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COVID-19 Update: Record-Breaking Cases, COVID Defense Teams

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

RECORD-BREAKING CASES

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio has now hit a record number of cases reported in a single 24-hour period. Between yesterday and today, health officials have reported a total of 3,590 new positive coronavirus cases in Ohio which is more than 700 cases more than the previous high number of cases reported last Saturday. A total of 194 new hospitalizations were also reported in the past 24 hours, the third-highest number of hospitalizations reported in a single day so far. 

"The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is no place to hide," said Governor DeWine. "We must face this virus head-on with the tools that we know can beat this virus back: masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently, and good ventilation when inside."

UPDATED OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY 

New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 43 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 38 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July. As of today, 78 percent of Ohioans are living in a Red Level 3 county. Less than 1 percent of Ohioans live in a Yellow Level 1 county.

"Despite the grim data that we see today, I am confident that we can slow down this invader," said Governor DeWine. "The decisions Ohioans make each day will determine the outcome of this battle. We must mask more, keep distance more, and simply be more careful. We can control our destiny."

Ohio Public Health Advisory System


Although Clark, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties are no longer listed on Ohio's watch list, there are still serious concerns about spread of the coronavirus in these counties. 

"Our alert system is designed to flag indicators that are getting worse, and what we are seeing is that these three counties have plateaued at high levels," said Governor DeWine.

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

COVID DEFENSE TEAMS

Governor DeWine today called on community leaders in each county to immediately form a local COVID Defense Team consisting of county commissioners, mayors, local hospital leaders, health commissioners, business leaders, religious leaders, and other local leaders. 

Each COVID Defense Team will be responsible for assessing COVID-19 spread in their communities, taking inventory of the assets in the community, and focusing on what steps are necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus among their citizens. 

LEARNING AID 

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has partnered with Governor DeWine’s Children’s Initiative to provide financial support to  families who may need supplemental assistance outside of what is provided by their child's Individualized Education Programs (IEP).

Learning Aid Ohio was created to connect tutors, aides, or in-home providers who can offer distance learning support for students with disabilities on IEPs. The primary goal of Learning Aid Ohio is to provide opportunities for meaningful educational experiences for students on IEPs learning full-time on a digital platform. 

Applications can be submitted at www.LearningOhio.com.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 208,937 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,275 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 18,800 people have been hospitalized, including 3,816 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

sub temp covid

COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, Election Update

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 today announced that 82 of Ohio's 88 counties are now considered high incidence counties as defined by the federal government. This means that the county has seen more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the last two weeks.

88 Counties Ranked by Occurrence

High incidence counties are highlighted blue.

Governor DeWine also announced that number of patients treated in Intensive Care Units at hospitals throughout the state are at the highest rate since the beginning of the crisis. He said that based on the indicators we have not yet reached the peak of our hospitalizations, and the ICU utilization has doubled since the beginning of October. Governor DeWine explained that most of Ohio’s cases are a result of community spread.

“As the virus spreads in the community from gatherings where people aren’t wearing masks or social distancing, it directly impacts our ability to keep our schools open, to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes, and to keep our hospitals from being over-run and exceeding capacity,” said Governor DeWine. 

Confirmed COVID-19 Patient Count

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans of the fundamental ways to stop the spread of the virus.

  • Wear a mask when you are out in public, when you go to a store, and when you are with friends.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Keep your building well-ventilated. 

He also asked Ohio businesses to allow employees to work from home, when possible; to remind employees of the ways they can stop the spread of the virus; and require customers to wear masks.

Governor DeWine also called on community leaders to inventory where they are in the battle against COVID-19. He asked them to work together to assess where they are, what they need to do, and set goals in their fight against the virus. The Governor and Lt. Governor will begin calls with the community leaders to develop strategies forward, starting with the three counties on the watch list.

ELECTION UPDATE

Governor DeWine was joined by Secretary of State Frank LaRose today for an update on the election on November 2, 2020. Secretary LaRose outlined the precautions that the Board of Election offices are taking to keep Ohioans safe while voting. Secretary LaRose also reminded Ohioans that they can cast their vote early in person, by mail or on election day.

Additional information about the election, such as hours of polling locations, can be found at VoteOhio.gov

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 202,740 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,239 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 18,433 people have been hospitalized, including 3,771 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

Additional CARES Act Dollars will Help Ohio Small Business Owners

COLUMBUS, October 26, 2020 – NFIB, the state’s leading small business association, issued the following statement on the announcement by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine that proposed CARES Act dollars announced Friday, October 23, have been approved by the state’s controlling board to support small business owners throughout the state. This statement can be attributed to Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

“NFIB is particularly pleased that this program specifically targets help to the smallest of Ohio’s entrepreneurs, of which many were unable to access any of the federal relief funds,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

“As the pandemic continues to hammer away at Ohio entrepreneurs, the opportunity to tap into additional CARES Act dollars made available by Governor Mike DeWine is certainly welcome news and much appreciated. In a recent survey, 77 percent of our members indicated they accessed a Paycheck Protection Loan. However, 88 percent of them have already exhausted the funds that they indicated mainly went to employee wages, utility costs, and rent or lease costs,” he continued.

“With so much uncertainty still looming, access to these dollars along with the rebates by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation being mailed out this week will provide vitally important resources to help keep their businesses open. We once again appreciate the strong leadership shown by Governor Mike DeWine, Speaker of the House Bob Cupp, and Senate President Larry Obhof for their understanding of just how much the small business owners of our state still need help so they can keep their doors open and their valued people employed,” Geiger concluded.

Additional CARES Act Dollars will Help Ohio Small Business Owners

COLUMBUS, October 23, 2020 – NFIB, the state’s leading small business association, issued the following statement on the announcement by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine that additional CARES Act dollars would be made available to small business owners through the state. This statement can be attributed to Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

“NFIB is particularly pleased that this program specifically targets help to the smallest of Ohio’s entrepreneurs, of which many were unable to access any of the federal relief funds,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.

“As the pandemic continues to hammer away at Ohio entrepreneurs, the opportunity to tap into additional CARES Act dollars made available by Governor Mike DeWine is certainly welcome news and much appreciated. In a recent survey, 77 percent of our members indicated they accessed a Paycheck Protection Loan. However, 88 percent of them have already exhausted the funds that they indicated mainly went to employee wages, utility costs, and rent or lease costs,” he continued.

 

“With so much uncertainty still looming, access to these dollars along with the rebates by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation being mailed out this week will provide vitally important resources to help keep their businesses open. We once again appreciate the strong leadership shown by Governor Mike DeWine, Speaker of the House Bob Cupp, and Senate President Larry Obhof for their understanding of just how much the small business owners of our state still need help so they can keep their doors open and their valued people employed,” Geiger concluded.

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For more than 75 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the one, true Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as the engine of the American economy and its biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate, and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available at www.NFIB.com/newsroom.

COVID-19 Update: Record-Breaking Hospitalizations, $1.3 Billion for Ohio Businesses, Spread from Social Gatherings

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

RECORD-BREAKING HOSPITALIZATIONS

Governor DeWine announced today that hospitals across Ohio are currently treating 1,221 COVID-19 patients which is the most hospitalized patients at one time since the start of the pandemic. A total of 216 of these hospitalizations were reported in the past 24 hours which is the highest number of hospitalizations reported in a single day and more than 50 hospitalizations more than the previous high in mid-July. 

Ohio is also recording an increase in ICU admissions and ventilator utilization. 

Current Confirmed COVID-19 Count

"So far, Ohio's hospitals still have adequate remaining capacity to care for everyone who is sick, but our hospitalizations are already breaking records, and we are not seeing any signs of Ohio's case numbers slowing down," said Governor DeWine. "If we don’t buckle down, wear our masks, and take care of each other, I am very concerned that our hospitals will begin to fill up. We pushed this virus down before, and it's up to all of us to do it again."

Ohio also reported 2,015 new COVID-19 cases since yesterday. Sixty-nine of Ohio's 88 counties have a high incidence of COVID-19 spread, meaning their rate of cases is more than 100 cases per 100,000 population in the past two weeks. 

SOCIAL GATHERINGS

The White House Coronavirus Task Force strongly recommends that Ohioans limit gatherings with family and friends to prevent the virus from spreading to those most at risk of complications. The recommendation follows the increase in community spread in Ohio initiated by small social gatherings.

"It’s the same thing I’m hearing when I speak with county health commissioners. They are seeing the most spread in Ohio from informal gatherings," said Governor DeWine. "We can’t let our guard down; we must keep our masks on."

Governor DeWine also urged caution for sports fans who gather this weekend to watch the Ohio State, Browns, and Bengals football games. 

$1.3 BILLION GOING TO OHIO BUSINESSES

Dividend checks from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation will be mailed to employers beginning this week.  The dividend amount totals approximately $1.3 billion.

The money is being given back to employers in response to Governor DeWine's request in August that the Ohio BWC Board of Directors approve a second dividend to provide financial support for public and private employers impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

These checks will be mailed to employers throughout the end of October. 

A wide-ranging program to address the needs of struggling Ohioans, including funding for rent, mortgages, and water and sewer utility bills, as well as funding for small businesses and nonprofits, will be announced in the near future. 

OHSAA UPDATE

Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided an update from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) on the status of high school fall sports.

OHSAA Observers have attended 458 sites, including 600 football games, at least 50 volleyball matches, and at least 50 soccer matches over the course of eight weeks.

The OHSAA provides reports to the schools following the competitions to serve as an educational opportunity for the school to improve.

LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY DASHBOARD

Ohio's new long-term care facility dashboard is now available at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The new dashboard outlines visitation information at nursing facilities across the state. Those with loved ones in a nursing facility can search for information by county or facility to find information on the types of visits that are offered and when they are permitted. Nursing facilities were permitted to allow indoor visitations beginning October 12. 

