COVID UPDATES & RESOURCES

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Ohio Public Health Advisory System

 

The Public Health Advisory Alert System is a color-coded system designed to supplement existing statewide orders through a data-driven framework to assess the degree of the virus’ spread and to engage and empower individuals, businesses, communities, local governments, and others in their response and actions. 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.  The levels are determined by seven data indicators that identify the risk level for each county and a corresponding color code to represent that risk level.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Alert Indicators explained

Ohio Public Health Advisory System Guidelines

Franklin County increased to Alert Level 4 (purple) on Ohio Public Health Advisory System due to a sustained increase in COVID-related emergency room visits, outpatient visits, and hospital admissions.

VARIANT SPREAD

  • Governor DeWine announced today that more than 36 percent of Ohioans have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, however, Ohio's statewide case incidence number has reached 200 cases per 100,000 people as compared to 144 cases per 100,000 people four weeks ago.

    • There are currently more than 1,300 COVID-positive patients in Ohio's hospitals.

 

  • The majority of the counties with the highest incidence of cases in Ohio are in the northern region of the state which is seeing a high level of variant cases.

    • Lucas County is currently seeing the highest occurrence of cases with 341.1 cases per 100,000 county residents.

 

VACCINATION OPPORTUNITIES

  • There are a significant number of vaccine providers across the state with open vaccination appointments for this week and next week.

    • Several sites are also accepting walk-up appointments including the mass vaccination clinic at Summit County's fairgrounds, Franklin County's regional mass vaccination clinic, and the Youngstown clinics at the Covelli Centre and Congregation Rodef Sholom Temple.

 

  • Ohio's mass vaccination clinic at the Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland is also opening a satellite vaccination clinic on Friday and Saturday in Maple Heights which has many open appointments for the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

 

 

INCLUSIVE EMPLOYER TOOLKIT

  • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) today announced the launch of the Inclusive Employer Toolkit designed to help employers recruit, hire, and retain employees with disabilities and foster an inclusive workplace.

 

  • Recruitment and retention are challenges for many businesses. Individuals with disabilities represent a talent pool that is often hidden and underutilized. The Inclusive Employer Toolkit, which can be used in its entirety or by section, is a guide to creating an inclusive workplace and accessing this hidden pool of talent.

 

  • The Toolkit includes four main topics:

  1. Building the Business Case – benefitting from hiring people with disabilities

  2. Inclusive Workplace – making the workplace inclusive of everyone

  3. Recruiting, Hiring, and Supporting Employees – getting access to a greater pool of talent

  4. Workplace Accommodations – making small changes can make a big difference
     

 

RENT ASSISTANCE

The Ohio Development Services Agency is now distributing $100 million in federal funding to help low-income Ohioans who do not own their own home pay their rent, water, sewer, wastewater, electric, gas, oil and/or trash removal bills.

 

Ohioans can apply for assistance with outstanding balances dating back to March 13, 2020, assistance for future rent/utility payments once back bills have been made current, and assistance for future rent and utility assistance for three months at a time.

 

Eligible Ohio households must:

o    Be at or below 80% of their county’s Area Median Income (varies by county and size of household);

o    Have experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and

o    Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.

HIGHER EDUCATION VACCINATIONS

Governor DeWine announced today that 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.

 

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.

 

Guidance on workplace vaccinations for both providers and employers is attached.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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  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/massvaccinationclinics

All vaccine providers: vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov

More vaccine information: coronavirus.ohio.gov/vaccine

Social Gathering Order

Ohio’s April 2020 order that limits public events and private gatherings of more than 10 people is still in effect, however, there has been rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals.

The original statewide mask mandate issued in July 2020 continues to be in effect for citizens living in all 88 Ohio counties. All individuals in Ohio must wear facial coverings in public at all times when: at an indoor location that is not a residence; outdoors, but unable to maintain six-foot social distance from people who are not household members; waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, such as a taxi, a car service, or a private car used for ride-sharing. The order only requires those 10 years old or older to wear a mask. Additional exclusions include: those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability; those who are actively exercising or playing sports, at religious services, involved in public safety, or actively eating or drinking. Schools should follow the guidance previously issued pertaining to masks.

Employee/nonprofit/small business resources

A comprehensive list of state and local grants, loans, and government/non-profit resources for small businesses.

Emergency financial resources courtesy of  Western Shamrock.

Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley: Emergency Impact Fund

 

Hancock, Brooke, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, and Tyler, WV; and Belmont and Jefferson, OH  

The Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley’s Emergency Impact Fund is accepting applications from organizations that have been directly impacted by the coronavirus in an unexpected loss of revenue or unexpected increase in expenses. Priority will be extended to organizations providing basic human needs.

Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio: COVID-19 Community Impact Funds

 

Trumbull County, OH, and Lawrence and Mercer counties, PA

The COVID-19 Community Impact Funds support organizations that serve either Lawrence or Mercer counties, PA or Trumbull County, OH. Funding priorities include hunger, shelter/housing, mental health, access to health services, and assistance to programs that do not have access to government funding.

 

Foundation for Appalachian Ohio: Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund

The Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund makes grant awards to help nonprofit organizations in Appalachian Ohio whose resources are, and will continue to be, strained because of the COVID-19 crisis and need to expand and modify how they deliver services. Interests include, but are not limited to, health, social services, seniors, and children. Nonprofit organizations may share their needs by sending an email to the Foundation at listening@ffao.org.

 

Greater Toledo Community Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund

The COVID-19 Response Fund supports area nonprofits in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan delivering critical services during this unprecedented time. Priority areas include immediate economic needs of economically vulnerable populations, the elderly and other high-risk populations, residents who are food insecure, and residents who have no medical insurance or who are underinsured.

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation and United Way of Greater Cincinnati: COVID-19 Regional Response Fund

For the greater Cincinnati Region, which includes the following counties: Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont and Brown counties in Ohio; Kenton, Campbell, Boone, and Grant counties in Kentucky; and Dearborn and Ohio counties in Indiana

 

The COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, a joint effort by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and United Way of Greater Cincinnati, is designed to be responsive and flexible to address community needs of the most vulnerable during this pandemic. Current priorities include requests involving basic necessities and safety of families most impacted by COVID-19, such as food insecurity, housing/shelter, childcare, care of the elderly, and support for medical response.

 

savesmallbusiness.com.grant up to $5,000 for businesses 3-20 employees in vulnerable zip codes. The grant program can help meet short-term business needs. The qualifications and application can be found here: AU.S. Chamber small business grant:

 

Facebook small business grants: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/grants

 

Hello Alice small business grants through Verizon

Duke University created a coronavirus-related funding tracker.

GrantWatch.com tracks grants available to nonprofits and small businesses.

U.S PIRG consumer guide - As the beginning of a new month comes around, many Americans are wondering how they’re going to pay their monthly bills. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in job losses, reduction in hours or pay across the board. This guide has tips for how consumers can negotiate with their banks to lower interest rates, waive overdraft fees, and agree on payment plans to provide more financial peace of mind in the months to come.

American Income Life Insurance: If any AMVETS member purchased insurance from American Income Life and have been laid off, AIL will waive their premiums for up to three months. Once they return to work they DO NOT have to pay it back. Downloadable Layoff Waiver.

Student Veteran Housing Bill Enacted - President Trump signed into law (P.L.116-128) legislation (S.3503), sponsored by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jerry Moran (Kan.). This bill will make sure student veterans impacted by the COVID-19-related school closings would not get their monthly housing stipends reduced. Since many classes are switching to online instruction, the VA determined those students should receive the "online only" housing rate, which is significantly less money each month. SVAC Chairman Sen. Moran quickly stepped in to make sure students using distance learning due to the outbreak would not be affected. The bipartisan, bicameral bill quickly passed the House and Senate before being signed into law by the President.  

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero on 3/15/2020 in response to COVID-19. This move is in an effort to encourage support of businesses who will suffer financial injury during quarantine times. Find details here.

Access Entrepreneurship and Business Assistance Centers - Resources for starting or maintaining a small business in Ohio: https://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_entrepreneurship.htm

Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Program - The Columbus Foundation’s Emergency Response Program has been activated to help Franklin County nonprofit organizations that are responding to the spread of COVID-19 and experiencing financial challenges by doing so. Please follow the links below to learn about eligibility guidelines and to apply for help as a Franklin County nonprofit organization. https://columbusfoundation.org/emergency-assistance-program-emergency-response-fund

RestaurantStrong Employee Grants for restaurant employees: www.restaurantstrong.org.

