The Ohio Coronavirus Blog
We'll work to keep you updated with the latest news and information on the coronavirus in Ohio.
3/28 - 2:15 PM
The Latest Numbers from the Ohio Department of Health
3/27 - 11:00 PM
Trump says New York's Estimate of Ventilator Need is Too High During Coronavirus Task Force Briefing
- In today's Coronavirus Task Force Briefing, Donald Trump said he doesn't believe New York will need between 30-40,000 ventilators, calling the estimate "high, too high"
- He claimed New York had received thousands and thousands of ventilators, but didn't know they had them. No evidence that is true. Governor Cuomo has said they are stockpiling ventilators for when they're needed.
- Trump said more than 100,000 ventilators will be produced in the next 100 days, when 29,000 a year are normally produced
- He said he is being asked by the U.K. and Italy for ventilators, and he will help them out with the new supplies being built
- He talked about invoking the Defense Production Act against GM, saying he thought he had a deal with GM, but they didn't agree. "Now they agree," he said.
- He announced that Peter Novarro, now Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, had been appointed National Defense Production Act Coordinator, working with the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services on equipment production
- He said he wouldn't call Governors who haven't been "appreciative", like Jay Inslee in Washington State and Gretchen Whitmer, who he called "that woman in Michigan"
- He said he will use the full authority of the U.S. government to get equipment made
- He announced the signing of the $2.2 trillion relief bill today, calling it the largest ever signed
- He said it would save millions of jobs, extend a lifeline to families and workers, "Americans of every race and color"
- Said he spoke to the CEO of Boeing, which will be producing and donating thousands of face shields a week.
- He said Boeing offered the use of their largest cargo planes to deliver heavy equipment and large quantities of supplies
- Trump said he authorized the Department of Defense and Homeland Security to activate ready reserve components of the Armed Forces, including retirees.
- He said they're working on vaccines, therapeutics and cures, and getting "a good response"
- He suggested people would be stopped from traveling from hotspots to states with fewer cases of Coronavirus, saying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is unhappy with people coming from New York to his state
3/27 - 2:45 PM
Coronavirus-Response Package Signed Into Law
Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 197, cosponsored by State Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari (R-Perrysburg), into law Friday. The legislation addresses a variety of challenges and impacts to state law as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I remain focused on ensuring the safety of our citizens while working to keep our government functioning and delivering impactful solutions during this pandemic,” said Ghanbari. “I am proud to be part of strong bipartisan legislation that will help our fellow citizens here in Wood County and Ohioans across our state. I am in constant communication with constituents, local elected officials and my colleagues at the state and federal level.”
The emergency legislation passed under House Bill 197 addressed many issues, including:
- Testing & Accountability – Eliminates state-mandated K-12 student assessments for the 2019-20 school year. It eliminates Ohio’s school district and school building report cards for the 2019-20 school year, prohibits ODE from assigning letter grades to buildings or districts, prohibits rankings based on report card data and creates “safe harbor” for schools and districts to ensure data from the 2019-20 school year will have no effect in determining sanctions or penalties. The proposal directs ODE to seek a waiver from federal testing requirements.
- EdChoice Scholarship – The bill freezes the 2019-20 performance-based EdChoice building eligibility list at 517 buildings for the 2020-21 school year. The legislation allows siblings of current voucher students to participate. Under continuing law, the EdChoice application portal will open for 60 days beginning April 1, 2020, to process income-based EdChoice vouchers, renewals of existing performance-based vouchers, and new students attending the 517 buildings already on the list. The bill prohibits expansion of the building list to 1,227 buildings.
- 2020 Primary Election – The primary election in-person voting was cancelled due to the public health crisis. Ohioans that were eligible to vote on March 17, 2020, will be able to cast their ballot by mail with the postmark date on or before April 27, 2020. In-person voting will only occur on April 28 and only at boards of elections early vote centers, not at precinct polling locations. And in-person voting will only be available for individuals with disabilities who require in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address. Those Ohioans that cast their ballot early will have their vote count. The Ohio Secretary of State will mail all voters a postcard informing them on how they will be able to request their ballot by mail from their local county Board of Elections. The board will send them their ballot and a postage paid return envelope.
- Tax Year 2019 and 2020 Changes - Ohio’s tax filing deadline will be the same as the federal filing deadline, July 15.
The legislation also addressed other areas of concern including unemployment compensation, health care workforce support, childcare access, water access, and more.
3/27 - 2:30 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers From the Ohio Department of Health
3/26 - 8:00 PM
Updates From the Coronvirus Task Force Press Conference
Trump Insists The Country Will Re-Open Soon During Coronavirus Task Force Briefing
- Trump said the Navy Hospital Ship Comfort will arrive at Pier 90 in NYC on Monday, perhaps being used for patients who don't have Coronavirus.
- He said he will be in Virginia to "kiss it goodbye" when it leaves on Saturday.
- He said he spoke to the G-20 leaders this morning, naming each one, saying they talked about the importance of sharing information, calling it a great conversation.
- He said he spoke to the governors of all 50 states and the "territories" and said he's in constant touch with them.
- Said he will come out with new information about "re-opening" the country next week, including "dates", and offer new guidelines for social distancing, though that decision would be up to the governors and mayors.
- He talked about one governor who he said was "a little bit of a wise guy, but not so much anymore. We saw to it he's not a wise guy anymore." He didn't identify that governor.
- Once again he went over the specifics of the relief package that just passed the Senate and is awaiting passage in the House.
- He said the bill passed in the Senate unanimously but that there might be "one grandstander" in the House.
- He updated delivery numbers from FEMA in terms of deliveries, and said again companies are working on making supplies like masks and ventilators, saying some are already being worked on, though companies have said it would take weeks if not months to retrofit factories and assembly lines.
- Trump said record numbers of tests are being done, more than any other country.
- Again he claimed he took over "empty shelves" in the national stockpile and an "obsolete and broken" testing system, though there is no evidence to suggest that.
- He said the NIH and the FDA are working to discuss and approve a vaccine and treatment drugs in a very short time. Dr. Anthony Fauci said there are many vaccines being tried, testing will take a long time and may only help in "recycling" of Coronavirus next season.
- He took an especially nasty swipe at the press, saying he wished the press was honest and not corrupt, but, he said, they are.
- In answer to a question, he said there is an increased number of agents at the Canadian border because "there are a lot of things happening there that we don't like. He then mentioned steel.
- Again he claimed we are collecting millions in tariffs from Canada and China, though, of course, U.S. consumers pay tariffs, not foreign countries
3/26 - 2:30 PM
The Latest Numbers From the Ohio Department of Health
3/26 - 1:00 PM
WOSU Public Media Launches Broadcast Learning Service to Help Bridge Digital Divide
WOSU TV is responding to the statewide school closures by changing its weekday schedule to help students, teachers and families with at-home learning. WOSU’s primary channel 34.1 daytime schedule will unveil a new broadcast learning service beginning Monday, March 30. The changes will include a full schedule of curated daily educational programming geared to serve students in grades Pre-K–12.
“Not every student or teacher has access to robust internet at home, so WOSU is stepping up to assist the teachers and students of Central Ohio. Our team has reacted quickly to the coronavirus crisis and built this project in collaboration with public stations in Ohio, the Department of Education and regional educators,” said WOSU general manager Tom Rieland.
“In this unprecedented time, Ohio’s educators, parents and caregivers are doing their best to keep learning going for students in the midst of the coronavirus crisis,” said state superintendent of public instruction Paolo DeMaria. “I am humbled and grateful that all eight of Ohio’s public broadcasting stations have stepped up as major partners committed to delivering high-quality, grade-appropriate learning to students, complementing the amazing effort being made by Ohio’s schools and districts.”
Programming will range from the PBS KIDS series Peg + Cat and Cyberchase focused on math skills for early elementary kids to NOVA and American Experience programming for older students. The schedule will provide age- and grade-level appropriate, standards-based programs so Ohio students can continue to learn with limited or no internet access.
The WOSU Classroom educational team will provide additional teacher resources related to the new programming schedule. Teachers and students also have access to free online resources from PBS LearningMedia™ to support the programming.
3/26 - 12:30 PM
Cuyahoga County Offers Multilingual Website with Pandemic Resources
Cuyahoga County has launched a new multi-linqual website for people seeking local and national resources related to the coronavirus. More at this link.