Details regarding the visitation guidelines for Ohio’s intermediate care facilities can be found in a public health order issued on September 24. Visitation at intermediate care facilities was permitted to resume on September 28.

VACCINE PROVIDER REGISTRATION

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio has submitted its Interim Draft COVID-19 Vaccine Plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan is a framework on how Ohio will proceed once a vaccine is available. The plan will be available tomorrow at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

The Ohio Department of Health will also be launching a new registration tool for health care providers who would like to eventually administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Providers, such as local health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and nursing facilities, will be notified soon with instructions about how they can register.

TEST RESULT REPORTING

The Ohio Department of Health has developed a technology solution to allow their systems to track negative test results. In response, Interim Director of Health Lance Himes today amended a directive that now requires all labs to start sharing all positive, negative, inconclusive, and invalid test results related to COVID-19 tests with the Ohio Department of Health.

Previously, labs were reporting positive COVID-19 results at the individual level and as an aggregate count for all other test results.  

"Adding these categories will allow us to gather additional data for a more complete picture of how COVID is spreading in our communities," said Governor DeWine. This will also allow us to provide positivity data by county in the coming weeks."

FLU SHOTS

Governor DeWine once again urged Ohio citizens to get their flu shots this year.  A person can become infected with both the flu virus and coronavirus at the same time.

If you become ill this season, many healthcare providers will test for both flu and COVID-19 to get a proper diagnosis. While the symptoms can be similar, COVID-19 is more serious, its symptoms last longer, those hospitalized tend to have longer hospital stays, and the virus has a higher mortality rate. 

Flu and COVID-19 Differences

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 185,639 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,083 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 17,388 people have been hospitalized, including 3,597 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

Health Order Signed

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed the Amended Director’s Order on the Opening of Adult Day Services and Senior Centers. Adult day services and senior centers were permitted to reopen September 21, 2020. This order makes two changes – it lifts the requirement for facilities to test all participants and staff, and clarifies that all participants must wear facial coverings.

COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, Increased Spread in Cases

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 today released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 29 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Level 3):

Adams, Butler, Clark, Cuyahoga, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Highland, Lawrence, Licking, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Stark, Summit, Scioto, Union, and Warren

“We have 70 counties that are either red or high incidence. That’s 10 million Ohioans or 85% of the population, living in an area with a high risk of community transmission,” Governor DeWine said.

Governor DeWine reviewed the seven indicators of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, which assess the degree of the virus’ spread in each county. The seven indicators are:

  • Indicator 1: New cases per capita
  • Indicator 2: Sustained increase in new cases
  • Indicator 3: Proportion of cases not in congregate setting
  • Indicator 4: Sustained increase in Emergency Department visits for COVID-like illness
  • Indicator 5: Sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness
  • Indicator 6: Sustained increase in new COVID hospital admissions
  • Indicator 7: Intensive Care Unit bed occupancy

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Oct 15

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

INCREASED SPREAD IN CASES

Governor DeWine also announced the state’s positivity rate was 5.4% and the seven-day average was 4.2%. This is up from September when the positivity rate was 2.7%. He reported that today Ohio has 1,042 COVID inpatients in hospitals, which is a significant increase from the 563 patients on September 20, 2020.

Governor DeWine spoke with Dr. Nick Dreher, medical director of the Population Health Innovation Institute at MetroHealth System, and Dr. David Margolius, division director of internal medicine at MetroHealth System about the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Ohio.

Dr. Margolius told Ohioans that if they are planning to spend time with family and friends, they need to do it safely, by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.  Dr. Dreher reminded Ohioans that they know how to fight the spread of COVID-19 and need to continue following the proper prevention methods to avoid stress on Ohio’s hospital systems.

“The only way, the only way we can beat this virus back is to follow the prevention methods we have been talking about since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. “Stay home when you are sick. Social distance. Wear a mask. Always.”

CENSUS REMINDER

Lt. Governor Husted also reminded Ohioans that today is the last day to respond to the 2020 Census. The Census determines the spending of $675 Billion in federal funds and what portion of that funding comes back to Ohio for schools, hospitals, public safety, roads, and bridges.

Individuals can respond online at 2020Census.gov or by phone: In English – 844-330-2020 or in Spanish – 844-468-2020.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 175,843 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,038 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,824 people have been hospitalized, including 3,507 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Increasing Cases, Childhood Vaccinations, Lab Capacity Dashboard, BinaxNOW Testing Plan

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

INCREASING CASES

Governor DeWine today cautioned that the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases indicates that significant numbers of infections are likely this winter unless citizens take steps to mitigate and control the spread of the virus. 

"Although a vaccine is on the way in the future, we can't control the timetable of the development of a vaccine - but we can control how much this flares up until then," said Governor DeWine. "We have avoided the large outbreaks that other countries and other states have seen, and so far, the combined efforts of Ohioans have kept the virus in check. We can't let our guards down now. We need to continue taking basic safety measures of wearing masks, keeping distance, and avoiding large gatherings."

In the last seven days, Ohio COVID-19 cases have averaged 1,475 cases per day by report date as compared to an average of approximately 1,000 cases per day only two weeks ago. Ohio's current positivity rate is 4.1 percent as compared to 2.7 percent on September 23 and 24. A total of 51 counties are considered high incidence and/or Alert Level 3 on Ohio's Public Health Advisory System. 

A new public service announcement featuring former Ohio State coaches Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer encourages everyone to stay in the game and to stick to the game plan. 

Ohio State Coaches PSA

CHILDHOOD VACCINES

In Ohio and across the country, there has been a decrease in vaccinations administered to protect against diseases like measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, and polio, and today Governor DeWine today encouraged parents not to delay their children's well-visit vaccinations. 

"While we do not have a vaccine yet for COVID-19, we can prevent more than a dozen other diseases from harming our children and our communities," said Governor DeWine. "It is critical that Ohioans and providers remain vigilant about keeping children up to date on these vaccines."

In the coming days, the Ohio Department of Medicaid will launch several initiatives to encourage childhood immunizations among its members.  These efforts will be aimed at increasing safe, convenient access to vaccinations by providing mobile vaccination clinics and reducing administrative barriers for providers.

Governor DeWine also unveiled a new public service announcement that stresses the importance of childhood vaccines.

Childhood Vaccines

LAB CAPACITY DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine today announced the creation of a new Lab Capacity Dashboard to help pharmacists, nursing homes, colleges and universities, employers, and others administering COVID-19 tests find a lab to run their samples. This new resource will help connect groups that are testing with available labs in order to ease turnaround times and inform Ohioans of their COVID-19 status.

The new dashboard provides self-reported information about labs that can run tests, including hours of operation, types of tests they accept, estimated turn-around time, and locations. Labs with available capacity can sign up on the website to be included in this dashboard.

BINAX-NOW TESTING PLAN

Governor DeWine today discussed plans for Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen screening tests that the federal government is providing to Ohio.

This week, Ohio is deploying thousands of these screening tests to colleges and universities to help them implement proactive screening plans. Next week, Ohio will begin sending tens of thousands of screening tests to nursing homes for both routine and outbreak testing requirements. 

Governor DeWine emphasized that lab-based PCR tests are still considered the “gold standard” test that provides the most accurate results, and antigen tests can have false positives and false negatives.

"The opportunity to test more broadly and more often make this an important step forward in our fight against COVID-19 spread, even with the lower sensitivity and specificity of these tests," said Governor DeWine. "We do have protocols to follow up on results that are most likely to be false, but we need to be aware that this is part of testing at this scale."  

Governor DeWine also cautioned that testing should not be considered a substitute for precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings.  

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 161,678 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 5,017 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,565 people have been hospitalized, including 3,447 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, Nursing Homes Visitation Order, Women's Enterprise Certification

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s press conference was held in Marion, Ohio at the home of President Warren G. Harding.

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

Governor DeWine today released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 18 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Level 3): Ashland, Butler, Fayette, Hamilton, Lawrence, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Portage, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Scioto,  and Trumbull.

“We have 18 Red counties, which is more than we’ve seen since the week of July 23,” said Governor DeWine. “Additionally, there are 58 Orange counties this week, the highest ever. 96% of Ohioans are living in a Red or Orange county. The virus continues to spread quickly throughout the state, and we need to continue staying at home when sick, wearing a mask when out, and keeping at least six feet between you and those outside of your household.”

Ohio Public Health Advisory System

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

NURSING HOME VISITATION ORDER

Governor DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes has signed the order that allows nursing facilities to permit indoor visitation beginning Monday, October 12th. In order to permit indoor visitation, facilities are required to meet certain health and safety requirements.

The visits will be limited to two visitors and will be a maximum of 30 minutes. Visitors will have to be socially distanced and wear a face covering. Visits are to occur in areas that are separate from a resident’s room.

Facilities are required to report visitation information, including visitation status, hours, maximum visitation time, and number of visitors via an online dashboard at coronavirus.ohio.gov. Facilities must register with the state by October 19th.

In addition, this order also details compassionate care visits, which are separate and distinct from normal visitation. These visits are not exclusively for end-of-life situations, but can also include situations where a resident was recently admitted to the home and are struggling with the change in environment and lack of family support.

Other situations can include when a resident is grieving someone who recently passed away, a resident that may need encouragement to eat or drink that was previously provided by a family member or caregiver and is experiencing weight loss or dehydration, or when a resident is experiencing emotional distress.

Facilities should work with residents, families, caregivers, resident representatives, clinicians, and the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman program to identify the need, length, and frequency of these visits.

The order is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

H2OHIO UPDATE

Prior to today’s press conference, Governor DeWine visited the site of a future H2Ohio wetland complex in Wyandot County. The new wetland complex, with several new and restored wetlands, will be developed at the headwaters of the Blanchard River, which flows into Lake Erie. 

H2Ohio is a comprehensive, data-driven water quality plan to reduce harmful algal blooms, improve wastewater infrastructure, and prevent lead contamination. An important part of this plan includes expanding and protecting wetlands throughout the state.

OHIO TASK FORCE ONE

Governor DeWine acknowledged Ohio’s Task Force One as they were activated and deployed yesterday to assist those impacted by Hurricane Delta in Louisiana. Ohio’s Task Force One is headquartered near Dayton, Ohio, and serves as one of the top Urban Search and Rescue teams.

WOMEN’S ENTERPRISE CERTIFICATION

Beginning tomorrow, the Ohio Department Administrative Services (DAS) will launch the Ohio Women’s Enterprise Certification (WBE). This first-of-its-kind certification will allow women-owned businesses to seek certification from the Equal Employment Opportunity office at DAS.

CENTER FOR COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS

Governor DeWine today acknowledged Kimberly Hall, Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Congresswoman Marcia Fudge for being named the 2020 Center for Community Solutions Public Service award winners.

The Center for Community Solutions awarded both Director Hall and Congresswoman Fudge for their commitment to ensuring Ohioans have access to food and nutrition services through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as well as for their efforts to create the Pandemic-EBT program, which provides critical assistance to hundreds of thousands of Ohio school-aged children.

DONATE LIFE

Donate Life Ohio will be holding Ohio’s first-ever online donor registration drive today.  Donate Life's “Don’t Wait, Save 8” campaign encourages Ohioans to register online to become a donor, rather than waiting until a visit to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). In Ohio, more than 3,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

FIRST LADIES FOR HEALTH- FAMILY HEALTH DAY

The Ohio National Guard will be assisting with free COVID-19 testing in the Cincinnati-area on Sunday, October 11. Testing will be available in nine Cincinnati locations from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Several of these locations also offer flu shots.

Information on testing in Cincinnati is available at FamilyHealthDay.org.

Additional information about COVID-19 testing throughout the state is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov under the Testing and Community Health Centers tab.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 164,262 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,983 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 16,200 people have been hospitalized, including 3,395 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Hospital Admissions,  Quarantine Study, PPE Manufacturing

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

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS

Governor DeWine noted today that although COVID-19 hospital admissions in Ohio had been declining since peaking in mid-July, hospitalizations are now trending upwards with an increasing number of hospitalizations in rural Ohio.

The average age of hospitalized patients has also gone up in recent weeks. Ohioans 60 and older now account for approximately 70 percent of COVID hospital admissions as compared to 50 percent of hospitalizations in July.

"As we said earlier in August and September, spread among the young and healthy will eventually impact those who are older and more vulnerable, which is why it is so very important that younger Ohioans do all they can to prevent spread," said Governor DeWine. 

Regionally, the western part of the state has been seeing an increase in hospital admissions and relatively fewer hospital admissions have been occurring in northeast and central Ohio. 

All regions of the state currently have adequate hospital capacity. 

5_crop.jpg

NOTE: Hospital admissions are a lagging indicator. Admissions for the week of September 27th are expected to rise as new information is received.

CONTINUED PRECAUTIONS

Governor DeWine today reminded Ohioans to continue to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He stressed that President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis  should serve as a reminder that anyone can become ill with coronavirus and that citizens should remain diligent in their efforts to prevent virus spread. 

"Each of us can demonstrate our love and respect for our fellow Ohioans by wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, keeping at least 6 feet of distance from others, and frequently washing our hands. This is in our control," said Governor DeWine. "This virus is an enemy of our freedom, but by doing these things to fight back against it, we'll keep our kids in school and our economy moving forward. All of us working together will allow us to live with this virus until the time when it is gone."

QUARANTINE STUDY

Governor DeWine announced today that he has authorized a study focused on school students who are quarantined due to meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

"We have heard anecdotally that most quarantined students are not getting sick, but I believe that it is important to have data and evidence before considering a change to the recommended guidance," said Governor DeWine. 

ECONOMIC RECOVERY RELIEF PACKAGE

Governor DeWine announced that his administration is working closely with the Ohio General Assembly on a plan to distribute CARES Act funding to help citizens who are struggling to pay their rent, mortgage, or water and sewage utility bills. The plan will also focus on providing aid to small businesses and non-profits. 

More information on the economic recovery relief package is expected to be released soon.

PPE MANUFACTURING

Lt. Governor Husted recognized Phoenix Quality Manufacturing for their work to produce N95 masks, creating 40 jobs in Jackson County. The facility will convert 23,000 square feet of the former Elemetal (Ohio Precious Metals) facility into an N95 mask manufacturing operation.

The project has received a $250,000 JobsOhio revitalization grant and a $500,000 PPE grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency. They also received support from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, Appalachian Growth Capital, and various investors. Phoenix Quality Manufacturing plans to start producing masks in November for local, state, and international customers.  

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 161,299 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,947 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 15,972 people have been hospitalized, including 3,367 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: September Summary, Prevalence Testing, Updated Risk Levels, Worker Upskilling

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 today released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that 11 counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread (Level 3): Ashland, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, Mercer, Montgomery, Muskingum, Pike, Putnam, Richland, and Scioto. Richland County is on the borderline of a Level 4 public emergency with severe exposure and spread.

"We have 11 red counties, which is more than we’ve seen at any point in September," said Governor DeWine. "Although many Ohioans are working hard to keep this virus in check, unfortunately, we are seeing a rebound in some areas of the state. This pandemic isn't over, so please continue to stay home if you're sick, wear a mask when you're out, and keep at least six feet between you and those outside of your household."

Ohio Public Health Advisory System

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

SEPTEMBER SUMMARY

Governor DeWine today released new data summarizing cases, hospitalizations, and deaths reported in Ohio's 88 counties so far in September. The counties are ranked by cases per 100,000 people. 

Cases Hospitalizations and Deaths in September

WORKER UPSKILLING

Lt. Governor Husted announced the results of the August 2020 TechCred Application period, which set a record in approving 4,468 credentials through 288 Ohio companies. So far, a total of 983 Ohio employers have been approved for reimbursement, which will yield as many as 11,941 technology-focused credentials for Ohioans. Prior to their election, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted promised to fund the completion of at least 10,000 micro-degrees per year – a commitment that has been met through this latest round.

PREVALENCE TESTING

Lt. Governor Husted also held an on-air discussion with Dr. Abby Norris Turner of Ohio State University. Dr. Norris Turner described the prevalence testing Ohio State conducted on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health in order to assess how many Ohioans have already contracted COVID-19. The study was conducted over 20 days in July 2020 and included a sample of 727 adults. The study showed that approximately .9 percent of Ohioans were likely infected with COVID-19 during the study, and approximately 1.5 percent had prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies during the study period in July. You will soon be able to access a summary of the study at coronavirus.ohio.gov and viewing the Dashboard Overview page.

WI-FI HOTSPOTS

Lt. Governor Husted thanked the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio for coordinating efforts between Facebook and T-Mobile that will provide Wi-Fi hotspots to libraries in Southeast Ohio. These internet-enabled devices will be available to patrons to check out in the same way they would borrow a library book or film. The effort aims to give opportunities for at-home internet usage for those who do not have reliable access to broadband. Facebook donated the devices at no charge and paid for 6 months of unlimited network usage on the T-Mobile network. T-Mobile will fund an additional 6 months of connectivity for the devices as well as help get the hotspots ready for use and provide ongoing technical support.

LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE ELITE PROGRAM

Lt. Governor Husted also recognized Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), Fifth-Third Bank, and JobsOhio for offering financial support so 10 companies will be able to participate in the London Stock Exchange ELITE program. ELITE will work with each of these business owners to develop clear, actionable plans around preparing for future growth, developing world-class strategy and operational functions, and accessing regional and global capital markets.

The London Stock Exchange’s ELITE Program is opening their first headquarters in the Americas in Cleveland, Ohio, which Lt. Governor Husted announced while on a business development mission to the United Kingdom in 2019.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 155,314 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,817 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 15,606 people have been hospitalized, including 3,297 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

Parents can create new Halloween traditions during pandemic

 

MUNCIE, Indiana – If communities follow new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Halloween, families should consider creating new traditions that do not involve trick-or-treating, parties, and get-togethers, said Jill Walls, an associate professor of Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies at Ball State University. 

On Monday, the CDC posted guidance for the holidays, including Halloween. The federal agency warns people to avoid higher risk activities, including door-to-door trick-or-treating; attending crowded, indoor costume parties; visiting indoor haunted houses; or going on hayrides or tractors rides with strangers. 

“The most important part of any holiday is spending quality time together and making memories,” Walls said. “COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty for families, but I think it’s possible to still have fun this Halloween season while staying safe. Parents should take time to prepare their children for some new traditions and provide reassurance about the other upcoming holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas.” 

Walls suggests that families watch an age-appropriate, Halloween-themed movie together, make a Halloween craft, play board games, bake holiday-themed food, or have story time where someone reads a Halloween or fall-themed book aloud. 

It also might be fun to “visit” friends in costume via Zoom or other online video platforms, she said.  

And, for the little ones that just enjoy the costumes and treats, parents could set up candy bowls in various rooms of their home and have children trick-or-treat around the house or apartment. 

If your community allows Halloween activities to go on in neighborhoods, Walls encourages residents to place wrapped candy outside their homes in open bowls, instead of handing it out.  

“I think about many hands reaching inside those bowls, which is not necessarily sanitary. Costumes with masks and gloves might be the best way to go this year!”  

- - -

About Ball State 

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State University is one of Indiana’s premier universities and an economic driver for the state. Ball State’s 21,600 students come from all over Indiana, the nation, and the world. The 790-acre campus is large enough to accommodate first-rate facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports, but our welcoming and inclusive campus is small enough to ensure the friendliness, personal attention, and access that are the hallmarks of the University. Destination 2040: Our Flight Path establishes Ball State’s ambitious goals for our second century. We Fly!

Nursing homes warn Congress: 

Don’t leave town without delivering additional COVID funding for health and long-term care providers

 

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 28th - The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, warned Congress today that if they don’t pass another COVID funding package public health agencies and health care providers could find themselves less than completely prepared heading into the cold and flu season, as well as underfunded to handle another major spike in COVID cases.

With 70% of the $175 billion Provider Relief Fund provided by the CARES Act back in April already distributed and remaining funds likely to be allocated by early October, health care providers, including long term care facilities, will need additional funds to continue its response to the COVID pandemic heading into the cold and flu season, which provides new challenges.

Michael T. Osterholm, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist recently pointed out the challenges with the upcoming flu and cold season: “I think we’re just in the beginning of what’s going to be a marked increase in cases in the fall. And it won’t be just a testing artifact, either. This is real.” Further complicating the flu and cold season ahead is the fact that COVID cases are rising as CNBC reported, “Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are beginning to rebound following weeks of reported declines and warnings from top U.S. health officials that the country could be vulnerable to fresh outbreaks coinciding with the forthcoming flu season.”

Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), stated that Congress needs to end the partisan logjam and prioritize frontline health care workers and residents, particularly vulnerable elderly populations.

“Without replenishing funds for federal and state agencies, health care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living communities, could find themselves less than completely prepared for the challenges of the upcoming cold and flu season, which could inevitably result in an uptick in new COVID cases,” stated Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. “With the cold and flu season adding a real complication to the ongoing COVID pandemic response, the need for extra testing, personal protective equipment and staffing, will need to be met in order to keep caregivers and residents safe.”

Parkinson is urging Congress to provide an additional $100 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Provider Relief Fund, which is accessible for all health care providers impacted by COVID-19. A sizeable portion of the fund should be dedicated to helping nursing homes and assisted living communities acquire resources associated with protecting vulnerable residents and staff from the virus, including constant testing, PPE and staff support.

“Without adequate funding and resources, the U.S. will repeat the same mistakes made during the initial outbreak last spring and the major spike over the summer. We need Congress to prioritize our vulnerable seniors and their caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living communities, by passing another COVID funding package before they leave town for the elections.”

For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org/coronavirus. 

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ABOUT AHCA/NCAL

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 14,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahcancal.org or

www.ncal.org

COVID-19 Update: Higher Education Screening, Indoor Visitation, Sports Order Modification 

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

Ohio Public Health Advisory System

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

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

HIGHER EDUCATION SCREENING

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

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

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

INDOOR VISITATION

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

Intermediate Care Facilities:

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

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

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

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

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

SPORTS ORDER MODIFICATION

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

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

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD - PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

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

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

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 147,744 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,715 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 15,051 people have been hospitalized, including 3,228 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

Health Order Signed

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

COVID-19 Update: Demographic Dashboard, Contact Tracing, Mask Donation

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today gave the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

DEMOGRAPHIC DASHBOARD

Governor DeWine today unveiled a new case demographics dashboard on coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

CONTRACT TRACING

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

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

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

Answer the call

FACE MASK DONATION

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

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

OHIO BENEFITS 

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

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

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

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

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 145,850 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,635 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,899 people have been hospitalized, including 3,210 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Rankings of Ohio's 88 counties by highest occurrence can be found below. 

All 88 counties

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Updated County Risk Levels, New Data Dashboards, Response Guide for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, Lost Wages Assistance, and Halloween Guidance

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

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS 

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

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

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

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

NEW DATA DASHBOARDS 

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

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

FLU SHOT REMINDER 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOST WAGES ASSISTANCE 

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

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

CENSUS 

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

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA
There are 141,585 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,580 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,625 people have been hospitalized, including 3,0149 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities Testing Update, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Inductees Announced, and Ohio To Work Initiative Begins

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today gave the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

TESTING IN NURSING HOMES AND ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES

Governor DeWine and Director Ursel McElroy of the Ohio Department of Aging provided an update on testing in nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult day centers, and adult day cares. Directory McElroy explained that frequent testing in congregate settings is important to control the spread of the virus. She also mentioned that adult day care and senior centers will open on September 21st. The facilities will test staff every other week and participants if they present symptoms. Outdoor visitation started at Ohio nursing homes on July 20th. If visitors have questions about protocols or concerns about a facility in their area, they can contact the Ohio Department of Aging. The Department of Aging is working on a dashboard to increase transparency about the status of visitation at facilities across the state.

OHIO VETERANS HALL OF FAME

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

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

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

OHIO TO WORK

Governor DeWine, along with JP Nauseef, president and CEO of JobsOhio, announced that JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Development Services Agency will launch a pilot initiative called Ohio To Work. The Initiative will help connect Ohioans looking for a job to a new job opportunity. Ohio To Work brings together employers, nonprofits, educators, and training providers to help Ohioans reskill and restart their careers. Individuals participating in Ohio To Work will be provided a career coach, be invited to virtual career fairs, and be connected to employers ready to hire. The first Ohio To Work initiative will be launched in Cleveland- Cuyahoga County. Ohioans can learn more at OhioToWork.com.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 139,485 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,506 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,481 people have been hospitalized, including 3,111 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Rankings of Ohio's 88 counties by highest occurrence can be found below. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Flu Shots, Updated County Risk Levels, Suicide Prevention, New ODH Director 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 today released Ohio's updated Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health found that six counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread: Butler, Mercer, Montgomery, Preble, Putnam, and Summit. 

A total of 68 counties stayed at the same level as last week, and two counties, Lucas and Wayne, dropped from Level 3 to Level 2.

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

Data calculations conducted by the Ohio Department of Health also show the continued increase in cases among younger adults in the age groups of 0-19 and 20-29. 

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

FLU SHOTS

With flu season approaching, Governor DeWine today reminded Ohioans of the importance of getting a flu shot this year. The Governor, along with First Lady Fran DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, all received their flu shots this afternoon. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older receive an annual flu shot, with rare exception. The recommendation includes flu shots for pregnant women, whose vaccinations can protect their babies after birth.  

"While the flu can be deadly on its own, we also are concerned that Ohioans who get both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could become severely, if not fatally, ill," said Governor DeWine. "Our youngest and oldest Ohioans, those who are pregnant, those in long-term care facilities, and those with chronic health conditions may be especially susceptible to severe illness or complications from the flu."

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

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

NEW OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DIRECTOR

Governor DeWine today named Joan Duwve, M.D., MPH, the director of the Ohio Department of Health.

“This unprecedented time calls for true leadership to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to save lives,” said Governor DeWine.  “We welcome Dr. Duwve to our team. Her clinical experience and leadership to strengthen public health infrastructure will help guide Ohio as we navigate through this pandemic and modernize Ohio’s public health system.”

“I am thrilled to return to Ohio, where I grew up,” said Dr. Duwve. “Through forging strong partnerships across the state, I firmly believe that together, we can build healthier communities that in turn create greater opportunities for all Ohioans to thrive.” 

A graduate of North Olmsted High School, Dr. Duwve attended undergraduate school at The Ohio State University. She received a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan and her Medical Doctor Degree from Johns Hopkins University. 

Most recently, Dr. Duwve served as the Director of Public Health at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control under South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R).  Prior to her time in South Carolina, she served as an Associate Dean of Practice for the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and developed and directed the ECHO Center to train providers in rural communities to treat patients with complex conditions. Dr. Duwve also served Indiana Governors Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Eric Holcomb, as the Chief Medical Officer with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Medical Director for the Department’s Division of Public Health and Preparedness. Before transitioning into her role improving public health, Dr. Duwve practiced family medicine.

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

On World Suicide Prevention Day, Governor DeWine reminded citizens that resources are available for anyone who needs support due to stress, anxiety, sadness, or anger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic or other concerns. 

Ohioans can reach the Ohio Careline by calling 1-800-720-9616. Residents can also be connected to a trained crisis counselor via the Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4hope” to 741 741. 

MENTAL HEALTH & SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER PSA CAMPAIGN

In an effort to promote mental health, Governor DeWine's RecoveryOhio team partnered with the Ohio Department of Insurance to launch a series of television, radio, and digital ads to help Ohioans who have questions about their health insurance coverage when seeking treatment. The PSAs will begin airing next week in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

Ohioans with questions about mental health and substance use disorder benefits can contact the Ohio Department of Insurance at 1-800-686-1526.

CENSUS

Lt. Governor Husted reminded Ohioans that the deadline to complete the 2020 Census is quickly approaching. As of this morning, Ohio’s self response rate was 69.5 percent, which is above the national rate of 65.5 percent but one percentage point behind Michigan. The census, which only takes about 10 minutes to complete, impacts the state for the next 10 years, including how federal, state and local funding is distributed and determines congressional representation.

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 134,086 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,354 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,164 people have been hospitalized, including 3,070 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program, Non-Congregate Sheltering Order, Sports Spectator Variance

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today gave the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

PANDEMIC ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER PROGRAM

Governor DeWine announced today that thousands of Ohio children, who qualify for free or reduced-price meals but are currently learning remotely, will soon receive additional money to purchase nutritious foods through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program made possible by the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will issue this second round of benefits later this month to eligible children. Ohio previously issued more than $250 million in P-EBT benefits to more than 850,000 students through the program in the spring.

Parents do not need to apply to receive these benefits. The benefits will be automatically loaded onto existing Ohio Direction cards or a pre-loaded card will be sent in the mail.

NON-CONGREGATE SHELTERING ORDER

In response to a barrage of rumors surrounding Ohio's latest non-congregate sheltering order, Governor DeWine today stressed that there are no orders in Ohio to create "FEMA camps" to quarantine citizens against their will.

