RECENT UPDATES

Recent Updates

Last Updated 12:00am on Monday, July 6th, 2020

(7/2) Governor DeWine announced new guidance for resuming school in the fall. The newly issued guidance report advises schools to vigilantly assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy. More details on the new school guidance will soon be available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

To assist schools in their efforts to implement the guidance, the Ohio Department of Education has created a document titled, “The Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts,” (attached) which is designed to help teachers, principals, and administrators with solutions to safety challenges. The document provides resources and information for community decision-makers as they contemplate how to reopen safely. Additional K-12 guidance is also attached.

Governor DeWine also committed to working with the Ohio General Assembly on a plan to ensure that federal CARES Act dollars are made available to Ohio’s school districts for unforeseen expenses associated with creating a safe environment.

Governor DeWine announced that going forward, Ohio will maintain vital, necessary baseline orders to control the spread of COVID-19 while also implementing a new alert system. The Ohio Public Health Advisory System will provide local health departments and community leaders data and information to combat flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. The system consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live. Attached is a map with a with specific details.

A county's alert level is determined by the seven data indicators listed below. Additional measurements still in development include county-level data on contact tracing, tests per capita, and percent positivity. Detailed descriptions for each indicator are attached and can also be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

  1. New Cases Per Capita
  2. Sustained Increase in New Cases
  3. Proportion of Cases that Are Not Congregate Cases
  4. Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits
  5. Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits
  6. Sustained Increase in New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions
  7. Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy

Information on alert levels are listed below. Each alert level includes specific risk-level guidelines (attached), including the requirement that all citizens comply with all health orders.

  • Alert Level 1 Public Emergency (Yellow): Baseline level. County has met zero or one indicator. Active exposure and spread. Follow all health orders.
  • Alert Level 2 Public Emergency (Orange): County has met two or three indicators. Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders.
  • Alert Level 3 Public Emergency (Red): County has met four or five indicators. Very high exposure and spread. Limit Activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders.
  • Alert Level 4 Public Emergency (Purple): County has met six or seven indicators. Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders.

Profiles for the seven counties currently categorized in Alert Level 3 (ButlerCuyahogaFranklinHamiltonHuronMontgomeryTrumbull) can be found below and are also available on the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System website

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control has granted over 300 expansion requests to bars and restaurants to allow patrons more opportunities to enjoy dinner or drinks in a safe environment. Liquor Control has been working with local jurisdictions to extend liquor permits to outside spaces next to bars, such as parking lots and sidewalks, to expand seating capacity outside to keep patrons socially distanced.

Lt. Governor Husted announced that "Presumed Recovered" is a new data point now reported in Ohio's COVID-19 data metrics shared on coronavirus.ohio.gov. Ohio's current presumed-recovered count is 38,987.

Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.

Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:

  • 50,523 confirmed cases
  • 3,643 probable cases
  • 54,166 total cases
  • 8,038 hospitalizations
  • 2,653 confirmed deaths
  • 250 probable deaths
  • 2,903 total deaths
  • 2,035 ICU admissions
  • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

(6/27) Governor DeWine has announced a COVID-19 awareness campaign to ensure Ohioans maintain urgency around the coronavirus and has asked the statewide business community to support them in these efforts. Below are links to various videos being utilized in this campaign. More information will be provided in the coming weeks through the Greater Akron Chamber's newsletters and social media posts.

(6/25) Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will continue funding for the valuable 2-1-1 service as Ohio enters into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2-1-1 is a phone service that connects thousands of Ohioans to local non-profit and government services for healthcare, food and meals, housing, transportation, mental health, and legal services. At the beginning of the year, the service was available in 51 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  When the pandemic began, Ohio EMA asked Ohio AIRS, the non-profit that governs Ohio 2-1-1, to provide service to the remaining 37 counties in Ohio, which happened in March. Ohioans can also dial 877-721-8476 to get connected to 2-1-1.

(6/23) Governor DeWine announced the first round of funding being distributed to local criminal justice entities as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant. Approximately $2.1 million will be awarded to a total of 65 local criminal justice agencies including law enforcement, probation/parole offices, corrections agencies, courts, and victim service providers. The funding can be used toward COVID-19 expenses such as cleaning supplies, PPE, and medical supplies like thermometers. The funding will also be used to pay for technology upgrades that are needed for teleworking or other virtual services. A complete list of today's grant recipients can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov

(6/18) In response to this increase in cases, Governor DeWine announced that pop-up testing sites will surge into the zip codes with the highest number of cases. Testing at pop-up sites is free, and citizens are not required to live in the community where the pop-up site is located to receive a test. New pop-up testing sites will also be scheduled in other locations to ensure testing accessibility throughout the state. A list of sites currently scheduled in Ohio is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov on the COVID-19 Minority Health Testing page. 

(6/17) The U.S. Small Business Administration posted a revised, borrower-friendly PPP Loan forgiveness application that reflects changes made to the program in respect to the recently passed PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. In addition to releasing a revised forgiveness application, the SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

(6/15) To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. For more info, please click here.

(6/11) Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is expanding testing and encouraged those who want a COVID-19 test, including those who are low-risk or asymptomatic, to talk with their health care provider or contact a testing location to arrange a test. Governor DeWine also announced a series of "pop-up" testing locations, beginning with six locations in Columbus. These temporary testing sites will be available all over the state, including in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Portsmouth, Dayton, Xenia, Columbiana, Akron, and other locations. A flyer is attached and more information on Ohio’s testing locations can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

(6/11) Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will receive an $8.5 million federal Employment Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant to help reemploy individuals who lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help employers rebuild their workforces. ODJFS will work with the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation to facilitate the grant program through local OhioMeansJobs centers and will distribute the funding to Ohio’s local workforce areas. ODJFS will also provide outreach to employers and services to individuals who were laid off, either permanently or temporarily, as a result of the pandemic. For more info, please click here.

(6/11) Governor DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton will step down as director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and begin serving as his chief health advisor effective at the end of business today. Lance Himes, who previously served as ODH's director, was named interim-director. In her new role, Dr. Acton will take a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing health and well-being for all Ohioans. In addition to advising on health issues, she will continue to focus on the COVID-19 crisis.

(6/9) Governor DeWine today directed Ohio's Collaborative Community-Police Advisory Board to begin developing uniform minimum standards related to mass protests. Members of the collaborative will examine issues surrounding best practices for interaction between law enforcement and crowds that fail to disperse, when tactics involving tear gas, pepper spray, and non-lethal projectiles are necessary and when these tactics should be considered excessive, and how to better protect members of the media from injury.

(6/5) The Ohio Development Services Agency has begun accepting applications for the Ohio Minority Micro-Enterprise Grant Program to specifically assist MBEs, WBEs and EDGE businesses hit hard by the pandemic. This grant program will provide $10,000 in funding to help these companies through the current crisis and set them up for the future.

(6/5) Governor DeWine announced that casinos, racinos, amusement parks, and water parks will be permitted to reopen on June 19th. Additionally, Governor DeWine also authorized the Memorial Golf Tournament to be held from July 13th to 19th. Click here for more info.

(6/2) Governor DeWine announced that he is intensifying efforts in Ohio to improve issues of health and economic disparities, racism, and inequity. The efforts will include new plans to improve law enforcement access to quality training, enhancing transparency between the police and the public, recruiting more minorities to serve as peace officers, and adding more oversight to Ohio's law enforcement agencies to ensure accountability. Please click here for more information on the plans ahead.

(6/2) Ohio announced that it intends to reopen schools in the fall, but individual starting dates will be up to each local school board. In the near future, broad reopening guidelines will be issued for schools in regard to protecting the health of students and staff when the school year resumes.

(6/2) Governor DeWine announced today that health care providers, including dentists, may resume all surgeries and procedures that had previously been delayed if they meet certain safety criteria. Visit Responsible RestartOhio for more information.

(5/29) Governor DeWine and Health Director Amy Acton have released an Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing. Additionally, they rescinded the Director's Order that the Sale of Spirituous Liquor be Restricted in Certain Instances in Certain Counties - more info on which can be found here.

(5/28) Printable resources that can be used by anyone in Ohio to display common symptoms, protocols, or guidelines during the reopening of business and services throughout Ohio available in English and Spanish on the coronavirus website here.

(5/28) 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. This is the second payment deferral BWC has given to employers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

(5/28) 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. To help Ohioans find testing locations, a map has been added to coronavirus.ohio.gov that lists COVID-19 testing centers in Ohio. Furthermore, information on the Governor's COVID-19 testing priorities can be found here.

(5/26) COVID-19 signage and health screening questions for use with customers/clients as resources for businesses and other organizations who want to use them are available on the coronavirus website HERE.

(5/26) Governor DeWine announced the formation of new Congregate Care Unified Response Teams to test residents and staff members in Ohio's nursing homes. Medically-trained members of the Ohio National Guard will begin testing residents and staff within nursing homes beginning this week. This testing will help nursing home administrators gauge the status of the virus in their facilities and help isolate the virus to stop it from infecting their community.

(5/26) Over the weekend, the SBA released updated guidelines for the PPP loan forgiveness process, which can be found here. To view the application for PPP loan forgiveness, please click here.

(5/21) Governor DeWine 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.

(5/19) Governor DeWine 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.  Click here for more information.

(5/19) Governor DeWine also announced 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. The masks are funded through BWC’s existing budget and will not impact any premiums.

(5/18) Governor DeWine announced that he is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants are operating safely under the Responsible RestartOhio plan. 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 or the Dine Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses.

(5/18) Businesses can now download and print posters and forms that effectively display all reopening rules and regulations here.

(5/15) Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and detailed instructions for the application. The form and instructions inform borrowers how to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans, consistent with the CARES Act. The SBA will also soon issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers as they complete their applications, and to provide lenders with guidance on their responsibilities. Click here to view the application and instructions.

(5/14) The application process has opened for Round 2 of the Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program. For all information on the grant program and how to apply, please click here.

(5/14) Beginning Sunday, May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these providers can meet required safety protocols. Click here to learn more about the safety requirements and best practices. To assist in the reopening of child care centers, Ohio will seek to use more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers, including family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers. More information on how to apply will soon be posted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services' website.

(5/14) 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

(5/14) Beginning Tuesday, May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols. To review the State of Ohio's sector specific safety protocols and best practices, please click here.

(5/11) JobsOhio and the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control today announced they will offer a one-time rebate to bars and restaurants to defray the cost of restocking high-proof spirituous liquor. Beginning in mid-May, JobsOhio will provide a $500 rebate in high-proof spirituous liquor to eligible permits for purchases made through Ohio Liquor Contract Liquor Agencies. To view qualifying permits and to register for the liquor rebate program, click here.

(5/7) Governor DeWine announced when restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen. Outdoor dining may resume May 15 and dine-in services may resume May 21.  Governor DeWine also announced that personal services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15. To review the mandatory and recommended best practices for reopening, please click here.

(5/5) Governor DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio's General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. Detailed information on where Ohio's budget stands and where reductions will be made can be found here.

(5/4) The Administration provided new information on Ohio's plan for increased COVID-19 testing that will allow for a steady supply of testing reagent and swabs. With Ohio's new increased testing capacity, Ohio will prioritize various testing groups. Additional information can be found here.

(5/3) As many employers prepare to reopen, many employees are expected to return to their previous employment. We urge everyone to review the Return to Work Guidelines on the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services website here.

(5/1) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson today announced his Department will allocate $685 million in COVID-19 relief funding to help low-income Americans residing in public housing. The funding, made available by the CARES Act legislation President Trump signed into law on March 27, 2020, will be awarded to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) across the Nation.

(4/30) The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced it is expanding the scope and eligibility for the Main Street Lending Program. As part of its broad effort to support the economy, the Federal Reserve developed the Main Street Lending Program to help credit flow to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the pandemic. More information can be found here.

(4/27) Governor DeWine announced the Responsible RestartOhio plan which aims to protect the health of employees and customers, while supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and responsibly getting back to work. A summary of the plan and reopening schedule can be found here.

(4/27) The SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loan applications for small businesses to continue paying workers & survive the pandemic.

(4/24) President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancements Act, which provides nearly $500 billion for small businesses, healthcare providers, and expanded testing.

(4/24) Starting today, Ohioans who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19 but who don't qualify for regular unemployment benefits can begin pre-registering for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers.  To pre-register for PUA benefits, click here.

(4/21) JobsOhio commits up to $50 million to provide lending support to companies negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in a partnership with Peoples Bank and the recently merged First Federal & Home Savings Banks.  For more information on this initiative and how to apply for this lending support, click here.

(4/20) The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 has launched the Ohio Emergency PPE Makers’ Exchange, an online marketplace where organizations that need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and related equipment can find a selection offered by Ohio manufacturers and makers -- many of which have retooled to produce in-demand products.

(4/20) The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services launched a new website for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expanded eligibility program.  For more information, including resources for employees and employers, as well as the latest updates on expanded eligibility, click here.

(4/16) The Small Business Administration (SBA) announces that it is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, based on currently available funding.  Additionally, The SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have exhausted the initial funding allotment, and no new applications will be accepted at this point.  However, additional funding is being deliberated by the U.S. Congress.

(4/15) The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launches the Save Small Business Initiative, which includes financial aid and other resources to help address small business' immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery.  Learn more here.  Click here for eligibility criteria and applications for the Save Small Business Fund.

(4/13) The Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program application period closed at 9:00am on Monday, April 13, 2020.  Awards will be announced the week of April 20, 2020.

(4/09) The Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation Board approves a $1.6 billion dividend for Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19.  Learn more here.

(4/07) The Summit County COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program is launched to provide grants to Summit County businesses that have completed an SBA loan application in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.  Learn more here.

(4/03) OhioMeansJobs Summit County is now offering virtual workshops for job seekers during the COVID-19 closure.  For more information, click here.

(4/02) Ohio extends Stay-At-Home Order, specifying that all individuals living in Ohio are ordered to stay at home, except as allowed in this amended Order, until 11:59pm May 1, 2020.  Learn more here.

(3/31) Greater Akron Chamber hosted a Community Update virtual meeting with regional public health and health care leaders and elected officials to provide updates, give guidance, and answer questions.  View a recording of the full meeting here.

(3/30) Summit County creates the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Relief Grant Program, administered through the Greater Akron Chamber, offering a bridge for small businesses accessing SBA loans.  View the release here.

(3/27) Ohio Governor DeWine signs Ohio House Bill 197, providing emergency relief to Ohioans during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more here.

(3/27) The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a set of emergency stimulus measures valued at over $2 trillion, was signed into law.  For an overview and FAQ, click here.  Information on resources included in this new law will be updated on this website as details become available.

(3/24) Greater Akron Chamber hosts virtual meeting with healthcare leaders and elected officials to provide updates, give guidance, and answer questions.  View a recording of the full meeting here.

(3/23) The Federal Reserve is leveraging its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to American families and businesses, in accordance with its dual mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices.  Learn more here.

(3/22) Ohio issues Stay-At-Home Order, ordering all Ohio residents to stay at home except for essential activities, essential government functions, or essential business operations.  The order will take effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23rd, 2020.  Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order.  Learn more here.

(3/21) The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will issue waivers for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of essential goods. ODOT will also waive the current permit fee for this.

(3/21) Ohio's Bureau of Worker's Compensation allows businesses to defer Payments for March, April, and May 2020, to June 1, 2020.

(3/20) The U.S. Treasury has changed the April 15, 2020, tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, for all tax payers and businesses.

(3/19) SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans now open for Ohio Small Businesses.

(3/19) Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is closing 181 of its locations; law enforcement is being directed to use discretion in penalizing drivers with expired licenses; CDL testing and issuance is to continue.

(3/18) President Trump signs “phase 2” relief bill, enabling paid sick leave for those sent home with coronavirus symptoms or positive diagnoses.

(3/18) HUD suspends all foreclosures and evictions for the next 60 days to provide immediate relief for homeowners.

(3/18) Ohio Governor’s office submits formal request for federal assistance for small businesses, following required data-gathering process.

(3/16) Due to COVID-19, the Ohio Primary Election postponed in-person voting from March 17 to June 2; vote-by-mail options are available in the interim.

(3/16) Ohio issues order to close recreation centers such as movie theaters, gyms, bowling alleys, indoor parks, and other such facilities.

(3/15) Ohio bars & restaurants ordered to close; liquor buyback program made available.

(3/13) FirstEnergy, Dominion, and the City of Akron forgo utility shutoffs amid pandemic.

 

 

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