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COVID-19 Resource Center

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

Resources:

Coronavirus Impacts by State

 

May 30

Health Order Signed

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

 

May 29

Health Order Signed

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

 

May 28

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

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

PHARMACY TESTING:

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

"As frontline health care providers, pharmacies are critical in our state’s response to this pandemic," said Governor DeWine. "I have asked the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to make sure that Ohio pharmacies have what they need to test for COVID-19."

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

UPDATED PRIORITY TESTING: 

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

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

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

ASSISTED LIVING VISITATION: 

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

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

The lifted restrictions do not yet apply to nursing homes. 

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

The decision to move forward with outdoor visitation for assisting living facilities and intermediate care facilities was made while considering requests from families and residents and considering the impact on the quality of life a prolonged loss of connection can have on an individual. Advocates and providers in the aging and development disabilities communities were also consulted, and guidelines for visitation were jointly developed by the Academy for Senior Health Sciences, Leading Age Ohio, the Ohio Assisted Living Association, the Ohio Health Care Association, and the Ohio Medical Director’s Association.

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

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

OHIO BWC DEFERS PREMIUM INSTALLMENTS: 

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

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

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

JUNIOR FAIRS/COUNTY FAIRS/INDEPENDENT FAIRS:

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

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

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

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

 

May 26

COVID-19 Update: Congregate Care Unified Response Teams 

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

NEW CONGREGATE CARE UNIFIED RESPONSE TEAMS:

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

May 22

Health Orders Signed

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

 

May 21 

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

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

MINORITY HEALTH STRIKE FORCE PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS:

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

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

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

COMMUNITY WELLNESS KITS

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

COVID-19 EXPOSURE NOTIFICATION

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

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

MENTAL HEALTH GRANTS

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

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

NEW REOPENING DATES: 

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

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

 

May 20

Health Orders Signed

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

 

May 19

COVID-19 Update: Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory

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

OHIOANS PROTECTING OHIOANS URGENT HEALTH ADVISORY:

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

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

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

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

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

OHIO BWC TO PROVIDE FACE COVERINGS TO EMPLOYERS: 

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

Public and private employers that participate in the State Insurance Fund will receive a package from BWC containing at least 50 face coverings. These packages will be shipped in batches beginning tomorrow.

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

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 19 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

May 18

COVID-19 Update: Safety Checks

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

BAR/RESTAURANT SAFETY CHECKS:

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

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

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

The enforcement team will operate as part of the Ohio Department of Safety's Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and will conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants.  Businesses found violating the Stay Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses.  The OIU team will also work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners who do not follow the order, which includes the requirement that patrons remain seated while eating/drinking and that parties stay six feet apart.

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

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

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

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

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

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 18 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

May 14

COVID-19 Update: New Responsible RestartOhio Opening Dates

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

CHILD CARE: MAY 31

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

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

CAMPGROUNDS: MAY 21

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

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

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

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

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

To ensure that each deputy registrar location operates in the safest manner possible, the BMV is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for deputy registrars to follow.  A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

GYMS, FITNESS CENTERS: MAY 26

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

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

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

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

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

Safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development. 

PUBLIC/CLUB POOLS: MAY 26

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

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

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

HORSE RACING (NO SPECTATORS): MAY 22 

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

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

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 14 Press Conference. 

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

May 12

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

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

PANDEMIC EBT PLAN:

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

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

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

MASSAGE THERAPY, ACUPUNCTURE, COSMETIC THERAPY:

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

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

TATTOO AND BODY PIERCING SERVICES: 

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

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

OLDER ADULTS - STAYING CONNECTED:

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

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

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

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

Eligible Ohioans can sign up at aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-266-4346.

Staying Connected is not an emergency response service, and participants should always use 911 or their emergency response system if they are injured or in need of emergency assistance.

 

 

May 11

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 11 Press Conference. 

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

 

May 7

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

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

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

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

RESTAURANTS/BARS: 

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

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

PERSONAL CARE SERVICES:

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

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

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 7 Press Conference. 

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

 

May 6

Statement from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement on the proposed legislative amendments regarding state public health orders:

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

 

May 5

COVID-19 Update: State Budget Impact

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

STATE BUDGET IMPACT:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 5 Press Conference. 

