the number of public health workers who can help notify Ohioans of possible exposure to the virus.

The hiring of these public health workers is in progress at both the state and local levels with the goal of hiring individuals who represent and reflect the make-up of their own communities.   

MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS

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.  

NEW REOPENING DATES: 

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.

 

May 20

Health Orders Signed

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

 

May 19

COVID-19 Update: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OHIOANS PROTECTING OHIOANS URGENT HEALTH ADVISORY:

Governor DeWine today 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. 

In addition, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not recovered, those who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, and those who are exhibiting the symptoms identified in the screening guidance available from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, remain prohibited from entering the state of Ohio unless they are doing so under medical orders for purposes of medical care, are being transported by emergency medical services EMS, are driving or being driven directly to a medical provider for the purposes of initial care, or are a permanent resident of Ohio.

OHIO BWC TO PROVIDE FACE COVERINGS TO EMPLOYERS: 

Governor DeWine announced today 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. These packages will be shipped in batches beginning tomorrow.

The masks, which are intended to support and enhance any workforce safety and health efforts businesses already have in place, are funded through BWC’s existing budget and will not impact any premiums.

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 19 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group.

 

  • 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.  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, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not recovered, those who are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19, and those who are exhibiting the symptoms identified in the screening guidance available from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, remain prohibited from entering the state of Ohio unless they are doing so under medical orders for purposes of medical care, are being transported by emergency medical services EMS, are driving or being driven directly to a medical provider for the purposes of initial care, or are a permanent resident of Ohio.
  • Governor DeWine also 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. These packages will be shipped in batches beginning tomorrow. The masks are funded through BWC’s existing budget and will not impact any premiums. HERE is a statement of support from the National Federation of Independent Business Ohio Chapter.

 

May 18

COVID-19 Update: Safety Checks

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. 

BAR/RESTAURANT SAFETY CHECKS:

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

Bars and restaurants reopened to patrons for outdoor dining on Friday. Dine-in service is scheduled to resume on May 21. 

"We know that many Ohio bars and restaurants are working very hard to comply with the safety guidelines, and I want to commend them for doing that," said Governor DeWine. "We did, however, receive several very troubling reports this weekend of bars and restaurants that were not complying with proper social distancing guidelines. We cannot allow the few bad actors to threaten the potential closure of other restaurants and bars." 

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.  Businesses found violating the Stay Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses.  The OIU team will also work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners who do not follow the order, which includes the requirement that patrons remain seated while eating/drinking and that parties stay six feet apart.

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.

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 18 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group.

 

  • 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. Updates on the status of COVID-19 at the state’s behavioral health hospitals are available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
  • 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. Last week, several residents at the Sandusky facility were confirmed positive for COVID-19 which led to the facility-wide testing. As of today, 24 nursing home residents and three staff members in the Sandusky home have tested positive. An additional staff member tested positive in mid-April. The Georgetown location has had zero positive test results. A total of 508 staff and residents have tested negative and the remaining test results are pending. Data on the status of COVID-19 in the OVS nursing homes is updated at approximately 4:00 p.m. each day at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
  • Below are a number of Responsible RestartOhio documents made available today: 
  • Additionally, there are now printable posters and forms for employers/businesses to download and use HERE.
  • Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 26,646 confirmed cases
    • 1,808 probable cases  
    • 28,454 total cases
    • 4,998 hospitalizations
    • 1,504 confirmed deaths
    • 153 probable deaths
    • 1,657 total deaths
    • 1,328 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

May 14

COVID-19 Update: New Responsible RestartOhio Opening Dates

hio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today provided the following sector opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan. 

CHILD CARE: 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.

CAMPGROUNDS: MAY 21

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

To ensure that campgrounds operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for day camps to follow.  The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices for both campgrounds and campers is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

OHIO BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES (CERTAIN SERVICES): MAY 26 

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

To ensure that each deputy registrar location operates in the safest manner possible, 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.

GYMS, FITNESS CENTERS: MAY 26

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

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Gyms Advisory Group is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for gyms and fitness centers to follow.  A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

ADULT AND YOUTH SPORTS LEAGUES (NON-CONTACT, LIMITED CONTACT): MAY 26

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.

To ensure that non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's Large Venue Advisory Group is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for sports leagues to follow.  A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development. 

PUBLIC/CLUB POOLS: MAY 26

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.

To ensure that these pools operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's  Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for these facilities to follow.  A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

HORSE RACING (NO SPECTATORS): MAY 22 

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

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine's administration worked with the Ohio State Racing Commission to create a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for agricultural horse racing operations to follow.  A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronaviurs.ohio.gov.

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 14 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 24,800 confirmed cases
    • 1,557 probable cases  
    • 26,357 total cases
    • 4,718 hospitalizations
    • 1,388 confirmed deaths
    • 146 probable deaths
    • 1,534 total deaths
    • 1,268 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

May 12

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

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.

 

  • Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for its Pandemic EBT plan. The approval will allow ODJFS 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. 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 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. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices is HERE.
  • Tattoo and body piercing services will also be permitted to reopen on May 15 with the implementation of proper safety measures. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices is HERE.
  • Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy announced the Stay Connected program which will provide a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans ages 60 or older.  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. 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. Eligible Ohioans can sign up at aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-266-4346.
  • The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported the following unemployment claims processing numbers: 1,067,500 unduplicated total filed; 89.4% resolved (either approved, denied or withdrawn) 955,091; 10.5% pending (112,409).
  • Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.

 

May 11

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 11 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control today announced they will offer a one-time rebate to bars and restaurants to defray the cost of restocking high-proof spirituous liquor. Beginning in mid-May, JobsOhio will provide a $500 rebate in high-proof spirituous liquor to eligible permits for purchases made through Ohio Liquor Contract Liquor Agencies. Permit holders must register to be eligible for rebate. There are more than 13,600 eligible permits in Ohio, totaling $6.8 million in potential rebates available to bars and restaurants. To view qualifying permits and to register for the liquor rebate program, visit Wholesale.OHLQ.com.
  • Members of the advisory groups who are in charge of developing statewide guidelines have been released:

 

May 7

COVID-19 Update: Reopening of Restaurants, Bars, and Personal Care Services

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today announced the next phase of the Responsible RestartOhio plan as it relates to restaurants, bars, and personal care services.

As part of today's announcement, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans that COVID-19 is still incredibly dangerous and stressed the importance of continuing to exercise safe health habits as different sectors of the economy begin to reopen.

"Reopening Ohio is a risk, but it's also a risk if you don't move forward. We're on a dangerous road that has never been traveled before in Ohio and the danger is that we relax and stop taking precautions," said Governor DeWine. "All of us collectively control this. I ask you to take calculated risks and make good judgments. Continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing face coverings. If you aren't concerned with what happens to you, do it for others."

RESTAURANTS/BARS: 

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:

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.

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 7 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • Governor DeWine announced when restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen. Outdoor dining may resume May 15th and dine-in services may resume May 21st. HERE is detailed lists of guidelines and best practices. Statements of support are available from the Ohio Restaurant Association and the National Federation of Independent Business- Ohio Chapter.
  • Governor DeWine also announced that personal services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15th. HERE is a list of mandatory and recommended best practices for personal services.
  • For the week ending May 2, 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 61,083 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last seven weeks (1,118,569) is 1,112 more than the combined total of 1,117,457 for the last three years. Over these last seven weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $1.9 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 536,000 Ohioans. Pursuant to an order from the U.S.  Department of Labor order, Ohio will release unemployment numbers on a weekly basis as soon as the national report is released on Thursday.
  • Below are a number of resources made available today:

 

May 6

Statement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Ohio Governor Mike 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."

 

May 5

COVID-19 Update: State Budget Impact

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. 

STATE BUDGET IMPACT:

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor DeWine today announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. 

At the end of February and prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, state revenues for the fiscal year were ahead of estimates by over $200 million. As of the end of April, Ohio's revenues were below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million. 

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."

Recommendations for Water Supply Flushing When Reopening Buildings Under COVID-19 "Responsible RestartOhio" Plan

As buildings re-open under the "Responsible RestartOhio" plan that have had little to no water usage during the Stay at Home Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to flush water that has been stagnant in both cold- and hot-water distribution lines and fixtures.  Low water usage can contribute to bacterial growth, including Legionella which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. It can also cause other water quality issues with potential health risks due to the build-up of lead and copper in stagnant water that’s been collecting in older pipes and fixtures.   

As buildings reopen, it is critical to drain, flush, and if necessary based on a review of building conditions, disinfect the hot and cold-water systems to remove harmful contaminants. Devices that store water, such as drinking water fountains, water heaters, storage tanks, and any droplet or mist-forming devices such as cooling towers, humidifiers, showerheads, and certain medical and manufacturing devices and process equipment should also be flushed and disinfected in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or industry best practices.  

HERE is a joint letter from the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency with more information, plus additional resources in “Guidance For Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 5 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor DeWine today announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. At the end of February and prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, state revenues for the fiscal year were ahead of estimates by over $200 million. As of the end of April, Ohio's revenues were below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million. 
  • 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.
  • Below are a number of resources made available today:
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 20,072 confirmed cases
    • 897 probable cases  
    • 20,969 total cases
    • 3,956 hospitalizations
    • 1,038 confirmed deaths
    • 97 probable deaths
    • 1,135 total deaths
    • 1,123 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

May 4

COVID-19 Update: Testing Priority, Ohio BMVs

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 categories, available HERE

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. 

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 4 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • 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 three groups. Here is more information: Covid 19 Testing Guidance 05.04.20 
  • Lt. Governor 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. 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.  
  • HERE are recommendations for water supply flushing for reopening of buildings under the statewide COVID-19 transition plan, and guidance for premise plumbing water service restoration

 

May 1

Governor DeWine Announces 'Stay Safe Ohio Order'

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.

COVID-19 Update: Advisory Groups on Restaurants, and Personal Services

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. 

ADVISORY GROUPS ON RESTAURANTS AND PERSONAL SERVICES

Governor DeWine announced today 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

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 1 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

Helping Businesses Get Assistance

Ohio’s small businesses are experiencing significant challenges and frustrations as a result of COVID-19, but the businesses that have reached out to Ohio Small Business Development Centers are finding the help they need.

The Ohio SBDC regularly surveys clients who have utilized the services offered by the trained advisors who staff the centers. In the past two months, the Ohio Small Business Development Centers received their highest rating on their client satisfaction survey since it was launched in 2016.

Between March 1 and April 22, 470 small business respondents gave the program a 99.2 percent satisfaction rating with 82 percent of clients giving the program the highest possible rating of “Extremely Satisfied.” While this is just a small sample of the businesses that have received support through the Ohio SBDC, the survey results show the effectiveness of services being provided by our partners around the state.

Your small business also can benefit from SBDC services. To learn more, visit SBDC.Development.Ohio.Gov.

The Development Services Agency also offers other business assistance programs:

 

April 29

PPE Delivery, Employee Face- Covering Exceptions, Criminal Justice Grants, Class of 2020 Graduation

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.

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.

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:

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 29 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • 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. The shipment includes: 500,000 N95 masks, 850,000 face shields, 750,000 surgical-type masks, and 2 million non-medical gloves.
  • 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 the exceptions apply to a business or employee, written justification must be provided upon request.
  • 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. 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. 
  • The Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Health today issued suggestions for local schools and health departments. Suggestions include virtual graduation ceremonies (preferred) drive-in ceremonies, or outdoor ceremonies. Governor DeWine also stressed that graduation parties cannot exceed 10 people in one space. Additional guidance on graduation ceremonies can be found HERE.
  • Below are the following documents:
  • More detailed information on the Responsible RestartOhio plan can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.  

 

April 28

Face Coverings, Advisory Groups on Restaurants, Barbershops, and Salons

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. 

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. 

Read more...

  • 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. 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 announced today that he will form two separate advisory groups to develop best practices for reopening dine-in restaurants, barbershops, and salons. 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. 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.
  • HERE is a document with responsible protocols for getting back to work and information on COVID-19, cold and flu symptoms. Additionally, more detailed information on the Responsible RestartOhio plan can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 16,128 confirmed cases
    • 641 probable cases  
    • 16,769 total cases
    • 3,340 hospitalizations
    • 757 confirmed deaths
    • 42 probable deaths
    • 799 total deaths
    • 1,004 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

April 27

Governor DeWine Announces Details of Ohio's Responsible RestartOhio Plan

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.

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. 

  • 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

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.

Large gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.  

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.

The Governor's office would like to thank the following associations and companies for supporting Governor DeWine’s actions to begin reopening Ohio’s economy: The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Businesses-Ohio Chapter, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Township Association, Ohio Municipal League, Ohio Mayors Alliance, County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Ohio Bankers League, Ohio Credit Union League, Ohio REALTORS, Ohio Apartment Association, The Columbus Partnership, Ohio Grocers Association, Ohio Conference of AAA Clubs, and Marathon Petroleum Corporation.  The statement of support is available HERE.

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 27 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

April 24

Reagent and Testing Swabs, Contact Tracing, Foster Care

REAGENT AND TESTING SWAB UPDATE:

Reagent:

Governor DeWine announced that members of the newly formed Testing Strike Team, led by former Governors Celeste and Taft, have reached an agreement with Thermo Fisher, a company that makes reagent, that will substantially expand COVID-19 testing capacity in Ohio. 

Testing Swabs: 

As a result of collaborative efforts through the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19, Governor DeWine announced that ROE Dental Laboratory in Cleveland will manufacture up to 1 million testing swabs to support Ohio's testing efforts.

ROE Dental Laboratory typically produces dental restorations, such as crowns, dentures, and dental surgical guides.  The Manufacturing Alliance helped ROE Dental secure the specifications to manufacture swabs from Formlabs, a 3-D printing company in Toledo.

CONTACT TRACING: 

The increased testing capacity in Ohio will also allow for enhanced contact exposure tracing throughout the state. 

As part of Ohio's offense strategy, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has started working with Massachusetts-based Partners in Health. Partners in Health will bring needed resources to Ohio to help increase the ability to trace contact exposure to the virus.

FOSTER CARE: 

Governor DeWine announced today that the state will cover the costs to keep more than 200 youth who are aging out of foster care in the foster care system until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. 

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 24 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • Governor DeWine announced that members of the newly formed Testing Strike Team, led by former Governors Celeste and Taft, have reached an agreement with Thermo Fisher, a company that makes reagent, that will substantially expand COVID-19 testing capacity in Ohio.
  • As a result of collaborative efforts through the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, Governor DeWine announced that ROE Dental Laboratory in Cleveland will manufacture up to 1 million testing swabs to support Ohio's testing efforts. The Manufacturing Alliance helped ROE Dental secure the specifications to manufacture swabs from Formlabs, a 3-D printing company in Toledo. This testing will dramatically increase Ohio's ability to test in our priority areas, including nursing homes, hot spots, congregate living settings, food and grocery stores, and essential manufacturing facilities.
  • The increased testing capacity in Ohio will also allow for enhanced contact exposure tracing throughout the state. As part of Ohio's offense strategy, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has started working with Massachusetts-based Partners in Health. Partners in Health will bring needed resources to Ohio to help increase the ability to trace contact exposure to the virus. More information is HERE or below.
  • Governor DeWine announced today that the state will cover the costs to keep more than 200 youth who are aging out of foster care in the foster care system until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. This option is also available for young people enrolled in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Bridges program, Ohio's foster care to age 21 program, to help them maintain their housing, jobs, and education.
  • HERE is a fact sheet overviewing Federal coordination and assistance provided to the State of Ohio and the people of Ohio to combat COVID-19.
  • Reminder that election day is on Tuesday, April 28. Only those with a disability and those who are homeless can vote in-person. Everyone else must vote by mail. Requests for an absentee ballot must be in by noon tomorrow.  You can request your ballot at VoteOhio.Gov.
  • The Ohio Arts Council has launched a new project called the Ohio Arts Beacon of Light, to give Ohio artists a place to share, connect, and cope with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available at OAC.Ohio.Gov/OhioArtsBeacon
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 14,581 confirmed cases
    • 588 probable cases  
    • 15,169 total cases
    • 3,053 hospitalizations
    • 649 confirmed deaths
    • 41 probable deaths
    • 690 total deaths
    • 920 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

Contact Tracing 2

 

April 23

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 23 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

  • Governor DeWine 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. 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.
  • HERE are the slides that Dr. Weir referenced, and his full video presentation can be found on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page HERE.
  • For the week ending April 18, 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 109,369 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last five weeks stands at 964,566. Over these last five weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $926 million in unemployment compensation payments to more than 376,000 claimants  Pursuant to an order from the U.S.  Department of Labor order, Ohio will release unemployment numbers on a weekly basis as soon as the national report is released on Thursday.
  • Starting Friday, April 24, Ohioans who are unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but don’t qualify for regular unemployment benefits can begin pre-registering for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers. To pre-register for PUA benefits, Ohioans should visit unemployment.ohio.gov and click on “Get Started Now.”

