COLUMBUS (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Governor Mike DeWine was joined by Lt. Governor John Husted and Dr. Amy Acton with the Ohio Department of Health to discuss the further developments in the COVID-19 cases in Ohio and the additional measures that have been taken. Below is an outline of everything that was discussed.
At 9:00 PM on Sunday, March 15, all bars and restaurants will close indefinitely in the state of Ohio. DeWine says establishments can remain open for carry-out and delivery. He says what Ohio cannot have is people congregating and seated.
The Governor recognizes the economic impact this will have for those who work in the food industry. However, he says this is a necessary measure.
The State of Ohio is working with the federal government to allow small business and non-profits to apply for low-interest loans to pay for certain expenses incurred by COVID-19.
“We know what we are all going through together will have a tremendous economic impact on businesses. This is our first step to help mitigate that. I want to thank all the businesses that have been working with us to come up with these ideas mentioned today.” – said Lt. Governor John Husted
To assist Ohio workers directly impacted by the COVID-19 health emergency, Gov. DeWine will issue an executive order that makes several changes to Ohio’s unemployment law and state agency policy.
Ohio will be broadening current state policy to clarify that individuals that are quarantined by a health professional or by their employer are considered to be unemployed and will not be subject to requirements to actively seek work during the period of emergency.
This also applies to companies that determine it is necessary to temporarily shut down operations due to the current emergency.
Ohio currently has a 1 week waiting period before an individual can receive unemployment. In order to expedite the payments to impacted Ohioans, we are waiving the waiting week so that workers eligible for unemployment benefits will receive them for the first week of unemployment.
Because the state does not want to penalize individual employers for the impact of this outbreak by increasing future taxes, the costs of these additional benefits will be mutualized.
ODJFS will also waive employer penalties for late reporting and payments for the next quarter to assist employers impacted by lack of staff availability.
More information on this can be found here.
The Governor says that three weeks likely won’t be enough time for schools to be closed. DeWine says it is likely that the state will have to extend this order.
Ohio has yet to take any action on closing daycare centers state wide. However, Governor DeWine says that will be coming soon. Parents who have their children enrolled in daycare facilities should begin to make alternative childcare plans. Once again, Governor DeWine says that Grandparents or those who are considered elderly should not be looked at as an alternative option due to children being carriers of the virus.
Governor DeWine encourages all employers in the state of Ohio to re-access who can work remotely. He acknowledges for some careers, that is simply not an option. However, those who have the ability should take steps to do so.
The latest Ohio COVID-19 numbers per the Ohio Department of health are:
Dr. Acton says that the numbers are hard to report because they are constantly updating. She added that they are expected to continue increasing for a significant time.