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Summary of Governor DeWine’s Address | November 11, 2020

 

WHERE WE ARE NOW

Ohio is experiencing a more intense surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, ICU admissions across the entire state.

In September, Ohio averaged under 1,000 cases a day. Today, Ohio reported our second highest number of cases at nearly 5,900. Some believe that the only reason we are seeing more cases is because more testing is being done.  We do have more testing available throughout the state, but while testing has not yet doubled, cases have almost quadrupled.

Last week, Ohio had just under 2,000 COVID patients in hospitals throughout the state.  But today, one week later, Ohio is approaching 3,000 patients. A month ago, 240 patients with COVID were in the ICU receiving critical care. As of today, more than 700 Ohioans are in the ICU.

We know how to beat this virus. We need to stick to the basics: wash your hands; wear your mask even when you’re with friends and family; stay socially distanced; work from home when you can; and stay at home when you are sick.

We cannot pick and choose when we follow this guidance. We have to follow it every single day if we want to beat this virus.

 WHAT WE ARE DOING

New Mask Order

  • Most businesses are doing a good job ensuring that COVID-19 safety guidelines are being followed. However, it is clear that there are some businesses where mask-wearing is lacking.
  • We have a responsibility to employees and customers to ensure that Ohio’s businesses are as safe as possible.
  • Governor DeWine will ask the Department of Health to reissue the mask order that’s been in place since July 23rd to include the following new provisions:
    • Each business will be required to post a Face Covering Requirement sign at each public entrance. Attached is a printable sign that businesses can use.
    • Each business will be responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are wearing masks.
    • A new Retail Compliance Unit, led by the Bureau of Workers Compensation, will be inspecting to ensure retail compliance. A first violation of this order will bring about a written warning and a second violation will bring about closure of the store for up to 24 hours.
    • I will send a copy of the order as soon as it’s available.

New Social Gathering Order

  • There has been an order in place since April to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people.
  • Despite the order, there is rampant spread of the virus from banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals. It’s not the ceremonies, it is at the parties afterwards.
  • A new order will place significant new restrictions on these social activities. Open congregate areas can no longer be open. The new order requires everyone to be seated and masked unless they are actively consuming food or drinks and prohibits things such as dancing and games. I will send a copy of the order as soon as it’s available.

Restaurants/Bars/Gyms

  • If the trend continues and cases keep increasing, we will be forced to close restaurants, bars, and gyms one week from tomorrow (11/19).
  • These are locations where it is difficult or impossible to maintain mask-wearing. Mask wearing is our chief way of slowing down the spread of the virus.

Schools

  • The vast majority of our K-12 schools are doing a fantastic job.  However, a surge in communities threatens a districts’ ability to keep teachers in the classroom.
  • Our colleges and universities have taken strong action to keep their cases low and their campuses safe. Many have agreed to not return to in-person learning after Thanksgiving for the remainder of the semester. Unless we dramatically slow the community spread of this virus, higher education institutions may have to remain virtual when classes begin in January.

As important partners to the Administration, we ask that you please help share these messages with your networks to help us fight the spread of COVID-19.

SIGNAGE

STEPS TO TAKE WHILE WAITING FOR TEST RESULTS


November 2, 2020

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted recently announced a package of more than $419.5 million in CARES Act funding to help Ohioans and up to $5 billion in dividends for Ohio employers to ease the continued financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These opportunities and other resources available through the Office of Small Business Relief and Development can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov.

CARES Funding: Applications Now Open

Small Business Relief Program: The package includes $125 million in CARES Act funding to provide grants to small businesses with no more than 25 employees. The grant funding will help businesses pay for a variety of expenses, including mortgage or rent payments; utility payments; salaries, wages, or compensation for employees and contractors; business supplies or equipment; and other costs. The application for the Small Business Relief Program is now available at businesshelp.ohio.gov.

Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund: The administration will also designate $37.5 million of CARES Act funding for the Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund. This fund will be available for Ohio restaurants and bars struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited in the full use of their liquor permit.

Businesses with an on-premise consumption permit will be eligible to receive $2,500 per unique business location.  Businesses need to have an active on-premise permit as of close of business October 23, 2020.  Starting today, permit holders can apply for assistance at  businesshelp.ohio.gov.

Home Relief Grant: The administration is allocating $50 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to 47 Community Action Agencies to provide rent, mortgage, and water and/or sewer assistance to Ohioans in need. This assistance will help Ohioans pay outstanding balances back to April 1, 2020.

Ohio households behind on their bills with an annual income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines will be eligible for assistance. For a family of four, that is an annual income up to $52,400. Starting today, Ohioans can apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency. A list of agencies can be found at businesshelp.ohio.gov.