 

Another list of grants for Non Profits, Individuals, Artists and Small Businesses.

Bartender Emergency Relief Fund  - To assist bartenders out of work due to COVID-19.  https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation - Crisis Relief Fund to assist restaurants/bars/kitchens with low interest loans and  to assist restaurant or kitchen workers out of work due to COVID-19. https://bit.ly/2WJRvxU

Southern Smoke Foundation - Houston chef Chris Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation is accepting applications for funds from restaurants/bars and restaurant employees. https://southernsmoke.org/fund/

One Fair Wage - The OFW  has launched the OFW Emergency Fund. It will provide immediate cash assistance to restaurant employees, delivery workers, and other tipped workers in the food industry. https://ofwemergencyfund.org/

Unite Here Education and Support Fund - Unite Here, a labor union representing groups in the U.S. and Canada, has funds to help its 300,000 members with things like rent, groceries, health insurance, and lost wages. https://unitehere.org/

ROC Disaster Relief Fund - The nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United has set a target of $500,000 for its emergency relief fund, which seeks to help documented and undocumented restaurant workers who lose their jobs during the pandemic. https://rocunited.org/relief/

KIVA - Provides funding opportunities for entrepreneurs where conventional lenders won’t.  https://www.kiva.org/borrow

Dayton Power & Light Company -  Will suspend disconnections for nonpayment until further notice or at least 30 days for nonpayment by business and residential customers. 800-433-8500.

Duke Energy  -Has immediately suspended disconnections for non-payment. This applies to all home and business accounts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana as well as other states.

 

2000180.- Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is instructing Ohio employers planning layoffs or shutdowns as a result the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to share the following mass lay-off number with their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits: Unemployment claims

 

United Way’s 211 hotline. Open 24/7. Or online at http://www.referweb.net/uwgc/

Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums - All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured. https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf

Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) - To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC is announcing the deferment of insurance premium installment payments for March, April and May until June 1, 2020. For more information, visit bwc.ohio.gov.

Banks across the state -  Are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many banks are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changes. Banks are also showing customers how to protect themselves from coronavirus-related scams and encouraging Ohioans to use digital banking features like mobile apps, online banking or banking by phone. If you need help, please reach out to your bank for assistance. Learn more at ohiobankersleague.com/customers

Resources for individuals and families

 

BluStar Families COVID Military Support Program - The Association of Defense Communities (ADC), Blue Star Families, and participants of the White Oak Collaborative have joined forces to create the COVID-19 Military Support Initiative (CMSI)—a united, national platform to provide resources and expertise to support communities, states, and military families through this crisis. Ultimately, the mission of the CMSI is to share information, maintain engagement, and develop best practices and policy approaches to ensure our military receives the support it deserves. 

The American Red Cross has an app called HeroCare which allows access to vital emergency and non-emergency resources for military members, veterans and military families. Visit here for more information.

General housing advice and assistance for veterans

Modest Needs seeks to provide short-term financial assistance to individuals and families in temporary crisis. Information about applying for a grant can be found here.

 

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes has a program for emergency funds. The application can be found here.

 

Salute, Inc. has a program for financial assistance. The application can be found here.

 

Semper Fi & America’s Fund has established a special COVID-19 response team to assist in a variety of ways, including gas cards, gift cards and more. Information may be found here.

 

USA Cares has several programs for veterans, including financial assistance. Information can be found here.

 

H.E.R.O.E.S. Care offers financial assistance. Information on their program can be found here.

 

Operation Home front offers a critical financial assistance program and information can be found here.

 

The Code of Support Foundation has a search engine for identifying a spectrum of resources available to veterans and can be found here.

 

Operation Once In A Lifetime has a Coronavirus Emergency Fund and information can be found here.

 

Over 100 internet companies have pledged not to terminate services to any residential or small business customers who cannot pay their bills, waive any late fees and open its WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them. In a promise to “keep American connected,” the Federal Communications Commission’s site offers a full list of companies and associations that are participating.