3/26 - 11:00 AM
New Voter Survey Shows Voters in Four Key Midwest States with High Anxiety About Pandemic, High Approval for Governors' Handling of Crisis
Results from a new Baldwin Wallace University Great Lakes Poll offer a snapshot of public opinion in four key Midwest states caught in the midst of the fear and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. You can review the poll at this link.
3/26 - 10:00 AM
Governor Mike DeWine makes statement after the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 197
"I want to that Senate President Obhof, House Speaker Householder, Minority Leaders Sykes and Yuko, and all members of the Ohio General Assembly who worked for the bipartisan and unanimous passage of House Bill 197. This bill will ensure continuity of government, extended mail-in voting for our primary, clarity for schools and students, relief to workers impacted by COVID-19, and measures to make sure we are prepared to help Ohioans get back to work when this pandemic subsides. I applaud the collaborative work on this bill and look forward to signing it soon."
3/25 - 2:45 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers in Ohio From The Ohio Department of Health
3/25 - 12:45 PM
Cleveland Orchestra Cancels Season
Affects all public concerts and events at Severance Hall
3/25 - 12:30 PM
Blood donation is exempt from stay at home order
3/25 - 12:00 PM
Burger King announced it is now offering free King Jr. meals with any purchase made through the BK app.
3/24 - 3:30 PM
INSTEAD OF A BRIEFING, A CORONAVIRUS TOWN HALL ON FOX
- Donald Trump moved the Coronavirus Task Force briefing press conference from the White House Briefing Room to the Rose Garden with a virtual town hall shown on the friendly confines of Fox News Channel.
- Trump and the task force, minus, again, Dr. Anthony Fauci, took questions from Fox hosts and pre-recorded viewer videos.
- First up, Vice President Mike Pence, who insisted the stockpile of 30,000 ventilators were being sent to the states that need them, despite Governor Andrew Cuomo saying FEMA had only given New York, with more than 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 400 ventilators.
- Pence also suggested hospitals convert respirators into ventilators, which he said would alleviate some of the shortage.
- Trump said he responded quickly when he learned about the coming pandemic by banning people from traveling to the U.S. who had traveled in China. The restriction, signed in January, after the spread of the virus in Wuhan, exempted U.S. citizens who were still allowed to travel.
- He attacked Democratic opponent Joe Biden for calling him “xenophobic” for the travel restrictions from China, saying he doesn’t think Biden knows what that means. Biden actually called bans on travel from Europe xenophobic.
- He talked about re-opening businesses around the country at the end of his “15 Days to Stop the Spread” directive, which is now in Day Nine. He said this country “is not built to shut down”.
- He re-iterated that 37,000 die every year from the flu and the country is never shut down; he said we lose more than that in automobile accidents but we don’t tell the auto makers to stop making cars.
- Trump once again stated that more people will die by suicide if businesses don’t open and begin to fail, saying we could have a recession, or even a depression.
- He said he “cancelled” the deal for the nearly two trillion dollar stimulus package because, he said, Nancy Pelosi got involved and added Green New Deal items, asking for windmills that he said cause cancer and are killing birds, and wanted oil drilling to stop. In fact, Republicans failed to meet the 60-vote threshold necessary to move the bill forward.
- He insisted his bill would take care of workers and small business first, though the bill made provisions for small businesses only to receive loans rather than the grants being offered to large companies.
- He complained about Governor Cuomo, saying the federal government is building four hospitals in New York, but Cuomo is complaining about not getting ventilators.
- He said he just received a report saying Cuomo could have bought 15,000 ventilators, cheaply, in 2015, but refused, instead going for “death panels”. This came from the far-right blog “The Gateway Pundit”.
- He blamed previous administrations for the lack of tests and flaws in the CDCs first round of tests, saying they didn’t have enough tests. He said his administration “broke that egg” and will have better testing for future pandemics.
- He stressed once more that he believes American could be open and back in business by Easter, 20 days from now, something health experts dispute.
3/24 - 2:00 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers from the Ohio Department of Health
3/24 - 10:00 AM
Haslams Donate $1.5 Million to Ohio Covid-19 Relief Funds
Haslam Sports Group founders Dee and Jimmy Haslam on behalf of the Haslam family on Monday pledged $1.5 million to COVID-19 relief funds throughout the state of Ohio.
Through their Haslam 3 Foundation, the Haslams earmarked $1 million to the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and $500,000 to the Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.
“We are humbled by the tremendous work of people around the world in their efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19 and we wanted to try to positively impact those affected in our own communities of Cleveland and Columbus,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said. “We are grateful for the individuals who are putting others before themselves and for the sacrifices they are making.”
The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible. The fund will provide grant awards on a rolling basis to nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.
The Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund assists non-profit organizations that are responding to the spread of COVID-19 and experiencing financial challenges by doing so.
Haslam Sports Group owns and operates the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns and Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew SC.
3/24 - 9:30 AM
Effective immediately, UC Health will no longer allow visitors at our acute care hospitals, UC Medical Center and West Chester Hospital.
Two exceptions: In cases where visitor restriction will produce an undue hardship for the patient or family; in cases where the restriction is detrimental to the care of the patient. In those instances, one visitor may be permitted at the discretion of the nurse manager and/or medical director.
Visitors have not been permitted at Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care and Bridgeway Pointe since Friday, March 13.
This update and all previous updates are available on our COVID-19 website, https://www.uchealth.com/en/covid-19/covid-19-updates.
3/24 - 9:00 AM
Olympic Games Postponed
In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
3/23 - 7:00 PM
CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING
- At today’s briefing, Donald Trump said the federal government has obtained large quantities of Hydroxychloroquine, which will be distributed in New York for clinical trials beginning early tomorrow.
- He says there will be 10,000 units that will be distributed to “a lot of people in New York City.”
- He called Hydroxychloroquine “a gift from God” and a “game-changer” and said there is very little semblance of the virus in countries where malaria is prevalent, and this drug is used. He said vaccines are “coming along quickly.”
- Trump said it is very important to protect the Asian community, whom he called “good people,” and said the virus is not their fault. This, despite his insistence on calling it the “Chinese Virus.”
- He said FEMA is distributing eight million N95 masks and 13 million surgical masks, with many going to New York and Washington State.
- Trump said American will soon be “open for business,” saying it will be much sooner than the three or four months he’s heard some people mention.
- He reiterated his statement that he’s “not gonna let the cure be worse than the problem.” He says a decision will be made at the end of the 15 day period.
- He urged Congress to work on a relief bill in a bipartisan way, saying this is “not a time for political agendas.”
- The federal government is postponing the deadline for compliance with Real I.D. requirements.
- Trump said he signed Executive Order 4512, which prohibits the hoarding of equipment and supplies like hand sanitizer and masks and provides for the prosecution of price gougers.
3/23 - 6:30 PM
DeWine Puts Freeze on Government Hires as Cases Increase -
Monday Press Conference Updates
“I’m ordering an immediate hiring freeze in state government. For all of these, the only exception will be those who are directly involved in fighting the coronavirus, and for whatever we need to do that. That obviously takes priority,” said DeWine.
Governor Mike DeWine announced new freezes Monday — including a temporary hold on all state contract services.
- He’s asking his departments to cut spending by 20%
- Lt. Gov. says we're doing the "belt-tightening" early
- Dr. Acton says they’re prioritizing Telehealth to cut down on face-to face contacts
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted explains, “We’re laying the financial foundation now to prepare for the long haul. We are doing the belt-tightening very early on, to help create the best possible long-term safety net that government can be there.”
Husted says they’re being pro-active in Ohio, but are still being caught up in Washington gridlock.
3/23 - 2:30 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers from the Ohio Department of Health
3/23 - 2:15 PM
Due to the large amount of speculation regarding coronavirus, FEMA has launched a site to help control the spread of rumors
Myth: There Is A National Lockdown And The Entire Country Will Be Quarantined For Two Weeks.
Fact: There is no national lockdown. As with all information online or shared via social media, it is important to verify the source of the information. You can find the latest information as well as links to additional resources at www.coronavirus.gov.
Myth: FEMA Has Deployed Military Assets.
Fact: No, FEMA does not have military assets. Like all emergencies, response is most successful when it is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. Each state’s governor is responsible for response activities in their state, to include establishing curfews, deploying the National Guard if needed and any other restrictions or safety measures they deem necessary for the health and welfare of their citizens.
Myth: I Need To Stockpile As Many Groceries And Supplies As I Can.
Fact: Please only buy what your family needs for a week. It is important to remember that many families may be unable to buy a supply of food and water for weeks in advance. Consumer demand has recently been exceptionally high – especially for grocery, household cleaning, and some healthcare products. Freight flows are not disrupted, but stores need time to restock.
Myth: I Heard That The Government Is Sending $1,000 Checks. How Do I Sign Up?
Fact: The U.S. Government is not mailing checks in response to COVID-19 at this time. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer. It’s important that you only trust information coming from official sources. The Federal Trade Commission recently provided more information about this scam and other common COVID-19 related scams on their website.
Myth: Only Those Over 60 Years Of Age And Those With Existing Health Problems Are At Risk From The Coronavirus.
Fact: It is an unfortunate rumor that only people over 60 years of age are at risk of getting this disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), those at higher risk include older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions. However, symptoms can range from mild to severe with and may have different complications for each individual. The CDC has a list of COVID-19 symptoms you may experience. Please continue to follow the official information from the CDC.
3/23 - 2:00 PM
Gas Prices Continue to Fall - Ohio's Prices Some of the Cheapest Nationwide
With the national average at $2.12, pump prices are, on average, 50 cents less than this time last year. Ohio’s average is $1.788, which is 73 cents less than a year ago and 64 cents less than just one month ago.
Crude oil is the biggest driver of the less expensive gas prices. In the last week, crude oil prices dropped to $22/bbl – a low not seen since 2002. Crude oil accounts for nearly 60% of the retail pump price. When crude is cheap, gas prices follow suit.
“Typically gas prices start to trend more expensive at the beginning of spring, especially as motorists get out to enjoy the warmer weather and travel for spring break. That is not the case this year,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “With Americans urged to stay at home and practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are seeing less traffic on the roadways which will ultimately drive down demand, increase gasoline supply and push pump prices less expensive for the foreseeable future.”
Motorists do not need to rush to the pumps to fill-up. Currently, there is ample U.S. gasoline supply and no disruption to distribution at gas stations.
Across the country, state averages are less than $3/gallon except in Hawaii ($3.47) and California ($3.21). Twenty-nine states have gas price averages at $2.10 or less with Oklahoma ($1.71) carrying the cheapest in the country.
Today’s national average ($2.12) is cheaper on the week (-13 cents), month (-35 cents) and year (-50 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases are: Wisconsin (-24 cents), Oklahoma (-21 cents), North Dakota (-20 cents), Ohio (-19 cents), Michigan (-18 cents), Kentucky (-17 cents), Minnesota (-15 cents), Maine (-15 cents), South Dakota (-15 cents) and California (-14 cents).
- The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Oklahoma ($1.71), Ohio ($1.78), Wisconsin ($1.81), Kentucky ($1.82), Indiana ($1.83), Mississippi ($1.84), Michigan ($1.84), Texas ($1.85), South Carolina ($1.86) and Missouri ($1.86).
3/23 - 10:00 AM
Ohio Cannabis Health and Business Summit Moves Event Date
Event moved to August 22 – 23, 2020, for the health and safety of our attendees, exhibitors and presenters.
3/22 - 2:30 PM
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Issues a "Stay at Home Order" to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
The order has exceptions, including essential trips for supplies and health-related trips.
Certain types of work and leaving home to take care of others is permitted.
The order goes into effect Monday at 11:59 P.M. and stays in effect until April 6.
The complete order below:
3/22 - 2:00 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers From the Ohio Department of Health
3/22 - 9:00 AM
University Hospital among first in nation to test investigational antiviral drug against COVID-19
University Hospitals has secured two clinical trials that will provide the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir to hospitalized adults with a pneumonia due to the novel coronavirus. One trial will focus on COVID-19 patients with moderate illness. The second will focus on patients with more severe illness who may require care in the intensive care unit (ICU).
“This is some promising news in the midst of this COVID-19 situation,” said Daniel Simon, MD, Chief Clinical & Scientific Officer and President, UH Cleveland Medical. “Our UH research team has worked closely with the manufacturer, Gilead, in recent days to secure the studies. We are grateful to be one of the first sites in the U.S. to participate in these clinical trials. Both trials are now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and our Institutional Review Board, and we are expecting shipment of the experimental drug remdesivir in the next couple of days.”
The studies will be conducted by the UH Clinical Research Center, under the leadership of Grace McComsey, MD, Vice President of Research and Associate Chief Scientific Officer at UH.
“The need for rigorous, professionally conducted research – activity that goes on every day in our UH Clinical Research Center -- is critical in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. McComsey. “There is no established treatment for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The trials we are preparing to conduct are especially significant because they test an active antiviral treatment, rather than just supportive care.”
The primary goal of the first trial is to evaluate the efficacy of two different remdesivir regimens, compared to the standard of care, measured by the proportion of participants discharged on or before day 14 of their hospitalization. The primary goal of the second trial is to evaluate the efficacy of two different remdesivir regimens and their ability to normalize patients’ temperature and oxygen saturation, through day 14. ClinicalTrials.gov has more details, here for the trial for patients with moderate illness, and here for the trial in patients with more severe illness.
Remdesivir has demonstrated activity against COVID-19 infection in animal studies. In addition, it’s been shown to be safe and tolerable, with a safety database of more than 500 people who have received remdesivir in Ebola and early phase studies to date. All study participants in both studies will be given active remdesivir intravenously, but will be randomized to either five days or 10 days of treatment.
The two UH COVID-19 clinical trials will be open at UH Cleveland Medical Center. UH also is hoping to open the trials at UH Ahuja, Parma and St. John medical centers. Other trials are also being explored and assessed.
“The goal, as always, is to ensure access to the most novel treatments for our UH patients and the communities we serve,” said Dr. Simon.
3/21 - 6:30 PM
Day Support for Developmentally Disabled to Close; BWC Payments Deferred; Trucking Waiver Issued
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. MPH, provided the following updates regarding COVID-19 in Ohio.
DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY DAY SUPPORT
Governor DeWine is ordering all adult day support and vocational habilitation services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to temporarily stop providing services in settings of more than 10 people.
"This order is necessary because individuals with developmental disabilities traditionally receive these services in large groups, and right now, this just isn't safe," said Governor DeWine. "We've been working with service providers to ensure that these individuals will still receive the services they need despite these temporary closures."
The order will become effective on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at 9:00 p.m.
OHIO BUREAU OF WORKERS COMPENSATION DEFERRAL:
Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) system is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 249,000 public and private employers.
To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC is announcing that insurance premium installment payments due for March, April, and May for the current policy year may be deferred until June 1, 2020. At that time the matter will be reconsidered.
"BWC will not cancel coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid because of the coronavirus pandemic," said Lt. Governor Husted. "Installment payments due for the three-month period are totaled at approximately $200 million, and that money will now stay in the economy."
For more information, visit bwc.ohio.gov.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WAIVER:
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is modifying the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods.
Generally, Ohio requires haulers with loads classified as "oversized" to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are legally allowed to travel in the state.
To assist in the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, ODOT will modify the process for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of food, non-alcoholic beverages, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods.
Haulers carrying these essential goods can download and print the permit at transportation.ohio.gov.
COVID-19 OHIO DATA:
There are 247 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and three deaths. A total of 58 people are hospitalized. Dr. Acton warned that this data is not reflective of the true extent of COVID-19 in Ohio.
"This data is a snapshot of the past because everything points to the fact that we had a seeding of COVID-19 in Ohio early on, yet we were one of the last states to get the reagents we needed to do testing," said Dr. Acton. "This data is not telling the full story of what is happening here. Even the data you see in the future is minimal because we are conserving all our available testing for the most high-risk and hospitalized front line workers. We are withholding most of our testing because we are running out of reagent to conduct these tests."
Deaths: Cuyahoga (1), Erie (1), Lucas (1).
Confirmed cases: Ashland (1), Ashtabula (1), Belmont (2), Butler (16), Clark (1), Clermont (2), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (92), Darke (1), Defiance (2), Delaware (4), Erie (1), Franklin (21), Gallia (1), Geauga (1), Hamilton (8), Huron (1), Lake (4), Licking (1), Lorain (14), Lucas (4), Mahoning (14), Marion (1), Medina (9), Miami (11), Montgomery (1), Richland (1), Stark (8), Summit (15), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (1), Union (1), Warren (2).
3/21 - 2:15 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers in Ohio from the Ohio Department of Health
3/20 - 6:00 PM
Cedar Point Delays Opening
3/20 - 3:50 PM
University Hospital Updates Visitor Policies
- Inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 – No visitors will be allowed, no exceptions
- General medical floors – No visitors will be allowed in the hospital.
- UH Seidman cancer patients – No visitors will be allowed in the hospital.
- Rainbow and Maternity inpatients – limited to the same two adult visitors for the duration of their hospital stay. Only one visitor will be allowed to spend the night with the patient. These visitors will be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness and temperature greater than 99.6 F degrees upon entrance to the unit and will not be allowed to enter the facility if screen positive.
- Surgical patients – one visitor will be allowed on the day of surgery only and screened. Surgical patient visitors will not be allowed to enter the facility if screen positive.
- Ambulatory Health Centers, Physician Offices and Urgent Care – only one visitor will be allowed for the appointment and screened. Patient visitors will not be allowed to enter the facility if screen positive.
- Temperature screen must be less than 99.6 degrees F and
- Must be flu symptom-free: no cough, no runny nose, no diarrhea, no shortness of breath. Any visitor that screens positive will not be allowed to enter the facility.
Case-by-case basis for birth, pediatric and end of life care only. Approval will require Chief Medical Officer or Chief Nursing Officer approval. Any visitor using the exception will be screened as follows:
- Temperature screen must be less than 99.6 degrees F and
- Must be flu symptom-free: no cough, no runny nose, no diarrhea, no shortness of breath. Any visitor that screens positive will not be allowed to enter the facility.
3/20 - 3:45 PM
Cleveland Clinic Updates Visitor Policies
Restricting all visitors, at all Ohio locations.
3/20 - 3:30 PM
Updates From The Friday Ohio Department of Health Press Conference
Ohio Reports First Death
- Governor DeWine asking the President to immediately unlock funding in the Disaster Unemployment account for people who file taxes using the 1099 form.
- The Department of Insurance is issuing an order that allows employers to cover their employees with a grace period for up to 60 calendar days.
- Employers can defer their premium payments for up to two months.
- Hilliard Schools near Columbus has 16,000 students learning online.
- Grocery stores are hiring and offering bonuses.
- Test delays may be due to how hospitals are processing their tests.
- Dr. Amy Acton urges people to seek facts and reject misinformation, which she says is running rampant. Call 833-4-ASK-ODH
- Governor DeWine has asked educators of the state to do all they can in this time period to make learning continue in our schools.
Business best-practices and other notes:
- Take the temperature of employees when possible
- Dedicate people to specifically clean all surfaces, door handles, rails, where people may touch them.
- Remove chairs from where they're too close together, and people might congregate
- Carryout the 6-foot rule, so people don't stand too close together.
- If anyone is exhibiting any symptoms, send them home.
- Make sanitizer available for employees.
- Provide no community gathering spaces.
- No sharing equipment without it first being disinfected.
- Wash your hands, don't touch your face.
3/20 - 1:00 PM
CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE UPDATE:
President Donald Trump Announces Suspension of Student Loan Payments and Interest on Student Loans During Coronavirus Task Force Briefing
- Donald Trump announced that student loan payments and all interest on federally held student loans would be waived for at least 60 days. He said more information would come soon.
- He also announced that the Department of Education would no longer enforce standardized testing for U.S. students in both elementary schools and high schools.
- He confirmed that the tax deadline has been moved from April 15th to July 15th. Taxes can be filed then with no interest or penalties on money owed. However, if you’re due a refund, you can file for that right now.
- Trump said he had a “very good” conversation with Senator Chuck Schumer regarding bills to bolster the economy by offering financial help to individuals and businesses.
- He applauded governors, particularly California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo, for taking bold steps to curtail the spread of Coronavirus and said he’s “working closely with them.”
- Trump said he is not considering a national lockdown.
- He was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to announce a new agreement with Mexico to restrict travel, saying mass migration will deplete resources, overwhelm the health care system, cripple our immigration system and put border patrol agents at risk.
- In line with that, the CDC is exercising Title 42 protections for Customs and Border Patrol agents. Any undocumented immigrants will be sent back to their home country immediately.
- He said he took steps last night to “put into gear” the Defense Production Act, moving it into the “highest level of activation.”
- He reiterated that the federal government is helping the states “a lot,” saying things like procuring equipment is something the states would normally do, but the federal government is helping the states “a lot,” and getting them the equipment they need.
3/20 - 12:15 PM
Resources Available for School Districts
The Ohio School Boards Association has compiled a list of resources for districts all over the state at this link.
3/20 - 11:15 AM
American Red Cross - Severe Blood Shortage
American Red Cross is still reporting a severe blood shortage, encouraging donations.
3/20 - 11:00 AM
Unemployment Questions Update from Ohio Jobs & Family Services
The Governor's office has compiled a list of unemployment questions at this link.
3/20 - 10:30 AM
TAX DAY MOVING TO JULY 15
All taxpayers and businesses with now have until July 15 to file their taxes without interest or penalties
3/20 - 9:45 AM
Ohio National Guard Updates:
Ohio National Guard Major General John Harris says approximately 400 guardsmen will be transporting packaging, distributing food to homes in vulnerable areas, community-based locations and partner agencies in rural communities.
3/20 - 9:30 AM
Susan G. Komen Columbus Race for the Cure Postponed
Susan G. Komen® Columbus takes the health and safety of our participants, supporters, volunteers, staff, and the patients and survivors we serve very seriously. As a result, we have made the hard decision to postpone the 2020 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure. A new date will be announced soon.
Komen Columbus is grateful for the leadership of local and statewide officials during this time. As an organization committed to public health, we fully support the directives being made as they work to safeguard the health of our citizens. And we are proud to do our part in joining the community’s effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
3/20 - 8:30 AM
Bed, Bath & Beyond Announces Limited Store Closures
Some of our stores carry a wide range of essential items like cleaning supplies, health, wellness and personal care products, while others do not. With continued mindfulness toward balancing two aspects of public health, minimizing spread while also making necessities available, we are closing approximately 800 stores that do not carry meaningful amounts of these supplies, through April 3, 2020. Stores that do carry larger assortments of key items will remain open, with reduced hours, unless local authorities have directed otherwise. Associates will be provided with pay and applicable benefits during this period. For details on specific stores, please check our website.
3/19 - 4:30 PM
Updates from the Thursday Press Conference with Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton from the Ohio Department of Health.
From Governor Mike DeWine:
- We're asking our fellow citizens to do some extraordinary acts. Don't go on Spring break. Don't get on that airplane. Don't go to the pub, bar, restaurant.
- They are asking all Ohioans to put their flags up.
- "We will get through this. Spring will come. All the joys of life we will again be able to enjoy."
- A shelter in place is more terminology than anything else. Ohio is 11.7M people.
- We should not think it's more deadly the older you get. This virus spares no one. We have it within ourselves, making small decisions, to stop it from spreading from one human to the other.
- The grocery supply chain is doing well -- no risk of food running out.
- Illegal internet cafes are being shut down.
- The biggest concern is still too many people gathering at once.
- We are issuing a moratorium on electric and gas disconnects.
- Asking employers to show extra compassion toward employees; exercise humanitarianism.
- He is asking the National Guard to get involved in the transport and movement of equipment.
- He is not asking for martial law.
- Warns against scam artists and giving someone on the internet your personal data.
From Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor:
- We are at an unprecedented time in our state.
- Justice O'Connor wants to let everyone know what the courts are doing and should be doing to be consistent with the public health strategy.
- "Courts must be open to address emergency and time-sensitive matters."
- Courts can be closed to the public for non-essential purposes.
- Courts in Cuyahoga County have suspended all non-time-sensitive trials. When possible, hearings are being held by video.
- Sheriff's sales and foreclosures will be suspended for 60 days.
- Urging judges to use discretion to release persons incarcerated who are at a high-risk category for contracting COVID-19.
- Releasing emergency funds to the counties to pay for video conferencing $4M to be taken from the Supreme Court budget and dispersed to local courts.
From Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran:
- More than 41,000 Ohioans with developmental disabilities
- More than 50,000 Ohioans served in nursing facilities
- Today, Medicaid is expanding the ability to access services
- Individuals don't need to necessarily have to have an existing relationship with a doctor to participate in telehealth
- Enabling the telehealth system is a way of relieving emergency departments of pressure, and allowing Ohioans to get diagnosed without leaving home, enables practitioners to do their jobs without risking contracting or spreading COVID-19.
From Ursel McElroy, Director of the Ohio Department of Aging
- "We've been focused on older adults since these COVID-19 occurrences hit our state."
- Our nursing homes train for this type of situation every day, and our job throughout this time has been to listen to them.
- We've formed a special team focusing on COVID-19 and how we will respond to our facilities.
- We believe there will be an exponential need for home-delivered meals and a need for helping clients get up and get prepared for their day.
- "We are very energized by the local communities, and the Aging network is a sophisticated and mature network. While challenged, we will be up to the task."
- It's important for us to talk about physical distancing, not social distancing. Call someone, use video calling if you can. Ask how they're feeling, eating, if they have the things they need. Offer to go to the store for them, pick up medications, provide entertainment.
From Dr. Amy Acton at the Ohio Department of Health:
- As of this afternoon, 119 confirmed cases of COVID-19
- 43 females, 76 males, 33 hospitalizations across 24 counties. The average age is 49 years.
- We are definitely on the upslope now. It is urgent; we all know some families; it is time to heed this call. You need to stay home if you can, with your family.
- Every day matters and community spread is on the upward sweep.
- Asking folks to really heed the message now. Time is of the essence. Young people are turning out to be equally affected and hospitalized in large amounts.
- We need to have some grace with this; we'll get this about 80% right. At this point is the time for action. I need everyone to focus, do what the Governor says. Stay home as we go up this curve.
From Lt. Gov. Jon Husted:
- Urges Ohio small business owners to use https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela to get access to funds. -- Or call 1-800-659-2955.
- Ohio has been approved for SNAP waivers for food assistance.
- Apply for unemployment at unemployment.ohio.gov
- Since Monday, an additional 111,000 claims through Wednesday.
- Supply chain: was in discussion with grocery stores. Producing as much bread and rice as they always have, but excess demand is causing runs.
- Most businesses open are because they need to be.
- Urges business owners to make their facilities as healthy as possible.
- Bank CEO's say to stay calm. The banking system is well. They'll be right there when needed.
- Secretary of State Frank LaRose wants Primary election day to be June 2, not a new election, but a postponement.
3/19 - 3:30 PM
The Latest Coronavirus Numbers for Ohio
3/19 - 2:45 PM
NATIONAL GUARD TO HELP FEED FAMILIES
Service members will be stationed in Southeast Ohio starting 3/23
Members of the Ohio National Guard are expected to arrive at the Southeast Ohio Foodbank on March 23 to help feed seniors, families, and displaced workers across the Foodbank’s 10-county service area.
On Wednesday, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Adjutant General MG John C. Harris Jr., announced the deployment of Ohio National Guard members. This action comes at the request of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and in collaboration with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and its 12 member Feeding America foodbanks.
Citizens may see military personnel and military vehicles in the 10 counties that the Southeast Ohio Foodbank serves: Hocking, Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton, and Washington. The Southeast Ohio Foodbank is a program of Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP).
“We welcome these National Guard members as part of our foodbank family and thank them for their dedication and diligence in the weeks ahead,” says Andrew Mayle, HAPCAP’s Food & Nutrition Director. “We encourage our clients and community members to join us in welcoming them with gratitude and friendship as they assist us in our important work.”
Statewide, approximately 300 National Guard members will be deployed at the 12 foodbank warehouses across the state, which provide food to Ohioans in all 88 counties. The National Guard members will assist Ohio’s foodbanks in procuring, sorting, and packing food into bags and boxes; distributing that food through “no-touch” food distributions and deliveries; and supporting other logistical needs to protect public health and safety while maintaining foodbank operations.
"We have a responsibility to respond when our governor and fellow Ohioans need our assistance," said Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio adjutant general. "We have a long history of supporting the state and nation during times of emergency. Our Guard members are coming from counties across the state to serve their own communities, ensuring their neighbors continue to receive food and pantry items.”
The Southast Ohio Foodbank has implemented several key changes to respond to need while protecting staff, volunteers and clients by minimizing person-to-person contact. Staff members and network pantries are making a concentrated effort to transition to “no-touch” food distribution using drive-through and delivery models, as well as transitioning to pre-packaged bags and boxes of food. Foodbank staff has also advised member pantries of the state waiver on signatures. Clients hold up a photo ID and give verbal permission for the volunteer to sign required forms on their behalf. The volunteer signs with their own signature or initials noting, "COVID-19 2020".
With the evolving updates and changes, Foodbank staff is committed to working with State resources to continue to feed at-risk residents in Southeast Ohio.
“As social distancing and quarantine measures continue to be ordered and implemented, Southeast Ohio Foodbank clients may not always have access to the local food pantry or soup kitchen where they would usually turn to for help,” says Mayle. “We remain committed to being here to help and serve as long as we are legally permitted to do so.”
The Foodbank is still receiving donations to serve children and senior citizens. Those wishing to contribute can visit hapcap.org/donate. Those with questions or needing additional resources may contact (740) 385-6813 or email@example.com.
3/19 - 12:45 PM
CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING:
Trump Touts FDA Approval to Re-purpose Therapeutic Drugs That May Treat COVID-19
-Donald Trump talked about drugs that may be re-purposed to treat Coronavirus, including Hydroxychloroquine, now used to treat Malaria, and the anti-viral Remdesivir, adding Governor Cuomo wants New York to be “first in line” for the possible treatment.
-He said the FDA would “slash red tape” to get drugs in use abroad approved for compassionate use, under the “Right to Try” law.
-He talked about signing the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, saying it provides critical support for families and small businesses, testing and food support, and promised more help is on the way.
-He clarified that, although he signed the Defense Production Act, which would order mass manufacturing of products like much-needed ventilators and masks, it would only be used “if necessary.”
-Trump once again referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” and said it could have been stopped “where it came from” if China had made it known.
-V.P. Mike Pence said a new initiative with private companies would mean tens of millions of N-95 masks will soon be available
3/19 - 12:15 PM
The Ohio Dept. of Education has made public an interactive map to find available school meal service in various parts of the state.
3/19 - 12:00 PM
Wexner Medical Center is no longer allowing visitors at its hospitals.
There are three exceptions. Those are: end of life situations; maternity; and patients under 18.
3/19 - 11:30 AM
Simon Malls is closing all of its properties until March 29
That includes The Mall at Tuttle Crossing in Dublin (Columbus metro), and Summit Mall in Fairlawn (Cleveland metro).
3/19 - 11:15 AM
COTA Board of Trustees Suspends Fares; Approves New Boarding Procedures
the COTA Board of Trustees approved the authorization of suspended fares for transit customers effective immediately. Fares will remain suspended during the Coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, all customers will be asked to board through the rear doors. The goal of this is to encourage social distancing for our customers and our operators.
ADA customers who need to use a ramp to board, will still be able to do so at the front door.
3/19 - 8:45 AM
Best Buy Stores Changing Business Operations
Best Buy announced they will work to stay open to provide technology for those that need it in the new work-at-home environment. Only a small number of customers will be allowed to enter the store and hours of operation will be reduced.
3/18 - 4:00 PM
Social Security Closes Field Offices to the Public for In-Person Services.
3/18 - 3:15 PM
Updates from the Wednesday Press Conference with Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton from the Ohio Department of Health.
- Testing is limited and will continue to be limited. Don’t focus on that - The vast majority won’t need to be tested. If you have symptoms, act as if you have the virus.
- The public should reserve the limited tests that we do have for the sickest people, primarily those who are hospitalized. Call the Emergency Room before you visit
- Eighty-eight confirmed cases - But be aware, there are probably many more because of shortages of tests.
- The age range of those hospitalized is from two to 91 years old. Children can catch coronavirus, talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns.
- Stay socially connected but physically separated.
- BMV is closing 181 locations - only five will remain open statewide - to issue and renew CDLs - all other services will be online or paused.
- There will be a grace period for people who can’t renew their licenses - asking law enforcement not to issue tickets for expired licenses at this time.
- All barbershops, hair salons, spas, tattoo parlors, nail salons will be closed today.
- Currently, libraries are not ordered to be closed.
- Asking all retailers, non-profits, anyone who still has to show for work to take employee temperatures before letting them start work
- National Guard will assist food banks.
- Banks say you shouldn’t panic. Your finances are safe; foreclosures are currently suspended.
- There were 78 thousand requests for unemployment this week. For information about unemployment benefits, visit Unemployment.Ohio.gov.
3/18 - 2:30 PM
Ohio Restaurant Association Urging Pickup or Delivery Orders Today.
3/18 - 1:45 PM
Ohio National Guard Adjutant General addresses his troops & reservists via Twitter regarding their actions to protect them from coronavirus.
3/18 - 1:30 PM
Columbus Library to Participate in Global eBook Club.
3/18 - 1:15 PM
To help Ohioans Avoid Scammers During the Outbreak, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost Publicizes Database of Registered Organizations.
3/18 - 1:00 PM
State Testing in Ohio Schools in Question for the Year.
3/18 - 12:30 PM
The Latest From the White House Briefing:
- President Trump confirmed that two U.S. hospital ships, The Mercy and The Comfort, will be deployed in the next week, one to New York and one to the West Coast. The ships have about 1,000 hospital rooms and surgical theatres.
- The Department of Housing and Urban Development will offer immediate relief to renters and homeowners, suspending evictions until the end of April.
- ”Mr. Trump announced he will invoke the Defense Production Act, which will expedite the supply of resources from industry to the military and Homeland Security.
- He said the human clinical trial on humans is going forward in partnership with the CDC, NIH and FDA. Trump called it the fastest development of a vaccine in history.
- Mr. Trump also announced there would also be expanded testing on a self-swab process. He says he’s asked the FDA to “cut through the red tape”, saying the test would “free up a lot” of health professionals.
- He announced he would meet with the nation’s governors at FEMA tomorrow, and will meet with nurses this afternoon.
- Dr. Deborah Birx announced troubling news from France, where two young people became severely ill in an ICU.
3/18 - 11:15 AM
OhioHealth Issues Some Work Guideliness for Viral Illnesses.
3/18 - 11:05 AM
Honda Announces They Will Stop Production for Six Days
Honda announces today they will cease production for six days starting March 23 with production scheduled to resume March 31. 40,000 vehicles will not be produced. Honda will continue to pay 27,600 associates in North America impacted by the suspension. It will also use the downtime to continue a deep cleaning of its production facilities and common areas.
3/18 - 11:00 AM
Ohio Department of Health publishes a COVID-19 Information & Checklist for School Meals.
During Ohio’s coronavirus-related ordered school-building closure, many schools are ensuring students continue to receive nutritious meals. Some districts and schools can provide meals to all students in their communities, while others can provide meals only to qualifying students.
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, is working closely with the Ohio Department of Education to help students receive nutritious meals during the ordered school-building closure period.
- Many districts and schools are continuing to support students by providing breakfast and lunch in non-congregate settings. Check your local district’s website or social media channels for meal distribution locations and times.
- Meals are being provided in many ways, including pre-packaged or grab-and-go options.
- Meals are being distributed in non-congregate settings to reduce contact with others. Schools are using a variety of distritubtion methods such as drive- or walk-up meal distribution at school or community sites, meals driven to local neighborhoods, and volunteers delivering meals to households.
- Some schools are only able to serve meals to eligble students. Eligible students are those who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches during school. Check with your local district or school to see if your student is able to receive school meals.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
3/18 - 10:30 AM
Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted Submit Formal Request for Federal Assistance for Small Businesses.
Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted sent a letter and application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to qualify the State of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This federal program will enable small businesses and non-profits throughout the state impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million in assistance that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and non-profits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
Once the state is qualified for the program, Ohio Development Services Agency (Development) will work with the SBA to notify entities that the they can now apply for loans. To keep payments affordable, these loans are long-term, with up to a maximum of 30 years for repayment. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
“We know Ohio businesses are struggling and we are going to do everything we can to help them,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “We have taken quick steps to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans, and we are going to give that same attention to ensuring our businesses are successful and jobs remain available. I encourage the SBA to quickly approve our application.”
As efforts to combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus continue, Governor DeWine and his administration will continue to identify ways to support the state’s small businesses and non-profits. Any of these entities impacted by the ongoing health crisis are encouraged to contact Development at BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov for assistance.
Additional information about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available atSBA.gov/Disaster.
3/18 - 10:15 AM
Columbus City Council commited $1 million to Emergency Human Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbus City Council committed $1 million to Emergency Human Services to support families in need of housing or food support.
“COVID-19 is going to hit Columbus families hard, especially parents working hourly jobs,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “Council is acting now to put emergency money on the table to address food access and housing stability.”
Council will work with community partners to finalize the details and administration of the program.The goal is to get much-needed resources into the hands of the community as quickly as possible.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will critically impact our city’s most vulnerable residents, who must be our focus as we respond and adapt to this crisis,” said President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown. “The world was different a week ago than it is today, and each of us have an opportunity to be much bigger than ourselves, and do to much more than we thought we were capable of doing.”
3/18 - 9:40 AM
American Health Network Offers COVID-19 Hotline
There is no higher priority to our entire American Health Network team than the health and safety of our patients and staff. We are in close communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indiana and Ohio State Departments of Health and our internal teams to stay on top of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation.
What to do if you think you’ve been exposed
If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, we encourage you to call to speak with one of our registered nurses—9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. A member of our nursing staff will ask questions over the phone to assess your risk and then advise you of the appropriate next steps.
AHN’s COVID-19 Screening Hotline:
This service is free-of-charge, and you do not need to be a current patient of American Health Network to participate.
3/18 - 9:25 AM
Shadowbox Live has suspended all Shadowbox Live and Up Front at Shadowbox Live shows, administrative hours, and educational programming until further notice.
3/18 - 9:20 AM
Lane Bryant Announces Store Closures Through March 28th
3/18 - 9:15 AM
Eddie Bauer Announces Store Closures
In an effort to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19, Eddie Bauer stores are temporarily closed through March 28. Employees will continue to be paid during this time. Visit link for the full update from our President.
3/17- 3:00 PM
The latest from Governor Mike DeWine's Press Conference
- 67 cases
- Age range 14-86, median age 48
- 26 female, 41 male
- 17 hospitalizations, many ICU
- 16 counties with cases
- Ohio Hospitals currently 75 percent at capacity
- 33 critical access hospitals in the state
- Election will be postponed to June 2
- Issuing an order to postpone elective surgeries. Non-elective surgeries Include life saving, preservation of organs or limbs, preventing progression of disease, or preventing progression of symptoms
- Entertaining the idea of turning nursing home wings into non-infected satellite hospitals for patient overflow
- Amazon is hiring 4,600 new Ohio employees
- University of Dayton turning gym into a testing center
- Worried about not having enough beds, ventilators or personal protective gear
- Madison County Board of Elections closed because a poll worker exhibited symptoms
3/17- 1:30 PM
Local Social Security Offices Close In-Person Service
Effective March 17, 2020, there will be no face-to-face service. Social Security offices will only offer phone service.
3/17- 11:15 AM
Cleveland Public Library Stops All Meal Services
The library announced that out of an abundance of caution, it must temporarily suspend plans to deliver meals to children.
3/17- 11:00 AM
Ohio State University Suspends Spring 2020 Commencement
President Michael Drake announced in a universitywide email that the university is postponing their 2020 Spring Commencement Ceremony due to COVID-19, without a new date.
The university also announces prorated refunds of housing and dining to students departing residence halls.
3/17- 11:00 AM
Ohio Restaurant Association Urges Support of Membership
The Ohio Restaurant Association is urging support of membership through take-out, pick-up windows, curbside pickup, delivery.
3/16- 10:15 PM
Ohio Primary Off Again
Ohio's Tuesday primary was called off at the last minute late Monday night after Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton ordered that the polls be closed due to a health emergency posed by the coronavirus.
3/16 - 9:00 PM
Ohio Primary Back On For Tuesday
On Monday night, a Franklin County judge denied Oho Governor Mike DeWine's attempt to move Ohio's Tuesday primary.
Ohio will now hold its primary Tuesday, as originally planned.
3/16 - 2:57 PM
No In-Person Voting in Ohio Primary
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Monday that he is canceling in-person voting and is moving to postpone Ohio's primary election to June 2.
The governor said absentee voting will continue until June 2, when in-person voting will take place.
3/16 - 2:57 PM
The latest from Governor Mike DeWine's Press Conference
- 50 positive tests
- Age range is 14-86, with a median age of 51
- 14 hospitalized
- Closed as of today: fitness centers, gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, indoor water and trampoline parks, rec centers
- No more gatherings of 50+ people
- People 65+ should stay home no matter what, as well as pregnant women and immune compromised people
- Lawsuit will be filed in order to extend the election - judge will ultimately decide
- So much community spread at this point, travel origins can't be traced
- If an employer doesn’t provide paid sick leave, have sick worker apply for immediate unemployment
- For absentee voting, go to VoteOhio.gov, print off absentee ballot and mail it in
3/16 - 2:15 PM
MLB Opening Season Pushed Back Further
MLB announced it has pushed back the opening season at least 8 weeks.
3/16 - 2:00 PM
50 Confirmed Cases in Ohio
The Ohio Department of Health said there are 50 coronavirus cases confirmed, from 12 counties. 14 are hospitalized.
3/16 - 11:45 AM
Curbside Voting and Loosene Absentee Voting Rules
Under a new order issues from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Ohio will offer curbside voting on Election Day and loosened absentee voting rules for those unexpectedly hospitalized or quarantined due to coronavirus.
3/16 - 11:15 AM
NFL Draft To Proceed As Scheduled
The 2020 draft will proceed as scheduled April 23-25 and will be televised, but the annual selection process will no longer include public events in Las Vegas due to the coronavirus.
3/15 - 9:00 PM
All Ohio Bars and Restaurants Closed
Governor Mike DeWine issues an order closing of all bars and restaurants in Ohio. Establishments may stay open for carry-out and delivery.
3/15 - 7:30 PM
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Cleveland Metroparks indoor public facilities closed, events and programs canceled through March 31
Cleveland Metroparks today announced that Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will be closed beginning March 16 until at least March 31. In addition to the Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks indoor public facilities are closed and all Cleveland Metroparks events and programs are canceled until at least March 31. The precautionary action follows directives from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Public Health, Cuyahoga Board of Health and the CDC to limit public gatherings.
The following Cleveland Metroparks locations are closed to the public until at least March 31:
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
- All Nature Centers & Nature Shops: Brecksville Nature Center, Canalway Center, North Chagrin Nature Center, Rocky River Nature Center, Watershed Stewardship Center and Hinckley Lake Boathouse & Store.
- Merwin’s Wharf.
All Cleveland Metroparks and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo upcoming programs and events are canceled until at least March 31 including:
- Fish Fry at Big Met and Fish Fry events at Emerald Necklace Marina and Merwin’s Wharf
- History of Maple Sugaring March 14-15.
- Buzzard Day on March 15.
- World Water Day March 21.
- Adventure University & Gear Swap March 21.
- Job Fair March 22.
- Race to the Cake 5K April 3 is postponed to a later date.
Guests who registered for programs that required a fee between March 13 and March 31 will be refunded.
Cleveland Metroparks outdoor locations will remain open including 18 park reservations and eight golf courses. Golf courses will remain open daily on a limited schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weather permitting. All guests visiting Cleveland Metroparks are recommended to take preventative action when visiting the park system including self-monitoring and practicing social distancing.
For the latest information on Cleveland Metroparks coronavirus precautions visit: clevelandmetroparks.com/COVID-19
3/15 - 4:30 PM
The latest updates from the Sunday press conference with Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton from the Ohio Department of Health.
- Thirty-six positive cases, at least 350 pending, many more are expected.
- 13 females 23 males, 11 are currently hospitalized
- 200,000 ICU beds needed nationwide - we only have 45,000 now, and most are already occupied
- All bars and restaurants closed tonight at 9 pm, closed for the foreseeable future. Carry out and delivery still allowed.
- Bar and restaurant owners will have the opportunity to return unopened liquor to recoup some of the losses.
- Stopping all elective surgeries
- Governor DeWine is signing an executive order for unemployment - to enable workers who don’t have benefits to have access to them. Quarantine folks will be considered unemployed, and this also applies to companies who decide to shut down temporarily.
- Currently, it takes a week to get unemployment benefits. Exec order expedites that time.
- Unemployment taxes will be mutualized. All deadlines for reporting unemployment will be pushed back.
- The Ohio development services agency is trying to qualify the state for the disaster loan program for small businesses
- Nonprofits also available to apply for low-interest loans
- Elderly food programs will be disrupted - looking for volunteers.
- Schools should be prepared for extended closures - odds are three weeks won’t be enough.
3/15 - 4:00 PM
What is Social Distancing?
3/15 - 2:30 PM
Ohio Department of Health Updates Coronavirus Numbers in Ohio. More coverage here.
3/15 - 8:30 AM
National Day of Prayer Proclamation
President Trump proclaims today, March 15, 2020 as a National Day of Prayer for All Americans Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic and for our National Response Efforts. He urges Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers for all those affected, including people who have suffered harm or lost loved ones.
3/14 - 5:30 PM
Governor DeWine Provides Coronavirus Update:
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, today provided an update on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
There are currently 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio. The 12 women and 14 men range in age from 31 to 86 years old. Seven people are hospitalized.
"The increase in those testing positive for COVID-19 should not alarm anyone," said Governor DeWine. "We predicted that this would happen. This should not cause panic, we are enacting an early, targeted, and layered plan aimed at reducing the number of people affected."
LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY CLARIFICATION
Clarifying the order prohibiting visitors to long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes, Governor DeWine clarified that there is an exemption of this prohibition for those, including clergy, visiting residents in end-of-life care.
BEHAVIORAL HEALTH HOSPITALS
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Lori Criss announced that she has prohibited visitors to the state psychiatric hospitals and is making every effort to ensure video visitation for patients.
EXPANDING TELEHEALTH SERVICES
In partnership with the Ohio Department of Medicaid, Director Criss announced emergency orders that reduce restrictions on telehealth, ensuring that every Ohioan has access to behavioral health Care via telehealth services by landline or cell phone.
Director Criss encouraged all Ohioans to monitor their mental wellness during this time and described resources available at mhas.ohio.gov/coronavirus.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Governor DeWine announced that the state had received its personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, gowns, and goggles, from the National Strategic Reserve last night. He asked all health care providers and others that use PPE to conserve their supplies. Governor DeWine requested that dentists and veterinarians postpone elective surgeries. Governor DeWine explained that his health advisory group is in the process of developing guidelines for doctors for postponing elective surgeries that will not put patients at risk. These measures will open up critical treatment beds while preserving the state's limited supply of PPE.
The full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel website.
Dr. Acton today signed the public health order closing all K-12 schools in Ohio.
For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH
3/14 - 3:30 PM
What we know from the Saturday press conference with Governor Mike DeWine and The Ohio Department of Health:
26 confirmed cases - Monday there was only 1
31 years old to 86 years old
12 females 14 males
Call Center Update -
18,000 calls to the call center
1,400 today alone
The call center will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
New Updates or Restrictions -
Casinos are closing
Nursing home visits have exceptions for end of life situations.
Emergency rules to expand télé health
FaceTiming with your therapist
Food is available for anyone under the age of 18, with no income requirements.
Other Important Notes -
Shortages on protective gear/masks for healthcare workers
Reminder to maintain 3 to 6 feet of separation
Hospitals are beginning visitor restrictions
Hospitals are screening visitors
Asking all elective surgeries be postponed
More information will be coming in the next press conference on Monday.
3/14 - 3:15 PM
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has closed public events and meetings through March 31, 2020.
All planetarium shows will be closed through the of the month. For refund information, call 216.231.4600, ext. 3200.
3/14 - 3:00 PM
Akron Civic Theater is suspending performances through April.
Most shows are being postponed.
3/14 - 2:00 PM
Newport Aquarium is Temporarily Closing
Temporarily closing to the public effective Monday March 16, 2020 as a precautionary measure and are planning on re-opening on Saturday, March 28th.
Guests can reschedule their visit or obtain a ticket refund as needed. For assistance with that, guests can call 800-406-3474.
3/14 - 1:15 PM
Communities make an effort to feed school children meals
Partial list of places to find meals for school children. This is not a complete list, please check in your local community if yours is not listed here.
ST. STEPHEN'S COMMUNITY HOUSE
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
COLUMBUS CITY SCHOOLS - 13 SITES
CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT - 22 sites
Monday - Friday 11-1
*Shuttle services offered
DINNER SERVED AT all RECREATION CENTERS
MIDDLETOWN CITY SCHOOLS- 10 SITES, PLUS BUS STOPS
YOUNGSTOWN CITY SCHOOLS
Mobile food distribution on school buses at designated bus stops twice weekly throughout the closure. The locations of the designated stops will be announced next week.
3/14 - 11:15 AM
AMC Theatres announced limited seating at all shows
LIMITING SEAT CAPACITY IN EVERY AMC AUDITORIUM
3/13 - 4:40 PM
Cleveland Public Library closing today
Out an abundance of care for its staff and patrons and in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Cleveland Public Library will close to the public at the end of the day, Friday, March 13 until further notice. All programs, services, outreach activities, and meeting room reservations have been cancelled.
3/13 - 4:30 PM
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio has decided to close all its locations for the next three weeks, starting at the end of the day today.
They have developed meal pickup systems for kids in some counties and are working in conjunction with school systems in others.
3/13 - 3:50 PM
Updates from Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health
- No visitation to prisons or jails
- Trump administration has granted waivers to continue free breakfast and lunch for students in need
- No exception to the three week spring break for any school
- Encouraging people to “explore the outdoors"
- Requesting access to the stockpile of medical necessities and protections for medical workers
- Daycares will not be closed - but that may be something that will happen in the future
- Cleveland clinic can test 500 people a day
3/13 - 3:45 PM
President Trump declares national emergency
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency. This will free up billions to states and territories to fight coronavirus. Trump says emergency operation centers will be set up in every state. He has ordered all hospitals to initiate emergency preparedness plans. The declaration also clears the way to wave a number of rules including those limiting hospital stays and rules that would prevent doctors from practicing.
The president say there could be 5 million COVID-19 tests available within the month and said drive-thru tests could be made available to hard hit areas. Google is assisting with the drive-thru venture.
3/13 - 3:40 PM
Duke Energy suspending disconnection for non-payment
3/13 - 3:30 PM
Ohio State Athletics: All Organized Team Events Suspended
The Big Ten Conference announced today all organized team activities for its member schools have been suspended until April 6, 2020, and will be re-evaluated at that time. This announcement comes after a number of major announcements already this week
3/13 - 3:15 PM
Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center and Taft Museum to Close for Three Weeks Due to Coronavirus Concerns
3/13 - 3:00 PM
Sea World joins other theme parks in closing - Park closes March 16
3/13 - 2:00 PM
Churches making adjustments to schedules
3/13 - 1:30 PM
Cuyahoga County Moves to telecommuting for many employees
Effective this Monday, March 16 County employees will be moving to the following work policies:
With management’s approval, if County employees have the capacity to telecommute (work from home/offsite) they may do so effective immediately.
If a County employee's essential job function requires that they report to work in order to carry out critical County functions, they are expected to report to work, as usual. This includes positions such as Deputies, Corrections Officers, Social Workers, and others.
If County employees need to stay home for family or personal reasons and they can’t telecommute they are to use accumulated vacation, compensatory or exchange time, sick leave, or they may request to take unpaid leave.
3/13 - 12:45 PM
Columbus Zoo closing indoor facilities and rides, temporarily cancelling events, tours and programs.
3/13 - 11:45 AM
Cincinnati Library closing through April 3
3/13 - 11:00 AM
COSI closing to the public for three weeks
3/13 - 10:30 AM
PGA cancels 2020 Masters Golf Tournament
3/13 - 10:00 AM
Columbus Metropolitan Library announces closure
Beginning Friday at 6pm, all Columbus Public Library locations will close until at least April 6
3/13 - 9:00 AM
Walt Disney World announce upcoming closures along with Disney parks across the world
3/12 - 8:30 PM
The Agora Theatre and Ballroom cancels events
3/12 - 4:30 PM
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure closing
3/12 - 4:20 PM
NCAA cancels remaining winter and spring championships including March Madness
3/12 - 3:15 PM
Major League Baseball Cancels Remaining Spring Training Games, Delays Opening Day
Major League Baseball announced Thursday it will cancel the rest of spring training and delay the start of the regular season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
3/12 - 2:50 PM
Governor DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Press Conference
- Banning all nursing home visits
- Banning all visits to psychiatric hospitals
- No mass gatherings over 100 people
- Does not apply to religious gatherings/weddings/funerals
- Enforce a law for “unconscionable sales” to prevent price gouging
- Limit non-essential person-to-person contact. Scale back inspections
- Asking the President to protect small businesses
- Unless a child has a medical problem, risk of death is not high
- Children in the state will have a three week spring break - begins Monday
3/12 - 2:20 PM
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony Postponed
The event was scheduled for May 2 in Cleveland.
3/12 - 1:30 PM
NHL Suspends Season
The National Hockey League announced on Twitter that they are pausing the 2019-20 season.
3/12 - 1:00 PM
OHSAA Tournaments Canceled
In a press conference with Jerry Snodgrass, the OHSAA has officially postponed the tournaments for Girls Basketball, Wrestling and Ice Hockey idefinitely.
3/12 - 12:30 PM
Big Ten Tournaments Canceled
The Big Ten Conference announced via Twitter that the remainder of the Big Ten Tournamet will be canceled.
EARLIER THIS WEEK:
Colleges and Universities that have suspended classes:
- Ohio State University
- University of Dayton
- Oberlin College
- University of Toledo
- Xavier University
- Ohio University
- Kent State University
- Case Western Reserve University
- Miami University
- Bowling Green State University
- Denison University
- Wilmington College
- Wright State University
- Lorain Community College
- Ashland University
- Cuyahoga Community College
- University of Akron
Additionally, the NCAA has announced that all NCAA sporting events will be limited spectators only, including the First Four at Dayton.
The NBA and other professional sports leagues are also making major announcements, including the suspension of the rest of the season from the NBA
OSU Spring Game Canceled
The Ohio State Department of Athletics announced Wednesday that the 2020 spring football game has been canceled. Also, Ohio State will limit attendance for all events for the remainder of the academic year.
Cleveland Monsters No Fans
The Cleveland Monsters announced games will be played with no fans in attendance.
Elementary and High Schools
Elementary and high schools in the area are closing Monday, March 16 for three weeks.
- Columbus Public Schools - No district sponsored evening events through March
High School Sporting Events
High school sporting events ill be limited spectators only. Visit ohsaa.org for details
Concerts That Are Canceled or Posponed
- Zac Brown Band Spring Tour (Postponed)
- The Insiders: Tom Petty Tribute Band at Woodlands Tavern (Canceled)
- Anderson East & Foy Vance: 12 Rounds Tour (Canceled)
- Cleveland Orchestra concerts scheduled at Severance Hall on March 12, 13, and 14 (Canceled)
Events That Are Canceled or Posponed
- City of Dublin St. Patrick's Day Parade (Canceled)
- Cleveland St. Patrick's Day Parade (Canceled)
- Cleveland International Film Festival (Canceled)
- Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade (Canceled)
- Columbus Pet Expo (Canceled)
**Please note, this is not a complete list of cancelations. Always check with the venue or organizers of events for the latest updates,**
- Columbus Library and Cleveland Library have canceled all major programs and events through April
- Cleveland Metroparks are closing some indoor public facilities and canceling all events and programs until at least March 31
For the latest updates go to: coronavirus.gov