Category Archives: COVID-19

Governor Talks Economy, Unemployment In Health Advisory Update

Presented By Atomic Speedway

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

ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Governor DeWine today outlined the progression of Ohio’s economic recovery.

Ohio’s gross domestic product (GDP) outpaced the nation in the final quarter of calendar year 2020. The U.S. GDP is estimated to have grown 4.3 percent in the quarter, and Ohio’s GDP is estimated to have increased 5 percent during the same timeframe.

Ohio’s unemployment rate in February 2021 was 5 percent and the national rate was 6.2 percent.

This month, Ohio’s tax revenues exceeded the monthly estimate by $41 million, or 2.6 percent, and remain 4.3 percent above the estimate for the fiscal year-to-date. This is a dramatic improvement from one year ago.

These positive developments follow several steps taken by Governor DeWine at the onset of the pandemic to ensure that the state budget remained balanced and stable, including a freeze on state government spending, cuts in state staffing costs, and refinanced state bonds.”I made these hard choices early on, tightening our belt because we did not know what the future held,” said Governor DeWine. “A strong post-pandemic economy directly depends on defeating the virus, and as we are working hard to vaccinate Ohioans, we are seeing good signs in our economy as well.” 
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Using federal dollars strategically to shore up Ohio’s unemployment system will also contribute to Ohio’s year of recovery. Governor DeWine recommended to the General Assembly that Ohio use a portion of its federal COVID relief and recovery dollars to pay off the Unemployment Insurance loan owed to the federal government.  

“This loan was caused by the global pandemic, and paying it off now will free Ohio employers from this burden so they can instead focus on getting employees across our state back to work.,” said Governor DeWine “This will help small businesses owners and employees, and I look forward to working with our partners in the General Assembly on legislation to pay off the loan.”

“The Ohio Chamber of Commerce applauds Gov. DeWine’s announcement today recommending a portion of the state’s federal pandemic relief funds be used to pay off the state’s unemployment compensation loan. Eliminating Ohio’s outstanding federal unemployment loan balance and shoring up the state’s trust fund will prevent employers from facing an estimated tax increase in 2022 of over $100 million and could save employers as much as $658 million in tax increases over a three-year period,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew E. Doehrel. “The DeWine administration’s investment will also prevent a repeat of the tax hikes employers were saddled with stemming from the 2008 recession when it took the state 8 years to pay back Ohio’s federal unemployment loan of more than $3.3 billion.”

“During the last unemployment crisis, Ohio borrowed about $3.4 billion to pay unemployment benefits to workers. During that time, Ohio employers were hit with federal interest and penalties that cost them over $3 billion. Due to the COVID pandemic, Ohio is already over $1.4 billion in unemployment compensation debt. To pay that back would be a huge cost to Ohio businesses who are trying desperately to recover and hire people,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio.
CASE INCREASES & OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM UPDATE
This week is the second week where the cases over two weeks per 100,000 people have gone up by more than 10. Two weeks ago, Ohio’s cases per 100,000 people were 146.9. Today, case per 100,000 people is at 183.7. 

“We are moving in the wrong direction from our statewide goal of 50 cases per 100,000 people,” said Governor DeWine. “We are not seeing the runaway case growth we saw during the fall yet, so we can still turn this around if more people continue to get vaccinated and we continue to mask and social distance.”

The increases in case rates are reflected in this week’s Ohio Public Health Advisory System map. New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 53 counties over the past week.

Level changes include:
Franklin County moved to the watch list following sustained increases in cases and in COVID-related healthcare use including emergency department and outpatient visits and hospitalizations for COVID.

Putnam County moved from orange to red.

Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from yellow to orange.

Brown and Noble counties dropped from orange to yellow.

According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio and the nation are enduring another wave of COVID-19 due to variants of the original virus that are more contagious and more deadly. Variant counts in Ohio jumped from 92 on March 12 to 797 today, a doubling time of about every 9-10 days.
Photo Courtesy of Ohio Department of Health
MULTISYSTEM INFLAMMATORY SYNDROME IN CHILDREN
Although COVID-19 has historically affected older Ohioans, children are not immune to getting sick with coronavirus, and in some rare cases, kids can develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Since the start of the pandemic, 166 children have been treated for this syndrome since the start of the pandemic. 

According to Dr. Dustin Fleck, chief of rheumatology at Dayton Children’s Hospital, this syndrome is unique because it is not associated with an active COVID infection. Rather, symptoms usually develop 2-4 weeks after a child has a symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID infection.

The syndrome is characterized by fever and inflammation throughout the body, specifically targeting the heart. The syndrome can also target the gastrointestinal system, liver, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Parents should look for symptoms of abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, swelling of hands and feet, and redness of eyes.

Dr. Fleck’s full explanation of multisystem inflammatory syndrome is available on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
CHOOSE OHIO FIRST SCHOLARSHIP
Lt. Governor Jon Husted highlighted a scholarship that boosts Ohio’s efforts to strengthen the state’s workforce in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).The scholarship, part of the Choose Ohio First (COF) program, will support an estimated 3,400 Ohio students who are new to the program, along with an additional 3,000 existing COF scholars.

The scholarship awards a total of $69,826,882 over the next five years.

“The Choose Ohio First scholarship is helping Ohio students get a head start on their future careers, preparing them for in-demand jobs including coding and cybersecurity,” said Lt. Governor Husted, who led efforts to create the program as then-Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives.“

This new investment shows how valuable a STEM education – and keeping those students in Ohio – is to the state. I encourage high school students to consider the Choose Ohio First program as they are looking at their future college education.”This new COF scholarship will support students completing programs in the STEM disciplines at 57 colleges and universities across the state, including several schools that are new to the program.
BMV UPDATES
Lt. Governor Husted also announced enhancements to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle’s (BMV) “Get In Line, Online” system.

The update allows customers to check in at the deputy registrar agency by using a QR code, located on the BMV deputy registrar storefront.

Instead of checking in at the self-service kiosk and waiting inside the agency, customers may now wait in their vehicle and will receive a text message with instructions when it is their turn to return to the agency to complete their transaction.

On March 16, QR codes were rolled out to approximately 10-20 agencies per week.  By May, most agencies will have this “Get in Line, Online” enhancement available to customers.

The BMV is also reminding customers that the COVID-19 automatic extension that was applied to Ohio driver licenses, identification cards, and vehicle registrations is ending soon.

Visit bmv.ohio.gov for more information.  

Governor Opens Door For High School Students To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Presented By Atomic Speedway

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

CONDENSED HEALTH ORDER
Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a simplified health order that streamlines previous orders into a single order that underscores the most important tenants of infection prevention. “Our understanding of this virus and how it spreads is much more advanced than it was when we first learned about coronavirus in early 2020,” said Governor DeWine.

“As we move to begin a new chapter in our fight against the pandemic, where more and more Ohioans are being vaccinated, this new order will focus on our best defense measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, limiting large gatherings, being outside, and practicing good hand hygiene.” 

Director’s Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings, and Non-Congregating
HIGH SCHOOL VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine announced that he has asked Ohio’s local health departments and vaccine providers that are offering the Pfizer vaccine to coordinate with local high schools to offer vaccinations to high school students who are 16 or older. Pfizer is the only vaccine that is currently approved for children as young as 16. 

Today’s announcement follows last week’s announcement that vaccination clinics will be offered at all higher education campuses in the coming weeks. “As with our colleges, by taking vaccines to schools, we’ll increase the percentage of people in this age group who choose to get vaccinated,” said Governor DeWine.

OhioRISE
As part of the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s managed care overhaul, Governor DeWine announced the “Resilience through Integrated Systems and Excellence (OhioRISE) program. The program will feature new, intensive, community-based services that will serve youth in their homes and communities, rather than in congregate settings that can be far away from a child’s home and support system. 

Over the next ten months, Aetna Better Health of Ohio will work with the Ohio Department of Medicaid and the Family and Children First Cabinet Council to launch OhioRISE to serve all of Ohio’s eligible children.

To enroll in OhioRISE, children must be Medicaid eligible, have significant behavioral health needs, and require enhanced services.
CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

COVID-19 Cases Increase For Ohio/Colleges To Become Vaccination Sites

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, April 1st. 

HIGHER EDUCATION VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine announced the state will begin working with local colleges and universities to offer vaccination clinics on campuses across the state. These higher-education vaccination clinics will start on various campuses next week and will offer the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. “Although young people are less likely to get sick from the coronavirus, they are significant carriers of the virus,” said Governor DeWine. “By offering one-dose clinics on campus, students who wish to be vaccinated will have a nearby, convenient location to get the vaccine with their peers.”

The goal is to offer on-campus clinics to all of Ohio’s college students before the school year ends in May. 

WORKPLACE VACCINATIONS
Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will begin working with employers and other organizations to offer workplace vaccination clinics throughout Ohio. Beginning the week of April 12, vaccine providers can allot up to 25 percent of their vaccine allocation to be used to vaccinate their own employees or to partner with local employers, labor unions, and other organizations to vaccinate their employees at their work locations. 

INCREASE IN CASES, VARIANT SPREAD
For the past two Thursdays, Ohio’s statewide average was just under 150 cases per 100,000 population. The two-week case rate has now risen to 167.1 cases per 100,000. New cases had been relatively flat through the month of March, but cases are beginning to increase once again, which demonstrates the necessity that Ohioans choose to be vaccinated.

To date, nearly 30 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of vaccine. According to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, variant activity continues to rise, closely mirroring what is occurring in the rest of the nation.

Michigan is currently experiencing an increase in cases that is more than 3.5 times what Ohio is seeing, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this increase appears to be driven substantially by variants. Most of Ohio’s rising cases numbers and variant cases are happening in the area of the state bordering Michigan. “Ohio remains in a race against a virus that is now more contagious and right back on our heels,” said Dr. Vanderhoff. “We can win this race as long as we don’t falter; as long as we press on with consistent masking and vaccination, especially in light of this week’s important and encouraging research out of the CDC confirming that the vaccines are powerful protection against COVID-19 and its variants.”

Governor DeWine announced today that as Ohio continues to receive increases in its vaccine allotment, the state will allot more doses to areas that are seeing case spikes or increases in vaccine demand. 

OHIO PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY SYSTEM
New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health shows case increases in 56 counties over the past week, however, because there are not yet significant increases in healthcare utilization at the county level, most counties stayed at the same level this week.

Level changes include: Van Wert County moved from yellow to orange. Auglaize, Paulding and Scioto moved from red to orange. Carroll, Mercer, and Morgan counties moved from orange to yellow. Clinton County dropped from red to yellow.
Ohio Map
Ohio COVID-19 Color Alert Map
IN-DEMAND JOBS WEEK (MAY 3 – 7)
Lt. Governor Husted, in his capacity as Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, also announced that In-Demand Jobs Week will officially take place May 3 through 7.

In-Demand Jobs Week is designed to promote Ohio’s most in-demand and fastest growing industries through statewide hiring, education, and training events. This year, In-Demand Jobs Week will feature all of Ohio’s top jobs, including critical jobs, which focus on the health and well-being of Ohioans such as child care workers, home health aides, and firefighters.

Throughout the week, businesses, education providers, community organizations, and more are encouraged to plan unique, virtual opportunities that will inspire students and job seekers to pursue a job in Ohio. From virtual tours and roundtables to virtual career-tech signing days and online job fairs, In-Demand Jobs Week is an opportunity to highlight what Ohio has to offer.Organizations can visit TopJobs.Ohio.gov to add their event to the official In-Demand Jobs Week map. Individuals interested in attending an event can use this map to find events near them.

LAUNCH OF APRIL ROUND OF TECHCRED
The next round of TechCred launches today and closes on April 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Ohio businesses can visit TechCred.Ohio.gov to apply and help their employees earn a new tech-focused credential, at no cost.

More than 1,100 Ohio businesses have used TechCred, creating the opportunity for 19,841 technology-focused credentials to be earned by Ohio employees.

CASE DATA/VACCINE INFORMATION
In-depth COVID-19 data for Ohio: coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohio’s central scheduling system: gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov Ohio mass vaccination information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/massvaccinationclinicsAll vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.govMore vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

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

FEMA Funds Aimed To Help With COVID-19 Funeral Expenses

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin It!

In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized today, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.

To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
  • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
  • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

    In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:
  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
  • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.

Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received
from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov Contact Us

ODH COVID-19 Update For March 25th

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Ohio COVID-19 Update stats were late being released Thursday, March 25th due to technical problems with the data website. Details are now up and can be found below.

CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:

Statewide as of 2pm ET Thursday, March 25, 2021 (difference since Wednesday at 2pm ET): Ohio has had 1,006,171 (+1,501) total COVID-19 cases, (Not Available) 957,675 (+1,747) presumed recoveries, 52,539 (+67) hospitalizations and 18,382 (+0) virus related deaths. *Ohio now only releases COVID-19 death totals on Tuesdays and Fridays*

Cases by county in the Scioto Valley Region since the count began in March 2020: As of Thursday, there had been (49,870 cases since March 2020) in the 10 county region over the last 24 hours, the most being in Fairfield County (+21), Ross County (+13), Scioto County (+11), Pickaway County (+7), Pike County (+4), Fayette County (+3), Highland County (+3), Jackson County (+2), Hocking County (+2), Vinton County (+2). There have been 3 new hospitalizations (2,753 total since March 2020)

FAIRFIELD, (RED/Level 3): 15,016 cases (+21), 14,444 recoveries (+24), 664 Hospitalizations (+1), 195 deaths (+0).

FAYETTE, (ORANGE/Level 3): 2,735 cases (+3), 2,645 recoveries (+1), 223 Hospitalizations (+0), 47 deaths (+0).

HIGHLAND, (RED/Level 3): 3,395 cases (+3), 3,220 recoveries (+6), 178 Hospitalizations (+0), 56 deaths (+0).

HOCKING, (ORANGE/Level 2): 2,020 cases (+2), 1,889 recoveries (+4), 138 Hospitalizations (+0), 57 deaths (+0).

JACKSON, (ORANGE/Level 3): 2,973 cases (+2), 2,853 recoveries (+0), 178 Hospitalizations (+0), 50 deaths (+0).

PICKAWAY, (RED/Level 3): 8,252 cases (+7), 7,941 recoveries (+10), 284 Hospitalizations (+0), 116 deaths (+0).

PIKE, (RED/Level 3): 2,231 cases (+4), 2,141 recoveries (+3), 159 Hospitalizations (+0), 30 deaths (+0).

ROSS, (RED/Level 3): 6,369 cases (+13), 6,025 recoveries (+8), 497 Hospitalizations (+2), 140 deaths (+0).

SCIOTO, (RED/Level 3): 6,161 cases (+11), 5,876 recoveries (+9), 450 Hospitalizations (+0), 94 deaths (+0).

VINTON, (YELLOW/Level 2): 785 cases (+2), 750 recoveries (+1), 74 Hospitalizations (+0), 13 deaths (+0) 

OHIO CORONAVIRUS DASHBOARD:

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards

PRISONS DASHBOARD: (Numbers below are from the 3/25/2021) 

CCI: 166 staff cases, 0 currently testing positive, 166 recovered; 0 inmates testing positive, 11 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths, 6 pending result, 272 inmates have recovered.

RCI: 144 staff cases, 1 currently testing positive, 143 recovered; 0 inmate testing positive, 6 pending results, 0 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths, 35 inmates have recovered.

See all the ODRC numbers here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/DRCCOVID-19Information.pdf