 

COVID-19 and mental health: Here at AMVETS Department of Ohio, we have seen firsthand the impact the COVID-19 crisis has on those affected by substance use/misuse. Not only does this crisis complicate access to addiction treatment, including counseling and medication, it also limits personal relationships and access to loved ones. RALI Ohio is spreading the word about the ways you can help. Click the link below to learn more and join us as we continue to practice safe social distancing. RALI Ohio: https://www.ralioh.org/

American Income Life  - Will not charge premiums for members that have been laid for the next 3 months. Once they start back to work they will not have to repay the premiums.

Banks - The DeWine-Husted Administration has worked with representatives from Ohio’s banking community. These companies recognize the hardships that many Ohioans are facing, and they have committed to working through creative ways to help. Ohioans can be confident that banks, both big and small, will be there for them as we move through the crisis and are offering a number of measures to help customers.

Banks across the state are taking steps to offer loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds and extend credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many banks are also suspending foreclosures where possible. Recent federal guidelines give financial institutions more tools to help Ohioans and the banking industry has welcomed these changesBanks are also showing customers how to protect themselves from coronavirus-related scams and encouraging Ohioans to use digital banking features like mobile apps, online banking or banking by phone. If you need help, please reach out to your bank for assistance. Learn more at ohiobankersleague.com/customers and ohiocreditunions.org.

 

http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm- Questions and answers regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on unemployment benefits can be found here: Unemployment

 

 

http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/SharedWorkOhio/- SharedWork Ohio allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain trained staff during times of reduced business activity. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides eligible individuals an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours. To learn more: Pay benefits for reduced work hours

 

 

https://benefits.ohio.gov/ - The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides food, cash and medical assistance to individuals and families in need. To review eligibility requirements and apply for assistance, please visit:Food, cash and medical assistance

 

 

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Student-Supports/Coronavirus- Decisions on how free breakfast and lunches are distributed to students is being made by each district. Contact your local district. You may find additional information here: School meals

 

 

- Learn what Internet Service providers are doing to keep Ohioans connected, including keeping service turned on during the pandemic and waiving late fees:Keep Ohio Connected (internet service availability)

https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/media/news-and-media/dewine-husted-praise-internet-providers-for-commitment-to-keep-americans-connected-pledge

 

https://techcred.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/techcred/about- TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a tech-infused economy. Many of these trainings can be completed online. For more information: Learn new tech skills

 

 

- Access existing programs to find local non-profit resources available for those in need, to help maintain your small business, and reduce energy costs to your home.Existing DSA Programs

https://development.ohio.gov/indvservices.htm

 

https://development.ohio.gov/cs/cs_caa.htm- Locally controlled private nonprofit organizations whose purpose is to reduce poverty and to help low-income people become self-sufficient: Find a Community Action Agency

 

 

https://development.ohio.gov/is/is_energyassist.htm - Learn how to manage your home energy costs: Learn about Energy Assistance Programs

 

 

https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/PolicyAlert-TempTeleHealthCOVID-19.pdf- Learn how the BWC is initiating temporary policy changes that will allow flexibility in the provision of care to injured workers: Injured worker temporary telehealth policy

 

Medicaid provisions for uninsured - Learn about how to qualify for Medicaid coverage: https://medicaid.ohio.gov/FOR-OHIOANS/Who-Qualifies

Maintaining Healthcare Coverage for Your Family - Health insurers must allow employers to continue covering employees, even if the employee would otherwise become ineligible because of a decrease in hours worked per week. We know employees may be working a significantly reduced schedule right now, through no fault of their own, and we want to make sure they continue to have access to their health insurance if it’s feasible for the employer at this time. https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf

 

 

Those who do lose insurance coverage, are eligible for a special enrollment period to gain new coverage. Premium subsidies may be available for those who qualify by purchasing plans on the federal exchange.Assistance for Lost Insurance Coverage -

https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf

In demand jobs during the pandemic - Find available jobs now: Ohio Means Veteran Jobs or Monster.com/companies hiring.

USDA Nutrition Relief: https://www.fns.usda.gov/news-item/usda-020520

Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums - All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured. https://iop-odi-content.s3.amazonaws.com/static/Legal/Bulletins/Documents/2020-03.pdf

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