 

April 22

COVID-19 Update: Elective Surgery Order, Mental Health CareLine

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. 

ELECTIVE SURGERY ORDER: 

Dr. Acton today announced an order that directs healthcare providers in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers to reassess procedures and surgeries that were postponed.

On March 17, Dr. Acton issued an order postponing elective surgeries to conserve critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and to open bed space needed to care for COVID-19 patients.

MENTAL HEALTH CARELINE

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) announced the launch of a new mental health COVID CareLine for Ohioans.

Trained staff will be available to provide emotional assistance to anyone struggling with mental health concerns due to the ongoing stress of the pandemic.

The number to call is 1-800-720-9616. All calls will be confidential.

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 22 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

  • Dr. Acton announced an order that directs healthcare providers in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers to reassess procedures and surgeries that were postponed by a previous Ohio Department of Health (ODH) order issued on March 17, 2020. The purpose of the original order was to preserve PPE and hospital bed capacity. 
  • The new order directs healthcare professionals to review any postponed procedures or surgeries with their patients. Doctors and patients should consider the current health situations and make a joint decision about whether or not to proceed. The order also requires that patients be informed of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the impact during the post-operative recovery process. HERE is additional information.
  • Ohio has its first positive case of COVID-19 among the juvenile corrections population. This individual started showing symptoms on Monday evening and was immediately isolated. All of the youth in this individual’s unit are being monitored for symptoms. Contact-tracing with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Cuyahoga County Health Department has already begun.
  • The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) announced a new resource for people who are struggling with stress and need emotional support during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Individuals can call the COVID CareLine toll-free at 1-800-720-9616 to speak confidentially with a trained professional. Lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After 8:00 PM, the calls will be forwarded to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • Below are the following documents:

 

April 21

COVID-19 Update: FDA Reagent Approval, Testing Strike Team, Fair Wavier, Dividend Checks

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 21 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • This week, the Ohio Bureau of Worker’ Compensation (BWC) will begin sending up to $1.6 billion in dividends to Ohio employers to ease the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s business community and economy. The dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums employers 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. For a county breakdown of the dividend, visit this link on BWC’s website. Dividends for specific public employers are public record and can be found at this link. HERE is a FAQ document with more information.
  • Today, JobsOhio, Peoples Bank and First Federal/Home Savings Bank announced a partnership to support existing small business clients with maintaining operations and payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. JobsOhio has committed up to $50 million to assist with this. For information on how to apply for this lending support, businesses should visit PeoplesBancorp.com/Coronavirus, First-fedbanking.com/COVID-19 or Homesavings.com/COVID-19.
  • Governor DeWine announced the creation of a new Testing Strike Force team lead by former Governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft that will work with leaders from business, academia, and public health to be part of the effort to help Ohio source critical testing items such a reagents. Governor DeWine also announced that the FDA has approved the use of a new reagent for testing developed by Thermo Fisher which will help with the state’s testing capabilities. 
  • The FDA has authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19. Specifically, the FDA re-issued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) COVID-19 RT-PCR Test to permit testing of samples self-collected by patients at home using LabCorp’s Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 Test home collection kit. The entire announcement can be found HERE.
  • 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. Fair managers have until May 30th to apply via the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website
  • HERE is a checklist for K-12 schools following yesterday’s school closure announcement.

 

April 20

K-12 Schools to Remain Closed, Minority Health Strike Force, Data Collection, Private Lab Testing

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. 

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. 

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.

Read more...

 

  • Governor DeWine announced that students will continue to go to school remotely for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. At this time, no decisions have been made regarding whether or not schools will reopen in the fall.
  • 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. The Minority Health Strike Force is lead by Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy and Director of the Governor’s Recovery Ohio Initiative, Alisha Nelson. HERE  is a list of individuals serving on the strike force. 
  • Governor DeWine announced today that he has directed the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to collect more specific information regarding cases of COVID-19 in Ohio nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals. Nursing home and assisted living 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. Ohio will also begin reporting aggregate death data for nursing homes and assisted living facilities at the county level.  HERE  is a statement of support from the Ohio Health Care Association.
  • Governor DeWine also 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.
  • 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 (ODH) will again allow hospitals to utilize commercial laboratories in addition to hospital laboratories performing COVID-19 testing. HERE  is the Director’s Order rescinding the previous ODH order for private lab testing. 
  • HERE is a checklist for essential workers who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and another checklist for visiting parks.
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 12,516 confirmed cases
    • 403 probable cases  
    • 12,919 total cases
    • 2,653 hospitalizations
    • 491 confirmed deaths
    • 18 probable deaths
    • 509 total deaths
    • 798 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE. 

 

 

April 17

COVID-19 Update: Recovery Phase

Governor DeWine reiterated today that Ohio's recovery phase will be not start and end overnight. 

"We must continue to assume that everyone has this disease because it is not going away until we have a vaccine," said Governor DeWine. "As we gradually, carefully, and responsibly start to reopen Ohio, it will be important that we all continue to work together to protect each other." 

As Ohio begins to reopen, Governor DeWine stressed the need to balance:

  • Compliance with public health measures;
  • Implementation of safeguards in business; and
  • Protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans.

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 17 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • Governor DeWine reiterated today that Ohio's recovery phase will be not start and end overnight. As Ohio begins to reopen, Governor DeWine stressed the need to balance: compliance with public health measures; implementation of safeguards in business; and protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans. Below is a diagram that illustrates these three components.
  • Comprehensive testing of inmates has begun at Marion Correctional Institution, Pickaway Correctional Institution, and Franklin Medical Center. Ohio is believed to be the first and only state in the country to conduct comprehensive testing in a state prison setting. With this, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) expects higher reports of COVID-19 as the testing identifies positive individuals who otherwise are asymptomatic or would recover without a test. Governor DeWine also announced that he denied 84 commutation requests and approved seven.
  • Here are checklists for cloth face coverings (masks) and decontaminating facepiece respirators.

Restart Slide

 

April 16

COVID-19 Update: Governor DeWine Discussed State’s Plan for Reopening Businesses, Regional Coalition Formed

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.

Read more...

 

  • Beginning May 1, 2020, 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. HERE is a letter of support from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
  • 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.
  • Governor DeWine signed an order to waive the requirement for commercial vehicles to file an application for a single trip permit if they are transporting COVID-19 emergency relief supplies while traveling into or throughout Ohio. A copy of the order is HERE.
  • The FDA issued two new emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for serology tests to detect for the presence of coronavirus antibodies. As a reminder, Governor DeWine cautions 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 (FDA). Without the FDA Emergency Use Authorization approval, there is no way to know if the tests are valid.
  • For the week ending April 11, 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 158,678 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor. The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last four weeks stands at 855,197. Over these last four weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $237 million in unemployment compensation payments to more than 282,000 claimants. Pursuant to an order from the U.S.  Department of Labor order, Ohio will release unemployment numbers on a weekly basis as soon as the national report is released on Thursday.

 

April 15

COVID-19 Update: Deferred Elective Procedures, CARES Act Payments, 1099 Unemployment Claims, Census 2020

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. 

DEFERRED ELECTIVE PROCEDURES:

Governor DeWine announced today that he has asked the Ohio Hospital Association to begin developing a plan to begin treating patients whose non-COVID-19 elective procedures were delayed or deferred due to the ongoing pandemic. 

The Ohio Department of Health previously ordered that elective surgeries be postponed to expand hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients and to conserve the personal protective equipment (PPE) that is in short supply. 

CARES ACT/SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS:

Lt. Governor Husted announced that by the end of next week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will be able to begin processing the additional $600-a-week payments authorized by the federal CARES Act.

ODJFS also plans to launch an online tool that will allow self-employed, 1099 workers to get in line early, so that as soon as they have the technological ability to process their claims, they will already have their paperwork in and be in line for review. The department expects to be able to begin processing those claims by May 15, 2020.

FIRST RESPONDER PPE:

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced the expansion of Ohio’s partnership with Battelle to extend their sterilization services to law enforcement agencies and EMS providers.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety and Battelle have now partnered to sterilize N-95 masks for all of Ohio’s first responders. Battelle is providing this service for free.

2020 CENSUS:

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans to complete the 2020 Census. 

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census is held every 10 years to help determine how federal funds will be divided among the states. This funding pays for expenses such as road repairs and food assistance programs; it also determines Ohio’s number of representatives in the U.S House of Representatives.

Right now, Ohio’s response rate of 52.2% is higher than the national average and higher than all neighboring states, except Michigan which has a response rate of 55%.

Read more...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 15 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

  • Governor DeWine announced an expansion of Ohio’s partnership with Battelle and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS) to extend their sanitization services to law enforcement agencies and EMS providers. Beginning this Friday, local law enforcement and EMS agencies can bring their packaged N-95 masks to any Ohio State Highway Patrol Post in the state. The patrol will then bring those masks to Battelle for sanitization. Battelle is providing this service for free.
  • Pursuant to an overcrowding statute in Ohio law (ORC 2967.18) and agreement from the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC), Governor DeWine approved the release of 105 inmates in Ohio. Each inmate will be tested to determine if they have COVID-19 before they are released. The Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC) has been authorized to continue using the criteria previously set forth to identify other inmates that may qualify for release under the limited overcrowding statute. Additionally, we are sad to announce that there were two more COVID-19 inmate deaths at the Pickaway Correctional Facility.
  • Health systems worldwide have struggled due to a critical shortage of test kit components, including the swabs used to collect samples and the sterile solution needed to transport the swabs, called viral transport media (VTM). Governor DeWine announced that a team of Ohio State University researchers created an in-house “recipe” to make the crucial VTM. The Ohio Department of Health and Ohio State will continue to work on eliminating swab manufacturing and design constraints through a rapid product development cycle, including clinical testing.  
  • Governor DeWine asked the Ohio Hospital Association to begin developing a plan to resume treating patients whose non-COVID-19 elective procedures were delayed or deferred due to the ongoing pandemic. Governor DeWine requested that the plan be completed within one week.
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced that by the end of next week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will be able to begin processing the additional $600-a-week payments authorized by the federal CARES Act. ODJFS also plans to launch an online tool that will allow self-employed, 1099 workers to get in line early, so that as soon as they have the technological ability to process their claims, they will already have their paperwork in and be in line for review. The department expects to be able to begin processing those claims by May 15, 2020.
  • Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans to complete the 2020 Census. Right now, Ohio’s response rate of 52.2% is higher than the national average and higher than all neighboring states, except Michigan which has a response rate of 55%. For more information, visit 2020Census.gov or call 844-330-2020.   
  • HERE is the Executive Order for nursing home and residential care facilities to notify residents, guardians, and sponsors, of positive or probable cases of COVID-19. 

 

April 14

COVID-19 Update: Medicaid Waiver Application, First Responder Safety, Essential Job Openings

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.

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.

ESSENTIAL JOBS: 

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that 667 critical employers have listed around 41,000 essential job openings on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.

Read more...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 14 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

  • In addition to previous emergency measures taken by the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) 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. The waiver will allow Ohio to bolster telehealth and other technology to be used to do 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.  Once the federal government approves the waiver, it will be retroactively applied from March 1, 2020.
  • 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. HERE is a copy of the order. 
  • As a reminder, the Dispute Resolution Commission will evaluate and render guidance in situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion for similar businesses on what is or is not an essential business. To submit a dispute, fill out this Dispute Resolution Form.  For questions, email Dispute.Resolution@odh.ohio.gov.
  • The following documents may be helpful:
  • Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.
  • Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:
    • 7,153 confirmed cases
    • 127 probable cases  
    • 7,280 total cases
    • 2,156 hospitalizations
    • 309 confirmed deaths
    • 15 probable deaths
    • 324 total deaths
    • 654 ICU admissions
    • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

 

April 13

COVID-19 Update: Nursing Home Order, TANF Funding, Rapid Testing

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.

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.

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.

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 13 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

  • Governor DeWine has asked the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to issue an order that requires long-term care facilities to notify residents and families within 24 hours of a resident or staff member becoming infected. We will be providing a list of long-term care facilities where an associated individual has tested positive on the Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov website as information becomes available.
  • Governor DeWine announced that in-person sales of liquor in Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, and Belmont Counties will be restricted only to Ohioans after instances of persons from Pennsylvania coming into these counties for the sole purpose of purchasing liquor. From this point forward, individuals in those counties must present a valid Ohio photo ID or a valid military photo ID. 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 or a letter from an employer placing the person as an essential Ohio employee. A copy of the order is HERE
  • On Friday, Governor DeWine signed an Executive Order to provide 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. 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 homeless shelters purchase needed cleaning supplies and provide homelessness prevention and housing services. Here is a copy of the order and a statement from the Ohio Association Of Food Banks.
  • The Ohio National Guard will begin providing assistance at the Pickaway Correctional Institution, as a number of medical staff are out sick due to COVID-19. The Ohio National Guard will provide triage support, take temperatures, and help with non-COVID cases. Additionally, an inmate at the Pickaway Correctional Institution has sadly passed away. That inmate had a long-term chronic illness and tested positive for COVID-19. This is this first death of a state inmate who has tested positive for the virus.
  • 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 (FDA). Without the FDA Emergency Use Authorization approval, there is no way to know if the tests are valid. To date, the FDA has granted 30 Emergency Use Authorizations of commercially available diagnostic tests, including one antibody test to be used in hospital laboratories.
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced there are over 40,000 job postings on the JobSearch.Ohio.Gov website from 642 unique companies. We encourage individuals or employers who have been affected by COVID-19 to visit the website and apply for a position or post their job opportunities.
  • HERE is a document from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with information on programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

April 10

  • To comply with new Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommended by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Dr. Acton has issued an amended Director’s Journal Entry with updated reporting requirements for COVID-19. Moving forward, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has ordered that confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 based on clinical and epidemiological evidence be reported within twenty-four hours to the local health district in which the person resides (previously only COVID-19 cases confirmed with a lab test were reportable). HERE is the Director’s Journal Entry and additional information.
  • Governor DeWine announced a new permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation, allowing food vendors to temporarily serve food at Ohio’s 86 rest areas. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) temporarily lifted regulations prohibiting commercial activity at rest areas, with limited exceptions.  The permit is of no cost to the vendor, and can be found on ODOT’s website. HERE is a statement of support from the Ohio Truckers Association.
  • Governor DeWine and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM), in partnership with Ohio’s Managed Care Plans announced an emergency amendment to ODM’s provider agreement.  The updated agreement will impact pharmacy benefits, telehealth services and service authorization requirements. These changes are intended to remove barriers to care, and to safeguard individual health and wellbeing while reducing burdens on hospitals and providers. HERE is ODM’s emergency provider agreement.
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted STERIS, a Mentor, Ohio-based company, a temporary Emergency Use Authorization for decontaminating compatible N95 and N95-equivalent respirators by utilizing V-PRO Sterilizers. This on-site solution allows hospitals to decontaminate up to 10 masks per cycle in 28 minutes. Additional information is available HERE.
  • Today, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors approved to send up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers this spring to ease the economic impact on Ohio’s economy and business community. This was proposed on Wednesday by Governor DeWine and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.  Of the $1.6 billion dividend, approximately $1.4 billion would go to private employers and approximately $200 million would go to local governments. HERE is a letter of support from the Ohio Restaurant Association.
  • 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.

 

April 9

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.

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.

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  

Read more...

 

April 8

COVID-19 Update: Continue Staying Home, Correction Officer Death, PPE Sterilization, Child Abuse Reports, Proposed $1.6 Billion Dividend for Employers

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. 

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. 

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. 

