COVID-19 Update: Wastewater Testing, Ohio Medicaid Overhaul, IMAP

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The State COVID-19 Dashboard show five more local deaths. Two in Ross County with one each in Fairfield, Jackson and Pickaway Counties. Read more below and see the reported active cases for the 10 county territory Litter Media has been following since March.

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

WASTEWATER TESTING

Governor DeWine provided an update today on the Ohio Coronavirus Wastewater Monitoring Network which tests wastewater for gene fragments of COVID-19. 

Those infected with COVID-19 begin to shed the virus early in their infection, and a significant, sustained increase in gene fragments found in wastewater can be an early warning sign of a pending rise in COVID-19 cases in a specific area. The value of this information is that gives communities an opportunity to act proactively to prevent outbreaks.

Since the launch of the monitoring program, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has notified health authorities in six communities of a sustained increase in gene fragments found in their wastewater: Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Oregon, Sandusky, and Mansfield. 

ODH is currently monitoring 36 sites across the state and an additional 25 sites will be added during the coming month. Communities found with a sustained increase in gene fragments are offered testing and contact tracing assistance.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC), in partnership with Ohio State University, has also begun monitoring wastewater at Ohio’s prisons to prevent spread among staff and inmates. A sustained increase in COVID-19 gene fragments in a prison’s wastewater will trigger a series of actions within the prison to prevent spread, including the testing of all staff. Staff members working in prisons free of COVID-19 will have access to on-site voluntary testing.

OHIO MEDICAID OVERHAUL

Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Medicaid will open a new application for businesses interested in providing managed care plans for children and adults within the Medicaid program. The request for proposals is part of a new vision for Ohio’s Medicaid program that focuses on people – not just the business of managed care.  

“Since coming into office in January of 2019, my administration has been evaluating our Medicaid program to develop a vision of a better, healthier, and more productive state,” said Governor DeWine. “With input from Ohioans covered by Medicaid, physicians, hospitals, health care providers, and managed care plans, this will be the first major overhaul of Medicaid in 15 years.” 

Medicaid’s new program will focus on improving care for children with complex needs, emphasizing personalized care experience, improving wellness and health outcomes, and increasing transparency and accountability across managed care. 

A second managed care application will be issued later this fall to specifically serve children who have complex behavioral health needs. 

Changes to Ohio’s managed care plans will not disrupt Ohioans’ coverage or access to care.

IMAP

Lt. Governor Husted, who serves as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, announced today that Ohioans can now access training at no cost through 12 training providers under the Individual Microcredential Assistance Program (IMAP).

Following the July application period, 12 training providers including community colleges, universities, Ohio technical centers, private providers, and non-profits received awards through IMAP. These providers will offer training for 71 short-term, industry-recognized, and technology-focused credentials to help upskill Ohioans for the increasingly tech-infused economy. Through IMAP, up to 1,694 Ohioans have the opportunity to earn a credential at no cost to them.

Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed, or totally unemployed can visit the IMAP landing page at IMAP.Development.Ohio.gov to work directly with the awarded training provider of their choice to enroll in the training program that works best for them. The IMAP landing page lists the eligible training providers and the credentials Ohioans can earn under the program, along with examples of jobs each credential can help an individual obtain.

Ohio businesses interested in connecting with the Ohioans earning these credentials can contact the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation at Workforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.

FAFSA REMINDER

The Lt Governor also reminded Ohioans that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – also known as FAFSA – opens on October 1. All students, high school seniors, current students, and adults interested in attending or returning to college can complete the FAFSA. Each year, Ohio families miss out on available financial aid because they don’t complete the FAFSA.

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

There are 152,907 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,783 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 15,413 people have been hospitalized, including 3,274 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Cases by county in the Scioto Valley Region since the count began in March 2020: (Data compares Tuesday’s Report with Friday’s from the State’s COVID-19 dashboard which show 49 new cases in the 10 county region over the last 24 hours, the most being in Fairfield County (+14) and Scioto County (+12), with 5 new deaths reported, two in Ross County (26), and one each in Fairfield (54), Jackson (7) and Pickaway (45) Counties. 

REPORTED ACTIVE CASES: (Note: Ross County Health District does not include active cases in its reporting.) There are 450 active cases reported by the counties from their social media postings this week.

FAIRFIELD: 251 (9/29)

FAYETTE: 10 (9/29)

HIGHLAND: 15 (9/28)

HOCKING: 17 (9/28)

JACKSON: 34 (9/29)

PICKAWAY: 20 (9/28)

PIKE: 36 (9/28)

ROSS: No Report

SCIOTO: 66 (9/28)

VINTON: 1 (9/16)

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

Goodwill Opens New Store Thursday in Zane Plaza

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Goodwill of South Central Ohio opens its newest store October 1, 2020 in Zane Plaza next to Planet Fitness. Submitted photo

Goodwill of South Central Ohio will be opening its new store in Zane Plaza at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The new store is located next to Planet Fitness in the former f.y.e. location. The 7,000 square-foot sales floor has been renovated and setup similarly to our new store on Western Avenue which opened in May. The Zane Plaza store is actually a relocation of the store in Shawnee Square which will close for good at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“We anticipate the Zane Plaza store will be more convenient for those shopping the North Bridge Street corridor. We think customers also will enjoy the warm, modern feel of the store,” said Goodwill CEO Marvin Jones.

The opening will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. Thursday with the Chillicothe and Ross Chamber of Commerce. Donations will be accepted at the Zane Plaza store during business hours starting on Oct. 1 and should not be dropped off at the Shawnee Square location after Sept. 30. Both Chillicothe stores are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Goodwill of South Central Ohio is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the quality of life and job opportunities for those with disabilities and disadvantages across our eight-county region. Donations and purchases made at our stores help to support workforce development and other services for those with disabilities in Pickaway, Ross, Hocking, Fayette, Pike, Athens, Vinton, and Jackson counties.

For more information on Goodwill, go online to www.GWISCO.org and follow them on Facebook.

Litter Media Game of the Week: Smith Leads Cavs to 44-3 Win Over Miami Trace

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Click to watch Kam Smith’s 56-yard TD run.

Chillicothe’s Kam Smith ran wild including a dazzling scramble for a 56-yard touchdown in the second quarter as the Cavs earned a 44-3 win over Miami Trace Friday.

The victory was Chillicothe’s fourth straight win and sets up Frontier Athletic Conference championship game with the Jackson Ironmen October 2nd.

“Their defense played well and frustrated us” said Cavs Coach Doug Pryor. “We just had to figure things out and once we did, things really started to click. Just really happy for these guys.”

Smith finished the contest with 207 yards on 14 carries and a TD, he added 4-of-6 passing for 94 yards and a TD.

But Smith wasn’t the only bright spot for Chillicothe Friday. Taylin Scales averaged 10 yards per carry, with just over 100 yards on the ground with a score. Joel Barnes had a TD reception and Logan Snowden scooted 64-yards down the home sideline to score on a punt return.

While thing went well for Chillicothe, Miami Trace was trying to bounce back from a physical contest with Jackson last week, which saw their best running back Jayden LeBeau and best receiver Josh Gilmore on the injured list. Jerry Williams Panthers had a number of young kids in the battle. “We limped into this when we came here and we knew we’d have to find points and looked for someone to step up and it just didn’t happen” said Williams. “We have a bunch of young kids and they fought hard and they just have to learn how to persevere through some of these things and learn from these defeats like this in order to get better.”

Chillicothe’s Max Lee punched in from two yards out with 1:41 left in the first quarter. The Cavs followed with the spectacular run by Smith for a 14-0 lead.

The Panthers got on the board when Zack Warnock hit a 22-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3.

After that, it was all Cavaliers. Smith connected with Joel Barnes on a 61-yard bomb to go up 21-3 with 11.6 seconds remaining in the first half. Scales scored on a 7-yard run. Despite a bobbled snap resulting in a missed PAT, Jacob Coffland hit a 30-yard field goal for a 30-3 lead. Logan Snowden’s punt return made extended the lead to 37-3 and Oscar Morgan closed out scoring with a 1-yard run for the 44-3 final.

“You gotta give Miami Trace credit” said Pryor noting the Panthers were without some of their regulars in the lineup. “I know those guys woulda made a difference.”

Jackson (5-0/4-0 FAC) was a 48-7 victor over Hillsboro (0-5/0-4 FAC) to set up the FAC championship showdown Friday at Chillicothe’s Obadiah Harris Family Athletic Complex.

Miami Trace (3-2/3-1 FAC) will travel to Washington CH (2-3/2-2 FAC) Friday. The Blue Lions were 46-9 winners over McClain (0-5/0-4 FAC).

Chillicothe’s Tylin Scales rushed for just over 100 yards and a touchdown in Chillicothe’s 44-3 win over Miami Trace.

COVID-19 Update: Pike & Scioto Counties Level 3 Public Health Emergency

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Pike and Scioto Counties have been placed at Red Level 3 Public Emergency on the Public Health Advisory System map with very high exposure and spread.

DeWine stated Pike County’s case count had “more than doubled the past week, increasing from an average of one case per day on September 6th to an average of five per day on September 16th.” During the past two weeks, Pike County has had 49 cases and a total of 172 since March, 2020. “The county has 23 cases linked to a large event in a nearby county” said DeWine. “That large event resulted in dozens of contacts who have had to quarantine.” The Governor added Pike County has had a small workplace outbreak and some cases in the local schools.

The only other change among the 10 county area Litter Media has monitored since March, Fayette County has dropped to Yellow Level 1 Public Emergency.

As of Wednesday, the Pike County General Health District reported 52 active cases and a total of 191 cases.

Scioto County met four indicators and returns to Red Level having been placed at Level 3 in previous weeks. “The county has had 64 new cases during the past two weeks – that compares to a total of 480 cases since the beginning of the pandemic” said DeWine. “The county is also seeing a sustained increase in outpatient visits from COVID-like illness, again an early indicator, growing from seven average daily visits on September 9th to an average 24 visits on September 16th.” The Governor said the local Health Department reported several outbreaks in long term care facilities and at social gatherings such as weddings.

Pike and Scioto Counties join Ashland, Butler, Delaware, Mercer, Montgomery and Stark Counties now at Level 3. (Scroll down for the complete release from the Governor’s Office)

Statewide as of 2pm ET Thursday, September 24, 2020 (difference since Wednesday at 2pm ET): Ohio has 147,744 (+991) total COVID-19 cases with 127,239 (+1,216) presumed recoveries, 15,051 (+274) hospitalizations and 4,715 (+28) virus related deaths.

Cases by county in the Scioto Valley Region since the count began in March 2020: (Data compares Wednesday’s Report with Thursday’s from the State’s COVID-19 dashboard which show 35 new cases in the 10 county region over the last 24 hours, the most being in Fairfield County (+9), 2 new deaths reported, both in Jackson County (6). 

SEE THE UPDATED OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM CODE MAP 

FAIRFIELD, (ORANGE/Level 2): 2,067 cases (+9), 1,810 recoveries (+14), 161 Hospitalizations (+0), 52 deaths (+0).

FAYETTE, (YELLOW/Level 1): 228 cases (+1), 201 recoveries (+3), 28 Hospitalizations (+1), 6 deaths (+0).

HIGHLAND, (YELLOW/Level 1): 222 cases (+0), 203 recoveries (+5), 26 Hospitalizations (+0), 3 deaths (+0).

HOCKING, (YELLOW/Level 1): 161 cases (+0), 141 recoveries (+2), 24 Hospitalizations (+0), 9 deaths (+0).

JACKSON, (ORANGE/Level 2): 246 cases (+5), 181 recoveries (+0), 27 Hospitalizations (+0), 6 deaths (+2).

PICKAWAY, (ORANGE/Level 2): 2,644 cases (+3), 2,474 recoveries (+7), 103 Hospitalizations (+1), 44 deaths (+0).

PIKE, (RED/Level 3): 179 cases (+5), 116 recoveries (+0), 18 Hospitalizations (+1), 0 deaths.

ROSS, (YELLOW/Level 1): 868 cases (+3), 765 recoveries (+12), 117 Hospitalizations (+0), 23 deaths (+0).

SCIOTO, (RED/Level 3): 489 cases (+7), 389 recoveries (+3), 50 Hospitalizations (+1), 6 deaths (+0).

VINTON, (YELLOW/Level 1): 47 cases (+2), 39 recoveries (+0), 9 Hospitalizations (+0), 3 deaths (+0) 

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

UPDATED COUNTY RISK LEVELS

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

Updated Map

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

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

HIGHER EDUCATION SCREENING

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

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

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

INDOOR VISITATION

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

Intermediate Care Facilities:

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

Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

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

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

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

SPORTS ORDER MODIFICATION

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

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

OHIO NATIONAL GUARD – PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

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

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

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

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

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

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

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

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

DEMOGRAPHIC DASHBOARD

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

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

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

CONTACT TRACING

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

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

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

Answer the Call InfoGraphic

FACE MASK DONATION

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

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

OHIO BENEFITS 

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

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

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

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

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

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

CURRENT COVID-19 DATA

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

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

List of 88 Counties

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

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

“Silent Watch” Focuses on Veterans Suicide Awareness

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A Battlefield Cross is placed before a casket on the steps of the Ross County Courthouse in memory of soldiers who have taken their own lives.

Silent Watch, a movement to bring awareness to Veterans Suicides, is on display in front of the Ross County Courthouse till 5pm September 22, 2020.

The local event, hosted by the Ross County Veterans Office, is a product of a campaign to involve all 88 counties in Ohio.

According to a letter to volunteers by Tim Chandler, organizer and retired Master Sergeant, USAF and Ohio Air National Guard, the idea began from his deployment in 2007.

“They explained that they wanted to have two people stand guard at the main flag pole on Veterans Day from Reveille until Retreat” said Chandler. “This was to honor those who had served and those serving at the installation.”

After returning home, Chandler was introduced to the number of Veterans taking their own lives. At the time, it was 18 a day. Now, depending upon the varying statistics available, between 20-25 daily. 

Chandler, who said he had his own battles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) issues, said “this opened my eyes to the lack of help and support for those who needed it and the apparent lack of help that was available.”

Chandler has personally suffered the loss of friends and loved ones to suicide, as has fellow organizers Michelle and Rob Hawks. Michelle’s brother Seth took his life just a few months after returning home from duty.

With September now recognized as Suicide Awareness/Prevention Month, Chandler and the Hawks joined efforts to hold Silent Watch in late September. Some of the events have displayed boots representing the number of soldiers lost to suicide daily and some even with photos of those who have made their final rest.

“The response of people was unbelievable” Chandler wrote “and questions were asked all day.”

Chandler explains the mission is to “hopefully bring about more help, more hope, and more Veterans who don’t take their lives.”

Learn more by visiting the Silent Watch Facebook Page

The Battlefield Cross rests before the casket on the steps of the Ross County Courthouse during the “Silent Watch” bringing awareness to Veterans Suicide.
The Silent Watch display on the steps of the Ross County Courthouse from 7am-5pm (reveille to retreat) on September 22, 2020.

OHSAA Announces New Football Regions and Playoff Information

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced new regional alignments for the upcoming football playoffs after 664 schools opted in for the postseason. In a normal season, 224 schools qualify for the playoffs, with eight schools from each of 28 regions earning a bid through the OHSAA’s Harbin computer ratings system, which will not be used this season.

The new regions are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports-Tournaments/Football/Football-2020

Originally, there were 709 schools that indicated they planned to contend for a playoff bid this season playing 11-man football, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some schools to start their seasons later or end early. Based on the recommendation from Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health, the OHSAA shortened the football season.

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE AND FORMAT

On September 29 and 30, the head coaches in each region will vote to seed the teams in their region. The OHSAA will then place teams on brackets on October 1. With various numbers of schools in each region, many of the higher seeds will have a first-round bye in most regions.

Once the brackets are set, the top team on the bracket of the specific game will have the first opportunity to host the game throughout the regional playoffs. If the top team on the bracket cannot host, the other team will host the game. The OHSAA will determine sites for the state semifinals and state championships.

If a team is unable to play a playoff game on the assigned day according to the bracket, its opponent will advance on the bracket.

Playoff games will be held on Friday and Saturday nights beginning October 9-10. Divisions, I, II, III and VII will play on Friday nights. Divisions IV, V and VI will play on Saturday nights. 

As a reminder, schools eliminated from the OHSAA playoffs or that choose not to enter the OHSAA playoffs have the option to schedule additional regular season contests through Saturday, November 14 (maximum of 10 regular season contests permitted).

BROADCASTS

Spectrum News 1 is the official television partner of the OHSAA and will select several playoff games each weekend to televise live. Only Spectrum can provide live television coverage of OHSAA football playoff games. All other television broadcasts can start at 10:00 p.m. the same day as the game, with rights fees determined by the OHSAA. Live video streaming will be permitted for games not selected by Spectrum News 1 at rates set by the OHSAA, which will be announced later in September.

SEASON SCHEDULE AND FORMAT

Please see the OHSAA’s press release from August 24 regarding changes to the season schedule and format, game management changes, suggested public address announcements and spectator limitations due to COVID-19: https://ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/noting-the-start-of-the-ohsaa-football-season

The August 24 release also included important dates for the 2021 season, which will start a week early due to the expanded playoff field, as announced May 22: https://www.ohsaa.org/Sports/News/ohsaa-to-expand-football-playoffs-in-2021

OHSAA COVID-19 GUIDANCE CENTER

All sports in Ohio – at all levels – are under the direction of the latest Ohio Department of Health order signed August 19 by Governor DeWine. The order and additional guidance from the ODH and OHSAA are posted at: https://www.ohsaa.org/Home/OHSAA-COVID-19-Correspondence

Spectator capacity limits will be in place for the OHSAA football playoffs for each game. Details will be announced soon.

Paint Valley Pulls Away From Unioto in 55-29 Win

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Paint Valley’s Tramel Byrd (15) rushed for 167 yards in the Bearcats’ 55-29 win at Unioto. photo by Dan Ramey/Litter Media

Tramel Byrd and Cavin Cooper combined for three 3rd quarter touchdowns to power Paint Valley to a 55-29 win at Unioto Friday.

Byrd had 13 lugs for 167 yards to lead the Bearcat attack, which rushed for 365 yards.

The Shermans took the opening drive and scored on a Lucas Hanes field goal to take the early 3-0 lead on homecoming night. Paint Valley answered when Cooper found Beau Blankenship on a TD pass to close out the 1st quarter with a 7-3 margin.

Cordell Grubb rumbled 58 yards for a score and followed with a TD catch from Cooper to put the Bearcats ahead 21-3.

Unioto closed the gap to 21-9 just before halftime on Isaac Little’s pass to Byrd Green with 8.9 seconds left in the half. But Paint Valley came out of the intermission hitting on all cylinders.

Byrd capped a drive to start the second half with the first of his two TDs in the 3rd, a 20-yard run to give the Bearcats a 27-9 lead less than a minute into the quarter.

Unioto answered with a 42yard strike from Little to Maddox Fox to give the Shermans some life. However, the Bearcats had other plans. Cooper picked off a pass for and returned it for a touchdown and Byrd slipped away on a 67-yard run to the Shermans’ five-yard line and then punched it in on the next play to boost the Paint Valley lead to 41-15.

Cooper added touchdown runs of 30 and 40 yards the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.

The Shermans Newton Hoops hit Fox on a 30-yard TD pass and Cameron Lohnes had a TD run to close out the scoring for the night. 55-29 the final.

Paint Valley improves to 3-1 and Unioto slips to 2-2. The Bearcats will host Zane Trace next Friday. Zane Trace earned a 36-22 win over Southeastern who will head to Unioto next week.

Unioto’s Maddox Fox races toward the end zone just before halftime to cut Paint Valley’s lead to 21-9. Photo by Dan Ramey/Litter Media
Hear what Coaches Corey Dye and Matt Hoops had to say after the game

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ohio Public Health Advisory System

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guide for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unioto Hosts Paint Valley in Litter Media Game of the Week Friday

Presented by Hometown-Motors, Inc.

The Litter Media Game of the Week is a Scioto Valley Conference affair as Paint Valley (2-1) heads to Unioto (2-1) Friday night.

The 2020 season is the first time in more than a quarter century Pete Hollon’s been absent from the sidelines in Paint Valley Black-and-Yellow.

Corey Dye is the new man with the whistle for the Bearcats. He says it’s been a pretty smooth transition and the Bainbridge community has been welcoming.

“You always worry about that transition whenever you start a new job” Dye told Litter Media. “You wonder of the kids are gonna accept you right off the bat, but it’s just been really great and I’m blessed to be here.”

Dye has learned a lot about his kids the last three weeks. The summer workouts presented their own brand of uniqueness due to the pandemic restrictions. And once live game action began, the cream began to rises to the top.

“I knew after doing workouts with them, the short time we did get to do workouts, and then we were cut short, of course, for obviously because of COVID… I knew that I had a group of kids that were really tough and resilient” said Dye. “They’ve been able to prove that to me the last three weeks. We played a really good opponent the first week (Adena) and they never gave up.”

Dye says that’s a credit to his predecessor, the assistant coaches who have been part of the PVF tradition before his arrival and the seniors class. “It’s not easy having a new coach, especially going into your last year. The group of kids that I have, have just done a tremendous job of leading this team and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Hollon and the graduating class, went 19-4 their last two seasons, including an SVC Gold Ball in 2018 and a 1-2 record in back-to-back playoff appearances.

“The graduating class that just left here, is probably gonna go down as one of the best classes to come through here in a long time. They were able to put up some unbelievable numbers, stat-wise and won quite a few games in their tenure here.”

Dye says the classes which moved up through the PV chain as juniors and sophomores got valuable experience thanks to the Class of 2020. “They’re basically carrying on the torch and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Quarterback Cavan Cooper experienced baptism by fire as a freshman when Bryce Newland’s season ended abruptly due to a broken leg.

“The way Cavan was able to step in there last year and the job that he did is really admirable, it’s remarkable because it’s really hard for a freshman to play against a team of seniors, juniors, even sophomores… and he was able to do that at a high level.”  

Unioto has had two thrilling last-moment finishes this season, the opening week at Piketon (44-38) and last Friday at Zane Trace (23-18).

While first year varsity head coach Matt Hoops is happy with the wins, he’d like to see them decided a bit sooner than later. “We knew coming into the season we were going to be really inexperienced in a lot of different spots, but we have a lot of good athletes, we have a lot of kids who are competitive. They’ve put us in position two of our first three games.”

Hoops has been at the helm of the Shermans’ Boys Basketball program for several years and all the while has been a coach in the football program. When Jeff Metzler stepped down after last season, Hoops jumped at the opportunity to fill the vacancy. It was a chance to do something he’d always wanted to do.

Hoops is familiar with the football kids from coaching them at lower levels in the program over the years. And so far, it’s been like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes.

“I know a lot of these guys” said Hops. “Almost everyone on our roster I’ve coached before in some aspect. I’m pretty familiar with a lot of the guys coming in, so that’s helped the transition be as smooth as it could’ve been.”    

His quarterback, Isaac Little also drives the ship for his basketball team. Their positive working relationship in the gym has transferred over to the gridiron also.  

“They asked him to play quarterback last year, something he had never done before” said Hoops. “Obviously the reason they did that was because of just what makes him who he is… a supreme competitor, a really good athlete, a very smart individual, academically on the field and the court. Isaac’s the type of kid you want with the ball in his hands. He’s gonna make plays for ya, and he’s gonna get you out of some bad plays because of his IQ.”

The Bearcats dealt Unioto a 41-7 loss at UHS in 2019. Our Litter Media cameras will return for the rematch Friday. Watch for score updates during the game on the Litter Media Facebook Page, photos and Litter Media Extras over the weekend and a highlight video of the game early next week.

To see the video of the 2019 game, WATCH HERE: https://youtu.be/2Mh9j1Luc-I

To see the video of the 2018 game, WATCH HERE: https://youtu.be/TSRoNHWGMeg