BWC Dividends

Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted requested that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) send up to $5 billion in dividends to Ohio employers to ease the continued financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. BWC’s Board of Directors will meet today, Monday, November 2, 2020 to vote on this special request. 

If approved by BWC’s Board of Directors, it would bring the total dividend dollars for employers this year to nearly $8 billion. 

The $5 billion dividend would be BWC’s third dividend of more than $1 billion this year, and the largest one-time dividend ever issued by the BWC. BWC distributed $1.54 billion in April and $1.34 billion in October. At $5 billion, this dividend is approximately four times the total premiums BWC collected from its employer members in policy year 2019.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

 

ONLINE: Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health.

 

PHONE: For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m (7 days/week).

 

SOCIAL MEDIA: @GovMikeDeWine

@LtGovHusted

@OHDeptofHealth

 

LIVE UPDATES: Governor DeWine is holding press briefings at 2:00 p.m. multiple days each week to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live at www.OhioChannel.org.

 

Primary Sectors

Entertainment

The following entertainment businesses are currently permitted to operate as long as they follow the Consumer, Retail, Services & Entertainment guidance (additional entertainment businesses will be added over time):  Batting cages, bowling alleys, and miniature golf.




Outdoor Activities

Personal Services

Sports and Sports Leagues

Healthcare & Hospitals

For the most complete and up-to-date information, please visit Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  The following are sector-specific operating requirements for businesses to open as part of Responsible RestartOhio. 

 https://vimeo.com/400738172 


Ohio Department of Health

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $1.3 billion to 1,387 health centers as a response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Health centers may use the awards to help communities across the country detect coronavirus; prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19; and maintain or increase health capacity and staffing levels to address this public health emergency. Ohio received $40,732,260 to support 51 health centers. You can find a list of award recipients HERE.
  •  Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers (CDC) 
  • Keeping Workplaces, Homes, Schools, or Commercial Establishments Safe (CDC) 

Guidance for Businesses and Employers 

The Trump Administration Is Supporting the People of Ohio
“We have the best doctors, the best military leaders, and the best logistics professionals anywhere in the world. And we’re orchestrating a massive Federal response, unlike anything our country has ever seen.” – President Donald J. Trump

Overview: Response and recovery efforts are locally executed, State-managed, and Federally supported. Successful emergency management requires nationwide cooperation and unity of effort, combining the strength
and ingenuity of our citizens and private sector with a sweeping, all-inclusive, and whole-of-government response. The below is a partial overview of Federal assistance provided to the State of Ohio and the people of
Ohio to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information is bolstered by hundreds of additional actions by the Federal government to help the people of Ohio. Implementation of the CARES Act is ongoing and
will also bring additional support to Ohio. President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have appreciated the strong State-Federal partnership with Governor Mike DeWine.

READ MORE HERE

 

Common Issues Small Businesses May Encounter: 

  • Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business’s financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it.  See SBA’s capital access resources. 
  • Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected. 
  • Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request. 
  • Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand. 
  • Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident. 
  • Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand. 
  • Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business. 
  • Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises 
  • Coronavirus Small Business Guide

    https://www.uschamber.com/co/small-business-coronavirus

Contact the Local Office-Small Business Development Center at Rhodes State College HERE

 


NEW! Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief

Click here to view the new Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief. We encourage you to share this new guide with your members.

In addition to the new Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief, we encourage you to continue utilizing and sharing the following items as you see fit:


Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits
 
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 7 am to 7 pm and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. Employers with questions should email UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov. 
Read more 
jfs.ohio.gov 


Resources for Local Health Districts and Providers  
Resources for Local Health Districts and Providers – COVID-19 The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is closely monitoring coronavirus disease 2019, first identified in… 
 
Read more 
odh.ohio.gov 

If your agency/organization needs support, please remember there are two ways to request support:

  1. For supply needs, please email eoc@allencountyohio.com .
  2. In order to apply for COVID-19 funds, please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/EQV9dAA89Ms3ckse9 .  
  3. The personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in Ohio remains severe. Governor DeWine made a plea to healthcare workers using N95 masks to send them to Battelle which can sterilize up to 160,000 masks each day, making them reusable up to 20 times. Hospitals should contact battelle.org to arrange for mask sterilization.

 


Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation

BWC extends premium due date until Sept. 1

Second deferral in COVID-19 pandemic

NEWS RELEASE

May 28, 2020

COLUMBUS – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is deferring the due date for employers to pay their June, July, and August premium installments until Sept.1.

Governor DeWine said the deferral is designed to help employers focus resources on re-opening their businesses under his Responsible RestartOhio Plan, the state’s effort to restart the economy while keeping Ohioans safe amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“By extending the premium due date, businesses can continue to focus on the safety and well-being of their employees and customers during this health pandemic,” said Governor DeWine. 

BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud noted the deferral is the second deadline extension given to employers since COVID-19 emerged in Ohio in March.

“We’ve said since the beginning of this pandemic we would do our best to relieve the financial pressures employers are facing in this unprecedented time,” said Administrator McCloud. “This is our latest step, and I’m grateful to Ohio’s employer community, our stakeholders, and our staff for putting us in a strong position to help.”

Among several actions to help the business community’s bottom line, BWC sent Ohio’s private and public employers nearly $1.6 billion in dividends in late April thanks to strong investment returns, declining injury claims, and other costs savings. The agency is also sending at least 2 million face coverings to employers and their workforce to weaken the spread of the coronavirus under its Protecting Ohio’s Workforce — We’ve Got You Covered plan.

For more on BWC as it relates to COVID-19, please visit bwc.ohio.gov

 or email us at BWCCOVID19@bwc.state.oh.us

For more on COVID-19, including prevention guidelines and its impact on Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Health website coronavirus.ohio.gov.
# # #
     
Media Contacts: 
Tony Gottschlich, 614-644-4940 or 614-296-1734, tony.gottschlich@bwc.state.oh.us

Kim Norris, 614-728-8045 or 614-361-0202, kimberly.norris@bwc.state.oh.us  
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 249,000 public and private employers. With 1,800 employees and assets of approximately $28 billion, BWC is the largest state-run insurance system in the United States. Our mission is to protect Ohio’s workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.

If you would rather not receive future communications from Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, let us know by clicking here.
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, WGB, 30 W. Spring St., Level 24, Columbus, OH 43215 United States


OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WAIVER  

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is modifying the process for haulers carrying heavy loads of essential goods. 

Generally, Ohio requires haulers with loads classified as “oversized” to seek advanced permission from ODOT before they are legally allowed to travel in the state.  

To assist in the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, ODOT will modify the process for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of food, non-alcoholic beverages, medical supplies, cleaning products, and other household goods. 

Haulers carrying these essential goods can download and print the permit at transportation.ohio.gov. 


Ohio Manufactures COVID-19 Resources (for Manufacturers)

Ohio Public Private Partnership – Recently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released the following information on how to consider addressing PPE needs in a non-healthcare setting. 

Read more here

 

 

Message from the Lima/Allen County Chamber President

lima chamber logo

March 17, 2020
 
Dear Members,
 
We are going through an unprecedented disruption together. But we have been tested before in different ways, and always emerge stronger – and we have no doubt this will prove true once again. 
 
The Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and various other business organizations commends the Governor for making the difficult decisions to protect Ohio residents from the COVID 19 virus.
 
We realize that these decisions will impact our businesses and the residents of our community and throughout the State of Ohio. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce President CEO Andrew E. Doehrel stated “We know this difficult decision was made in consultation with leading health experts, including Dr. Amy Acton, who are recommending actions to keep Ohioans safe during this unprecedented time. We support Governor DeWine’s decision because we believe taking steps now to confront the coronavirus will ultimately benefit our state by limiting the spread of the disease and enable Ohio to get back to normal sooner”.
 
We are writing today with some important updates on things that have been announced over the last few days:
 
Small Business Support
The President announced loans through the Small Business Administration on Thursday evening. The Lt. Governor also talked about those in Sunday’s State press conference. Here is a great resource page that gives some highlights on this program.
 
Here in Ohio, the Development Services Agency is helping to take the lead and they have asked that any small business owners who have been affected please send your contact information to the following email address: BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov and they will follow up with you. 
 
Impacted Employee Support
Your employees may be affected by the temporary restrictions put in place. The Governor’s office also announced several initiatives to help:
·        They are broadening current state policy to clarify that individuals that are quarantined by a health professional or by their employer are 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, they are waiving the waiting week so that workers eligible for unemployment benefits will receive them for the first week of unemployment.
These points were taken from the Governor’s Twitter page, but as soon as more detail is available, I will share it with you.
 
Unemployment & Businesses
The Governor also announced some relief for businesses regarding unemployment:
·        Because they do 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 a lack of staff availability.
*We will also share more information on these, when available.
 
Bar/Restaurant Owner Support
The Lt. Governor announced a temporary buy-back of high proof liquor products purchased within the last 30 days. The goal of this is to ease cash flow for bar/restaurant owners. Here is a release by the Department of Commerce that shares more. It should be returned to the Agency where it was purchased. If you have questions you may call 1-877-812-0013 or email ohioliquorinfo@com.ohio.gov
 
Federal Response
Additionally, Congress acted late last week to pass legislation to support businesses and families affected by the disruption. Here is a great overview by the US Chamber which breaks down what is included.
 
