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Governor DeWine

Governor DeWine Issues Statement on Death of Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Governor Mike DeWine issued the following statement on the death of Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla.

“Fran and I were saddened to learn this morning of the death of longtime Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. Sheriff Abdalla was a decorated U.S. Army veteran who wholeheartedly served his community with pride and dedication for decades.

“Sheriff Abdalla’s no-nonsense personality was one of the things Fran and I enjoyed the most about him. During my time as Ohio’s attorney general, I was honored to work with him on numerous cases, including a double homicide from the 1970s that he vowed to solve. It was that unwavering determination that led to the suspect’s arrest in 2014 and the suspect’s conviction the following year.

“Sheriff Abdalla truly made a tremendous impact on Jefferson County, and he will be missed. Fran and I offer our deepest condolences to his family.”

In honor of the life and legacy of Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla, Governor DeWine has ordered that flags of the United States and the State of Ohio be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds throughout Jefferson County. Flags shall remain lowered until sunset on the day of his funeral.

All other public buildings and grounds throughout the state may fly the flags of the United States and the State of Ohio at half-staff at their discretion for the same time period.

DeWine Announces Small Business Relief Grant & Assistance To Liquor Permit Holders

Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the approval of $125 million in funding received by the State of Ohio from the federal CARES Act to provide grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses to help them through the current COVID crisis. The program will begin accepting applications beginning this Monday, November 2, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Please click here for an overview page and fact sheet and click here for a more detailed outline of the grant – scroll down to click on “Terms & Conditions” to view more.

The Chamber is partnering with the Brooke Hancock Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission and the Jefferson County Port Authority to not only spread the word about this new program but also to ensure that our local businesses are prepared for the application process and have the help they need to submit their application accurately and on time. You may access the online application at Please note that in order to access the application, you are required to have an “OH/ID” which provides users with secure access to State of Ohio services. If you do not have one and wish to obtain one, click here. If you already have an Ohio Sales Tax Payment login ID, you may use it. Money will be allocated to all 88 counties but is distributed on a first-come, first-served, basis.

Check out WTOV9’s segment and interview regarding the Chamber’s partnership by clicking here.

In addition, the “Bar and Restaurant Assistance Fund” has also been set up to assist Ohio’s on-premise liquor permit holders with $37.5 million of funding to provide $2,500 grants to all on-premise liquor permit holders. Click here for details on this program. You may qualify for both programs. Accepting the $10,000 grant does not exclude you from the additional $2,500. These applications also open on Monday, November 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.

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Governor DeWine’s September 1st Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, September 3rd at 2:00 PM. You may watch it live on WTOV9.

In advance of the upcoming Labor Day holiday, Governor DeWine reminded citizens to take safety precautions when celebrating with others outside of their households. Governor DeWine encourages citizens to continue regular hand-washing, social distancing, and disinfecting. The mask mandate in Ohio remains in effect for all 88 counties.

In the weeks following the Fourth of July, Ohio began to see a significant increase in cases caused, in part, by holiday gatherings. Click here to view the graphic shown during yesterday’s press conference demonstrates one example of COVID-19 spread from an Independence Day gathering.

Governor DeWine announced three new traffic-safety efforts aimed at reducing the number of fatalities on Ohio’s roads and better ensuring that Ohio’s young drivers have the necessary skills to safely navigate the streets.

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Governor DeWine’s August 25th Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 27th at 2:00 PM.  You may watch it live on WTOV9.

Governor DeWine discussed the recently-issued Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club, and Professional Sports. The order limits the maximum number of spectators gathered at an outdoor sports venue to the lesser of 1,500 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. The maximum for indoor sports venues is the lesser of 300 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. If a venue has more room to permit additional socially-distanced spectator capacity, a variance provision in the order allows schools to request a higher spectator limit by submitting a plan in writing to their local health department and the Ohio Department of Health. The variance plan must include a justification for increased capacity and an explanation of how social distancing will be maintained between family groups. 

It is the responsibility of the school/venue to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement, prohibition on congregating among spectators, and the other provisions outlined in the sports order.  Evaluating a sports venue’s variance plan may require conversations with school/venue officials and a site visit. The Ohio Department of Health will rely upon local health departments to conduct the first assessment of the variance plan. Variances will not be granted to expand the number of fans beyond family members of both teams and others who may perform during the event.

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Governor DeWine’s August 20th Press Conference

Governor DeWine announced that adult day care centers and senior centers may open at a reduced capacity beginning on September 21 if the facilities can meet certain safety standards outlined in a forthcoming health order. The Ohio Association of Senior Centers and those representing adult day centers nationally and locally assisted in developing the ResponsibleRestart Ohio plan for adult day care and senior centers. The full plan and health order will be posted soon at 

Governor DeWine announced that a statewide testing initiative for Ohio’s more than 765 assisted living facilities is now underway to offer baseline saliva testing to all staff and residents at no cost to the facilities. The tests can be self-performed or performed with assistance, under the observance of licensed medical staff. Baseline saliva tests are minimally invasive and provide reliable results in approximately 48 hours upon the lab’s receipt. An order requiring all assisting living facilities to participate in the testing initiative will be posted soon at

Governor DeWine asked the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors to send up to $1.5 billion in dividend payments to Ohio employers this fall. This dividend equals approximately 100% of the premiums paid in policy year 2019. Dividends like this, as well as previous ones, are possible because of strong investment returns on employer premiums, a declining number of claims each year, prudent fiscal management, and employers who work hard to improve workplace safety and reduce injury claims. 

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Governor DeWine’s August 18th Press Conference

Governor DeWine announced that an order from the Ohio Department of Health will be issued to outline how sports, both contact and non-contact, may move forward in Ohio. The order will apply to all organized sports in the state and will include guidelines for spectators. The decision for high school fall sports to be postponed to the springtime will be left to the school districts.  This order will be available on

Governor DeWine also spoke with Dr. Jim Borchers of The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Borchers specializes in sports medicine. He discussed the importance of sports, and its impact on the physical and mental health of young people. Dr. Borchers also reminded parents and students about the importance of immediately sharing information with coaching staff and a doctor if a COVID-19 case is probable or confirmed, and then following the appropriate protocols.

Governor DeWine announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Ohio Veteran’s home in Georgetown (Brown County). An employee tested positive, and two other employees may have been exposed to this individual. The Ohio Department of Veterans Services put additional safety measures in place at the home and they are tracking potential exposures. All residents in the unit where this employee works are being tested, as are the residents in the two other units where the potentially exposed employees are assigned.

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Governor DeWine’s August 4th Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, August 6th at 3:00 PM. You may watch it locally on WTOV9. 

Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring that K-12 children wear face coverings while at school. The new mandate comes after the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter issued a joint letter recommending widespread use of masks in schools.

Exceptions to the K-12 health order for face coverings include: children under the age of 2 years old; any child unable to remove the face covering without assistance; a child with a significant behavioral/psychological issue undergoing treatment that is exacerbated specifically by the use of a facial covering (e.g. severe anxiety or a tactile aversion); a child living with severe autism or with extreme developmental delay who may become agitated or anxious wearing a mask; a child with a facial deformity that causes airway obstruction

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Governor DeWine’s July 28th Press Conference

Below are the updates from yesterday’s press conference with Governor DeWine. The next press conference is currently scheduled for Thursday, July 30th at 2:00 PM. You may watch it locally on WTOV9. Please utilize the Chamber’s COVID Resource Page and contact our offices with specific questions or assistance.

Governor DeWine announced that child care providers in Ohio may return to their normal, statutory ratios and class sizes beginning on August 9, 2020. Child care providers have a choice to increase the number of children and staff members to the normal statutory ratios or to maintain their current, lower ratios to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is structuring a financial incentive to providers that maintain smaller ratios and classroom sizes. 
All child care providers must comply with stringent health and safety requirements including: face coverings for all staff and children over 10, unless they have a health exemption; symptom and temperature checks when staff and children arrive; washing hands throughout the day, including upon arrival and before departure; frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces; and regular deep cleanings.

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Governor DeWine’s July 16th Press Conference

Governor DeWine announced that new public health data has led the Ohio Department of Health to designate 19 counties as being in a Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency as defined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Upgraded to Level 3: Athens*, Allen, Delaware, Licking, Lucas, Richland, Scioto, and Union

Continuing at Level 3: Butler, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Montgomery, Pickaway, Summit, and Wood

Downgraded to Level 2: Trumbull

Click here for an updated version of the map.

Athens County is also on Ohio’s Watch List because it is closely nearing Purple Alert Level 4. Butler, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties were removed from the Watch List but the threat of exposure and spread remains high.

New counties upgraded to Red Alert Level 3 will be mandated to begin wearing masks in public beginning at 6 p.m. on July 17, 2020. Mask mandates will remain in effect in all counties continuing in Red Alert Level 3. Residents in Trumbull County are no longer required to wear masks in public, however, they are strongly encouraged to do so.

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Governor DeWine’s July 7th Press Conference

Governor DeWine announced that effective on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., a new Ohio Department of Health order will mandate face coverings in public in all counties that are designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency or a Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergency. You may view the map here.  

Currently, seven counties in Ohio (Butler, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Montgomery, and Trumbull) are designated at Red Alert Level 3 which indicates that those in these counties have a very high risk of exposure and spread. As of today, no counties have reached Purple Alert Level 4, however, Franklin County is approaching this top tier. 

Those in counties designated as Red Alert Level 3 or Purple Alert Level 4 are required to wear a face covering in any indoor location that is not a residence; when outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their household; or while waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle.

The order does not apply to children under the age of 10 or any other minor who cannot safely wear a face covering. The order also reflects the mask guidance in place for employees and businesses which does not require a person to wear a mask if their physician advises against it, if wearing a mask is prohibited by federal regulation, if communicating with the hearing impaired, when alone in an office or personal workspace, and other similar measures.

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