Governor DeWine’s August 20th 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 Tuesday, August 25th at 2:00 PM. You may watch it live on WTOV9.
Ohio’s COVID-19 case data:
- 104,999 confirmed cases
- 5,882 probable cases
- 110,881 total cases
- 12,529 hospitalizations
- 3,627 confirmed deaths
- 280 probable deaths
- 3,907 total deaths
- 2,827 ICU admissions
- 91,656 presumed recovered
- More data is available on the COVID-19 Dashboard HERE.
- Governor DeWine released this week’s new Ohio Public Health Advisory System map.
- Upgraded to Level 3 (Red): Clark, Lorain, Preble, and Trumbull
- Remaining at Level 3 (Red): Clermont, Erie, Franklin, Lucas, and Mercer
- Downgraded to Level 2 (Orange): Brown, Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Licking, Marion, Montgomery, and Muskingum
- Downgraded to Level 1 (Yellow): Highland, Huron, Jefferson, Morgan, Richland, and Ross
- There are no counties on Ohio’s Watch List
- 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 coronavirus.ohio.gov.
- 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 coronavirus.ohio.gov.
- 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.
- If approved by the Board, this would be the second dividend of $1 billion or more since April and the third dividend since 2019. BWC anticipated providing a dividend next year, but with Board approval, they will issue one now to provide some immediate economic relief to employers amid the ongoing pandemic. Checks would be distributed by BWC in late October.
- Additionally, Governor DeWine asked BWC’s Board of Directors to approve of a second distribution of face coverings to Ohio employers and their workforce as part of BWC’s Protecting Ohio’s Workforce- We’ve Got You Covered program. This second round will consist of approximately 23 million masks to employers and are meant to replace any masks that have exhausted their effective use. Governor DeWine has also asked that BWC work to purchase as many masks as possible made in Ohio. In the first distribution of face coverings, BWC shipped 20.6 masks to 197,000 employers and their workforce.
- Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) will be working with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to ensure that Ohio’s 88 boards of elections have the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to execute early in-person voting and voting on election day. DAS will provide an estimated 800,000 masks, 64,000 face shields, and 26,000 gowns, and the Secretary of State’s office is expected to distribute the PPE in early September.
- Following a deadly week of gun violence that resulted in at least 56 people shot, including 17 people who were killed, Governor DeWine again called on the Ohio General Assembly to consider legislation currently pending to address gun violence.
- Ohioans filed 21,663 initial jobless claims last week, according to statistics the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported to the U.S. Dept. of Labor today. This was 252,552 fewer than the peak earlier this year. Ohioans filed 359,585 continued jobless claims last week, which was 416,717 fewer than the peak earlier this year.
- Over the last 22 weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $6 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 784,000 Ohioans. Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, about 94% have been processed, with about 6% pending. In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $5.2 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more than 529,000 PUA claimants.
- Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at unemployment.ohio.gov. 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 UCTech@jfs.ohio.gov.
As always, Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov and the Department of Health hotline, 1-833-4-ASK-ODH are great resources for those who have questions.