We continue to support our community partners and members with additional up-to-date links to CO-VID19 news, official state information and available resources. We are encouraged to see how regional community and business leaders are proactively working to manage the impact the pandemic is having on our daily lives. Thank you to all who are doing their part, especially to our selfless health care workers, first responders and volunteers.
OVRDC Office Closed to the Public – Cancels Spring Full Commission Meeting
The safety and well-being of the public and our employees is our main concern. Starting this week, we will be closing our main office to the public. Our team continues to telework from home and will be available during regular business hours to assist you. All community meetings scheduled to be held in our office are cancelled/suspended effective immediately until at least April 6. Where possible, we are moving meetings online and making information available through our website, social media and email.
The Spring Full Commission Meeting re-scheduled to April 23, 2020, has been cancelled. All guests who have sent in payment will be receiving a refund. Kerri Richardson and Shannon Nichols are available if you have questions, please email: KRichardson@ovrdc.org or SNichols@ovrdc.org or call (740) 947-2853.
We are working to share information on grant timelines and opportunities, so be looking for that information coming soon. Please contact us anytime for additional information on agency day-to-day operations, funding or other concerns. We are here to help.
The Latest News
US Government Passes Aid Bill
On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Senate passed a Phase 3 Aid Package. Next, it will go to the US House of Representatives, and if approved, on to the White House to be signed into law. Details of all the provisions will be coming later. Check back for details and resources connected to the new legislation in the days ahead.
Phase 2 Aid Package called Family First Coronavirus Response Act passed by Congress and the White House last week to assist those impacted by CoVid-19 was signed into law. Called the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – HR 6201, the FFCRA will take effect April 2 until December 31, 2020.
FFCRA consists of 3 components that impact public employers
- Family and Medical Leave Act Expansion
- Public Health Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act
- Coverage of Testing for COVID-19
The definition of a Public Health Emergency as it pertains to this act is defined as, “An emergency with respect to COVID-19 declared by a Federal, State, or local authority.”
Complete Text: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text
Gov. DeWine Authorizes “Stay at Home Order” for Ohio
Sunday the Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order for all non-essential businesses to close and all people to stay at home unless engaged in essential activities. Essential activities include leaving your home:
- For health & safety
- For necessary food supplies & services
- For outdoor activity
- For certain types of work
- To take care of others
Read the full order and details here:
In addition, for essential businesses to remain open two conditions must exist. First, they must be operating one of the businesses defined in the Order as “essential.” Second, essential businesses must follow public health guidelines to maintain a healthy work environment for employees.
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and no medication to treat it. CDC believes symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Avoid exposure and avoid exposing others to an infection by following guidelines, including safeguards such as verifying all employees who report to work do not have symptoms of the novel coronavirus. Respiratory symptoms may include, but are not limited to, fever, shortness of breath, dry cough or other symptoms.
Contact your local health department for guidance and to request assistance with enforcement.
Adams County Health Department Phone: (937) 544-5547
Brown County Board of Health Phone: (937) 378-3886
Clermont County Public Health Phone: (513) 732-7499
Fayette County Public Health Phone: (740) 335-5910
Gallia County Health Department Phone: (740) 441-2018
Highland County Health Department Phone: (937) 393-1941
Jackson County Health Department Phone: (740) 286-5094
Lawrence County Health Department Phone: (740) 532-3962
Pike County General Health District Phone: (740) 947-7721
Ross County Health District Phone: (740) 779-9652
Scioto County Board of Health Phone: (740) 355-8358; Portsmouth City Health Department Phone: (740) 353-5153
Vinton County Health Department Phone: (740) 596-5233
Governor DeWine Calls up the Ohio National Guard
Governor DeWine has issued orders to mobilize the National Guard to assist with medical operations and other food-related services in support of communities. The Guard is available to assist some of the hardest hit regional hospitals with emergency triage setups or field hospitals at their facilities.
The Ohio Guard may also assist Ohio Department of Jobs Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Association of Foodbanks in transporting, packing, and distributing food to families. Contact your legislators to request help with essential community needs.
Governor DeWine Issues Expanded Telehealth for Medicaid Recipients
Governor Mike DeWine has signed an executive order to enhance options for telehealth use for Ohio Medicaid providers and patients amid the coronavirus outbreak. Telehealth is the use of technology and electronic information to support virtual clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education and public health administration.
The order relaxes regulations to make it easier to access health care resources from their homes, over unsecured internet networks and allows patients to connect with providers via real-time, two-way technology, including smartphones, computers, tablets, email, fax, and telephone.
There are no limitations on the types of practitioners who can utilize telehealth delivery services for Medicaid patients.
Governor DeWine Issues Hiring Freeze on Government Positions
In Monday’s live 2:00 pm briefing, the Governor announced emergency budget reductions and effective immediately, called for a hiring freeze, continued travel ban for government employees, and a freeze on initiating new contract services contracts unless they are directly related to health system support.
Gov. DeWine explained the shutdown of the economy and spending will have a positive impact limiting the spread of the pandemic, but as a result state revenue will also go down. At the same time, the demand for health and human services will go up. So budget tightening needs to happen now to keep pace and ensure local governments will have continued support for the essential services safety net.
