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The latest from the Chamber, our members, and Jefferson County

COVID-19Governor DeWine

Governor DeWine’s May 21st Press Conference

Below are the updates from the May 21st press conference with Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and State Health Commissioner, Dr. Amy Acton. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Tuesday, May 26th.

Governor DeWine announced initial findings from his Minority Health Strike Force. The team was formed in April in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans who make up 14 percent of Ohio’s population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio. The Minority Health Strike Force’s preliminary report will be available soon at Final recommendations will be issued on June 11.

Examples of these recommendations include: establishing culturally appropriate and accessible COVID-19 exposure notification services for communities of color; expanding testing capacity and access for minorities and high-risk populations; using data to prioritize resources in the communities that have the highest need; developing and launching a statewide, culturally-sensitive outreach campaign that educates African Americans and communities of color on COVID-19, health disparities, and social determinants of health.

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COVID-19Governor DeWine

Governor DeWine’s May 19th Press Conference

Governor DeWine released details of the new “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory” which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health on April 30, 2020. The health order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay at home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those who are high-risk, stay at home as much as possible. The order does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remain at a 10-person limit. The new health advisory also lifts overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio. Unnecessary travel within or outside of Ohio is not encouraged. I will share a copy of the order as soon as possible.

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COVID-19Governor DeWine

Governor DeWine’s May 7th Press Conference

COVID-19 Update: Reopening of Restaurants, Bars, and Personal Care Services

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, today announced the next phase of the Responsible RestartOhio plan as it relates to restaurants, bars, and personal care services.

As part of today’s announcement, Governor DeWine reminded Ohioans that COVID-19 is still incredibly dangerous and stressed the importance of continuing to exercise safe health habits as different sectors of the economy begin to reopen.

“Reopening Ohio is a risk, but it’s also a risk if you don’t move forward. We’re on a dangerous road that has never been traveled before in Ohio and the danger is that we relax and stop taking precautions,” said Governor DeWine. “All of us collectively control this. I ask you to take calculated risks and make good judgments. Continue social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing face coverings. If you aren’t concerned with what happens to you, do it for others.”


Restaurants and bars in Ohio will be permitted to reopen as follows:

Outdoor dining: May 15
Dine-in service: May 21
To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Restaurant Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for restaurant and bar owners to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found by clicking here.


Personal care services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, and tanning facilities may reopen on May 15.

To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Personal Services Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for personal care service providers to follow. The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found by clicking here.


There are 22,131 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,271 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 4,140 people have been hospitalized, including 1,167 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting

Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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COVID-19Governor DeWine

Governor DeWine’s May 5th Press Conference

Below are updates from Tuesday’s press conference with Ohio Governor DeWine.  Also find attached these helpful documents that the Governor’s office shared with us.

COVID Guide To Travel In Ohio
Business & Employer Checklist For Safe Re-Opening
Ohio Guide to Preparing to Re-Open Your Business 

Ohio’s COVID-19 case data is below:

  • 20,072 confirmed cases
  • 897 probable cases
  • 20,969 total cases
  • 3,956 hospitalizations
  • 1,038 confirmed deaths
  • 97 probable deaths
  • 1,135 total deaths
  • 1,123 ICU admissions
  • More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.

Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, Governor DeWine today announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio’s General Revenue Fund for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2020 which ends on June 30. At the end of February and prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, state revenues for the fiscal year were ahead of estimates by over $200 million. As of the end of April, Ohio’s revenues were below the budgeted estimates by $776.9 million.

Because Ohio is mandated to balance its budget each year, and in addition to identifying areas of savings, the following budget reductions will be made for the next two months:

  • Medicaid:  $210 million
  • K12 Foundation Payment Reduction:  $300 million
  • Other Education Budget Line Items:  $55 million
  • Higher Education:  $110 million
  • All Other Agencies:  $100 million

The budget reductions are in addition to Governor DeWine’s March 23 directive to freeze hiring, new contracts, pay increases, and promotions at all state agencies, boards, and commissions. The new budget reductions will not apply to critical services available to Ohioans or COVID-19 pandemic services. Money to balance the Fiscal Year 2020 budget will not be drawn from Ohio’s Budget Stabilization Fund, otherwise known as the “rainy-day fund.”

Projections by Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks indicate that the state’s revenues will continue to be below estimates in the coming months as Ohio moves through the COVID-19 crisis. Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and Director Murnieks will continue to work with the Ohio General Assembly to identify ways to continue supporting Ohio’s economy through the COVID-19 crisis.

Ohioans may apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at It is also possible to file by phone at 877-644-6562 or TTY at 888- 642-8203, Monday through Friday 7AM to 7PM, Saturday 9AM to 5PM, and Sunday 9AM to 1PM. Employers with questions should email

As always, Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov and the Department of Health hotline, 1-833-4-ASK-ODH are great resources for those who have questions.

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COVID-19Governor DeWine

Ohio “Responsible Restart” Guide for Businesses

Another round of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s Responsible Restart Ohio plan begins Monday, May 4th. Although the Governor is urging people to work from home if possible, many will return to work under new requirements and guidelines.

Businesses reopening May 4th include:

— General office workplaces
— Manufacturing
— Distribution
— Construction

Click here for the complete “Responsible Restart” guide for Ohio businesses.

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House Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill

Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Below is a summary from the office of Ohio Congressman Bob Gibb’s office. + Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act: Provides an additional $310 billion in PPP loans: $30 billion in guaranteed loans for lenders with less than $10 billion in assets. $30 billion in guaranteed loans for lenders with $10 billion to $50 billion in asset.

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