In an effort to consolidate useful resources, information on the coronavirus outbreak for constituents of the Seventh Congressional District will be compiled on this page. Contact information for county health departments, tips from the CDC, a list of EPA-recommended disinfectants, and more, will be available and updated regularly. Nothing on this page should substitute medical advice. If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms potentially related to coronavirus, you should contact a healthcare provider immediately and consult the CDC's guidance on what to do if you are sick with the coronavirus.
With the closure of schools, bars, restaurants, and many other sectors of the economy limiting or stopping work, Ohio has expanded eligibility and extended unemployment benefits to Ohioans unable to work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If your employer has ordered you not to work and there is no telework option, you MAY be eligible and can apply at unemployment.ohio.gov.
Ohio’s Unemployment Website – unemployment.ohio.gov – is experiencing higher than normal traffic and may be difficult to access during normal business hours. We recommend you apply for unemployment benefits online and at non-peak hours (Between 8PM and 7AM).
Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, which administers unemployment benefits in Ohio, has a FAQ on their website regarding unemployment benefits eligibility - http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm.
- Ohio has waived the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
- The penalty on businesses for late reporting has been waived.
- Those quarantined by a medical professional and unable to work will be considered unemployed and the requirement to seek work will be waived.
Ohio has two ways to apply:
File online unemployment.ohio.gov 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. Note that we are experiencing slow processing times due to high claims activity. As your submission is processing please do not hit refresh because that will send your submission to the end of the virtual line.
Call toll-free 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408.
- Call center hours have been extended
- Monday through Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
***It is not possible to apply for unemployment benefits in person.***
The Small Business Administration has declared Ohio eligible for Disaster Assistance. Below are loans and programs offered by the Small Business Administration. Some are facilitated through your local bank.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.
If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.
Businesses – including eligible non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors described in the Small Business Act – with 500 or fewer employees may apply.
Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries.
Small business owners and sole proprietorships can apply for a PPP loan beginning April 3rd, 2020 through their existing lender or any FDIC-insured bank.
Self-employed, Independent Contractors (1099) can apply for a PPP loan beginning April 10th, 2020 through their existing lender or any FDIC-insured bank.
Click here for PPP information for borrowers.
If you are a lender and would like more information about PPP loans, click here.
LOCAL SBA OFFICE CONTACT INFORMATION
Cleveland - 216-522-4180
Columbus - 614-427-0407
What's an Economic Injury Disaster Loan?
- The SBA EIDL program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2M to businesses and private non-profits.
- EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills.
- The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- EIDLs have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on borrower's ability to repay.
Now that Ohio's application has been approved, small business owners negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic can apply online here.
For more information on local assistance and SBA Resources, please follow this link - https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19
EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT
For businesses that do not apply for or receive a Paycheck Protection Program loan and are able to keep employees on their payroll throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the CARES Act created the Employee Retention Credit. This credit allows businesses to receive a fully refundable tax credit for a portion of the wages they pay during this crisis.
For more details about the Employee Retention Credit, please follow this link - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-employee-retention-credit-under-the-cares-act
Ohio Department of Health Resources
ODH Coronavirus Hotline
Open 7 Days a week
9AM to 8PM
The Call Center is staffed by licensed nurses and experts on infectious diseases.
These experts will be available to answer questions and provide accurate information on COVID-19.
***OHIO STAY AT HOME ORDER***
On March 22nd, 2020, Governor DeWine issued a "Stay At Home" order for Ohioans, which goes into effect March 23rd, 2020 at 11:59PM. Non-essential business, operations, and travel must cease. The order lists the prohibited activities, what is deemed essential, and it includes guidance from the Department of Homeland Security providing greater detail on what occupations and sectors are considered essential critical infrastructure workers. You can read the order and accompanying DHS documents by clicking here or in the embedded file below:
County Health Departments
|County and Website||Phone Number|
|Ashland County-City Health Department||(419) 282-4317|
|Coshocton Health Department||(740) 622-1736|
|Holmes County General Health District||(330) 674-5035|
|Huron County Public Health||(419) 668-1652|
|Knox County Health Department||(740) 392-2200|
|Lorain County Public Health||(440) 322-6367|
|Medina County Health Department||(330) 723-9688|
|Richland Public Health||(419) 774-4500|
|Stark County Health Department||(330) 493-9904|
|Tuscarawas County Health District||(330) 343-5555|
ServeOhio, the American Electric Power Foundation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service have announced the availability of Community Resilience Grants for non-profit and public organizations. Local organizations conducting outreach and programming for their community in support of the efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for grant awards between $500 and $2,000. More Information from ServeOhio:
Examples of such initiatives may include:
- Organizing a food drop off program for at-risk populations (children, older adults, etc.)
- Organizing a diaper drive
- Organizing a toiletry drive to support residents unable to purchase essentials
- Creating cards/letters for older adults in nursing homes
Note: There is no requirement for residents to physically come together for this initiative (social distancing is encouraged). These funds are intended to support initiatives that mobilize the power of local communities to solve complex problems as a result of the novel coronavirus.
How can the funding be used?
- The grants support projects that provide opportunities for citizens to solve an immediate need caused by COVID-19. Funds may not be used for staffing, travel costs, gift cards, awards, or grantee administration/overhead costs. All awards will be paid by reimbursement upon submission of the project report and documentation of expenditures.
- Who is eligible to apply? Non-profit and public organizations in Ohio including, but not limited to, volunteer centers, school districts, community colleges, universities, and local governments are eligible to apply.
- Ready to apply? Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2020, and projects must take place prior to April 30, 2020.
More information and the application can be found here.
Avoid Coronavirus Scams
Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:
- Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
- Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
- Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
- Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
You can find more information at FTC.gov/coronavirus
***CDC has extended recommended social distancing and prevention guidelines until April 30th***
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.
CDC has also released a specific guidance for travelers.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has temporarily EXPANDED the use of telemedicine so that Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries can receive care without having to travel to a health facility. View the image below to determine whether a telemedicine service may be available to you. Please consult with your health provider's office on Medicare or Medicaid coverage before initiating telemedicine care.
CMS has released also released a fact sheet to help determine what services are covered under the temporary telemedicine expansion.
EPA List of Recommended Disinfectants
The EPA has updated its list of recommended disinfectants and cleaning products to help stop the spread of coronavirus. You can access it by clicking this link or clicking on the image below.
The CDC and State Department are continuously issuing and revising travel advisories and restrictions. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non- essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.
***BASICALLY, DO NOT TRAVEL IF IT IS NOT ESSENTIAL***
Level 3 Widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission and restrictions on entry to the United States:
- Europe - Level 3 Travel Warning
- China - Level 3 Travel Warning
- Iran - Level 3 Travel Warning
- South Korea - Level 3 Travel Warning
Level 2 Global sustained (ongoing) community transmission:
- Sustained community spread of respiratory illness caused by the novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring globally. Some countries have widespread sustained spread.
- Older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions are at increased risk for severe disease.
- Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Travelers should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.
- Travelers that are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing should stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.
Congressional Actions Related to Infectious Disease, Public Health, and Coronavirus
2020 - PHASE 3 - CARES Act
Congress is continuing to surge funding and resources to our hospital systems and provide financial stability for American families and small businesses during unstable and unprecedented times. The CARES Act is a critical phase 3 in the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak. By beefing up funding directly to hospitals, they can ramp up the capacity to diagnose and treat patients. I have always said that when Americans face a national challenge, we will rise to the occasion. In this emergency, everyone is stepping up and doing what they can, from healthcare workers and first responders to workers in critical infrastructure sectors. It is incumbent upon Congress to support those fighting to stop the spread of the coronavirus and the millions of Americans suffering from loss of work. The CARES Act does exactly that.
Highlights of the CARES Act:
- Direct financial assistance to middle-class Americans providing key immediate relief
- $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per eligible child.
- Not reduced for lower income Americans.
- They are reduced for higher income earners, starting at $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples.
- Phases out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples.
- Emergency loans and resources available for small business so they can keep doors open & pay employees
- New SBA-backed loan program to help small businesses pay for expenses.
- Loans taken by small businesses to keep employees on payroll may be forgiven.
- 501 (c)(3)s will also be eligible for this program.
- Federal government will forgive 8 weeks of cash flow, rent and utilities at 100% up to 2.5x average monthly payroll.
- Stabilizes key national industries that will protect jobs and functions important to America’s economy
- $340 billion supplemental appropriation
- $150 billion for states, cities, localities to fight pandemic.
- Support for health care workers and hospitals.
- Funding for PPE.
- Support for our local responders
- Funding for the research of new treatments and vaccines.
- Support for small businesses.
- Support our local colleges and universities.
- Support for veteran health care.
- Support for DOD response to COVID-19.
- Expanded unemployment insurance to 4 months & made it available for self-employed & independent contractors
- Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
- Expands coverage to more workers, including self-employed, contractors, and furloughed workers.
- Increases by $600/week Americans’ unemployment benefits for the next 4 months.
- Makes available 13 additional weeks of unemployment for those who need it.
- Waives the normal one-week waiting period.
- Includes funding to offset 50% of the costs of state and local government and non-profits for cost of paying unemployment to their workers.
- Supports short-time, work share programs as an alternative to layoffs.
- Keeps families in their homes - Directs funding to state and local governments so they can continue to combat this crisis
2020 - PHASE 2 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Provides an additional $2.5 billion in emergency funding:
- $1.2 billion to help cover the cost of coronavirus testing, including $142 million to eliminate copay requirements for service members and veterans
- $1.25 billion to provide emergency nutritional assistance funding:
- $500 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
- $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program
- $100 million for the food assistance block grant programs of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands
- $250 million for senior nutrition programs including:
- $160 million for home-delivered meals
- $80 million for meals at senior centers
- $10 million for meal services for Native Americans
- Assists low-income families with access to food when school districts are closed
- Paid Sick Leave
- Businesses with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide 14 days of paid sick leave to employees affected by COVID-19
- Under the Family and Medical Leave expansion, employees affected by COVID-19 are entitled to up to three months paid leave at two-thirds of the employee’s pay.
- Businesses with fewer than 500 employees will receive a 100% tax credit for both types of leave up to the capped levels, credited against quarterly payroll taxes.
- The Secretaries of Treasury and Labor will have regulatory authority to provide flexibility so small businesses under 50 employees are not unduly harmed.
2020 – PHASE 1 - Congress Passed and President Signed Into Law the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations
- More than $4 billion to make diagnostic tests more broadly available; to support treatments to ease the symptoms of those infected with the virus; and to invest in vaccine development and to procure vaccines when they are available. Funds are also made available for the Food and Drug Administration to protect the integrity of medical products manufactured overseas and identify and prevent potential shortages.
- $2.2 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a robust response, including: Nearly $1 billion exclusively for state and local response efforts; and $300 million for CDC’s Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to diseases – keeping our nation prepared and positioned for any health threat.
- $20 million to administer disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the virus.
- $1.25 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to protect Americans abroad and prevent the spread of the virus worldwide, including: $264 million to evacuate Americans and maintain consular operations overseas; and $200 million for USAID’s Emergency Response Fund to prepare for and respond to emerging health threats – working to prevent the spread of illness and infection before it reaches U.S. soil.
- Reauthorized Public Health Preparedness and Response Programs - giving federal, state, and local officials tools to respond quickly
- Established Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority – Leads development and acquisition of medical countermeasures against pandemic infectious diseases
- Created a Framework for how the Department of Health and Human Services Leads Public Health Emergencies
Investments In Public Health Since 2015
For regular updates directly from public health officials, you can follow: