The last three days have been a whirlwind and Governor DeWine has indicated there is more to come. Here is a recap of what's happened over the weekend:
On Friday, Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted sent a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence requesting critical personal protection equipment for Ohio's healthcare workers. The letter also requests that the federal government ease certain regulations related to, among other things, federal funding, access to meals for students, families, and older adults, administering social and health services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and survey and certification of health care facilities.
DeWine reported on the letter just one hour before President Trump addressed the nation, declaring a national emergency and introducing several emergency measures. Read the letter to President Trump here. Read the Governor's Friday press release here.
At a press conference on Saturday, Director Criss announced emergency orders to reduce restrictions on telehealth, ensuring that every Ohioan has access to behavioral healthcare via telehealth services by landline or cell phone. Director Criss encouraged all Ohioans to monitor their mental wellness during this time and described resources available at mha.ohio.gov/coronavirus. Read about the March 14 Press Conference here.
On Sunday the Ohio Department of Health issued an order that will close all Ohio bars and restaurants to in-house patrons. Restaurants with take-out and delivery options will still be able to operate those services. Governor DeWine also issued an executive order to grant the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services with the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation suspending the normal 1-week waiting period.
The Ohio Development Services Agency also prepared an application to quality Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Non-profit organizations in Ohio will also be eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. In order to complete the state's application, businesses impacted by the current public health crisis should immediately send their contact information to BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov. Additional information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster. Read more about these recent developments here.
If you have any questions that you would like submitted to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, or the Ohio Department of Health regarding the implications of COVID-19, you can share those by contacting Kate. All questions will be submitted to the Administration to help inform their understanding of the challenges that our members are facing during this difficult time and any answers received will be shared.
Below are resources on COVID-19, how you can help in containing the spread of the virus, and how child welfare and behavioral health spheres are being affected:
Please visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov for daily updates and resources. If you have any questions regarding the virus, please call the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).