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

May 4

COVID-19 Update: Testing Priority, Ohio BMVs

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

TESTING UPDATE: 

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

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

OHIO BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES REOPENING PLAN: 

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

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

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 4 Press Conference. 

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

 

May 1

Governor DeWine Announces 'Stay Safe Ohio Order'

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

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

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

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

ADVISORY GROUPS ON RESTAURANTS AND PERSONAL SERVICES

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

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

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

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

Notes from Remington Road Group from May 1 Press Conference. 

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

 

Helping Businesses Get Assistance

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

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

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

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

The Development Services Agency also offers other business assistance programs:

 

April 29

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

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

PPE DELIVERY:

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

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

The shipment includes: 

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

EMPLOYEE FACE COVERING EXCEPTIONS:

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

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

CRIMINAL JUSTICE GRANTS:

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

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

CLASS OF 2020 GRADUATION:

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

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

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 29 Press Conference. 

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

 

April 28

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

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

CUSTOMER FACE COVERINGS IN RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS:

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

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

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

ADVISORY GROUPS ON RESTAURANTS AND BARBERSHOPS/SALONS:

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

Read more...

 

April 27

Governor DeWine Announces Details of Ohio's Responsible RestartOhio Plan

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

HEALTHCARE: 

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

RESPONSIBLE RESTART OHIO: 

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

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

STAY AT HOME ORDER / LARGE GATHERINGS: 

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

Large gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.  

CONTINUED CLOSURES: 

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

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

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

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 27 Press Conference. 

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

 

April 24

Reagent and Testing Swabs, Contact Tracing, Foster Care

REAGENT AND TESTING SWAB UPDATE:

Reagent:

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

Testing Swabs: 

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

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

CONTACT TRACING: 

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

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

FOSTER CARE: 

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 24 Press Conference. 

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

Contact Tracing 2

 

April 23

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 23 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

April 22

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

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

ELECTIVE SURGERY ORDER: 

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

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

MENTAL HEALTH CARELINE

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

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

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

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 22 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

April 21

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

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

FDA REAGENT APPROVAL:

Governor DeWine announced today that a new testing reagent, which is a compound used to determine if COVID-19 is present in a sample, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Because reagents have been extremely limited, Ohio and other states have had limited testing capacity. On Sunday, Governor DeWine spoke with officials at the FDA and asked them to approve new types of reagents to allow Ohio to expand testing. Today, the FDA approved a new version reagent for Thermo Fisher's testing machines, which are used by most major labs in Ohio.

TESTING STRIKE TEAM:

Governor DeWine announced the formation a new strike team led by former Ohio governors Richard Celeste and Bob Taft that will work to find more reliable sources of reagent and testing supplies for COVID-19 testing in Ohio. 

COUNTY FAIR WAIVER:

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has waived the required $50,000 local match for the Agricultural Society Facilities Grant Program.

Ohio’s operating budget set aside this grant funding to help fairs make necessary facilities and grounds improvements. Fairs could apply for the $50,000 grant with a required $50,000 from local governments and businesses.

BWC DIVIDEND CHECKS:

Less than two weeks ago, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation board of directors approved to send up to $1.6 billion in dividends to Ohio employers. Today, Governor DeWine announced that a total of more than 170,000 checks will be mailed over the next five days. 

This dividend is intended to ease the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s business community and the economy.  The dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums paid in policy year 2018. 

Approximately $1.4 billion will go to private employers and nearly $200 million will go to local government taxing districts, such as counties, cities, townships, and schools.

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 21 Press Conference. 

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

 

April 20

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

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

K-12 SCHOOLS: 

Governor DeWine announced today that K-12 schools in Ohio will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. 

"We balanced many issues in arriving at this decision. In the end, I believe this is what is best to protect the health of our children, our teachers, and our administrators," said Governor DeWine. "While our buildings are closed, we know that students continue to learn in new and innovative ways. I thank all of our teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents for all they have done and will continue to do in these challenging times."

At this time, no decisions have been made regarding whether or not schools will reopen in the fall. 

MINORITY HEALTH STRIKE FORCE:

Because COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting minority groups in Ohio and across the country, Governor DeWine announced today that he has formed a new Minority Health Strike Force. 

According to data from the Ohio Department of Health, 21 percent of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Ohio are African American, although they only make up approximately 14 percent of Ohio's population. 

NURSING HOME/HOSPITAL DATA COLLECTION: 

In addition to comprehensive data already published on coronavirus.ohio.gov, Governor DeWine announced today that he has directed the Ohio Department of Health to collect more specific information regarding cases of COVID-19 in Ohio nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.

In regard to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, this data will include COVID-19 cases broken down by the number of residents and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 at nursing homes and assisted living facilities listed by facility and county.  Data will be posted to coronavirus.ohio.gov every Wednesday. 

PRIVATE LAB TESTING: 

The Ohio Department of Health had previously issued an order prohibiting hospitals from sending COVID-19 testing samples to private labs due to slow turnaround time. 

Governor DeWine announced today that LabCorp and Quest currently have no backlog of samples and have added more testing capacity. In response to the private laboratories' improved turnaround times, the Ohio Department of Health will again allow hospitals to utilize commercial laboratories in addition to hospital laboratories performing COVID-19 testing. 

The Ohio Department of Health will continue to monitor the turnaround times for all laboratories including commercial laboratories to make sure those who have been tested get results as quickly as possible.

Read more...

 

 

 

April 17

COVID-19 Update: Recovery Phase

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

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

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 17 Press Conference. 

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

Restart Slide

 

April 16

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

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, provided an update on the number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio and discussed how the state will develop its plan to reopen the economy.

“Ohioans have done a great job, a phenomenal job, fighting back, staying home, ensuring physical distancing. We’ve been doing all the things that needed to be done. I’ve never been prouder to be an Ohioan and I’m very grateful for what you have done. You have flattened the curve,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

Beginning May 1st, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy.  The plan will be fact-driven over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees, and their customers. In consultation with Dr. Acton, Lt. Governor Jon Husted will lead the governor’s board of economic advisors to identify best practices, similar to the current requirements on essential business operations to ensure Ohioans health and safety as businesses begin the process of reopening.

REGIONAL COALITION:

Governor DeWine also announced he will work closely with the Governors of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky to reopen the region’s economy in a coordinated way. The states will review four factors as they reopen their economies: the number of cases in the state and the number of hospital admissions, the amount of hospital capacity, the ability to test and trace cases of COVID-19, and best practices for social distancing in businesses.

Read more...

 

 

April 15

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

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

DEFERRED ELECTIVE PROCEDURES:

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

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

CARES ACT/SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS:

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

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

FIRST RESPONDER PPE:

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

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

2020 CENSUS:

Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans to complete the 2020 Census. 

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

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

Read more...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 15 Press Conference. 

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

 

April 14

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

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

MEDICAID WAIVER APPLICATION: 

In addition to previous emergency measures taken by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to help increase access to healthcare for millions of Ohioans, Governor DeWine announced today that his administration is submitting its first waiver application to the federal government, known as 1135 or Appendix K, to provide the needed flexibility to address this crisis.

This waiver will allow Ohio to:

FIRST RESPONDER SAFETY:

To protect our first responders and to ensure consistency across the state, Dr. Amy Acton announced that a new order has been issued that requires local health departments to provide to their jurisdictions' dispatch agency or agencies the names and addresses of COVID-19-positive individuals.

ESSENTIAL JOBS: 

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

Read more...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 14 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

April 13

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

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

NURSING HOME ORDER: 

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health issued an order requiring long-term care facilities to notify residents and families within 24 hours of a resident or staff member testing positive for COVID-19.

TANF FUNDING TO OHIO FOODBANKS:

Today, Lt. Governor Husted highlighted an executive order, signed by Governor DeWine on Friday, that provides nearly $5 million in emergency funding from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant to support Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and the statewide hunger relief network.

RAPID TESTING: 

Governor DeWine cautioned companies in Ohio that are purchasing rapid antibody tests to ensure that they are purchasing tests that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 13 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

April 10

 

April 9

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

MEDICAID: 

Governor DeWine announced that Medicaid, the managed care plans, and MyCare Ohio plans have come together to remove barriers for members receiving Medicaid benefits during this crisis.