Latest COVID-19 Patient Numbers for Ohio (as of 3/25/20):
182 hospitalized, 8 deaths
The latest numbers on citizens impacted by COVID-19 are updated daily at 2:00 pm here: Source: www.coronavirus.ohio.gov
The latest numbers for citizens testing positive in OVRDC counties:
Another dashboard for Ohio demographics (including age, health insurance coverage, etc.) that may be helpful to understand community impact is here: https://bao.arcgis.com/InfographicsPlayer/ArcGISPro/BA_Covid19Files/ohio.html
Very Important to Remember:
Only Use the Best Resources/Trusted Sites for information! (There’s a lot of misinformation out there.)
State Government Official Sources of Information Updated Daily
Click here for all of the Governor’s Bulletins, Official Announcements and Health Department Directives.
ONLINE: Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health. The national CDC website is also trusted: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
PHONE: For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4- ASK-ODH from the hours of 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
SOCIAL MEDIA: @OHDeptofHealth @GovMikeDeWine @LtGovHusted
DAILY UPDATES: Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org.
(Please note that with the popularity of these sessions you may have trouble accessing them immediately, but they are archived on the Ohio Channel website.)
Community News & Resources
CDC Resource Guide Available
The CDC website has a step-by-step Resource Guide to help business and local government plan a coordinated community response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Local Governments Potentially Eligible for FEMA Reimbursement for COVID-19 Response Emergency Protective Measures
Under the President’s National Emergency Declaration on March 13, 2020, local governments are eligible to apply for public assistance and potential reimbursement for expenditures related to COVID-19 response through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
You can find more information about eligibility and a list of potential items/services that are reimbursable, plus how to apply to access the reimbursement here:
State Officials Ask Providers to Expand Child Care for Essential Services Employees (Health Care Workers and more)
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Kim Hall announced emergency action this week to provide child care to families where parents work in the health, safety, and essential service fields during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The agency will issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to child care. New temporary pandemic child care centers will operate under reduced regulations focused solely on the health and safety of children. Pandemic child care center licenses can be granted to already existing child care centers or new child care centers that may be created in response to community needs.
State License Bureaus Close: Statewide 5 Locations Open only to Commercial Driver’s License Needs
*Customers are urged to renew vehicle registrations online at www.bmv.ohio.gov or by mail with their vehicle registration renewal notices.
There are two locations in the OVRDC region that are open to assist commercial drivers with obtaining CDL credentials. Ohio car dealerships have been directed to issue temporary tags for 90 days. BMV online services remain open and working. All regular tag needs will be addressed online only.
OVRDC Region Locations Open for CDL customers only –
Southwest Ohio: Deputy Registrar – 10938 Hamilton Avenue, Mount Healthy 45231
Southeast Ohio: Deputy Registrar/Driver Exam Station – 142 Gross Street, Suites A & B, Marietta 45750
US Census efforts continue temporarily on a limited scale. Fieldwork has been suspended for 2 weeks, until April 1, 2020, for now. The Census Bureau is not scheduled to start visiting non-responsive households until late May, and no announcement of changes on this.
IRS Reschedules Tax Filing Deadline: July 15, 2020
The IRS is pushing back the deadline to file income tax returns to July 15, 2020. Ohio State Tax deadline has not changed as of now, but the legislature will address the possibility to push back due date in an upcoming session.
Blood Donations Desperately Needed
Blood Donations are desperately needed, go online to find locations in your community and schedule a visit to donate blood with the Red Cross here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.
Business and Non-Profit Resources & Guidance
If you own a small business owners or work in a non-profits in Ohio, and are concerned about the temporary loss of revenue that will potentially take place in the coming weeks due to the state of emergency, you can send your questions, concerns, requests and contact information to BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov for assistance.
Submit your Feedback: Take the Economic Damage Assessment Survey Now
The Ohio Development Services Agency has issued this quick survey for businesses as a way of compiling current and future damage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ohio Unemployment Temporary Changes
Executive Order 2020-03D broadens state policy to clarify that individuals who are quarantined during the emergency period are considered to be unemployed. This also applies to companies that determine they need to temporarily shut down.
To apply for benefits, visit unemployment.ohio.gov anytime day or night, or call 1-877-644-6562 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
As of March 15, 2020 Emergency Order by Governor DeWine
- Individual waiting period for unemployment suspended
- Requirement to seek work suspended for applications related to the coronavirus outbreak
- Unemployment allow for employees not offered paid leave and are quarantined by Dr. or employer
- Unemployment allowed for employees not offered paid leave and their employer temporarily closes
- Employees who chose self-quarantine are not eligible
- Payments paid to employees as result of shutdown will be paid from the “mutual” account
- Fees for late reports and late payments will be waived
Source – http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm
Lt. Governor Husted Announces Measures to Assist Businesses
The Lt. Governor and officials have assembled online resources to help businesses here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/resources-for-economic-support.
Measures include Ohio BWC offering delayed insurance premium installment payments (until at least June 1st) and allowing employers to defer their health insurance premium payments for up to two months while keeping employees insured.
For information on the recently announced Ohio Bureau of Workers Comp premium deferrals and health insurance premium deferrals, go here.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans Available for Payroll, Accounts Payable and More
Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has qualified the State of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
This means Ohio businesses and non-profits that experience adverse economic impacts by the outbreak of COVID-19 may now apply for a low-interest loan of up to $2 million to help pay for fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. Apply for the loan online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, which is recommended, or by calling 1-800-659-2955 to have an application mailed to you.
Additional info on the Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.