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 8 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

 

 

  • In Ohio there are 5,148 confirmed cases, 472 ICU admissions, 1,495 hospitalizations, and 193 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
  • 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, 2020. 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 and the administration offer their sincerest condolences to the Dawson family.
  • Governor DeWine and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) proposed giving $1.6 billion in dividends to Ohio employers this spring to ease the economic impact of COVID-19. If approved by the BWC’s board, $1.4 billion will go to private employers, and $200 million will be directed to local governments. More information is available here as well as a statement of support from the National Federation of Independent Businesses-Ohio Chapter, available here. COVID BWC FAQs are available here.
  • The personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in Ohio remains severe. Governor DeWine made a plea to healthcare workers using N95 masks to send them to Battelle which can sterilize up to 160,000 masks each day, making them reusable up to 20 times. Hospitals should contact battelle.org to arrange for mask sterilization.
  • Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $1.3 billion to 1,387 health centers as a response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Health centers may use the awards to help communities across the country detect coronavirus; prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19; and maintain or increase health capacity and staffing levels to address this public health emergency. Ohio received $40,732,260 to support 51 health centers. You can find a list of award recipients HERE.
  • Since Ohio's stay at home order began on March 22, 2020, 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. Please report any suspected abuse or neglect by calling 855-OH-CHILD.

 

April 7

COVID-19 Update: Liquor Sales, Office of Small Business Relief, Ohio Prisons, SNAP Payments

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. 

LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION VOTE: 

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.

OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF:

A new office has been developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency 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.

More information on all resources currently available to small businesses is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

Read more...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 7 Press Conference. 

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group. 

Two other developments are the creation of the Ohio House 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force and the Ohio tax receipts. 

According to the Office of Budget and Management, the state tax receipts in March were down $159.4 million, or 10% from at the analysts projected.  The DeWine Administration has already instructed agencies to freeze new contracts and identify cuts of up to 20%.

 

  • In Ohio there are 4,782 confirmed cases, 417 ICU admissions, 1,354 hospitalizations, and 167 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
  • Governor DeWine announced 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. Under the rule, patrons can purchase two unpackaged drinks per meal. All drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport as per open container law. HERE is the signed Executive Order and the emergency rule.
  • Governor DeWine is asking the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee (CIIC) to consider early-release for approximately 141 inmates from minimal security facilities to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Eligible inmates have a pending release date on or before July 13, 2020 and were not convicted of violent offenses. These inmates also did not have prior incarcerations in Ohio, inter-state offenses, warrants or detainers, serious prison rule violations in the last five years, nor were they denied judicial release in the past.
  • Governor DeWine is also asking the CIIC to consider early-release for 26 inmates who are 60 years or older and have one or more chronic health condition that makes them more vulnerable to COVID 19. Inmates were screened with the same criteria listed above. They also eliminated habitual offenders with two or more prior convictions.
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced the creation of the Office of Small Business Relief to better coordinate efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses. This office will be housed within the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA). You can visit the Office of Small Business Relief website HERE.  
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, intends to provide timely additional guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), established by the CARES Act. HERE is a FAQ document.
  • The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced today that Ohioans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who did not already receive the maximum monthly allotment for their household size in March, will be issued an additional payment beginning this week. SNAP-eligible households will also be able to pick up a pre-packaged box of food at their local foodbank. This came after Ohio received federal approval to waive certain administrative verifications

 

April 6

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 6 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

 

  • In Ohio there are 4,450 confirmed cases, 371 ICU admissions, 1,214 hospitalizations, and 142 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
  • The amended Stay at Home order goes into effect tonight at midnight, including the new Dispute Resolution Commission. There are new requirements for retailers in this order, including determining a maximum number of customers allowed in the store to account for proper physical distancing. The permitted occupancy must also be posted.  Here is a copy of the order and a summary document. 
  • The Dispute Resolution Commission will evaluate and render guidance in situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion for similar businesses on what is or is not an essential business. To submit a dispute, fill out this Dispute Resolution Form and submit it to Dispute.Resolution@odh.ohio.govHere is more information.
  • Under the Stay at Home order, all travelers arriving to Ohio are instructed to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days. This does not apply to persons who as part of their normal life live in one state and work or gain essential services in another state. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms.
  • Seven inmates at the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in Columbiana County have tested positive for COVID-19 and dozens more have showed symptoms. There have been three deaths. This is not a state facility, but Governor DeWine has authorized the Ohio National Guard to assist until more federal support arrives.
  • Additionally, Governor DeWine announced that Ohio may release some of the state’s inmates after five prisoners at the Marion Correctional Institution and other state correctional institutions have tested positive for COVID-19. Prisoners under consideration for early release include those who are serving time for a nonviolent offense and those who might be getting close to a release date. There will be more information on this tomorrow.
  • The following documents: COVID-19 Checklist for businesses and employers and Checklist to Support Local  on the new “Ohio Find It Here” campaign to help residents support local businesses.

 

April 5

Sites Selected for Enhanced Hospital Capacity; Dispute Resolution Commission Now Active

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. 

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

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.

Read more...

 

Updates from Ohio Common Sense Initiative

ECONOMIC SUPPORT

Please regularly visit Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp for the most complete and up-to-date information about resources available for Ohio businesses, individuals, and families. Listed below are just a few.

Paycheck Protection Program

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible for assistance to keep employees on their payroll through the end of June. Under the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business can receive a loan of up to $10 million, with a two-year term and a 1% interest rate. The loans will not require collateral or personal guarantees. Most importantly, up to 100% of the loan can be forgiven if the funds are used to maintain employee payroll.

Banks have recently received guidance from the federal government and are currently working to get the program into place. Visit SBA.gov for more information.

Foreclosure Prevention

Governor DeWine signed an executive order that seeks to provide some assistance for small businesses with mortgage and rent payments. The order asks lenders and landlords across Ohio to work with their small businesses and suspend payments for at least 90 days in an effort to avoid foreclosures. 

JOB OPENINGS

Lt. Governor 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.

PPE MANUFACTURING

The state has established the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, a collaborative public-private partnership to coordinate efforts to provide healthcare workers and first responders with personal protective equipment (PPE).

The alliance is working to identify and match the critical needs of Ohio’s healthcare system with companies willing and able to repurpose production to meet those needs.

Manufacturers that can help should visit RepurposingProject.com for more information. Those involved with this project will be compensated.

The alliance includes: Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, nursing home organizations, JobsOhio, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Ohio Development Services Agency, and the Ohio Department of Health.

Anyone else with items to donate should email together@governor.ohio.gov.

STAY AT HOME ORDER

The Ohio Department of Health issued an amended “Stay at Home” order for the state. The order is in effect until 11:59p.m. on May 1st, unless it is rescinded or modified. You can read the order here and find answers to frequently asked questions here.  

 

April 4

Ohioans Encouraged to Wear Cloth Masks in Public; Governor Signs TeleHealth Executive Order; New Wi-Fi Hotspot Locator

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). 

Governor DeWine signed an executive order that will allow Ohioans to more easily access telehealth services from individual counselors, social workers, and marriage and family counselors.  

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 4 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

 

  • In Ohio there are 3,739 confirmed cases, 326 ICU admissions, 1,006 hospitalizations, and 102 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
  • Governor DeWine signed an executive order that effectively allows Ohioans to more easily access telehealth services from individual counselors, social workers, marriage, and family counselors without the requirement to have an initial in-person appointment first. A copy of the order: Telehealth Executive Order
  • Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to allow their employees to wear masks as well. Here is a checklist with more information: COVID-19 Checklist Face Coverings
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced that the State of Ohio has been working with providers to find public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access to internet from home. A list of hotspot finders and locations by provider is available at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp under the “Individuals and Families” tab. 
  • CALL TO ACTION: We are all in this together and each of us have an important role to play in helping to flatten the curve. Please help us share Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton’s important message with your networks, friends, family, and various communication channels by posting the logos below on social media using #InThisTogetherOhio and #StayHomeOhio.  
Inthistogetherohio Stayhomeohio

 

April 3

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 3 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

 

April 2

Ohio Stay at Home Order Extended Through May 1

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.

Read more here. 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 2 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

 

  • In Ohio there are 2,902 confirmed cases, 260 ICU admissions, 802 hospitalizations, and 81 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE. 
  • Governor DeWine announced today that Ohio’s Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 PM on May 1, 2020. Updates to the new order include:
  • Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted recognize that extending this order will significantly impact all Ohioans. We would like to thank the Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Business Roundtable, National Federation of Independent Businesses- Ohio Chapter, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, Ohio Manufacturers Association, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Ohio Municipal League, Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, Ohio State Bar Association, and our other partners for their support and continued efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Here are association statements:
  • Governor DeWine announced the creation of his Economic Advisory Board that will help the administration work through economic issues facing Ohio as the state looks toward the future. A list of the advisory board members can be found HERE.
  • Lt. Governor 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.
  • For the week ending March 28, 2020, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 272,117 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, which set a record for the second straight week. The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last two week stands at 468,414. Over these last two weeks, ODJFS has issued unemployment compensation payments totaling more than $45 million to more than 108,000 claimants.  Pursuant to a Department of Labor order, Ohio will release unemployment numbers on a weekly basis as soon as the national report is released on Thursday. 

 

April 1

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 1 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio has paid $40 million to 95,000 unemployment claims, as of today, April 1st.  Last week, ODJFS said it received 187,780 jobless claims the week ending with March 21.  

 

  • Rapid COVID-19 testing will begin as soon as hospitals receive them, which will likely be within a week. Free standing urgent cares, ERs, ambulatory surgery centers, etc. with existing labs will be used to get the results of the tests.
  • Measures have been put in place to make it easier for those receiving SNAP assistance to purchase groceries online and pay and pick up from their car, to alleviate high-risk recipients from needing to enter the store.
  • Lt. Gov. Husted urged young people with time on their hands to seek work at grocery stores - all are hiring and desperately need help fulfilling the needs of their communities.

 

March 31

Notes from Remington Road Group from March 31 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

 

  • Battelle and Ohio State University have developed a rapid COVID-19 test that allows for results within 5 hours.
  • The first 3500 masks were sterilized yesterday and Battelle is ramping up the number of sterilized masks each day.
  • Dr. Acton mentioned a study by the Harvard Business Review and its impact on two different locations in Italy. It can be read here.

 

March 30

Governor DeWine Extends School Closure Order

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend its order to keep schools closed through the end of April. 

Ohio's previous order was set to expire on April 3, 2020. The new order will extend the closure through May 1, 2020. Read more of today's news...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from March 30 Press Conference.

Attached above are notes from the Governor's daily press conference from Remington Road Group

Additionally, President Trump extended the social distancing guidelines through April, Congress is working on a 4th stimulus package, the St. Louis Fed said that unemployment could rise to over 30%, and according to the Treasury, small business loans from the stimulus are expected to begin Friday.

 

  • In Ohio there are 1,933 confirmed cases, 163 ICU admissions, 475 hospitalizations, and 39 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
  • Last night the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Columbus-based Battelle to sterilize surgical masks in Ohio without a daily limit. Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted thank the FDA for their quick reconsideration of this issue. If your organization needs to connect with Battelle regarding COVID-19 mitigation efforts and support, please call the Battelle customer service hotline: 1-800-201-2011 (prompt #2) or visit the Battelle website and complete the contact form HERE.
  • There will be an extension of the K-12 order closing school buildings through Friday, May 1, 2020. The original order was only in effect for 3 weeks. The administration will again reevaluate the order once we get closer to May 1, 2020. 
  • Governor DeWine is asking all local communities to include homeless shelters in their planning so that we can help support these Ohioans to meet social distancing guidelines. Additionally, Governor DeWine has created a Homelessness Team dedicated to this specific issue. If you or your organization have questions or recommendations related to this, please email COVID19Housing@mha.ohio.gov.
  • The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) is receiving reports of spam calls to Ohioans from individuals claiming to be from the Ohio EMA and requesting personal protected information, such as a Social Security number. Please note the Ohio EMA will NOT call you asking for personal information. More information is available HERE.
  • The following documents may be helpful to you or someone you knowUnemployment Compensation Information And Contact Information, Together Ohio Information (ways that businesses can contribute needed PPE supplies), and a Checklist Out Of Network Insurance Coverage.

 

March 29

Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted Thank FDA for Approal of Use of Battelle Technology

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today thanked President Trump and Commissioner Stephen Hahn, M.D. of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the full approval of the use of new technology to sterilize desperately-needed surgical masks in Ohio and other parts of the United States. 

The FDA has authorized Columbus-based Battelle to deploy its groundbreaking technology to sterilize surgical masks without a daily limit, which will allow Battelle to operate at its desired capacity. The Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System is capable of decontaminating up to 80,000 respirator masks per system each day.

 

March 28

  • In Ohio there are 1,406 confirmed cases, 123 ICU admissions, 3444 hospitalizations, and 25 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are confirmed cases in 66 counties across the state.
  • Today, hospitals from 8 regions submitted their draft action plans for their capacity increase. The Ohio Department of Health and Ohio National Guard are currently reviewing these and will get back with the hospitals soon.
  • The Ohio “At Home Learning” initiative will include a full schedule of daily television programming geared toward students in prekindergarten through 12th grade. This programming will be available on Ohio PBS television stations across the state starting in most areas on Monday, March 30th. Additional resources and information are available at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/LearnAtHome
  • The state of Ohio is asking residents and businesses who can donate PPE, or any other essential service or resource, to please email Together@Governor.Ohio.Gov

 

March 27

Governor DeWine Signs House Bill 197

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today signed House Bill 197 which provides emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The bill:

  • Waives state testing requirements for school children this year.
  • Extends professional licenses for those who cannot get them renewed.
  • Allows local governments to hold public meetings remotely and with transparency.
  • Extends the income tax deadline to July 15, 2020. 
  • Extends absentee voting by mail until April 28, 2020. 
  • Provides funding for small businesses, such as day cares and services for the disabled.   

A line item veto was issued to correct a drafting error. 

 

In addition to the below, the Governor, in cooperation with the General Assembly have postponed the State of the State address.  Also, the President just signed the coronavirus rescue package, “CARES Act” into law.

Below is a short run-down of the Governor’s daily COVID-19 press conference.

Federal CARES Act resource guide: https://blogs.loc.gov/law/2020/03/coronavirus-resource-guide/

Governor Mike DeWine

  • Everyone is flying American and Ohio flags to show unity in this crisis—thanks to “Flags of Freedom” for providing 500 flags that will fly at the pro-football hall of fame
  • Governor DeWine signed coronavirus related bill during press conference, HB 197—he thanked all leadership, and state legislature
  • Talked about extending professional licensing requirements for nurses, etc during this crisis
  • Senator Portman was on a live call (Senator Sherrod Brown will be on tomorrow)
  • Senator Portman outlined the $2 trillion aide package that was passed by the Senate and House and just signed by the President (including $1,200 check to individuals, strengthened unemployment benefits that will offer workers an additional $600 weekly for four months, $367 billion in loans and grants to small businesses, over $130 billion for hospitals and community health centers and financial support to airlines and other industries affected by the virus)
  • Governor stated that the state will launch an effort to try and support small businesses through a campaign that will encourage Ohioans to support businesses by shopping online and ordering carry-out at restaurants
  • Governor earlier in the day did a call with Cleveland Clinic that said that according to their modeling, they project we may not hit the peak until mid-May (however others are saying April) and at that peak, we will need to go up 3x in our hospital capacity
  • State hospitals have been divided into 8 regions and the state has required each of them to come up with a draft by 9am tomorrow and a final plan by noon Monday on how they will increase hospital beds and ICU beds
  • We have not issued an order on travel, but we ask those coming into Ohio to quarantine for 14 days
  • Modeling tells us that cases will double every six days—“this is a train that is moving.  It starts slowly, but it will start moving faster and faster”, “All you have to do is look at the news coming out of NY and Louisiana—this virus is not respecting state lines"

Lt. Governor Jon Husted

  • A large number of businesses that need help and are hiring: Kroger, Walmart, Giant Eagle, Marcs, Amazon, and Drug Mart
  • The state has asked local law enforcement and health departments that if they see people gathering together to nicely tell them they cannot congregate 
  • In Ohio there are 1,137 confirmed cases, 107 ICU admissions, 276 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are confirmed cases in 61 counties across the state.
  • Today, Governor DeWine signed HB 197 which provides emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic. HERE is the press release with statements of support for HB 197 from over 25 associations representing a variety of industries. On behalf of Governor DeWine and his team, thank you!
  • President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act today. This stimulus package provides $1,200 to most Americans along with funds for unemployment insurance and small businesses. Coronavirus Aid Relief And Economic Security Act Or CARES Act
  • Governor DeWine, President Obhof, and Speaker Householder announced the State of the State Address would be postponed until a later date, after the State of Emergency has concluded. The State of the State was originally scheduled for next Tuesday.
  • Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have launched a new “Ohio. Find It Here.” Campaign to help residents support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit Ohio.Org/SupportLocal and this Checklist to Support Local

 

March 26

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses & Families

The Ohio Department of Health issued a “Stay at Home” order for the state. The order is in effect until 11:59p.m. on April 6th, unless it is rescinded or modified. You can read the order here and find answers to frequently asked questions here.  

Please regularly visit Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp for the most complete and up-to-date information about resources available for Ohio businesses, individuals, and families. Listed below are just a few.

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Payment Deferral

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) system is deferring insurance premium installment payments for March, April and May until June 1, 2020. For more information, visit bwc.ohio.gov.

Health Insurance Premium Grace Period

All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments for up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured.

SharedWork Ohio

SharedWork Ohio allows business owners to cut employee pay between 10 percent and 50 percent and provides a portion of the benefit the employee would receive through unemployment to that employee. This program is designed to allow employers to reduce payroll costs during times of business decline, without having to lay off employees. For more information, visit jfs.ohio.gov.

Transportation of Oversized Loads

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has modified the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods. Generally, the state requires haulers with loads classified as “oversized” to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are permitted to travel in and through the state. Haulers carrying essential goods can download and print the permit at Transportation.Ohio.gov. The federal government has also cut red tape around obtaining or renewing Commercial Drivers’ Licenses and other licenses to prevent interruption of essential shipping. The Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Public Utilities Commission have adjusted their enforcement practices to avoid confusion.

Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan

Ohio small businesses and nonprofits are now eligible to apply for up to a $2 million, low-interest loan through the SBA. Apply online at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance, which is recommended, or call (800) 659-2955 to have an application mailed to you.

 

  • Surgeons and speciality doctors are volunteering to be trained in "Just in Time Training" to serve as nurses to be able to help in hospitals, and retired doctors who are considered "high risk" are being trained to serve as telemedicine doctors to help those who become infected and can be treated at home.
  • For those experiencing difficulty logging on to the BWC site, Lt. Gov. Husted suggested trying at "off-peak" hours (late at night, early morning, available 24/7) to help ease the heavy traffic to the site.
  • Lt. Gov. Husted also mentioned that unemployment benefits will be retroactive from the date the individual qualified, so if someone is having trouble getting through, they will be covered.

 

March 25

Governor DeWine Statement on Passage of House Bill 197

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement after the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 197, which will enact numerous provisions to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic

"I want to that Senate President Obhof, House Speaker Householder, Minority Leaders Sykes and Yuko, and all members of the Ohio General Assembly who worked for the bipartisan and unanimous passage of House Bill 197. This bill will ensure continuity of government, extended mail-in voting for our primary, clarity for schools and students, relief to workers impacted by COVID-19, and measures to make sure we are prepared to help Ohioans get back to work when this pandemic subsides. I applaud the collaborative work on this bill and look forward to signing it soon."

PUCO Announces Hours-of service Relief; Notice Required for Drivers

Earlier this week, PUCO took action to extend temporary relief from the hours-of-service requirements for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting consumer goods, medical supplies, gasoline, diesel, propane, heating oil and waste within the state of Ohio. PUCO grants hours-of-service relief to intrastate trucks hauling specific relief materials during state of emergency.

The drivers are to keep a copy of the attached notice in each vehicle affected by the relief. Download notice.

We encourage customers to contact the PUCO Transportation Department at (614) 466-0369 with questions regarding this matter or online with other utility related questions or concerns.www.PUCO.ohio.gov/contact-us.

 

March 24

Health and wellness resources available for adults coping with COVID-19 pandemic

RecoveryOhio in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health has launched a resource page for adults coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Created for adults 18 and older, this web page connects people to training opportunities, webinars, fact sheets, apps, support groups and more. 

Resources for Adults Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

  • In Ohio there are 564 confirmed cases, 145 individuals being hospitalized, and 8 deaths due to COVID-19. There are confirmed cases in 49 counties across the state.
    • Dr. Action said that 91 cases are healthcare workers and of the 145 hospitalizations, 62 (11%) are ICU cases. It was mentioned that there are 3600 ICU beds available in Ohio and they are working to increase that capacity by 50%. They are working to make hospitals ICUs-type settings and create other hospital-like environments in hotels and dorms. She said there would be 6,000 new cases a day if we aren't doing what we are doing to flatten the curve. 
  • The entire shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) that we’ve received from the Strategic National Stockpile has been distributed to counties based on the prioritization of need.
    • PPE includes gloves, masks, etc. Approximately 36 pairs of gloves are needed per day for each patient being treated for coronavirus. There are experts working to develop technology to reuse PPEs with UV light.
  • Pursuant to a Department of Labor order, Ohio will now release our unemployment numbers on a weekly basis as soon as the national report is released on Thursday.
  • Banks and credit unions across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many financial institutions are also suspending foreclosures where possible. If individuals need help, they should reach out to their local banker for assistance. Joint Statement from Ohio Credit Union League and the Ohio Bankers League
  • Below are several documents with guidance for businesses under Ohio’s “Directors Order Stay At Home ” order. If businesses still have questions after reading the order and supplemental materials, they should seek independent legal council instead of contacting law enforcement or local health departments.
  • Lt. Governor Husted mentioned a website for any business that is struggling to seek help: coronavirus.ohio.gov/businesshelp
  • The executive orders adopting emergency rules related to temporary pandemic child care licenses and closing child care centers: Signed EO Adopting Emergency Rules ODJFS Temp Pandemic Child Care License
  • Finally, HERE is a link to the video that played during today’s press conference. Governor DeWine is grateful to our community leaders and all Ohioans who are working to #StopTheSpread. Please help share this encouraging message with your networks using #InThisTogetherOhio.

 

March 23

Governor DeWine Orders Hiring Freeze for State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio will take steps to cut expenditures in state government. 

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.

Read more...

 

  • Governor DeWine announced a temporary hiring freeze in state government. The only exceptions are for positions that provide a direct response to COVID-19, safety and security, and/or direct care or institutional services. The Governor’s cabinet has been instructed to look for unnecessary spending cuts by 20%. There will also be a freeze on all new contract services.
  • Lt. Governor Husted addressed concerns with the unemployment website. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has been working around the clock to streamline performance and boost capacity so the system can handle the unprecedented influx of online claims, which has been affecting processing times. If you receive a confirmation number when you file your claim, your application will be processed as soon as possible.  We appreciate your patience during this time. 
  • HERE is information regarding temporary pandemic child care licenses, prescription requirements for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and Information For Victims Of Domestic Violence.
  • Reminder, Ohio’s “Stay At Home" Order goes into effect tonight at 11:59 PM.

 

March 22

Ohio Issues "Stay at Home" Order; New Restrictions Placed on Day Cares for Children

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. MPH, today announced that Ohio will be under a "Stay at Home" order.

The order will go into effect beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless the order is rescinded or modified. 

Read the full order here: Director's Stay At Home Order

CHILD CARE/DAY CARE

Beginning on Thursday, March 26, 2020, all operating child care centers in Ohio must do so under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license and follow these guidelines:

  • There should be no more than six children in a class.
  • Ratios must be kept at one teacher to no more than six children.
  • Children whose parents are employed by the same entity should be kept together whenever possible.
  • The same teachers and children in each room should be maintained whenever possible.
  • There should be limited use of shared space or mixing of groups.
  • If shared space is used, a rigorous cleaning schedule must be in place.
  • Parent interaction should be limited at drop off and pick up.

The program will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.

NEW WEBSITE FOR BUSINESSES: 

Businesses and workers can now access all of these resources related to COVID-19 in one place at ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

COVID-19 OHIO DATA: 

There are 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and three deaths. A total of 83 people are hospitalized.

Confirmed Deaths: Cuyahoga (1), Erie (1), Lucas (1). 

Confirmed cases: Ashland (1), Ashtabula (2), Belmont (2), Butler (17), Carroll (1), Clark (1), Clermont (5), Clinton (1), Columbiana (2), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (125), Darke (1), Defiance (2), Delaware (6), Erie (1), Franklin (34), Gallia (1), Geauga (2), Greene (1), Hamilton (19), Hancock (1), Huron (1), Lake (6), Licking (1), Lorain (19), Lucas (5), Mahoning (18), Marion (1), Medina (10), Miami (13), Montgomery (5), Portage (1), Richland (1), Stark (10), Summit (23), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (2), Union (1), Warren (3), Wood (1)

 

March 21

BWC Payments Deferred; Trucking Waiver Issued

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) system is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 249,000 public and private employers.To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC is announcing that insurance premium installment payments due for March, April, and May for the current policy year may be deferred until June 1, 2020. At that time the matter will be reconsidered.   

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is modifying the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods. Generally, Ohio requires haulers with loads classified as "oversized" to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are legally allowed to travel in the state. To assist in the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, ODOT will modify the process for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of food, non-alcoholic beverages, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods.

Read more...

ODH Reports 3 Deaths, 247 Cases

The Ohio Department of Health said in its daily update on coronavirus Saturday that it has confirmed three deaths and 249 cases, with confirmed cases of the virus reaching 33 counties and resulting in 58 hospitalizations. A story on today's updates will be posted at www.hannah.com following the governor's daily briefing.

 

March 20

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. 

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. Read more...

Applications Being Accepted for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

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.

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. Read more...

Ohio BWC Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

To our customers, stakeholders, partners and interested parties:

We've prepared this Frequently Asked Questions document to provide information about the coronavirus' (COVID-19's) impact on BWC operations. We're monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates as necessary.

We know you may have questions that we're just not able to immediately answer. We promise to keep you updated and share information as we have it.

 

  • In Ohio there are 169 confirmed cases and 39 hospitalizations spanning across 28 counties.  Governor DeWine also sadly announced that the state has suffered its first death as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Governor DeWine announced an executive order closing all senior centers and adult day care facilities. This will go into effect at the end of the day Monday. Additional information is HERE.
  • The Ohio Department of Insurance issued an order that will allow employers to take care of employees with a grace period for insurance premiums. Employers can defer their premium payments for health insurance for up to 2 months. A copy of the order is HERE

 

March 19

Governor DeWine Announces Additional Temporary Business Closures

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. 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. Read more...

 

  • In Ohio there are 88 confirmed cases and 26 individuals currently being hospitalized. There are confirmed cases in 19 counties across the state: Ashland, Belmont, Butler, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Delaware, Franklin, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas.
  • Governor DeWine announced that he will order the majority of Bureau of Motor Vehicle offices to close. Five centers will remain open and some online services will continue to operate. To comply with this order, law enforcement offices have been instructed not to issue tickets for expired drivers licenses. HERE  is a statement from the Ohio Deputy Registrars Association.
  • Governor DeWine also announced he will order all spas, tattoo parlors, barber shops, and beauty salons to close effective this evening.

 

March 18

BMV Deputy Registrars, Barbershops, Salons, Tattoo Parlors Among New Announced Closures

Gov. Mike DeWine Wednesday announced new steps to contain the coronavirus outbreak in Ohio, including the closure of all but five Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle deputy registrars in Ohio. The remaining five will only stay open for the issuance and renewal of commercial driver's licenses. All other services will be only available online or simply paused. The General Assembly will be asked to pass a grace period for people who couldn't renew their licenses, and DeWine is asking all law enforcement to not issue tickets for persons with an expired license because of the closing. All 52 driver exam stations will close as well. DeWine is also ordering that all barbershops, hair dressers, nail salons, and tattoo parlors to close at the end of business Wednesday. He is asking all Ohio employers who remain open to check workers' temperature daily and to be vigilant about cleaning workplaces and sending home sick employees.  (Source: The Hannah Report)

Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted Submit Formal Request for Federal Assistance for Small Businesses

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. Read more...

Ohio IRP Extension - Emergency Declaration COVID-19

This morning the State of Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles has posted this notice of IRP registration Extension with IRP Inc. to share with all IRP Jurisdictions.

This notice is asking, until further notice, that there be no vehicle registration violation enforcement on Ohio IRP Registrant’s whose Fleet Registration Expires 3/18/2020 and after.

This type of extension is not uncommon, and there have already been numerous extension and exemption notices being posted via IRP Inc.  A list of similar extensions from other IRP Jurisdictions can be found using this link https://www.irponline.org/page/Covid19waivers.  

The BMV IRP Unit is currently operating remotely to continue the registering of new vehicles to Ohio IRP Fleets, and providing minimum service level responses via our customer service phone line.  Additionally, our online services at www.ohcors.com remain fully operational for all registration transactions on current IRP Fleets.

Coronavirus Guidance from the White House and CDC 

The White House and CDC have released guidance for reducing the spread of coronavirus. Read more...

  • In Ohio there are 67 confirmed cases and 17 individuals currently being hospitalized. There are confirmed cases in 16 counties across the state: Belmont, Butler, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Darke, Franklin, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, Medina, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, and Tuscarawas.
  • Dr. Acton has announced an order limiting elective surgeries. Exemptions for this include procedures for preservation of life, organ, or limb; procedures to stop the progression of severe symptoms; and procedures to stop the metastasis of cancer. This order also applies to animals. A copy of the order is HERE.  
  • Dr. Acton ordered all polling locations to be closed Tuesday, 3/17. A copy of the order is HERE. In response, Secretary LaRose issued a directive to county boards of elections that primary election day will be on June 2nd. From now until May 26th, voters may request absentee ballots on VoteOhio.gov, and submit absentee ballots by June 1st.
  • Governor DeWine signed an executive order today authorizing the Department of Job and Family Services to issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to help ensure childcare is available for children of parents employed in fields providing health, safety, and other essential services. A copy of the order is HERE.

Elective Surgeries Postponed in Ohio Hospitals

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today the the Ohio Department of Health has issued an order declaring that elective surgeries and procedures in Ohio's hospitals be postponed in an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders. Read more....

 

March 17

FDA Publishes Temporary COVID-19 Policy for FSMA Supplier Verification Onsite Audit Requirements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance to communicate FDA’s intention to temporarily not enforce supplier verification onsite audit requirements for receiving facilities and importers under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in response to the global pandemic of COVID-19.  FDA does not intend to enforce the onsite audit requirements if other supplier verification methods are used instead. Read more...

USDA Continues Focus on Service During COVID-19 Outbreak

While President Donald J. Trump continues to take action during this COVID-19 National Emergency and enact measures to ensure Americans are safe, secure, and healthy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to be open for business to provide services to the American people. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue recorded the following video message reassuring the American people that the U.S. supply chain remains strong. Additionally, the Secretary thanked those on the front lines of the American food supply: folks stocking the shelves of local grocery stores, truck drivers keeping supply networks open and functioning, food service workers in kitchens across the country preparing the products at markets, school lunch workers keeping America’s families and children fed during closures, and USDA’s food safety inspectors ensuring the food we eat is safe, healthy, and nutritious. Read more...

Resources Available from the Ohio Common Sense Initiative 

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.

Ohio Department of Health Issues Order on Closure of Polling Locations

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, issued an order regarding Closure of the Polling Locations in the State of Ohio on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Click here to read the Director's Order.

Statement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on the March 17, 2020 Election

Governor DeWine announced the following: 

"During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at a unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus. As such, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton will order the polls closed as a health emergency. While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State Frank LaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity."

COVID-19 Strategies and Policies of the World's Largest Companies

Gallup Managing Director Larry Emond gathered the strategies and policies of 100 members of the CHRO Roundtable, an organization that includes the CHROs of more than 650 of the world's largest companies, for their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The companies in this sampling average $27 billion in revenue with 80,000 employees and most are global organizations. Read more...

PUCO extends utility reconnect order

Last week the PUCO took action to ask utilities to suspend disconnection, and waive any requirements for reconnections. For all types of customers (residential and business).

All of the utilities are doing so, however, we know many are unable to quickly edit their automated billing systems to stop sending disconnection notices. We know Columbia Gas of Ohio was able to stop sending them, but looks like most others still are. However, we know utilities are not following through with those disconnections.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today extended its winter reconnect order through May 1, 2020. The Winter Reconnect Order helps Ohioans reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the heating season between Oct. 14, 2019 and May 1, 2020. Read more...

Free Webinars:

  • HealthChats: Stopping COVID 
    Presented by UnitedAg
    Date: March 20, 2020
    Click Here to Register
    (This will be a recorded webinar and can be downloaded at a later date.)

  • Can You Confidently Protect Those You Care For From COVID-19?
    Presented By: AgriSafe Network
    Date: April 2, 2020
    Time: 10:00 AM (PST)
    Click Here to Register

 

March 16

Joint Statement from Governor DeWine and Secretary LaRose on Ohio Primary

"The only thing more important than a free and fair election is the health and safety of Ohioans. The Ohio Department of Health and the CDC have advised against anyone gathering in groups larger than 50 people, which will occur if the election goes forward. Additionally, Ohioans over 65 and those with certain health conditions have been advised to limit their nonessential contact with others, affecting their ability to vote or serve as poll workers. Logistically, under these extraordinary circumstances, it simply isn’t possible to hold an election tomorrow that will be considered legitimate by Ohioans. They mustn’t be forced to choose between their health and exercising their constitutional rights."

Governor's Letter - Reliable Information Sources

It is important to Governor DeWine that we are a regular source of reliable information to the public as we continue managing the state’s response efforts to the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the Governor's letter regarding reliable information sources.

PUCO grants hours-of-service relief to intrastate trucks hauling relief supplies

In response to the state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today extended temporary regulatory relief from the hours-of-service requirements for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting relief supplies including consumer goods and medical supplies within the state of Ohio. Read the full notice here. 

Video: Basic precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus

Safety Made Simple has created this short video covering basic precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Watch here.

 

March 15

Governor DeWine Orders Ohio Bars & Restaurants to Close

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has issued a Director's Order that will close all Ohio bars and restaurants to in-house patrons, effective at 9:00 p.m. today, March 15, 2020. Restaurants with take-out and delivery options will still be able to operate those services, even as their dining rooms are temporarily closed.

ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT AID FOR OHIOANS:

The Governor will tomorrow issue 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.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:

The Ohio Development Services Agency is preparing to submit an application in the coming 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.

Read more...

Director's Order - Limiting the Sale of Food and Beverages, Liquor, Beer and Wine to Carry-out and Delivery Only

Click here to read the full order from the Ohio Department of Health regarding food and beverage sales. 

Business, community leaders praise efforts to slow spread of COVID-19

Leading business organizations across Ohio tonight praised Governor DeWine's recent actions to curb the spread of coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Most recently, the Governor announced his decision to close bars and restaurants to in-house patrons until further notice, in order to limit community spread of the disease. Click the organization below to read their statement. 

 

March 14

  • In Ohio there are 26 confirmed cases, 85 negative cases, and 264 individuals under investigation.  There are confirmed cases in 8 counties across the state: Cuyahoga, Stark, Belmont, Butler, Summit, Trumbull, Franklin, and Lorain.  
  • The Governor has asked all healthcare providers to look at their inventory of personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.) and preserve surplus items and consider donating extra supplies to their local EMA. Contact information for each county’s EMA can be found on the Emergency Management Association of Ohio website HERE.
  • Additionally, dentists, veterinarians, doctors, and patients are encouraged to consider postponing non-emergency, elective surgeries to preserve hospital rooms and personal protective equipment. 
  • The Departments of Mental Health and Addiction Services (MHAS) and Medicaid announced they are filing emergency rules regarding telehealth options for individuals with mental illness and substance-use disorders. These emergency rules will temporarily eliminate the requirement for first-time in-person appointments.  MHAS has also temporarily suspended patient visitation at the 6 state operated psychiatric hospitals.
  • The Department of Health signed an order requiring health screenings for patient admission to state operated psychiatric hospitals or to the Department of Youth Services facilities.  Read the order HERE.
  •  HERE is a copy of the K-12 school closure order. Reminder, this officially takes effect at the end of the day Monday, March 16 until April 3, 2020.

 

March 13

  • In Ohio there are 13 confirmed cases, 50 negative cases, and 159 individuals under investigation.  There are confirmed cases in 6 counties across the state: Cuyahoga, Stark, Belmont, Butler, Summit, and Trumbull. 
  • There will be an order issued in the coming days prohibiting visitors in county jails and community based correctional facilities. The order follows what has already been done in our state prisons.  I will share a copy of the order once it’s complete. 
  • The USDA has granted an Ohio waiver allowing the provision of meals to students during the school closures beginning at the close of business Monday through April 3, 2020. 
  • The state is not closing daycares at this point; however, this is not being ruled out as a future measure.  We suggest that families start thinking of alternative child care options. The Governor signed an executive order approving emergency rules for the Department of Jobs and Family Services related to childcare. Read the Childcare Executive Order
  • Today, the Governor and Lt. Governor sent a letter to the Trump Administration requesting flexibility on certain regulatory restrictions during the spread of COVID-19. As conditions on the ground evolve, Ohio will continually assess opportunities for federal assistance and communicate those needs to the federal government on an ongoing basis.  Read the Letter to President Trump
  • The Governor also announced yesterday there will be an order prohibiting guests in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Read the Letter Limiting Access to Nursing Homes.

Schools Closed - Working From Home. How To Make It Happen?

The entanglement of work and care is a delicate balancing act for many in ordinary times, but during a crisis, like the just declared Covid-19 pandemic, it really hits home. Finding and securing affordable, quality childcare that has availability when working parents need them is a problem in the most tranquil times. Read more...

 

March 12

Ohio Bans Mass Gatherings of 100 or More

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH has signed an order to prohibit mass gatherings in the state of Ohio. Read more...

Letter from Governor Mike DeWine

As you can tell by the news, we have a dangerous situation in Ohio with the coronavirus. We are 6 very concerned about community spread, which just means we are seeing cases of people with 7 the virus, where we can’t determine where they got it. Read more...

ODH Order to Limit Gatherings 

Click here to read the order from the Ohio Department of Health.

OABA Events Postponed

Earlier today, the Ohio Department of Health released a statement banning “mass gatherings” of 100 people or more. Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of our members, we have made the difficult decision to postpone our upcoming March events: Bowling for Scholarships and the second Grain Merchandising Course. Read more...

Governor DeWine Announces School Closures

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, he has ordered that all kindergarten through 12th grade schools close for a period of several weeks. Read more...

Preparing the Farm for the Novel Coronavirus

The warnings are dire – the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) now poses a significant risk here in the United States. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. What can a farm or agricultural business do to prepare? Here are five ideas. Read more...

 

March 6

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

By Healthcare Ready

Healthcare Ready's most recent update provides resources to help guide businesses to plan and respond to the current COVID-19 outbreak. Read more...

 

Coronavirus Impacts by State

Compiled from state and regional agribusiness associations by Evan Callicoat - OABA Student Intern. 

Please send any relevant state updates to Callicoat.22@osu.edu or complete this form: 

https://forms.gle/7vh3k1n6EwAeLCjHA

Resources:

National:

National: The US Senate has drafted a Coronavirus Stimulus Package, which totals at over $1 trillion. The bill was unveiled Thursday, there is no word yet on when a vote will take place

 

Alabama:

Resources:

4/7/20

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • As of April 3, 2020, the State of Alabama is not requiring an “essential travel form” being required for travel by food and agriculture workers. However, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has developed an optional Access Letter Template for those that would like develop their own letter. Information regarding this template can be found under the ALEA Access Letter Press Release section. Please continue to follow the latest Emergency Order and the guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

 

3/31/2020

  • Non-Essential Businesses closed Saturday, March 28 and shall remain closed through Friday, April 17 at 5 p.m.
  • Alabama Schools have been closed for the remainder of the year, distance learning will begin on April 6 through June 5
  • Legislative Session suspended until at least April 28 (date proposed)
  • Non-Work Related gatherings with more than 10 people are prohibited
  • Alabama Beaches are closed through April 17

 

3/25/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • 215 Confirmed Cases No Change in current operating status since last update
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

3/23/2020

  • 81 confirmed cases
  • Gatherings of more than 25 prohibited where a distance of 6 feet cannot be safely observed
  • Restaurant, bars closed for onsite dining- takeout and delivery services still available
  • Beaches closed
  • Preschool/Childcare Centers closed
  • Hospitals, Nursing Homes Closed to Visitors- except maternity and end of life circumstances

 

3/19/2020:

Alabama has 46 reported cases of COVID-19. State Offices have been authorized to implement telework, flexible work schedules through at least April 6. Schools are closed through at least April 6, School closure plan will be reevaluated on March 30. The Department of Agriculture is operating under guidelines set by the Governor. No requests from industry to adjust regulations have been made at this time. Meat Inspections and similar services are ongoing at this time so food producers can remain in operation. Department of Agriculture working with the Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to coordinate state response. Legislature is currently on Spring Break through March 31. Primary Runoff Election set for March 31 postponed until July 14. Dept. of Agriculture working with Governor and EMA requesting their immediate assistance in designating all agricultural stakeholders as ‘Critical Infrastructure and Essential Services’ and for these vital industries to be allowed to continue to operate unrestricted.

 

California

3/20/2020

Governor Newsom has ordered a stay-at-home order for all Californians indefinitely. Essential travel includes trips to the grocery, gas stations, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats, according to the Los Angeles Times. Those exempt from the order include energy and financial services, food and agriculture, healthcare, and transportation.

 

Connecticut:

3/23/2020

This link is a follow up to Governor Lamont’s Executive order on Friday that detailed essential businesses, of which he included agriculture. More information is available at this link: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-for-Businesses/Coronavirus-for-Businesses

 

3/19/2020:

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture delivered communications this morning affirming that farmers’ markets and farm stands in Connecticut can remain open during the civic preparedness and public health emergency. These entities are not covered by the executive order on restaurants the governor issued earlier this week. A number of farm stands and farmers’ markets have already integrated online or order-ahead options with home delivery or curbside pickup. The agency is working with producers to compile an updated listing of farmers’ markets and farm stands on www.ctgrown.gov, which will be modified as new information is available. Farm and retail staff are reminded to implement social distancing and limit customer interactions. Farm stores and farmers’ market managers are encouraged to reinforce the importance of washing hands, sanitizing surfaces frequently, and not working when sick. Growers interested in assisting their local communities are encouraged to connect directly with FoodShare (www.foodshare.org) or Connecticut Food Bank (www.ctfoodbank.org).

 

Delaware:

3/19/2020:

The Delaware Department of Agriculture continues to provide services to the public and industry to ensure that our food supply remains safe and plentiful for consumers during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. “As Delaware’s number one industry, family farms are crucial to supplying a variety of food from poultry and meats, fruits and vegetables, and many value-added products,” said Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “We take the health and safety of our employees seriously, but we realize that even during the outbreak, that we have a duty to our constituents. The Department will remain open, but we will be making changes to minimize risk to our employees.” Farmers will be active over the next few months as planting season is underway. Secretary Scuse has asked for flexibility from the public as guidance surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak continues to change. Members of the public are encouraged to call ahead before coming to the Department. Non-essential meetings are being canceled or moved to online/teleconference to enable social distancing. The following changes to programs or processes are in effect:

  • Agriculture Compliance Lab: Samples must be dropped off in the entrance of the lab.
  • Communications and Marketing: The informational grant workshop scheduled for March 24 is canceled. If you have questions, please contact Jo-Ann Walston at 302-698-4592 or email joann.walston@delaware.gov
  • Guidance is being developed for farmers’ markets and on-farm markets.
    Delaware Standardbred Breeders’ Fund: Delaware Standardbred Breeder’s Fund Races are not scheduled until June at Harrington. Yearling and 2-year old payments due on May 15th and should be mailed or paid online by credit card.
    Food Products Inspection: The Produce Safety Alliance training scheduled for March 24 has been postponed. The On-Farm Entrepreneurs Food Safety Training with University of Delaware Extension has been postponed. Dates will be announced in the future. There are no changes currently for customer contact information.
  • Delaware Forest Service: Until further notice, the Redden Lodge is closed. All state forest campsites are closed, and no gatherings of more than 25 people are permitted on state forest property. All Arbor Day events are canceled.
  • Delaware Harness Racing Commission: Until further notice, casinos and racetracks in Delaware are closed. The Delaware Harness Racing Commission (DHRC) has cancelled our monthly meetings for March and April and will provide any needed public information electronically.
  • Aglands Planning and Preservation: The March 18 Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation meeting will be conducted virtually.
  • Nutrient Management: Farm visits will be limited to reduce the chance of spreading coronavirus.
  • Pesticide Management: All pesticide testing has been canceled until further notice. Any insect samples can be left at the front desk along with your contact information.
  • Plant Industries: All seed for testing should be placed in the large mailbox outside the building marked Seed Lab. Hemp Producer applications should be emailed, and changes are coming to the physical license.
  • Poultry and Animal Health: Samples may be brought to the front lobby for submission. No one will be able to walk samples back to the labs.
  • Thoroughbred Racing Commission: Until further notice, casinos and racetracks in Delaware are closed. The stable has been opened for training.
  • Weights and Measures: Complaints should be submitted using the online complaint form at https://agriculture.delaware.gov/weights-measures/.

 

Florida:

Resources:

 

4/28/20

FL Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried submitted recommendations to the Governor's Re-Open Florida Task Force. The ag report can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jgl5f34hgpq5wxp/AAA2J68PYqDIVVqIN6ONz44Ua?dl=0 

 

4/20/20

  • Is your state requiring face coverings for essential workers?
    • No
  • If yes, what type of mask is required?
    • There is no Florida state requirement for face coverings, HOWEVER, many counties are requiring face covering in public. No specific type.

 

4/7/2020

  • In the wake of FL Gov. Ron DeSantis order the entire state to be "Safer At Home", updates are now turning to specfic efforts of Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. She and her team are working on: Creating an online database of Florida produce for sale or donation—should be “live” by the end of this week; Distributing a online form for use by Florida growers and Florida seafood producers. The need for this clearinghouse was driven by reports that Florida growers/producers were having to leave produce on the vine, in the fields, or dumping milk; Reached out to Wal-Mart and Publix with requests to either eliminate the restrictions for number of Florida-grown items (such as milk) or increase the number of items that can be made in one purchase. Exploring opportunities to move Florida milk and FL grown products through the Florida Department of Corrections, school superintendents and food banks; Working on hosting a Small Business Administration teleconference to provide information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP) to Florida’s growers and ag industries; Creating "Keep Florida Growing" public service announcements and social media outreach. FDACS is using funds for this outreach that would have been used for trade show promotions (which have since been cancelled). Preparing a tutorial for Florida growers and commodity organizations to produce short video clips of how they’re handling these uncertain times and the good things they are doing – this guide will be distributed by the Commissioner’s communications team and videos they receive from growers and groups will be shared via the FDACS social media channels.

 

4/1/2020

Florida Governor Desantis has issued a Stay at Home order for all Floridians. No other information is available at this time.

 

3/31/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • March 30 Update Gov. Ron DeSantis announced: A four-county "safer at home" executive order has been issued for all of southeast Florida, including Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. All air travelers into Florida's major airports must register with the state and self-quarantine. Checkpoints have been set up for motorists at entry points to Florida on I-10 and I-95 to register people coming into Florida. They must also self-quarantine for 2 weeks.

 

3/27/2020

Notable updates from this week (3/23-27/20): By Executive Order, Gov. DeSantis is urging Floridians 65 and older to stay home and requiring travelers from NY, NJ and CT to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in FL.

 

3/24/20

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.):
    • Since 3/9 Florida has operated under a State of Emergency declaration from Gov. Ron DeSantis for 60 days unless extended.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Left up to counties and municipalities; FFAA is lobbying for Federal/CISA guidance as the rule
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None Currently Reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption: Yes
    • Pesticide License Extension: Yes
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements: Yes
    • Exemption for CDL requirement for retail to farm deliveries: No
    • Other: Effective 3/16, All Florida driver licenses, commercial driving licenses and identification cards set to expire in the next 30 days will be granted a 30-day extension beyond their current expiration date.
  • Is your state experiencing delay in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Closed statewide until further notice: Public beaches, state parks, bars/nightclubs, in-house restaurant dining, gyms/fitness centers and gatherings limited to no more than 10 people. Counties -- such as Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange and Osceola -- have been adopting their own versions of emergency orders. So please contact me for Florida specific information -- it's been fluid. In short, Florida's tourism industry is essentially shut down, cruise ships may be needed as floating hospitals, PPE for health workers is needed and TP is still hard to find on grocery store shelves, and yet, Florida's farmers continue to do what they do best.
  •  

 

3/23/20

Emergency Order 2020-002 provides relief to pest control, pesticide, fertilizer, and animal feed licensees by suspending the late fees assessed for failure to timely pay fees, or timely renew licenses and certifications. Additionally, it extends (by 30 days) the timeframes required for both quarterly and annual reporting, as well as for renewing licenses and certificates.

Emergency Order 2020-003 waives fees that would typically be imposed for late renewals of the following permits and registrations: solicitors of contributions (charities), brake fluid, commercially-used weights and measures (e.g., scales), motor vehicle repair shops, and dealers of agricultural products.

  • Other specific issues: Travel curfews with exceptions for work are in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. in Orange and Osceola counties as of March 20.

 

3/19/2020:

FFAA is maintaining daily contact with the Florida Department of Agriculture. Thanks to WPHA and ARA for sharing the Yolo County Executive Order -- borrowed their language and shared it with FDACS for use in Florida Executive Orders. We added a request that FDACS include language allowing servicing of T&O clients as essential business activities so the significant investments Florida's tourism, hotel, theme parks, sports arenas and golf courses are maintained with as near normal delivery of products as possible -- can't allow these properties to deteriorate given their  economic and environmental impacts. We are working with the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office on ways to capture the training that county agents normally offer. We are looking to get this captured online, and distributed such that stakeholders can view the material and get their CEU’s remotely.​

3/17/2020

FFAA has been in communication with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as well as participating in state conference calls about Florida’s response to the spread of COVID-19. FFAA is advocating on behalf of the agchem supply chain and its role in providing essential services and working to minimize impacts to the industry.

Much like in Ohio, travel is being curtailed, schools are closed and those companies who can are making plans for essential employees to work remotely when possible. Continuity of operation plans are under review.

FFAA are directing members to official channels such as the Centers for Disease Control for virus and health information. We are also encouraging social distancing and supporting efforts to flatten the curve sooner than later. We are considering postponing our Scholarship Golf Tournament currently set for May 7 and investigating the possibility of postponing our Annual Meeting, currently set for July 7-9. A decision on the Scholarship Golf Tournament is expected by the end of next week.

 

Georgia:

4/2/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Shelter in Place beginning April 3rd
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • - Georgia Agribusiness Council has been included in the state’s COVID-19 task force - Governor made an executive order to waive HOS and increase truck weights temporarily - Most ag industries are operating normally for now - Poultry industry is concerned about executive orders requiring 6ft spacing between employees at processing plants - Kubota manufacturing as stopped operations in N. GA plant

 

Idaho:

The ISDA is in constant contact with the Governor’s Office regarding our response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor has provided guidance for all of Idaho.

One thing is clear: the food system is critical infrastructure. The ISDA will do everything we can to ensure we’re doing our part to keep the food system moving. We are fielding calls from businesses, such as livestock sale yards, asking whether ISDA is mandating closure of any agribusiness. The Governor has not mandated closure of operations. However, we strongly encourage enhanced health and cleaning measures.

In response to COVID-19, the ISDA has postponed and canceled some meetings including pesticide exams statewide (list here). 

Temporarily, there also will be adjustments for some ISDA services. Traffic into all ISDA buildings is limited to by-appointment only at this time. We still will be processing phytosanitary certificates for pick up and other essential services.

 

Illinois:

Resources:

 

4/7/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Stay In Place until April 30, 2020
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Our motor vehicle officers remain closed so there is no access to take CDL exams or endorsements tests which is an issue.

 

3/25/2020

Illinois has a Stay in Place order effective until April 7, 2020.   All ag activities and other essential industries that align with the DHS guidance are exempt.  IFCA has posted all of the exceptions being provided to agriculture and Q & A documents pertaining to ag and other related services impacting the ag sector at www.ifca.com

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Stay in Place until April 7, 2020
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • All food production activities and services provided for food production activities
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None Currently Reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
    • Other: Federal law governs CDL extensions and requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

Indiana:

3/25/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Shelter in place
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None Currently Reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

3/23/2020

Gov. Holcomb announced that there will be a “Stay at Home” order for the whole state. More information on this order are available here.

 

3/20/2020

Key Points in Executive Order 20-05

  • All K-12 schools will remain closed until May 1 and all state-mandated assessments are canceled. 
  • The state will follow the federal government's guidance and extend state income tax payments to July 15 without penalty, in addition upcoming property tax bills will have a 60 day grace period. The state will assist local governments with cash-flow issues related to this extension. 
  • Utilities are prohibited from discontinuing service during the public health emergency.
  • Unemployment insurance laws will be loosened and broadly interpreted to allow maximum flexibility for applicants to be approved and paid.
  • No eviction or foreclosure action may take place during the state of emergency.
  • Under Medicaid and HIP, telehealth will be expanded, recipient renewals will be extended, job requirements will be waived un TANF, and no premium payment will be required under HIP.
  • Insurers are asked to adopt a 60 day moratorium on policy cancellation for non-payment, suspend prior authorization for COVID-19 related treatment and testing, and not increase coverage costs for medical care related to COVID-19 

 

3/17/2020

State employees will maximize the use of remote work and meet virtually whenever possible while maintaining operations. Non-essential in-person meetings will be limited to 10 persons or less and should meet virtually whenever possible. High-risk individuals should not attend meetings in person

 

Iowa:

4/20/2020

  • The Iowa legislature has further suspended the session until April 30, but there is some talk that the session will not reconvene until mid-year. The governor has extended the shutdown of a number of non-essential businesses to April 30, and has cancelled all school activities and in-person interactions for the rest of the academic year.
  • A number of packing plants in the state have shut down due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.
  • The northeast region of Iowa has been ordered to take additional protective measures by limiting social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings in the region to only people who live together in the same household.

 

4/8/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • All public gatherings have been cancelled by emergency proclamation. Iowa DOT offices are closed. Pesticide applicator certification trainings have been cancelled. Elementary and secondary schools are closed through April 30. Universities did not allow students to return after Spring Break and all classes were moved online.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • How is your state handling new and existing pesticide certification and licensing? Are training and testing opportunities available for individuals not currently licensed or certified? Are there online/virtual options being made available? Is your state renewing or extending current certifications that are recently expired or set to expire?
    • Commercial Pesticide applicators who are due to renew in 2020, but were certified as of December 31, 2019, retain their status until December 31, 2020, but must renew prior to that time. New applicators can obtain pesticide licenses via the online test for private applicators, but must work under the direction of a certified applicator. Still working on solution for application of restricted pesticides and transition once emergency period ends.
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Regulations on the transport of critical products in the state have been eased with increased weights and waiver of the hours of service requirements. The Governor included language identifying ag production as critical infrastructure as part of proclamations related to transportation. Seasonal/Restricted CDLs can be obtained through email with the Iowa DOT. New CDLs remain a difficulty. Current licenses of all types will be allowed to remain in force, even if they expired after January 16. Livestock auctions are still possible, but very restricted. Limited to a small number of live attendees who all must be buyers (no spectators). Also restrictions have been placed on the process for delivery. A number of ethanol facilities have shut down due to the poor market conditions.

 

3/25/2020

The Iowa legislature suspended the session for 30 days on March 16 and provided Governor Kim Reynolds with additional authority to manage the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. A number of emergency declarations have been made by the governor including identifying all crop production activities as essential.

Addition declarations supporting agricultural production: pesticide applicator licensing renewal period has been extended to the end of the year; movement of agricultural products has been helped with weight increases for trucks and waiver of hours of service regulations; CDLs will remain valid without meeting renewal requirements going back to mid-January.

Within the industry, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig is holding a weekly teleconference for the crop production industry and another for the livestock industry. The state also has issued Auction Market Guidance for livestock sales which includes evaluation of whether the auction is necessary, virtual auctions, and restriction of venue access only to buyers with sellers restricted from entering the facility.

Many ag retailers tell us they have ceased face to face meetings with customers and some are isolating essential employees to mitigate any issues that may arise from employees who may contract the COVID-19 illness.

The Agribusiness Association of Iowa is continuing to communicate the message that it is in the vital interest of the country for the food production system in the United States to remain as uninterrupted as possible, and that we will, as much as possible, offer our full cooperation in any State and Federal guidelines and regulations put in place because of COVID-19.

 

3/17/2020

To help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is canceling its in-person pesticide applicator testing sessions through the end of the month. Additional pesticide applicator certification testing sessions may be offered at partner locations later in the year.

State agencies already are developing remote work plans for employees and will continue to implement them while maintaining necessary state services. Employees who work outdoors are encouraged to practice social distancing.

 

Kansas:

3/31/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Governor Kelly issued Executive Order #20-16 establishing a statewide "stay home" order effective March 30, 2020. The Governor’s Order directs all individuals within the state of Kansas to stay in their residences unless performing an essential activity including but not limited to: Performing, or going to or from work at a business or organization to perform, an essential function as identified in the Kansas Essential Function Framework (KEFF). The KEFF includes businesses that maintain supply chains for essential functions and critical infrastructure as defined by a March 19, 2020 US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) memorandum. The memorandum defines “agricultural storage facilities,” “agricultural inputs,” and biofuel facilities as critical infrastructure.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
    • Exemption for CDL requirement for retail to farm deliveries
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

3/25/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Meetings limited to 10 persons. Several counties have implemented self-quarantine orders.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • County restriction orders are varied, vague and require clarification RE: Ag biz exemptions.

 

3/20/2020

The Kansas legislature just adjourned the regular session two weeks early by passing a base budget, a transportation plan, and little else.  Their questionable return is slated for late April.  Governor Kelly has cancelled K-12 schools for the rest of the 2020 school year and implemented a two week break for non-emergency state employees, has temporarily suspended all foreclosures and evictions, and has limited public gatherings to 50 or less (several counties have implemented much more strict restrictions). The Kansas Department Agriculture (KDA) has cancelled all commercial pesticide applicator certification exams and other similar events for the foreseeable future. 

An essential workers definition is TBD.

KGFA/KARA is working closely with KDA, Kansas Department of Transportation, Kansas Highway Patrol, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and Kansas Emergency Management to ensure that Kansas Agribusiness is at the table during this crisis and not on the menu.

 

Kentucky:

3/17/2020:

All Kentucky Department of Agriculture Livestock Shows until April 4, 2020 have been cancelled. State workers have been ordered to telecommute or use sick leave at every opportunity possible.

 

Maryland:

3/18/2020:

The Director of Agriculture stated that agribusiness (seed, nutrient, crop protection, feed provision and equipment maintenance) is considered to be essential business during this time and should continue to provide services. Additionally, if any travel restrictions be put in place, inter-county and interstate travel for agribusinesses is essential and should not be impacted. The Governor understands that farmers can't stop working and that means we can't either.

However, please consider implementing precautionary measures to limit interaction and contact:

  • Limit/prohibit public entry into retail locations.
  • Take orders over the phone to the extent possible.
  • Avoid contact with customers in the field during deliveries.
  • Limit non-office staff (drivers, applicators) entry into office areas.
  • Increase cleaning of public areas, trucks, equipment, etc.

Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder has issued the following statement regarding the state’s food supply chain:

“Agriculture and food production are essential industries that provide food and fiber for all and play a critical role in the state’s economy. As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, I want to assure all of our farmers, watermen, producers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, distributors, consumers and the many other members of Maryland’s food supply chain that the state is working hard to continue business as usual with minimal interruptions. 

“We are in uncharted territory that may require some creativity and flexibility, but that is nothing new for Maryland farmers and growers. I am confident that our department, the agriculture community and allied industries will continue working together to overcome any obstacles we may face as we head toward planting season.”

 

Massachusetts:

3/27/2020

Today, Governor Baker issued “Travel Guidance” for those entering Massachusetts, advising them to quarantine for 14 days. 

Travel Guidance: Beginning March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. This guidance will be displayed as posters at service plazas along 1-90 eastbound, distributed as flyers at major transportation hubs and on posted on highway message boards. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms. Health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers are exempt from this requirement.

As you likely know, every Northeast state has designated Food and Agriculture essential critical infrastructure per the US Homeland CISA. See https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce and below. Some states have expanded essential businesses under Agriculture while some have provided more specific guidance. If you are getting questions from customers about whether they are “essential” please reach out. The most important thing is for our customers to follow all cleaning and social distancing directives.

See most recent MA actions and guidance here: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-travel-guidelines-and-new-health-care-resources-to

 

3/19/2020:

From the Department of Agricultural Resources:

On-farm biosecurity should remain of utmost importance at this time.  The recommendations below apply to general precautions against introducing or spreading disease on the farm, which are excellent practices to follow at all times.

Be sure your farm and family biosecurity is strong. Keep all visitors to your farm, wildlife and new livestock out of direct contact with your animals, as well as their feed and water.
Use good management to keep your family’s and your animals’ innate immunity strong. Good nutrition, housing, ventilation, water and general hygiene will strengthen immune defenses and reduce the chance of serious disease of any kind.

Be a good observer. Report serious illnesses to your veterinarian, processor representative or medical professional as appropriate. While no one needs to panic, it’s always good to discuss how to best address illnesses on the farm. No matter what, usual occurrences of disease and losses will occur on farms but shouldn’t be confused with more serious disease.

Keep enough resources on hand to be able to manage if backups are needed. You should have replacements for essential items at the farm, as well as at least two weeks’ worth of supplies.

 

Michigan:

Resources:

 

3/27/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported 
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • We are working with the state to extend a wide range of licenses and permits, and also seeking clarity on seasonal CDL availability.

 

3/25/2020

  • Governor Whitmer yesterday issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order and it went into effect at midnight. The announcement is here and a link to the order is here. Food and agriculture supply chain businesses in Michigan can continue to operate under this order, with employers and employees making every effort to maintain separation and follow other best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The Michigan food and agriculture supply chain is designated in Governor Whitmer’s executive order as a critical industry that may continue to operate. The order references the guidance memo issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) entitled “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response.” Food and agriculture elements of that memo are at the end of this page for your convenience.

 

3/17/2020:

There are a wide range of restrictions are in place at a state level in Michigan. Most major companies have instituted travel restrictions, work-from-home policies and remote interaction with customers.

Here are a few of the announcements we have seen at the state level in the past few days:

  • Bars, restaurants, gyms and theaters have been closed, except for food takeout and delivery orders.
  • Unemployment benefit eligibility has been extendedto include those caring for sick family members or kids home from school.
  • ‘price-gouging’ orderwas issued by Governor Whitmer.
  • Truck weight restrictions were suspendedin Michigan for those directly engaged in response activities. This order is specific to certain categories of emergency response.

Yesterday, Canada announced it will bar entry to non-citizens. Here’s the news via the CBC.

Importantly, U.S. citizens are exempt from the Canadian announcement, for now. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau indicated U.S. citizens are not affected by the ban “at this time.” In addition, the restrictions do not impact trade and commerce activities. Remember that this could change quickly.

We encourage you to consider how operations would be affected in the event movement of U.S. citizens into Canada is further restricted.

However, that is just one of many variables that could change. It is important to think about and plan for what else might be ahead, and how it might affect your business. Every sector is different, but there are some basic elements that need to be examined:

Look at product inventory levels headed into spring. We were already going to be squeezed in some areas on inventory for certain seed and chemistry, and Coronavirus has injected more uncertainty here from many angles – manufacturing, supply chain and more. And if you are in a good position today, think about possible resupply issues caused by potential border and movement restrictions, driver availability and workforce issues, etc. in the coming weeks.

Consider policies for employees dealing directly with customers. We are hearing many who are limiting or canceling on-farm visits, implementing measures to sanitize customer-facing areas, and finding new ways to provide remote service.

Have a plan for employee absences. With schools closed, many members are already navigating this issue together with their employees – and from what we hear, our members are doing a great job managing this difficult situation. It is also important to track what happens in Congress and the resulting impact on employees and businesses. Watch MABA's resources page for updates on that front.

Contingency planning for operations will be important. The consensus is that we will see additional COVID-19 cases during the coming weeks. It will be important to have plans in place should an employee be diagnosed with this illness.

Communication is key! It is important to consider both internal (employee-facing) and external (customer-facing) communication. Here is one good example, courtesy of MAC. If your company or organization has provided something similar, MABA would like to share it on our resources page with your permission. 

 

Minnesota:

Resources:

 

4/8/2020

  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Other: State defined
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Minnesota Seasonal CDL Renewals Soon to be Available - Assistant Commissioner Tim Lynaugh of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety talked to MCPR Executive Director this afternoon to indicate that an online renewal of Minnesota Seasonal CDL licenses will be available online at the Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services “this evening”, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Commissioner Lynaugh assured Bill Bond that “the online process is contracted through the F.A.S.T services and has been tested and verified." Related to new Seasonal CDL license applications, the department intends to have an “online process available for applicants by one week from today, Tuesday, April 14, 2020”.

 

4/7/2020

  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Governor Walz signed an Executive Order Saturday to lift hours of service requirements for certain truck drivers, in order to support the state’s agriculture community, while they work to keep Minnesotans fed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 20-27 lifts certain regulations on hours of service, helping to facilitate safe and efficient movement of critical supplies. Click here for the details ( https://www.leg.state.mn.us/archive/execorders/20-27.pdf . Minnesota has not as of this writting addressed the Season CDL crisis but word is that an annoucment is forthcoming. The Governor also unveiled a new State of Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard that tracks the virus in Minnesota and provides the latest available data on available ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing. The dashboard will be updated daily and is available at mn.gov/covid19/.

 

3/30/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? 
    • Governor Walz issues stay at home order for Minnesotans. Executive order directs Minnesotans to limit movement to slow the spread of COVID-19. This order take effects on Friday March 27, until Friday April 10. 
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA

 

 

3/24/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Governor Walz has still not ordered shelter in place, however, he is sheltering in place as the Governor has been in contact with a perosn with the virus and the Lt. Governor's relative as died from the virus. The Governor on March 23 signed Executive Orders to suspend evictions during the peacetime emergency, establish Peacetime Emergency Loans for small businesses, direct non-hospital entities to conduct an inventory of personal protective equipment, and clarifies that Executive Order 20-09 on elective surgeries and procedures applies to veterinarians.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • None
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

3/19/2020

Governor Walz Signed Three Executive Orders on 3/18/20 on COVID-19 but so far has not included ag suppliers in HOS. The orders support state employees affected by COVID-19, lift certain regulations for vehicles providing emergency relief, and protect veterans from the spread of COVID-19 including  Executive Order 20-03 , Executive Order 20-06 , and Executive 20-07 to further strengthen Minnesota’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-06 to exempt vehicles and drivers providing direct assistance for emergency relief efforts in response to COVID-19 from certain regulations including provisions on weight and hours of service. After encouraging Minnesota companies to take action to support workers affected by COVID-19, Governor Walz also signed Executive Order 20-07 providing paid leave for state employees who are not able to work for reasons related to COVID-19 and suspended the waiting period for insurance coverage for new employees. He also provided more flexibility for the Commissioner of Management and Budget to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Yesterday, Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-03 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota’s Veterans Homes. This executive order allows Veterans Homes to protect residents and staff by temporarily restricting visitors, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread among residents. Previous orders closed schools, bars and restaurants.

MCPR has been in regular contact with the MN Dept of Ag Commissioner and executive staff to advise and update them regarding issues developing among MCPR members and their customers. Bill Bond appealed to MCPR members yesterday to provide samples of actions, policies, and posters members are using to reduce the spread of the virus and has send a document to MDA and the Governor  containing samples of the tremendous leadership and response ag retailers and their suppliers are taking to stop this pandemic in it’s tracks.

 

Missouri

5/14/2020

As of 5/14/2020, cases in Missouri: 10,142; deaths: 542

 

4/27/2020

As of 4/27, cases in Missouri: 6,997, deaths: 274

 

4/16/2020

As of 4/14: 4,686 positive cases and 133 deaths in MO

 

4/13/2020

Public and Charter schools are staying closed for the rest of the school year. This announcement came from Gov. Parson yesterday. 

 

4/9/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Stay at Home Order which was effective April 6, 2020.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
    • Exemption for CDL requirement for retail to farm deliveries
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)

 

3/31/2020

Cases of COVID-19 in MO: 1,031

Deaths: 13

  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Schools are closed until April 13 and college campuses moved to online classes for the rest of the spring semester. The Missouri State Legislature suspended Senate activity, effective March 12, 2020, through April 3, 2020. The House was set to reconvene April 7, 2020. Planting season is upon us! With much conversation from the federal and state level regarding availability of fertilizer and other material, we are seeing all is on schedule to deliver for the season. With additional provisions provided on the trucking side which expires April 30, the rest of the supply chain is operating as normal

 

3/23/2020

The Missouri Agribusiness Association has a page on their website dedicated to information on COVID-19. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the link here.

All Missouri public, charter schools are now closed through at least April 3, 2020. Missouri Governor, Mike Parson, Saturday, issued orders from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services necessary to protect public health, and prevent further spread of COVID-19:

  • No social gatherings of 10 or more people, maintain six feet distance between individuals
  • Avoiding eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts. However, drive through, pickup or delivery options are allowed
  • Not visiting nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance

The order does not prohibit people from visiting grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken. Governor Mike Parson directed the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Department of Economic Development to seek assistance for Missouri businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Many businesses and families are experiencing interruptions. Many companies are working with minimum staff onsite and asking others to work from home. Timing is crucial as agribusinesses are gearing up to support farmers during the busy spring planting season. Missouri is working to ensure that some exemptions are allowed for agribusiness. Executive Director, Steve Taylor has reached out to Governor Parson’s office and the Department of Agriculture encouraging them to proactively affirm that the State plans to follow DHS guidance, and the activities DHS lists would be authorized to continue as essential business operations.

Both the House and Senate are adjourned until March 30, 2020.

As of March 23, 2020:
Number of positive cases of COVID-19 in MO: 106
Deaths: 3

 

Montana:

Resources:

 

4/8/2020

  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • Yes
  • If yes to above, which how long is the delay and for which products? (please list all)
    • US Customs and Border Patrol is reducing hours at ports of entry

 

3/27/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Shelter in Place - effective 3/28/20
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

3/25/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Meeting size reduced to 10 people, closures of schools, restaurants, bars extended to April 10
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Other: Nothing state specific
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • MT Department of Agriculture - State Grain Lab is halting all of off site sampling and testing for 72 hours as a precautionary measure.

 

3/18/2020:

Commodity Group guidelines – MABA is working with the commodity groups to develop guidelines for their producers with regard to loading trucks, unloading trucks, tests, etc.  Currently the going standard is that no one leaves the truck unless absolutely necessary.  If necessary the guidelines are wash hands, gloves, masks, remove, wash hands leave.

Canadian Border closure - MT gets A LOT of inputs (fertilizer) out of Canada.  The impact of the closure is yet to be seen.  If it isn't considered an essential good then we are going to be in a bind.

Hutterite Colonies -- The colonies in general have 40 families living a communal life style.  The limit of 10-50 people will be extremely difficult.  They are significant farmers and producers in MT (pork, chickens, eggs, milk, small grains, hemp).  If one or more colonies are quarantined the impact on food supply in MT could be significant.  The larger colonies ship out 2-3 semis of hogs per day.  

Registered Livestock Sales and Livestock Markets - Bull sales and the ability to bring buyers together is a challenge for folks.  Most offer online options already but it is yet to be seen how this will work out for the sellers.

Grain elevators - A majority if not all grain elevators are still accepting grain from growers.  The truck drivers are not allowed to exit the trucks.  Some elevators are sending paperwork in the mail and others are bringing paperwork out to the trucks.

MT Dept of Ag is still open for business and exams can be taken at regional offices.  Trainings are moving to online only. State Grain Lab is business as usual with no limitations.

 

Nebraska: 

3/20/2020

Governor Pete Ricketts issued an executive order to increase flexibility in requirements for licensing and vehicle registration requirements, including CDL. Acknowledging the restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Governor is extending driver licenses and vehicle registrations expiring on or after March 1st. The extension will remain in effect until 30 days after the order is lifted.

Nebraska is following the CDC guidelines of 10 or less individuals at a gatherings as well as schools closing, many businesses and families are experiencing major disruptions.

Governor Ricketts does not currently intend to close businesses or restrict employees to 10 or less individuals like in public settings and gatherings. We will continue to work on additional clarification that agriculture production workers will be deemed essential if further restrictions do become necessary.

 

Pesticide Applicator Licensing

If you our your employees were due to re-certify your pesticide license by April 15, 2020, The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is considering a one year exemption. They are also looking into online re-certification for commercial applicators.

For Employees planning to test and certify at a session that was cancelled, the NDA is working with the University and exploring all options to complete the needed examinations.

For new employees using the 60 day exemption this season, NDA is considering extending the exemption to 120 days or more to allow additional time for individuals to test. This mirrors legislation currently in the Unicameral that has not yet passed. We will provide updates on the pesticide certification process going forward as soon as something is finalized.

Hours of Service (HOS) exemption

Under Governor Ricketts’ emergency declaration, HOS rules have been eased for consumer productions. We are coordinating with other state ag groups to share the importance of expanding this to ag inputs, especially during the busy spring season. Nebraska Ag Groups had a conference call this morning with the NDA and the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Matt Miltenberger, to express the urgency on this issue. We are also working with our national partners at the federal level, ARA and TFI, to extend these exemptions nationwide.

Restricted CDLs/Seasonal Permits

A number of DMV locations have temporarily closed or are limiting their normal services. We have shared the importance of getting RCDLs issued for the movement of product with the Department of Motor Vehicles, NDA and Governor’s office. We will share any changes to the licensing process as they are updated.

Employees Assistance in Nebraska

If you have employees that are unable to work due to closures or schools being cancelled, the Governor has eased the requirements for applying for unemployment through the Nebraska Department of Labor (DOL). They have waived the one week waiting period and requiring to show proof of job hunting. The DOL is also waiving the charge to the employer.

 

3/19/2020

Nebraska is following the CDC guidelines of 10 or less individuals at a gatherings as well as schools closing, many businesses and families are experiencing major disruptions.

Governor Ricketts does not currently intend to close businesses or restrict employees to 10 or less individuals like in public settings and gatherings. We will continue to work on additional clarification that agriculture production workers will be deemed essential if further restrictions do become necessary.

Pesticide Applicator Licensing

If you our your employees were due to re-certify your pesticide license by April 15, 2020, The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is considering a one year exemption. They are also looking into online re-certification for commercial applicators.

For Employees planning to test and certify at a session that was cancelled, the NDA is working with the University and exploring all options to complete the needed examinations.

For new employees using the 60 day exemption this season, NDA is considering extending the exemption to 120 days or more to allow additional time for individuals to test. This mirrors legislation currently in the Unicameral that has not yet passed. We will provide updates on the pesticide certification process going forward as soon as something is finalized.

Hours of Service (HOS) exemption

Under Governor Ricketts’ emergency declaration, HOS rules have been eased for consumer productions. We are coordinating with other state ag groups to share the importance of expanding this to ag inputs, especially during the busy spring season. Nebraska Ag Groups had a conference call this morning with the NDA and the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Matt Miltenberger, to express the urgency on this issue. We are also working with our national partners at the federal level, ARA and TFI, to extend these exemptions nationwide.

Restricted CDLs/Seasonal Permits

A number of DMV locations have temporarily closed or are limiting their normal services. We have shared the importance of getting RCDLs issued for the movement of product with the Department of Motor Vehicles, NDA and Governor’s office. We will share any changes to the licensing process as they are updated.

Employees Assistance in Nebraska

If you have employees that are unable to work due to closures or schools being cancelled, the Governor has eased the requirements for applying for unemployment through the Nebraska Department of Labor (DOL). They have waived the one week waiting period and requiring to show proof of job hunting. The DOL is also waiving the charge to the employer.

 

New York:

3/19/2020:

While New York State’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continue, the State’s agriculture and food industries remain open and continue to work hard to provide food for our communities, families and animals. Guidance prepared for food manufacturing businesses and retail stores can be found here.

New York State has not imposed any travel restrictions and all industries essential to the food supply chain, including grocery stores, gas stations, retail food stores, food processors and related food businesses, etc., are exempt from the workforce reduction guidance issued today. Please see the guidance and exemptions here:

https://agriculture.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/03/essentialservicesexception.pdf

It is more important now than ever that New Yorkers know that the State and our food industries are working together to keep our entire food supply moving and our communities and animals fed. 

New Paid Sick Leave Law: Special Provisions for COVID-19 Sufferers
Governor Cuomo yesterday signed into law mandatory paid sick leave legislation, for private employers, which include special provisions addressing the COVID-19 epidemic.  The first part of this legislation will provide paid leave and other benefits to employees who are impacted by mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. The second part of this legislation will create new and permanent regulation requiring employers to provide sick leave to their employees. Click here to view New York farm Bureau’s fact sheet on this legislation.

In an effort to further control the spread of COVID-19 in our State, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order (EO) 202.6.

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-2026-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

To reiterate: This executive order continues to exempt food processing (including but not limited those supplying goods and services to this industry such as agricultural operations, agri businesses, etc.) and retail grocery stores (including gas stations and convenience stores), from all restrictions imposed by emergency executive orders issued as a result of this emergency. NOTE: EO 202.6 also exempts businesses, vendors and services who provide goods and supplies to these essential businesses, see except provided below.

Effective on March 20 at 8 p.m.: All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% no later than March 20 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions. This includes essential health care operations including research and laboratory services; essential infrastructure including utilities, telecommunication, airports and transportation infrastructure; essential manufacturing, including food processing and pharmaceuticals; essential retail including grocery stores and pharmacies; essential services including trash collection, mail, and shipping services; news media;  banks and related financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses;  vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.

 

North Carolina:

3/24/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • 50 or less for meetings, restaurants, bars, salons closed. School out until May 15, beach access closed.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • None
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • Yes
  • If yes to above, which how long is the delay and for which products? (please list all)
    • No answer
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • H2A has been of big concern, seems for now to be resolved.

 

Ohio:

5/1/2020

Ohio Governor Mike 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. tonight.

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

On April 27, Governor Mike DeWine announced Ohio’s plan for a gradual reopening of the economy, after six weeks of a mandatory stay-at-home order that expires on May 1. The plan, known as Responsible RestartOhio, is set to roll-out.

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.

As the Responsible RestartOhio Program continues to develop, Governor Mike DeWine rolled back his requirement for retailer customers and employees to wear facemasks in public.

After hearing feedback from Ohioans, Gov. DeWine said during his daily briefing that he has come to realize the mandatory mask requirement is "offensive to some of our fellow Ohioans" and for others, it is a difficult step to take.

While not required, face coverings in public are highly recommended as a best practice. It remains the discretion of individual businesses to determine if they will turn away customers that are not wearing masks.

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 on May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. More information 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. More information 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. More information for consumer, retail and services can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

 

4/2/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Stay-at-Home Order until May 1st. Groups of 10 or above are prohibited. Most businesses have been told to establish a maximum size allowed in their establishment and maintain 6-foot distance at all times. All non-essential business are closed, and all indications from Governor Dewine show that agricultural businesses will remain essential for the duration of this crisis. 
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • All schools are closed until May 1st. The administration have asked landlords and financial institutions to provide some leeway on rent and mortgage payments for individuals, families, and small businesses. Conversations the Dewine administration and ODA so far have shown that ag business will remain essential.

 

3/27/2020

For Ohio, we are up to 1,137 cases, 276 hospitalizations, and 19 deaths. Governor DeWine signed House Bill 197, which affects regulations on schools, state and local government procedures, tax deadlines and much more.

 

3/23/2020

  • The flags will be flown at half-staff at the Statehouse for Rep. Don Manning and officer in Dayton who died this week due to COVID-19
  • The state will forgo school testing for the 2019-2020 School Year
  • Board of pharmacy took action today to deal with the malaria drug to make sure that only those who need the drug, including those who have tested positive for COVID-19
  • ODH Director Amy Acton enacted a “stay-at-home policy” for all non-essential personnel and infrastructure. Ag is considered essential infrastructure
  • Most daycares have reduced in size—we will have a change in daycares starting Thursday.  All daycare centers will apply for a pandemic childcare license and the max is six children per room, limit parent interaction at drop off and pick up, try to keep kids in same family in the same room
  • Orders will be enforced by local health departments and local law enforcement
  • 351 confirmed cases in Ohio, (feb 7-march 22) (1 year-93 with medium age at 53), three deaths in Cuyahoga, Lucas, and Erie.
  • Governor DeWine announced that adult day services for individuals with developmental disabilities will be ordered to close. There will be exceptions for groups of less than 10
  • The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will issue waivers for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of essential goods. ODOT will also waive the current permit fee for this

Three separate parts to Governor Dewine’s executive order: 

  1. Leaving home for essential actives is permitted—health safety, necessary supplies and services, and recreational activity like taking a walk or going to a park “walk your dog”—but no playgrounds.  Weddings and funerals are ok.
  2. Addresses essential workers and businesses using Homeland Security guidelines
  3. Businesses that are to remain open now have expanded guidelines. Nothing new, but just now prescribed (general 6-foot rule, washing hands, etc.)—childcare centers, etc.

 

3/20/2020

Governor Dewine is making an executive order that will close down all senior centers at the end of business on Monday. Additionally, Governor Dewine is considering what should be done with businesses that aren’t complying with his crowd order. He had no official announcement today, but is mulling over what should be done about these businesses.

 

3/19/20:

On March 18 Governor DeWine put out a statement on taking employees’ temperatures and the closing of Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) deputy registrar locations and BMV driver exam stations. You can access it here: https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/announced-additional-temporary-business-closures.

There was some miscommunication and misunderstandings yesterday regarding the need for employers to take the temperature of employees when they arrive at work. This is NOT mandatory or a Dept. of Health Order, it is a recommendation for the health and safety of our employees, their families and communities.

Regarding the closing of Ohio BMV locations; there are five geographically located facilities still open. Exact locations are listed in the link above. We know this will create some challenges and we are in conversations with the administration on these issues. (For example, the need to receive temporary CDL waivers for seasonal workers as we move into the spring planting season).

Lastly, the Ohio AgriBusiness Association, in partnership with the Ohio Farm Bureau and our state’s major agricultural commodity organizations, sent a letter to Gov. DeWine outlining the essential nature of the agricultural supply and service industry. The Governor and his administration recognize the essential nature of what our companies do to put food on the table of Ohioans. The purpose of the letter was to ensure the Governor and his team understood exactly how many jobs are essential. The list was extensive and a copy will be shared. I also spoke directly with Dept. of Ag Director Pelanda yesterday afternoon and conveyed these messages to her. She understands it, as does the Governor and Lt. Governor.

 

3/18/2020:

All International Registration Plan (IRP) jurisdictions and enforcement personnel should refrain from taking enforcement action on vehicles barring Ohio IRP Vehicle Registrations (IRP Cab Card or IRP Temporary Authorization Authority [TA]) that have expirations dates on or after March 18, 2020.

All Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Driver Exam Stations are closed except a few for essential operations.

All employers are required to take employee temperatures daily while on the job.

Currently 88 cases and 26 hospitalized.

 

3/17/2020:

OABA has established the Coronavirus Resource Center in order to keep our members updated. It can be found here: http://oaba.net/aws/OABA/pt/sd/news_article/286738/_PARENT/layout_details/false

Some co-ops and ag businesses have gone to ”skeleton crews” in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Ohio Department of Agriculture Public facilities have been closed until April 11th.  All events at the Ohio Expo Center and Fairgrounds have been cancelled for the immediate future. Pesticide Applicator Meetings and Exams have also been postponed.

 

Oklahoma

4/14/2020

All of the action so to speak is in the livestock sector. we are trying to get our emergency overweight truck provision changed whereby a trucker does not have to contact our Dept of Transportation on every load

 

3/25/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Yesterday the governor amended his Executive Order to close all businesses in 19 counties until April 16 that have a COVID-19 case that are not defined as a critical infrastructure business by DHS. Therefore Ag is covered in this amended order.
  • Yesterday, Governor Stitt amended his Emergency Order to place more restrictions on 19 Oklahoma counties that have positive cases of the Covid-19 virus. Item #20 says, in part, the following relevant to agriculture..."Effective at 11:59 pm on March 25, 2020, all businesses NOT identified as being within a critical infrastructure as defined by the Department of Homeland Security and located in a county experiencing community spread of Covid-19 shall close.”
  • Also yesterday the Department of Homeland Security clarified language in its guidance on critical workers, that now reads...EMPLOYEES OF COMPANIES ENGAGED IN THE PRODUCTION, STORAGE, TRANSPORT, AND DISTRIBUTION OF CHEMICALS, MEDICINES, VACCINES, AND OTHER SUBSTANCES USED BY THE FOOD AND AGRICUILTURE INDUSTRY, INCLUDING PESTICIDES, HERBICIDES, FERTILIZERS, MINERALS, ENRICHMENTS, AND OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AIDS. Therefore, Oklahoma agribusiness is covered under the "critical infrastructure" definition by DHS in the Governor's Emergency Order.

 

3/24/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Following CDC guidelines. larger cities have shut down bars and sit in dining, church, areas of large gatherings
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Other: Following federal at the moment but state request in to the Governor to cover all of ag if he orders a lockdown
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Other: Following federal guidelines. all licenses, permits, etc delayed until further notice
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • Yes
  • If yes to above, which how long is the delay and for which products? (please list all)
    • Not to our members, but most definitely to supermarkets and grocery stores. we are short TP, some meats, some eggs, flour, bread, pasta, as the shelves are replenished these items done last long.

 

Pennsylvania:

3/23/2020

PDA Pesticide Certification Updates 

All pesticide applicator exam sessions have been cancelled, at least through the month of March 2020.  The PaPlants website, www.paplants.pa.gov, will be updated with the latest exam schedule when exams resume.  

As of March 16, all Third-Party testing sites have been closed.  

For those who have taken exams recently:  notification of exam results will be delayed. Those who have taken a pesticide exam and have not heard back from PDA will receive notification once PDA offices are re-opened and exams can be processed.  Those who are already signed up to take a pesticide exam at exam sessions that were cancelled will be contacted by the department to reschedule. 

Private applicators with March 31, 2020 expiration dates will be extended to June 1, 2020.   For those who are currently licensed and need to renew their license, the PDA will be extending the private applicator renewal date to June 1, 2020.  Additionally, this extension will allow private pesticide applicators to purchase and make pesticide applications legally until June 1, 2020.  The PDA will not be mailing out new certification cards to reflect this extension, but we will be notifying pesticide dealers so you will be able to purchase your pesticides during this time period.   

For those whose private applicator certification expiration date reads March 31, 2019, or March 31, 2020, you will have until June 1, 2020 to obtain the required recertification credits and make payment for the applicators license.  Even with this extension, we urge private pesticide applicators to utilize pesticide online resources to obtain your recertification credits and pay for your license.  This can be done through the PaPlants website, www.paplants.pa.gov. Completed renewals may be viewed in PaPlants, www.paplants.pa.gov, but mailing of certification cards will be delayed. If you have any questions about this information, please contact 717-772-5231 or pesticides@pa.gov.  

Here is a link to the statement by Governor and First Lady Wolf on how important agriculture and the food supply are to Pennsylvanians in this trying time.

 

3/19/2020:

Essential businesses for a safe and accessible food supply include farms, greenhouses and vegetable plants, orchards, pest management services, feed mills and ag supply businesses, agriculture equipment sales and services, animal feed and supply distribution network, transportation system from farm to retail, food and meat processors and manufacturers, veterinary services and supplies, distribution and transportation system from processors and manufacturers to retailers, retailers to include grocery stores and farmers markets, grocery delivery services, laboratories, and inspectors that ensure food safety.

The Wolf Administration encourages these operations, especially food production and distribution facilities, to continue operations and issued guidance for essential operations to continue with procedures that will protect both employees and the public from
COVID-19.

 

3/17/2020:

PA Department of Agriculture Labs will remain open, but are not accepting public samples.

Effective Friday, March 13, 2020, all public events scheduled for March at the PA Farm Show Complex & Expo Center are canceled in response to COVID-19. Private meetings with 250 or more in attendance are also be prohibited.

 

South Dakota:

Resources:

 

4/20/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
  • How is your state handling new and existing pesticide certification and licensing? Are training and testing opportunities available for individuals not currently licensed or certified? Are there online/virtual options being made available? Is your state renewing or extending current certifications that are recently expired or set to expire?
    • Testing for commercial applicators is available online for a "temporary" license.
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls opened this week with a few hundred employees. The state held a free testing sight for all Smithfield employees and their families.

 

4/15/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Governor Noem has not issued a statewide shelter in place order. The city of Sioux Falls is looking to place their own order since 999 of the COVID-19 cases out of the 1168 statewide cases are related to the Simthfield plant.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • How is your state handling new and existing pesticide certification and licensing? Are training and testing opportunities available for individuals not currently licensed or certified? Are there online/virtual options being made available? Is your state renewing or extending current certifications that are recently expired or set to expire?
    • The South Dakota Department of Ag opened an online-testing site for commercial pesticide certification and licencing for both new and renewals for existing licences. The new licenses will be TEMPORARY, effective through September 30, 2020. https://apps.sd.gov/doa/cwt/default.aspx.
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • The Sioux Falls Smithfield pork processing plant announced that it will close its plant on Sunday. The original plan was close the plant for three days for a deep cleaning but Governor Noem and the mayor of Sioux Falls asked them to close for 14 days. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is coming to Sioux Falls today to help get the plant safely up and running. They WERE NOT forced to close as told in the national press. South Dakota pork producers supply about 30%-35% of the hogs that are processed, Minnesota would is in that 40%-45% range, the balance coming from Iowa and other surrounding states

 

3/24/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Governor Noem issues an Executive Order yesterday outlining guidelines for all South Dakotans, for-profit and not-for-profit employers, enclosed retail businesses that promote public gatherings, and healthcare organizations as it relates to COVID-19 in the state of South Dakota. Basically, use CDC Guideline hygiene practice, no public dining, no large groups and work from home
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Other: Nothing yet but we have been told by the Governors office that agriculture will be protected.
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Extension on CDL terminations and renewal requirements
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Schools are closed until May 1 and college campuses moved to online classes for the rest of the spring semester. The town Huron has community spread and mandated closures on March 22, 2020 for a variety of food, beverage, and entertainment businesses. Rapid City gave first reading to a closure ordinance on March 22, 2020. Second reading scheduled for Friday, March 27, 2020 when the ordinance could go into effect. Provisions are similar to the City of Huron.

 

3/18/2020:

Governor Noem closed schools this week and next week – March 16-27.  Non-essential State Government employees were asked to work from home this week -March 16-20 but have not heard anything about next week.  Our legislative session ended its main run last Thursday and are scheduled to go back on March 30th to consider veto’s and possible COVID 19 funding.  There is an SBA form on the states website and there is talk about allowing for unemployment benefits for people that cannot work.

Many companies are working with minimum staff onsite and asking others to work from home.  Companies have restricted travel to meetings with less than 10 people and sit 6 feet apart or no meetings at all.

Restaurants are open but few people using them but they are offering take out and home delivery with many small businesses concerned. 

South Dakota has 11 Positive tests, 551 Negative and 35 pending.  There was one death of a person who just returned from Italy.

So far, there have been no market disruptions but there are concerns if this lasts until the use season.

 

Texas:

Resources:

 

4/2/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • "Safe -at Home" is the verbiage being used. Our Governor will not call it a state wide "Stay at Home Order". However there are many counties in our state that are calling for a shelter in place.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • Yes, just toilet paper so far
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • I am concerned how this might escalate now that Louisiana is a hot spot. Travelers coming from that state into Texas are asked to do a self quarantine of 14 days. I have not heard this effecting my members yet, but that may change. 

Vermont:

5/7/2020

Drive-In Pesticide Exam COVID-19 Protocols

The Public Health Agricultural Resource Management (PHARM) division of Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets (VAAFM) routinely proctors pesticide applicator exams throughout the State every year.  Exam sessions are scheduled every Wednesday in Montpelier; the first Monday of every month in Rutland; the second Wednesday of every month in Derby; and the first Thursday of every month in Brattleboro, and Saint Johnsbury and alternating first Thursdays in Saint Albans and Williston.  A decreased prioritized exam schedule will be implemented in the foreseeable future. 

All exam sessions have ceased since Governor Scott implemented Addendum 6 to Executive Order 01-20 directing all Vermonters, except critical services, to stay at home unless essential reasons require leaving home.

Read more here.

 

3/19/2020:

Governor Scott has recognized Food services, agriculture, fuel, utilities, schools and medical as essential services.  The State is considering lifting some truck hours of service restrictions and weight restrictions

 

Wisconsin:

3/25/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Today (March 24), Governor Tony Evers released his "Safer-At-Home" Order which goes into place at 8:00 am Wednesday, March 25 and extends through 8:00 am Friday, April 24. All agricultural businesses listed as essential businesses by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security CISA are included in Wisconsin's list of essential businesses.
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
    • Federal/CISA
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • None currently reported
  • Has your state implemented the following: (check all that apply)
    • Hours of Service Exemption
    • Pesticide License Extension
    • Exemption for CDL requirement for retail to farm deliveries
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No

 

3/18/2020:

Many restrictions on public meetings and gatherings.  Most agriculturally related meetings have been cancelled or converted to conference call meetings where possible.  At this point, no forced restrictions on offices, manufacturing, processing, distribution, or production facilities.  Wisconsin agribusinesses are taking precautions as possible, but still doing business somewhat as normal.

Wisconsin Agri-Business Association is participating in conference calls daily with the Governor's office and weekly with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. We are all in information overload right now, as three out of every five emails and half of our conference call meetings are focused on the virus.

 

Washington:

Resources:

 

3/31/2020

  • What are your state's current operating status recommendations/restrictions? (i.e. shelter in place, self-quarantine, curfew, meeting size restrictions, etc.)
    • Shelter in place, self-quarantine
  • How is your state defining essential industries?
  • Have any of your members had issues with drivers/employees being detained by those enforcing the shelter-in-place requirements?
    • Yes
  • If yes to above, please describe situation further (number of members, frequency, etc.)
    • Farmworkers driving to work have been questioned.
  • Is your state experiencing delays in deliveries?
    • No
  • Beyond the above, please describe any other impacts your state is facing? (include impacts of executive orders, public closures, etc.)
    • Our Governor issues a stay home shelter in place order for all except essential workers. Most state employees are home.
  • Please list any relevant links you'd like to include on your state's sections
  • Since it hit first in Washington State, we are ahead of many states. This letter was sent to Governor Inslee
  • Also see Washington State Essential business list:  https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business
  • Scroll down to: 
  • FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
    • Sector Profile
    • The Food and Agricultural (FA) Sector is composed of complex production, processing, and delivery systems and has the capacity to feed people and animals both within and beyond the boundaries of the United States. Beyond domestic food production, the FA Sector also imports many ingredients and finished products, leading to a complex web of growers, processors, suppliers, transporters, distributors, and consumers. This sector is critical to maintaining and securing our food supply.
    • Essential Workforce
      • Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, and other retail that sells food and beverage products, including but not limited to Grocery stores, Corner stores and convenience stores, including liquor stores that sell food, Farmers’ markets, Food banks, Farm and produce stands, Supermarkets, Similar food retail establishments, Big box stores that sell groceries and essentials.
      • Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations – including food preparation, carry-out and delivery food employees.
      • Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; shellfish facilities including hatcheries and nurseries and growing areas; brewery and wine-making facilities; coffee production facilities; artisan food production; and the production of food packaging.
      • Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically.
      • Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs.
      • Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution (including curbside distribution and deliveries), including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers, blockchain managers, distribution.
      • Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail.
      • Company cafeterias - in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees.
      • Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education.
      • Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments.
      • Workers supporting cannabis retail and dietary supplement retail.
      • Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids.
      • Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed. ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce.
      • Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products.
      • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution.

Return to Coronavirus Resource Center

Printer-Friendly Version

0 Comments