Medicaid has eased several pharmacy benefit restrictions.

FOOD TRUCKS AT REST AREAS:

Governor DeWine announced a new permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation will allow food vendors to sell food to truck drivers and other essential personnel who stop at any of the state’s 86 rest areas.  

The permit is of no cost to the vendor and can be found on ODOT’s website at www.transportation.ohio.gov  

Read more...

 

April 8

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

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today thanked Ohioans who are staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and urged everyone to continue their efforts.

"The fear I have when we have silent victories is that people will start to say that COVID-19 was never there to begin with or that there was never a threat," said Dr. Acton. "Please know that this battle is still ongoing. We are blessed that we had early mitigation, but we need to stay there. There is no way out of this without what we're doing together. Please continue to stay home."

CORRECTION OFFICER DEATH: 

Governor DeWine announced today that a member of Ohio's state-employee family, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Officer John Dawson, died after testing positive for COVID-19 on March 30. 

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT SHORTAGE: 

The personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in Ohio remains severe. Governor DeWine today made a plea to healthcare workers using N95 masks to send them to Battelle which can serialize up to 160,000 masks each day, making them reusable up to 20 times. 

PROPOSED $1.6 BILLION DIVIDEND: 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that he has asked the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to give up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community. 

The proposed amount equals 100% of the premium employers paid in policy year 2018.  As in previous years, the dividend is possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, and prudent fiscal management. 

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 8 Press Conference. 

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

 

 

 

April 7

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

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

LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION VOTE: 

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule to allow establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit to sell and deliver alcohol, including high-proof liquor in limited quantity, for off-premises consumption.

OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF:

A new office has been developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency to better coordinate Ohio's efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses.

The Office of Small Business Relief will:

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

Read more...

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 7 Press Conference. 

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

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

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

 

 

April 6

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 6 Press Conference.

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

 

 

April 5

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

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

HOSPITAL CAPACITY: 

Because Ohio must double its hospital capacity due to the oncoming COVID-19 surge, Ohio has developed a plan to expand healthcare services at alternative sites in addition to the traditional medical care facilities. 

The following sites have been selected based on considerations such as distance to an existing hospital, conditions safe for patients and health care professionals, and space to meet the region’s expected needs.

  1. Seagate Convention Center, Lucas County
  2. Case Western University’s Health Education Campus, Cuyahoga County
  3. Dayton Convention Center, Montgomery County
  4. Covelli Convention Center, Mahoning County
  5. Duke Energy Convention Center, Hamilton County
  6. Greater Columbus Convention Center, Franklin County

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: 

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the administration’s Dispute Resolution Commission, which was initially announced last week, is now prepared to receive submissions from essential businesses as well as county health departments.

Read more...

 

Updates from Ohio Common Sense Initiative

ECONOMIC SUPPORT

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

Paycheck Protection Program

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

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

Foreclosure Prevention

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

JOB OPENINGS

Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has developed a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID-19 crisis.

Both essential businesses and current job seekers can visit Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/JobSearch to post and search.

“If you are an employer who performs a critical service, please go to Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch to post your open positions so we can help you fill them,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “If you are a person who can work, please know that there are many who need you to help keep essential services running and we encourage you to do so, even if its only part time.”

The site features a highly-streamlined interface with only two main links – one for essential businesses, and one for job seekers. Applicants can search through jobs in their area, their region, and the entire state.

PPE MANUFACTURING

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

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

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

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

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

STAY AT HOME ORDER

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

 

April 4

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

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today urged Ohioans to begin wearing cloth masks while in public, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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

Read more...

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 4 Press Conference.

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

 

Inthistogetherohio Stayhomeohio

 

April 3

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 3 Press Conference.

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

 

April 2

Ohio Stay at Home Order Extended Through May 1

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Ohio's Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020. 

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, signed the updated order this afternoon. It goes into effect at midnight on Monday.

"We understand that this is tough - it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn't a mater of life and death," said Governor DeWine. "We have to keep this monster down. It's not dead - it's very much alive." 

The full Stay at Home order can be found here or on coronavirus.ohio.gov

Updates to the new order include: 

Read more here. 

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 2 Press Conference.

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

 

 

April 1

Notes from Remington Road Group from April 1 Press Conference.

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

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

 

 

March 31

Notes from Remington Road Group from March 31 Press Conference.

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

 

 

March 30

Governor DeWine Extends School Closure Order

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

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

 

Notes from Remington Road Group from March 30 Press Conference.

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

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

 

 

March 29

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

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

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

 

March 28

 

March 27

Governor DeWine Signs House Bill 197

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

The bill:

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

 

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

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

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

Governor Mike DeWine

Lt. Governor Jon Husted

 

March 26

COVID-19 Resources for Businesses & Families

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

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

Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Payment Deferral

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

Health Insurance Premium Grace Period

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

SharedWork Ohio

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

Transportation of Oversized Loads

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

Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan

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

 

 

March 25

Governor DeWine Statement on Passage of House Bill 197

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

March 24

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

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

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

Resources for Adults Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

 

March 23

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

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

Governor DeWine announced today that any child care facility that remains open to care for children under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license must give priority to families on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more...

 

 

March 22

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

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

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

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

CHILD CARE/DAY CARE

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

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

NEW WEBSITE FOR BUSINESSES: 

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

COVID-19 OHIO DATA: 

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

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

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

 

March 21

BWC Payments Deferred; Trucking Waiver Issued

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

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

Read more...

ODH Reports 3 Deaths, 247 Cases

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

 

March 20

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, today announced that a Lucas County man has died from COVID-19. The death of the 76-year-old man is the first death due to COVID-19 in Ohio. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also announced today that he is ordering all of Ohio's senior centers and adult day care services to stop providing care in congregate care settings. Congregate care settings are single locations where more than 10 people, including staff and providers, are in a confined space. Read more...

Applications Being Accepted for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved their request to allow small businesses and nonprofits in Ohio to apply for low-interest, long-term loans of up to $2 million through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and nonprofits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75 percent. Read more...

Ohio BWC Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

To our customers, stakeholders, partners and interested parties:

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

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

 

 

March 19

Governor DeWine Announces Additional Temporary Business Closures

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, announced today that the Ohio Department of Health is ordering the temporary closure of Ohio's barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, and tattoo parlors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor DeWine also ordered the temporary closure of most of Ohio's Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV) deputy registrar locations and BMV driver examination stations. Because of these BMV closures, Governor DeWine announced that he will work with the Ohio General Assembly to extend the expiration date of driver's licenses that are up for renewal. Read more...

 

 

March 18

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

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

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

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted sent a letter and application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to qualify the State of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This federal program will enable small businesses and non-profits throughout the state impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million in assistance that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Read more...

Ohio IRP Extension - Emergency Declaration COVID-19

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus Guidance from the White House and CDC 

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

Elective Surgeries Postponed in Ohio Hospitals

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

 

March 17

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

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

USDA Continues Focus on Service During COVID-19 Outbreak

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

Resources Available from the Ohio Common Sense Initiative 

Governor Mike DeWine has taken quick and decisive action in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Each of these actions is to ensure that Ohio’s healthcare system is able to remain strong and available to anyone who needs it.

We are aware that the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is and will continue to modify regular life for all Ohioans; however, our state is home to world-renowned healthcare institutions and together we’ve taken the steps needed to keep Ohioans safe. Once the initial threat of this virus has passed, Ohioans will return to work and school, our stadiums and arenas will open their doors to spectators again, and our restaurants will fill with patrons.

Ohio Department of Health Issues Order on Closure of Polling Locations

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

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

Governor DeWine announced the following: 

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

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

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

PUCO extends utility reconnect order

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

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

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

Free Webinars:

 

March 16

Joint Statement from Governor DeWine and Secretary LaRose on Ohio Primary

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

Governor's Letter - Reliable Information Sources

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

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

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

Video: Basic precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus

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

 

March 15

Governor DeWine Orders Ohio Bars & Restaurants to Close

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

ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT AID FOR OHIOANS:

The Governor will tomorrow issue an executive order, which will grant the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) with the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation suspending the normal 1-week waiting period.

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:

The Ohio Development Services Agency is preparing to submit an application in the coming week to qualify Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low-interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.

Read more...

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

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

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

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

 

March 14

 

March 13

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

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

 

March 12

Ohio Bans Mass Gatherings of 100 or More

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

Letter from Governor Mike DeWine

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

ODH Order to Limit Gatherings 

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

OABA Events Postponed

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

Governor DeWine Announces School Closures

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

Preparing the Farm for the Novel Coronavirus

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

 

March 6

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

By Healthcare Ready

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

 

Coronavirus Impacts by State

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

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

https://forms.gle/7vh3k1n6EwAeLCjHA

Resources:

National:

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

 

Alabama:

Resources:

4/7/20

 

3/31/2020

 

3/25/2020

 

3/23/2020

 

3/19/2020:

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

 

California

3/20/2020

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

 

Connecticut:

3/23/2020

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

 

3/19/2020:

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

 

Delaware:

3/19/2020:

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

 

Florida:

Resources:

 

4/28/20

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

 

4/20/20

 

4/7/2020

 

4/1/2020

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

 

3/31/2020

 

3/27/2020

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

 

3/24/20

 

3/23/20

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

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

 

3/19/2020:

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

3/17/2020

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

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

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

 

Georgia:

4/2/2020

 

Idaho:

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

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

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

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

 

Illinois:

Resources:

 

4/7/2020

 

3/25/2020

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

 

Indiana:

3/25/2020

 

3/23/2020

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

 

3/20/2020

Key Points in Executive Order 20-05

 

3/17/2020

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

 

Iowa:

4/20/2020

 

4/8/2020

 

3/25/2020

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

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

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

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

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

 

3/17/2020

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

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

 

Kansas:

3/31/2020

 

3/25/2020

 

3/20/2020

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

An essential workers definition is TBD.

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

 

Kentucky:

3/17/2020:

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

 

Maryland:

3/18/2020:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Massachusetts:

3/27/2020

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

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

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

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

 

3/19/2020:

From the Department of Agricultural Resources:

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

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

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

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

 

Michigan:

Resources:

 

3/27/2020

 

3/25/2020

 

3/17/2020:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Minnesota:

Resources:

 

4/8/2020

 

4/7/2020

 

3/30/2020

 

 

3/24/2020

 

3/19/2020

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

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

 

Missouri

5/14/2020

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

 

4/27/2020

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

 

4/16/2020

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

 

4/13/2020

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

 

4/9/2020

 

3/31/2020

Cases of COVID-19 in MO: 1,031

Deaths: 13

 

3/23/2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Montana:

Resources:

 

4/8/2020

 

3/27/2020

 

3/25/2020

 

3/18/2020:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nebraska: 

3/20/2020

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

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

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

 

Pesticide Applicator Licensing

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

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

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

Hours of Service (HOS) exemption

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

Restricted CDLs/Seasonal Permits

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

Employees Assistance in Nebraska

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

 

3/19/2020

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

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

Pesticide Applicator Licensing

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

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

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

Hours of Service (HOS) exemption

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

Restricted CDLs/Seasonal Permits

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

Employees Assistance in Nebraska

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

 

New York:

3/19/2020:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

North Carolina:

3/24/2020

 

Ohio:

5/1/2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

4/2/2020

 

3/27/2020

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

 

3/23/2020

Three separate parts to Governor Dewine’s executive order: 

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

 

3/20/2020

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

 

3/19/20:

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

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

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

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

 

3/18/2020:

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

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

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

Currently 88 cases and 26 hospitalized.

 

3/17/2020:

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

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

 

Oklahoma

4/14/2020

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

 

3/25/2020

 

3/24/2020

 

Pennsylvania:

3/23/2020

PDA Pesticide Certification Updates 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

3/19/2020:

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

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

 

3/17/2020:

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

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

 

South Dakota:

Resources:

 

4/20/2020

 

4/15/2020

 

3/24/2020

 

3/18/2020:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Texas:

Resources:

 

4/2/2020

Vermont:

5/7/2020

Drive-In Pesticide Exam COVID-19 Protocols

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

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

Read more here.

 

3/19/2020:

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

 

Wisconsin:

3/25/2020

 

3/18/2020:

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

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

 

Washington:

Resources:

 

3/31/2020

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