How do you respond?
The Governor strongly urged business leaders today to consider your response to this urgent situation. Can your employees work remotely? How many? They issued the strongest call yet to have businesses encourage that. I understand that many businesses cannot do that. If that is your case, what steps can you take to ensure the maximum protection of your teams and customers, and ultimately our community? There are no easy answers here.
 
If you are in the service industry please send us your altered carry out/take out operations so we can assist in publicizing them to the community. 
 
Effective March 17, 2020, the Center for Business Services building will not be open to the public. the LIMA/ALLEN COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, ALLEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP, GREATER LIMA REGION, INC, DOWNTOWN LIMA, INC., ACTIVATE ALLEN COUNTY AND ALLEN LIMA LEADERSHIP has limited the chamber building to only essential meetings of 10 or less people.  most of our meetings will be held by conference calls.

Please note all chamber events have been canceled until we feel it is safe to hold them again.  We have rescheduled the Awards Gala event for June of 2020 unless it will still be unsafe to hold the event.
 
As always, our team is working behind the scenes to figure out how we can pivot and better serve you during this time. We are interested in hearing from you, how you’re being affected, and especially any ideas that you may have to help!
 
Let’s rally, keep families safe and continue to support each other!

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions at cell-419-234-2600 or email at jmetzger@limachamber.com
 
Sincerely,
 
Jed E. Metzger
President/CEO

Lima/Allen County Employers Earn Workplace Safety Recognition

Lima/Allen County Employers Earn Workplace Safety Recognition

In conjunction with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Division of Safety & Hygiene, the West Central Ohio Safety Council presents safety awards to promote greater interest in the prevention of occupational accidents and disease. Members with the highest safety records were honored at the WCOSC 63rd annual awards banquet in Lima.

Awards were presented to qualifying businesses in the following categories:
Group Award – lowest incident rate in each group;
100% Award – zero injuries or illnesses resulting in a day or more away from work in the previous calendar year;
Achievement Award – a 25-percent reduction in the incident rate from the previous year;
Special Award – at least 500,000 hours and at least six months without an injury resulting in a day or more away from work.
On April 9th, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) honored 49 local employers for zero injuries or illnesses resulting in a day or more away from work in the previous calendar year.
“A healthy workforce is crucial to ensuring that Ohio’s economy remains strong, and I applaud these businesses for their commitment to workplace safety,” said Governor DeWine. “These Allen County employers have demonstrated a commitment to safety, and I congratulate them on this special
recognition.”

The employers listed below, members of the West Central Ohio Safety Council, received BWC’s 100% Award during the Safety Council’s annual awards ceremony on April 9, 2019.
Adriel, Inc.
Allen County Council on Aging
Allen Co Regional Transit Auth.
Allied Environmental Services, Inc.
American Trim, OCP
Area Agency on Aging 3
Bluffton University
BRP Manufacturing Company
Budde Sheet Metal Works, Inc.
Comfort Keepers
Custom Staffing Lima
Custom Staffing-Wapakoneta
Degen Excavating Co., Inc.
Fort Amanda Specialties LLC
Frost Roofing Inc.
Guardian, Lima
Habitat for Humanity
HCF Management, Inc.
Hoffman Analytic Services, Inc.
Hydrofresh LTD
INEOS Lima Chemicals
Innocor Foam Technologies
Interdyne Corp.
International Tank Service, Inc.
Jacobs Industrial Services
Kahle Electric Inc.
Krendl Machine Co.
LaKing Trucking Inc.
Lima Millwork
Lima Sheet Metal
Lost Creek Healthcare & Rehabilitation
M & W Construction
Manpower
McBride Brothers, Inc.
R. A. Flynn & Son, Inc.
R.D. Jones Excavating, Inc.
Smith-Boughan, Inc.
Sparta Electric Inc.
Spencerville Local Schools
T & D Interiors, Inc.
Thermal Technology
Toledo Mechanical Insulation
Trisco Systems, Inc.
Tuttle Construction, Inc.
Warehouse Associates, LP
Wright Distribution Center
Wright Logistics
Wright Pallet, Inc.
Wright Refuse Inc.

Media Coverage:
https://www.hometownstations.com/news/allen-county-employers-earn-workplace-safetyrecognition/article_5e7ec586-5fb4-11e9-93f1-4fdd824b027f.html

https://www.hometownstations.com/news/area-businesses-receive-safetyawards/article_4c4cd468-5ad5-11e9-a9df-5711cac4a4d7.html

Photos:
https://limaallenchamber.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/EmzqxyG-dqdGqcAaAha4wIIBsvzvIbRNEp4yjNBYwXjIA?e=m16wJR

For more information about the West Central Ohio Safety Council please contact Deb Katzenmeyer, Safety Council Manager at dkatz@limachamber.com or 419-222-6045.

Written by: Deb Katzenmeyer, Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce