(Posted March 13, 2020)
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, today provided an update on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
There are currently 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio.
In response to a request from the DeWine administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved two waiver requests to continue school breakfast and lunch programs during Ohio’s K-12 school closures. Schools will be permitted to provide every child under 18 with “grab and go” meals to ensure that no child goes hungry during the course of DeWine’s order to close schools. The Ohio Department of Education also will develop a process to give school districts the unprecedented ability to deliver meals to homes.
“For some students, the only regular meals they receive are the ones they get at school, and we realize closing schools will make it even more difficult for them and their families,” DeWine said. “In these uncertain times, we are ensuring children will have access to healthy meals, guaranteed, just like if they were going to school.”
DeWine signed an executive order easing the teacher/student ratio currently required for day cares and preschools. This loosening of regulations will help providers continuously care for students during a time when staffing levels are low due to illness.
Although daycare centers and preschools are not included in his school closure order, DeWine today urged parents to keep their children home from these facilities if economically able to do so. He did, however, encourage parents not to leave their children in the care of an elderly babysitter over the age of 60, as these individuals are the highest risk to become seriously ill from COVID-19.
LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP
DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today sent a letter to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence requesting critical personal protection equipment including surgical procedural masks, N-95 respirators, gowns and gloves, etc., for Ohio’s healthcare workers. The letter also requests that the federal government ease certain regulations related to:
- Federal funding
- Access to meals for students, families, and older adults
- Administering social and health services
- Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Commercial Useful Function compliance
- Drone deployment
- Temporary assistance for needy families
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Food and nutrition service
- Federal matching funds for Medicaid-funded services
- Community Living and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and HOME Programs
- Home Weatherization Assistance Program
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Relief
- HUD 5-year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan
- Survey and certification of health care facilities
JAILS/COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS FACILITIES:
DeWine announced that he would be issuing an order for community jails and corrections facilities throughout Ohio to prohibit visitors and require health screenings for mission-critical vendors, contractors, etc.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.