"This is not in our order, and there is no truth to the rumor," said Governor DeWine. "Families will not be separated, and kids will not be away from their loved ones."

The order, which was first issued on March 31 and then renewed on April 29 and August 31, creates a funding mechanism to allow for federal reimbursement for communities that choose to offer alternate locations for people to safely isolate or quarantine outside of their homes. If a citizen chooses to recover in a quarantine housing location, others in the household can remain at home and unexposed.

This option has been used in a handful of cases in Ohio.

SPORTS SPECTATOR VARIANCE

The Ohio Department of Health has granted a spectator variance to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio taking place September 11-13, 2020. Attendance will be limited to 6,000 spectators, and social distancing and masks will be required in accordance with state health guidelines.

The variance for Mid-Ohio was granted, in part, due to its unique, large outdoor facility that can accommodate social distancing.

Governor DeWine previously announced 6,000 spectator variances for the Browns and Bengals for two upcoming games each.

GET IN LINE, ONLINE

Lt. Governor Husted today announced that the Ohio BMV was awarded the Customer Convenience Award for their Get in Line, Online virtual queuing system, which allows a customer to secure a spot in line at the agency without actually being physically present. Once customers arrive to check-in, they move to the front of the line with minimal wait time.

InnovateOhio, which Lt. Governor Husted leads, worked in partnership with the Ohio BMV on this project.  

“InnovateOhio and the Ohio BMV collaborated on the ‘Get in Line, Online’ system with the goal of using technology to improve customer service,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “This award is a recognition that we are on our way to making Ohio the most innovative and creative state in the Midwest.”

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 131,992 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,298 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 13,967 people have been hospitalized, including 3,042 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Rankings of Ohio's 88 counties by highest occurrence can be found below.

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

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

COVID-19 Update: School Reporting Order, Wastewater Monitoring 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 today released this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health indicates that seven counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread. 

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

SCHOOL REPORTING ORDER
Governor DeWine announced details for Ohio's forthcoming case reporting order for K-12 schools.
Beginning Tuesday, September 8, parents or guardians and school staff should notify their school within 24 hours of receiving a positive test or a clinical diagnosis. Within 24 hours after receiving that notification, the school should notify other parents and guardians about that case in writing, providing as much information as possible without releasing protected health information. The school must also notify their local health department within 24 hours.

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

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

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

LABOR DAY AND SPREAD BY YOUNG OHIOANS
Governor DeWine today once again encouraged Ohioans to take proper safety precautions over the upcoming Labor Day weekend. He stressed that citizens can still have fun, visit family, and travel, but face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing should also be part of your plans. 
"It's not about where we go, but rather, what we do when we get there," said Governor DeWine. "It's about how we act when we're with family and friends and what precautions we take. The decisions we make as we celebrate the unofficial end of summer will play a major role in how we begin the fall."
Governor DeWine also reminded young Ohioans of their responsibility to follow safety precautions, especially students attending a college or university.

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

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

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

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

DEFENSE MANUFACTURING COMMUNITY

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

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

STEP UP TO QUALITY

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

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

H2OHIO LEAD UPDATE

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

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 127,112 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,226 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 13,663 people have been hospitalized, including 3,003 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

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

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

COVID-19 Update: K-12 Case Reporting, Sports Order Modification

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

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

 

Increase to Level 3:

  • Montgomery

Continue at Level 3: 

  • Erie
  • Lorain
  • Lucas
  • Mercer
  • Preble

Decrease to Level 2:

  • Clark
  • Clermont
  • Franklin
  • Trumbull

Decrease to Level 1:

  • Marion
  • Muskingum
  • Perry
  • Sandusky

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

K-12 CASE REPORTING

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

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

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

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

SPORTS ORDER MODIFICATION

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

ASSISTED LIVING TESTING PAUSE

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

DUPLICATE PAYMENTS IDENTIFIED

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

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

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

TECH CRED REMINDER

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 118,828 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,076 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 13,150 people have been hospitalized, including 2,929 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Sports Order Variance Process, Entertainment Venue Order

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

SPORTS ORDER VARIANCE PROCESS

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

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

"The main purpose of permitting spectators at school sports events is for officials and loved ones of players, coaches, team staff members, other event participants to attend," said Governor DeWine. "Ideally, the spectator limit would enable at least two, and perhaps up to four, family members to attend a sports event, provided that the venue is large enough to allow at least six feet of social distancing between groups."

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

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

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

ENTERTAINMENT VENUE ORDER

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

2020 CENSUS

Governor DeWine today reminded Ohio citizens to complete the 2020 Census.

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

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

INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

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

The program is looking for additional businesses to apply. Visit development.ohio.govfor more information.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 116,495 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,996 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 12,956 people have been hospitalized, including 2,903 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Reopening of Adult Day Care/Senior Centers, New Testing Initiative, BWC Dividend and Mask Distribution, PPE for Boards of Election

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 today released this week's Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health indicates that nine counties currently have a very high risk of exposure and spread. 

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

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

ADULT DAY CARE AND SENIOR CENTERS

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

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

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

NURSING HOME AND ASSISTED LIVING TESTING

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

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

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

BWC DIVIDEND AND MASK DISTRIBUTION

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

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

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

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

PPE FOR BOARDS OF ELECTION

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

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

GUN VIOLENCE

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

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

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 112,003 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,650 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 12,615 people have been hospitalized, including 2,844 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Sports Health Order, Georgetown Veterans Home, Ohio Governor's Imagination Library, Women’s Suffrage Centennial

COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio.

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS:

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

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

GEORGETOWN VETERANS HOME:

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

OHIO GOVERNOR’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY:

First Lady Fran DeWine joined Governor DeWine today with an update on the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is approaching it’s one-year anniversary and is now available in 78 of Ohio’s 88 counties. 

With help from the Ohio General Assembly and local partners throughout the state, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library has expanded throughout the state and about 191,000 children are receiving a book in the mail monthly. Last summer, the program was only available in pockets throughout the state and about 93,000 children were enrolled at the time. 

CENTINNIAL OF WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE:

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 109,923 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,871 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 12,436 people have been hospitalized, including 2,805 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Return to School, Increase in Cases in Younger Populations

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio.

RETURN TO SCHOOL

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

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

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

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

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

INCREASE IN CASES IN YOUNGER POPULATIONS

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA: 

There are 102,826 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,708 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 11,760 people have been hospitalized, including 2,699 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

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

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

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

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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.

COVID-19 Update: School Broadband Connectivity

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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. 

SCHOOL BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY

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. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Masks in Schools, Rapid Testing, Community Spread and Spread from Faith-Based Settings, Dr. Amy Acton

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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."

DR. AMY ACTON:

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

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

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. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Liquor Sale and On-Premises Consumption Limits, Mass Gathering Order, Updated Risk Levels

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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. 

COVID-19 Update: Child Care Ratios to be Lifted, Additional Restrictions Announced for Local Fairs

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

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

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. 

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

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

Governor DeWine Issues Statewide Mask Order, Travel Warning

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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.

NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

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

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

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. 

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

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

USDA Meals to You Partnership Delivers Nearly 30 Million Meals

HOUSTON, TX, July 16, 2020 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue lauded the achievement of its Meals to You partnership, which has now delivered more than 28.5 million meals to the doorsteps of low-income kids in rural communities across America during the COVID-19 health crisis. Perdue announced the milestone during a visit today to McLane Global, one of USDA’s partners in the initiative, which has served kids across 41 states and 2 U.S. territories.   

“Meals to You is a prime example of USDA’s commitment to ‘do right and feed everyone,’ while leveraging private sector ingenuity with public sector funding. At the beginning of this public health emergency, President Trump made it clear we would only overcome these trying times if we came together as one America. These folks feeding kids in need here in Texas and across the country rose to the challenge,” said Secretary Perdue. “We’ve heard from families across America who have told us that in these difficult times, the program has been a home run for feeding hungry kids. We’re grateful to our partners for helping make that a reality.”

“We wanted to give you a big thank you in behalf of our family for this assistance,” shared a Texan family participating in the program. “Knowing that our child has options to eat different items that are healthy makes us very happy! With gratitude I write you this letter during this hard time that all of us are going through. It is good to know that you all are out there. Please stay safe and know you are making a difference in people’s lives.”

“It has been humbling to see the impact that Covid-19 has had on all of our lives. We are grateful that we could take part in the USDA’s Meals-To-You program and be part of the response to this crisis. This program would not have been possible without everyone involved in the partnership and our dedicated McLane Global employees, working tirelessly to feed so many children in need across the country. Thanks to the hard work of so many, we have ensured children in rural areas have access to nutritious meals during this difficult time. This is what we can accomplish when government and private business come together in the fight against hunger,” said Denton McLane, Chairman of McLane Global.

“We are honored to be part of this innovative partnership providing meals to families in need,” said Kathy Krey, Ph.D., director of research and administration of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty. “By working together in new ways and evaluating the challenges and successes of the Meals-to-You program we are learning how best to solve complex problems both now and in the future.”

“For more than a decade, PepsiCo’s Food for Good program has made nutritious food more accessible to those in need, especially in times of crisis,” said Matt Smith, Senior Director of PepsiCo’s Food for Good. “COVID-19 has challenged all of us to expand our operations and partnerships to reach millions of American families who need support, and the Meals to You partnership is a testament to that. Our Food for Good team is committed to fighting childhood hunger and it is a privilege to serve nutritious meals to our neighbors all across the country.”

“As a child nutrition partner to thousands of schools across the country, we see first-hand the impact this crisis is having on children nationwide,” said Belinda Oakley, CEO, Chartwells K12. “The Meals-To-You program reaches communities that need it most right now, so it’s a privilege to be a part of such an innovative partnership to ensure no child goes hungry during this challenging time.”

Background:

Meals to You is an innovative public-private partnership between USDA, the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, and PepsiCo. It began as a summer pilot project in 2019 but has been successfully leveraged as emergency Meals to You to address pandemic-related nutrition needs in rural areas.

Stark Community Foundation accepting Covid-19 grant applications

STARK COUNTY, OHIO, July 14th – Stark Community Foundation is currently accepting grant applications from area organizations impacted by COVID-19.

In order to be eligible for funding in this competitive process, grant applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization in good standing with the IRS and either located within Stark County or directly benefitting Stark County. Applications will also be considered from tax-exempt private agencies and government entities. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a need for funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While priority will be given to organizations that serve the under-served, all applications will be considered.

To apply online and learn more about the Foundation’s grantmaking instructions and policies, visit www.starkcf.org and click on the Grants and Scholarships tab. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and decisions will be made approximately four weeks after an application has been received.

For more information, contact Grants Administrator Dana S. Johnson at 330-454-3426 or [email protected].

Governor DeWine Implores Ohioans to Unite to Prevent Spread of Covid-19

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—In a statewide address from his office in the Statehouse tonight Governor DeWine said that the state is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and implored Ohioans to take appropriate action to reverse the rapidly increasing spread of the virus.

“Today, more Ohioans are getting sick than at any previous point in this pandemic. We are sliding down a very dangerous path, with our once flattened-curve starting to sharpen and spike,” said Governor DeWine. “This is a worrisome, disturbing reversal of our progress -- a jarring reminder of just how quickly our fate can change.”

Governor DeWine commended Ohioans for doing their part at the beginning of the pandemic. However, with positive cases increasing, he reminded Ohioans that the choices they make today will impact the spread of the virus in the coming weeks. During the speech, grounded in scientific evidence and data, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans about the efficacy of facial coverings to protect themselves, loved ones, friends, neighbors and other citizens. He also renewed the call to socially distance and limit public gatherings.

“I am calling on all Ohioans to once again unite. We must work together, support each other, and help each other through this challenging time. I’ve seen you do this. I know you can do this. Ohioans can continue to help our most vulnerable, while also protecting ourselves and our families. Together, we can be the Ohio where our hospitals are not overwhelmed, where our schools can open, where sports can start, and where our economy can continue to grow, Governor DeWine added. A video of the address is available on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page. For more information about Covid-19, including testing locations, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov

Governor DeWine Implores Ohioans to Unite to Prevent Spread of Covid-19

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—In a statewide address from his office in the Statehouse tonight Governor DeWine said that the state is at a critical point in the COVID-19 pandemic and implored Ohioans to take appropriate action to reverse the rapidly increasing spread of the virus.

“Today, more Ohioans are getting sick than at any previous point in this pandemic. We are sliding down a very dangerous path, with our once flattened-curve starting to sharpen and spike,” said Governor DeWine. “This is a worrisome, disturbing reversal of our progress -- a jarring reminder of just how quickly our fate can change.”

Governor DeWine commended Ohioans for doing their part at the beginning of the pandemic. However, with positive cases increasing, he reminded Ohioans that the choices they make today will impact the spread of the virus in the coming weeks. During the speech, grounded in scientific evidence and data, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans about the efficacy of facial coverings to protect themselves, loved ones, friends, neighbors and other citizens. He also renewed the call to socially distance and limit public gatherings.

“I am calling on all Ohioans to once again unite. We must work together, support each other, and help each other through this challenging time. I’ve seen you do this. I know you can do this. Ohioans can continue to help our most vulnerable, while also protecting ourselves and our families. Together, we can be the Ohio where our hospitals are not overwhelmed, where our schools can open, where sports can start, and where our economy can continue to grow, Governor DeWine added. A video of the address is available on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page. For more information about Covid-19, including testing locations, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov

Additional Commodities Eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Applications for New Commodities Being Accepted

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2020 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received from agricultural producers and organizations and review of market data. Producers will be able to submit applications that include these commodities on Monday, July 13, 2020.  

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting through Aug. 28, 2020, applications for CFAP, which helps offset price declines and additional marketing costs because of the coronavirus pandemic. USDA expects additional eligible commodities to be announced in the coming weeks.

“During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA have stood with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of,” said Secretary Perdue. “When we announced this program earlier this year, we asked for public input and received a good response. After reviewing the comments received and analyzing our USDA Market News data, we are adding new commodities, as well as making updates to the program for existing eligible commodities. This is an example of government working for the people – we asked for input and we updated the program based on the comments we received.”

USDA collected comments and supporting data for consideration of additional commodities through June 22, 2020.

Changes to CFAP include:

  • Adding the following commodities: alfalfa sprouts, anise, arugula, basil, bean sprouts, beets, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, celeriac (celery root), chives, cilantro, coconuts, collard greens, dandelion greens, greens (others not listed separately), guava, kale greens, lettuce – including Boston, green leaf, Lolla Rossa, oak leaf green, oak leaf red and red leaf – marjoram, mint, mustard, okra, oregano, parsnips, passion fruit, peas (green), pineapple, pistachios, radicchio, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, fresh sugarcane, Swiss chard, thyme and turnip top greens.
  • Expanding for seven currently eligible commodities – apples, blueberries, garlic, potatoes, raspberries, tangerines and taro – CARES Act funding for sales losses because USDA found these commodities had a 5 percent or greater price decline between mid-January and mid-April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, these commodities were only eligible for marketing adjustments.
  • Determining that peaches and rhubarb no longer qualify for payment under the CARES Act sales loss category.
  • Correcting payment rates for apples, artichokes, asparagus, blueberries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, garlic, kiwifruit, mushrooms, papaya, peaches, potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, tangerines and taro.

Additional details can be found in the Federal Register in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and Final Rule Correction and at www.farmers.gov/cfap.

Producers have several options for applying to the CFAP program:

1. Using an online portal, accessible at farmers.gov/cfap, allows producers with secure USDA login credentials—known as eAuthentication—to certify eligible commodities online, digitally sign applications and submit directly to the local USDA Service Center.  New commodities will be available in the system on July 13, 2020.

2. Completing the application form using our CFAP Application Generator and Payment Calculator found atfarmers.gov/cfap. This Excel workbook allows customers to input information specific to their operation to determine estimated payments and populate the application form, which can be printed, then signed and submitted to their local USDA Service Center. An updated version with the new commodities will be available on the website on July 13, 2020.

3. Downloading the AD-3114 application form from farmers.gov/cfap and manually completing the form to submit to the local USDA Service Center by mail, electronically or by hand delivery to an office drop box. In some limited cases, the office may be open for in-person business by appointment. Visitfarmers.gov/coronavirus/service-center-status to check the status of your local office.

 USDA Service Centers can also work with producers to complete and securely transmit digitally signed applications through two commercially available tools: Box and OneSpan. Producers who are interested in digitally signing their applications should notify their local service centers when calling to discuss the CFAP application process. You can learn more about these solutions at farmers.gov/mydocs.

Getting Help from FSA

New customers seeking one-on-one support with the CFAP application process can call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer general assistance. This is a recommended first step before a producer engages the team at the FSA county office at their local USDA Service Center.

All other eligibility forms, such as those related to adjusted gross income and payment information, can be downloaded from farmers.gov/cfap. For existing FSA customers, these documents are likely already on file.

COVID-19 Update: New Risk Levels, Higher Education Guidance, Funding for Schools, Homelessness Grant, IMAP Launch, SharedWork Program, Plasma Donation

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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. 

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. 

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

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

Aultman Hospital participates in Convalescent Plasma Study to combat COVID-19

CANTON, Ohio (July 6, 2020) – Aultman Hospital is the only hospital in Stark or Tuscarawas counties enrolled in an experimental treatment program sponsored by the Mayo Clinic using plasma from people who have recovered from coronavirus to help treat others.

People who recover from COVID-19 do so, at least in part, because their blood contains substances called antibodies, which are capable of fighting the virus that causes the illness. For some other diseases caused by viruses, giving people the liquid portion of blood, called plasma, from those who have recovered from the virus leads to more rapid improvement of the disease.

“Convalescent plasma is one of the most current experimental treatments we have for fighting this pandemic, and we’re proud to be among the hospitals participating in this promising research to help patients in Northeast Ohio and around the world,” said Dr. Nihad Boutros, medical director, critical care services.

Aultman has been enrolled in this program since its infancy February. Data collected by Aultman is sent for further research at the Mayo Clinic. Across the country and internationally, the program has more than 2,500 sites enrolled, more than 9,000 physicians registered and over 40,600 patients.

Initial data from studies using COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with severe or life-threatening disease indicates that a single dose of 200 mL showed a benefit for some patients, leading to improvement.

COVID-19 Update: Face Coverings to be Required in High-Risk Counties

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— 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. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: School Guidelines, Public Health Advisory System

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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 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. 

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

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.

CURRENT CASE DATA: 

Due to technical issues, current COVID-19 data is temporarily unavailable. Ohio's updated data will be posted at coronavirus.ohio.gov as soon as it is available. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Increases in Hospitalizations and Positivity Rate, Counties of Concern, Nursing Home Visitation, Order Extension

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— 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."

HAMILTON COUNTY:

At the end of May and into early June, Hamilton County had an average of 30 cases per day per 100,000 people. As of this past week, the average new cases per day in Hamilton County increased to approximately 100 cases per 100,000 people. Due to the delayed diagnosis, these numbers may continue to grow for this reporting period.

In addition, more people are visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19 in Hamilton County more often. Between June 15 and June 22, those numbers nearly doubled from 40 to 78 visits per day.

In Hamilton County and the surrounding Southwestern Ohio region, hospital utilization by COVID-19 positive patients reached their lowest levels of this epidemic during the first and second weeks of June. Since then the number of COVID-positive patients being treated in standard hospital beds, ICU beds, and on ventilators has started to increase. For example, in Hamilton County, the number of COVID-positive patients doubled from a low of 65 patients on June 11 to more than 130 patients this weekend.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY: 

In Montgomery County, there is a noticeable increase in cases over the last month from an average of about 10 cases a day at the end of May to about 40 cases a day in the most recent week. The community is also experiencing early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID-19 symptoms. For example, outpatient visits in Montgomery County grew from an average of nearly seven visits per day to 27.

For the hospitals in the West Central region, the number of COVID-positive patients in standard hospital beds, ICUs, and ventilators has also doubled since the first week of June. COVID-specific hospital utilization is approaching levels not seen since the earlier peak of the pandemic in April.

"To make sure we have enough hospital and ICU beds to treat everyone who needs care, including those who need emergency surgery, are in a car crash, or are suffering from a stroke, we need the help of all Ohioans," said Governor DeWine. "I'm asking everyone, especially those in Hamilton, Montgomery, and surrounding counties, to redouble their efforts to social distance, wear a mask in public, and follow good hand-washing protocols."

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. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Increase in Positive Cases, 2-1-1

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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. 

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

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

SARTA Fare Collection to Resume Wednesday, July 1st 

As part of SARTA's three week plan to phase in a return to normal that began June 15th, fare collection, which was suspended during the COVID-19 crisis will resume on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 
Tickets and passes may be purchased at the transit centers, online at https://www.sartaonline.com/fares, by mail, or via the EZfare mobile ticketing app which can be downloaded for free at the App Store or on Google Play in advance of the fare collection date of July 1st. 
SARTA also announced procedures for exchanging expired 31-day fixed route and ProLine passes that were purchased between February 16 and March 16, 2020. Paper passes can be exchanged at any one of SARTA's transit centers or via mail between June 15, 2020 and July 3, 2020. Complete instructions for the exchange process can be found at https://www.sartaonline.com/pass-exchange-program.
31-day fixed route and Proline passes purchased via the EZfare app may be exchanged by calling a customer service representative at 330-477-2782 and selecting Option #4 or by completing the form posted at https://www.sartaonline.com/ezfare-exchange. Exchanges must be submitted between June 15, 2020 and July 3, 2020. 

COVID-19 Update: Public Awareness Campaigns, Fireworks, Criminal Justice Grants

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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.”

The first campaign, called “I Believe,” focuses on real Ohioans and the prevention measures they take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These 15-second ads, provided by the Ohio Department of Health, will air for three weeks on broadcast, cable, and social media across the state. The PSAs feature two Ohio healthcare professionals. 

Dr. Kevin Sharrett, MD, is a primary care physician with Cedarville and Jamestown Family Practice. He is the Medical Director for the Greene County Health Department and the Medical Director for Rural Health for the Kettering Health Network. He has served as the Greene County Coroner since 1997. A graduate of Wright State University School of Medicine, Dr. Sharrett also is a farmer and has dedicated his career to serving rural Ohioans.

Shareece Mashiska, RN, has been caring for patients in the Youngstown/Warren communities for more than 15 years. A nurse manager at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Shareece began her career in the intermediate unit at Mercy Health – St. Joseph Warren Hospital before becoming an intensive care nurse working both in-patient and on Mercy Health’s mobile intensive care unit. Currently residing in the Mahoning Valley, Shareece believes social distancing remains a critical piece of keeping our communities safe, which includes her own husband and three children.

The second campaign, called “Up to All of Us,” focuses on the importance of taking proper preventative precautions, such as maintaining social distance and washing hands, to get Ohioans back to work and Ohio's economy working again.  The ad, provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, will air for three weeks on broadcast and cable television and features an emergency room physician and a local restaurant owner and operator.

Laura Espy-Bell, MD, MHA, FACEP is a board-certified Emergency physician and a native of Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2003. Dr. Espy-Bell received her Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Dr. Espy-Bell graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2011. Dr. Espy-Bell has been an active member of the OhioHealth medical staff for the past 6 years as an Emergency Medicine attending physician with Mid-Ohio Emergency Services (MOES) and has provided quality health care in several OhioHealth emergency departments.

Gary Callicoat is the president of Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, which he first opened in 2002. Reflecting a long record of giving back to the hospitality industry, Callicoat serves on the board of the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) and is equally committed to supporting charitable causes of the communities in which he does business. He is also on the board of the ORA’s Education Foundation.

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.

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 46,127 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,735 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,379 people have been hospitalized, including 1,876 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 22-26 are listed below. 

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

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

COVID-19 Update: Case Increases in Children and in Southwest Ohio, PPE Readiness Stockpile, Good Cause, OhioMeansJobs, Resuming Sports Phase II

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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. 

CURRENT OHIO DATA: 

There are 43,122 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,633 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,104 people have been hospitalized, including 1,807 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

COVID-19 UPDATE: Basic Reproduction Number, Pop-Up Sites, Multi-System Youth Grant

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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.

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 42,010 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,597 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 7,007 people have been hospitalized, including 1,784 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov. 

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

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

Gavarone announces funding to help local fairs open this summer

COLUMBUS, June 15— State Senator Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) today announced that a plan to help Ohio’s county and independent fairs safely open received approval this week from the state’s Controlling Board.

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), along with Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Speaker Larry Householder recently announced a plan to allow fairs to safely open and operate this summer. The Controlling Board approved $4.7 million in funding on Monday to help ensure that fairs can continue this summer.

"County fairs are vital to our local economies and communities," said Senator Gavarone. "This funding will provide much needed relief for counties to move forward with fairs this summer." 

Each fair that conducts a junior fair will receive $50,000 to be used for costs to conduct the fair in a safe manner consistent with COVID-19 health guidelines. Fairs that do not conduct a junior fair can still receive $15,000 to be used for next year’s fair.  

“Ohio’s fairs showcase our vibrant agricultural communities and mark a year of hard work and preparation by so many of our young people involved in 4-H and FFA,” said President Obhof. “We worked hard to ensure that these events would go on this summer and that families could have a safe but fun experience across Ohio.”

Local fair boards who had already announced cancellations in 2020 can apply for a new date with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, if they would like to go forward this year. At least one county fair has already reversed its prior cancellation and is going forward with this year’s fair under the new and more flexible guidelines.   

More information on safety guidelines for Ohio’s fairs can be found here, https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/County-Fairs.pdf. For a list of all Ohio county and independent fairs, visit www.ohiofairs.org

Ohio food insecurity rates nearly double since start of Covid-19 

Nearly 350,000 Ohio households have reported receiving free food from a food pantry, school program, or other source in the past week

COLUMBUS, OH – U.S. food insecurity and unemployment rates are at an all-time high due to the unforeseen effects of COVID-19, which have wreaked havoc all over the world since the beginning of 2020. In Ohio, more than one in seven workers remain unemployed, and recent polls show one in four Americans missed last month’s rent or mortgage or have little to no confidence they can pay next month on time. Food insecurity rates have nearly doubled in Ohio from 13.9% to 23%, according to the Census Household Pulse Survey. The Census found that just in the past week, nearly 350,000 Ohio households have reported receiving free food from a food pantry, school or children’s program, or other source, such as a neighbor.

“COVID-19 has created the perfect storm, releasing a downpour of difficulties on Ohio families,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “High unemployment rates and loss of income from jobs has led to a massive surge in demand at our foodbanks at a time when we’re facing significant operational challenges, including declines in volunteers, fundraising revenue and donated foods.”

Foodbanks across the country rapidly shifted operating models to meet skyrocketing demand while mitigating the spread of COVID-19, and they haven’t seen demand ease off for three months. Meanwhile, disruptions to the supply chain have meant fewer retail donations and a surge in food prices putting additional pressure on family food budgets.

“Congress attempted to put an umbrella over families’ heads by means of expanding SNAP aid and increasing unemployment benefits, but it hasn’t been enough,” said Hamler-Fugitt. “The increase in food prices makes the current SNAP benefit amounts even more inadequate to meet basic food needs. Our foodbanks simply cannot keep up with this level of demand – congressional action is needed now.”

SNAP is America’s most effective anti-hunger program and one of the best ways to stimulate the economy as people spend their benefits quickly and in their local communities. As Congress negotiates the next stimulus package, Ohio’s foodbanks urge members to consider the following:

  • A temporary 15% increase in the maximum SNAP benefit for all households must be included. This modest change would add just $25 per person per month, but this small increase will do a lot to address hunger and food insecurity.
  • Congress must also consider the more than 30 million children across America who participate in school and summer meal programs and strengthen and extend the Pandemic-EBT program for them.

“The need for increasing SNAP benefits and ensuring the health and nutrition of Ohio and American families is urgent and it cannot wait,” said Hamler-Fugitt. “The government must step in and do its job, particularly when the suffering is so great. Americans are drowning.”

COVID-19 UPDATE: Testing Expansion, R0 in Ohio, Place of Worship Best Practices, New Role for Dr. Acton, ODJFS Employment/Training Grant

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

TESTING 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.

"Until now, we have very much had a scarcity mindset because we had a very real scarcity of testing resources, but that mindset needs to change," said Governor DeWine. "Testing is a very important weapon in our arsenal as we continue to wage war against a very real enemy. By understanding who is sick, whether they are showing symptoms or not, we are able to better prevent the spread of the COVID-19."

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

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.

MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES TO JOIN ELITE USA

JobsOhio today announced that minority-owned Stark County businesses will participate in ELITE, London Stock Exchange Group’s business support and development program. In collaboration with JobsOhio and the Stark County Minority Business Association, ELITE USA announced that 13 minority-owned businesses will make up its new cohort.

“ELITE is providing Stark County minority-owned businesses access to resources that will help their efforts to scale up and grow,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “This also expands ELITE’s presence in Ohio ahead of its headquarters opening in Cleveland in the coming year.”

“We are excited to connect ELITE’s proven business development capabilities with the Stark County Minority Business Association,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio’s president and CEO. “Ensuring that these businesses have the tools they need to succeed and grow will create new opportunities in Northeast Ohio while accelerating Ohio’s economic recovery strategy.”

JobsOhio will fund the one-year program, which includes expert consultation regarding strategy, innovation, operations, marketing, governance and risk management, talent management, and leadership. This will be the second group of U.S. businesses to benefit from the ELITE program, which supports growth aspirations, promotes global partnerships, and facilitates access to international capital.

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 40,004 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,490 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 6,753 people have been hospitalized, including 1,732 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

Mass Protest Standard, Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment, PPE Update, GOJO Expansion

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today provided the following updates in regard to law enforcement reform and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

COMMUNITY-POLICE RELATIONS

Governor DeWine announced today the first of several efforts to improve community-police relations in Ohio. 

"These new efforts are just the start of our work to improve law enforcement accountability, transparency, training, and minority recruitment," said Governor DeWine.  "We are working with the law enforcement community, elected officials, and community organizations as we continue to move forward."

Mass Protest Law Enforcement Standard

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. 

Ohio’s Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board was formed in 2015 to create uniform minimum standards for Ohio’s law enforcement agencies covering use of force, including deadly force, and hiring and recruitment. 

As of today, 79-percent of all of Ohio’s law enforcement officers work for an agency that has voluntarily complied with these standards or is in the process of certification. These agencies serve 75-percent of Ohio’s total population. However, the total number of certified agencies only accounts for slightly over half of all of Ohio’s departments.

"More than 400 agencies in the state have not chosen to pursue certification showing that they meet these minimum standards," said Governor DeWine. "Regardless of why these agencies are not certified, I'm calling on them to begin working on this process."

Governor DeWine directed the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Office of Criminal Justice Services, which oversees the certification process, to reach out to every agency that is not certified in these standards and assist them in moving toward certification.

Collaborative standards also exist for community engagement, body cameras, bias-free policing, employee misconduct, telecommunicators, and law enforcement pursuits. 

The 2020 Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board report, which lists the certification status of all law enforcement agencies in the state, is available at publicsafety.ohio.gov

Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment

Governor DeWine also announced that he will create a new Ohio Office of Law Enforcement Recruitment within Ohio's Office of Criminal Justice Services.

"Ohio must also do more to encourage minorities and women to join the ranks of Ohio’s law enforcement officers - especially in our urban communities," said Governor DeWine. "The need for more minorities and females in the law enforcement profession isn’t a new concept and many agencies are already doing a phenomenal job, but this new office will help local agencies with recruitment and retention."

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.”

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

There are 39,162 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 2,421 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 6,620 people have been hospitalized, including 1,708 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

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

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

Aultman Hospital and Aultman Medical Staff Donate $10,000 to Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank 

-During Pandemic to Help Feed the Hungry

CANTON, Ohio (June 2, 2020) – Aultman physicians are accustomed to taking care of the health of the communities they serve, but they’ve recently helped to care for another vital community need: food.

Food insecurity has been one of the community’s largest challenges, and the coronavirus has caused more significant hardships for more people. In honor of Aultman physicians on National Doctors’ Day, Aultman Hospital donated $2,500 to Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s capital campaign for its second location, which is set to open in Canton next year. The physicians that make up Aultman’s Medical Staff chose to match that donation with another $2,500.

“This was the perfect time to give back in a new way,” said Dr. JoAnn Krivetzky, medical staff president. “We hope to continue fostering the relationship between Aultman and Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank to help provide relief and reduce food insecurity in our area.”

The generosity continued when Dr. Shruti Trehan and Dr. Tony Degenhard suggested donating an additional $5,000 from Fun Docs, a program they lead aimed at providing a healthy outlet for physicians to combat burnout from working long hours and dealing with difficult situations. This donation brought the total donated amount from Aultman Hospital, the medical staff and Fun Docs program to $10,000.

Aultman Hospital has been a longtime supporter of Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. Each year, Aultman employees participate in the annual Harvest for Hunger campaign, and their total donations are matched by Aultman Health Foundation. Since 2016, Aultman employees have donated nearly $20,000, or close to $40,000 with the Aultman matched donation. Aultman, AultCare and the Women’s Board have also contributed more than $5,000 in additional donations since 2016 through various sponsorships and drives.

The Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank is located in Akron and provides essential items to member hunger-relief programs in Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas and Wayne counties.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Reopens

CANTON, OHIO – The Pro Football Hall of Fame reopened to the public Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

“We stand ready to provide inspiration to fans eager to celebrate excellence,” said David Baker, president & CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, “And we will do so in a responsible manner that puts the safety of the visiting public and our dedicated staff at the forefront of each decision we have made in reaching this point and that we will continue to make moving forward.”

In joining the nationwide effort to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 infection, the Hall closed its Museum doors to the public March 16.

During the subsequent weeks of shutdown, Operations personnel at the Hall took several steps to prepare for reopening, including thorough cleaning of all areas of the Museum multiple times.

To further protect guests’ health and safety, staff members have placed markings and stanchions throughout the Museum to help guests maintain proper physical distancing and to guide them in an orderly, one-way flow through the exhibits. Acrylic barriers have been installed in several areas, including Guest Services and the Hall of Fame Store.

Each safety measure adopted for employees and guests meets or exceeds its recommendation set by the state of Ohio and federal health standards for visiting a museum and retail establishment.

To assist guests entering the Hall in understanding the safety measures, each patron will receive a flyer that will explain physical distancing protocols, locations for hand sanitizer, the importance of not touching exhibits by hand and other pertinent Museum information.

Among the changes or enhanced safety measures in place at the Hall of Fame Museum are:

• All Hall employees and volunteers will receive a temperature reading – with a no-contact scanning thermometer – upon entering the building. Anyone with a body temperature exceeding 100.0°F will not be permitted to proceed.

• Every employee, volunteer and docent will be required to wear a face covering inside the Museum. Guests will be encouraged to wear a face covering. Single-use masks will be provided to guests upon request. Cloth Hall of Fame-branded masks will be available for purchase.

• Guests also may request a pair of powder-free, single-use vinyl gloves to wear during their visit.

• Guests will receive a stylus for use on Museum exhibit touch screens or other contact points, such as elevator buttons.

• Seating in the “A Game for Life” holographic theater and in the Super Bowl Theater will be reduced to allow appropriate spacing of guests.

• A few “hands-on” exhibits could remain closed or off-line at this time.

• The Museum’s café will remain closed.

• High-contact surfaces, such as railings, counters, doorknobs and elevator buttons, will be disinfected throughout each day.

• Stations with hand sanitizer have been placed throughout the Museum.

“Since its grand opening in September 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame had never been closed more than two days in a row,” Baker said. “So after nearly three months, you can imagine our excitement at being able to open our doors again to fans of this great game.

“We welcome them back and join them in honoring the heroes of the game, preserving its history, promoting its values and celebrating excellence everywhere.”

With its reopening June 10, the Hall will operate under its summer hours: from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Updates to the Hall’s reopening plan will be posted at www.ProFootballHOF.com.

UPDATE: Additional Reopening Dates, Order Signed, Ohio National Guard 

UPDATE: Additional Reopening Dates, Order Signed, Ohio National Guard 

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— 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.  

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

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

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

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

Governor Announces Orders To Reopen Certain Facilities

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—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.

From Kindergarten to College, Back to School Preparations Need to Start Now

School Nurses encourage parents to prioritize immunizations and well-checks

(STATEWIDE) June 1, 2020 – The Ohio Association of School Nurses (OASN) is urging families to make arrangements now to have their children’s routine well-check appointments and vaccinations updated in preparation for the start of a new school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, routine childhood vaccinations have plunged. This can create a drop in herd immunity and potential for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

“While officials determine what the  next school year will look like due to the COVID-19 pandemic, families must make sure children have had their routine well-checks and vaccinations” said Kelly Wagner, M.Ed, BSN, RN, NCSN, President of the Ohio Association of School Nurses. “Rather than waiting until school begins again to try to make an appointment with your healthcare provider, we encourage you to schedule these critically important visits now.”  

OASN warns families that waiting until classes start could make it difficult to make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician or primary care provider. Families should call their healthcare providers to inquire about how they are accommodating well visits, sports physicals, and vaccinations.

The State of Ohio requires certain vaccinations before entering the school year:

  • Children entering kindergarten must be vaccinated for polio, chicken pox, measles/mumps/rubella, hepatitis B, and diphtheria/tetanus/pertussis.
  • Students entering the 7th grade in Ohio are required to have an age appropriate dose of meningococcal vaccine and a booster shot of the Tdap vaccination (Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis).
  • Ohio 12th graders are also required to be vaccinated against meningococcal disease. 

College students should get a flu shot and be vaccinated against Meningitis Type B, in addition to the Meningitis vaccine for strains ACWY. While the MenB vaccine may not be required by your child’s college or university, it is a serious disease that most often occurs on college campuses and each case is life threatening.

Below is a list of general topics for consideration:

  • Why are routine childhood vaccination rates dropping because of the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Why immunize and what diseases do they prevent?
  • What are the risks with not vaccinating?
  • Why should college students be vaccinated against MenB?

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

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

OHIO DISPARITY: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

K-12 REOPENING UPDATE: 

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

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

MEDICAL SURGERIES/PROCEDURES:

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

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

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

OHIO BUSINESS FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES: 

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

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

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

PANDEMIC EBT PROGRAM: 

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

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

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

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

CURRENT OHIO DATA:

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

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

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

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