COLUMBUS — Throughout the week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt.
Governor Jon Husted provided updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19
pandemic, as well as other state initiatives.
In honor of the life
and service of Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker who was killed in
the line of duty on Monday, Governor DeWine ordered that all U.S. and
Ohio flags be flown at half-staff upon all public buildings and grounds
throughout Lucas County and at the Ohio Statehouse, the Vern Riffe
Center, and Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus. Flags will remain
lowered until sunset on the day of Officer Stalker’s funeral.
Tuesday, Governor DeWine highlighted the vaccine distribution timeline
for Phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination program, which began for those ages
80 and up. Governor DeWine was joined by several Ohioans who received a
vaccination as part of Phase 1B.
Week of January 25: Vaccinations
are anticipated to begin for those ages 75 and up. Vaccinations will
also be available to those with severe congenital, developmental, or
early-onset medical disorders, and who have a developmental or
A representative from the local county
developmental disabilities board will reach out to help coordinate
receipt of the vaccination for Ohioans with severe congenital,
developmental, or early-onset medical disorders, as well as a
developmental or intellectual disability.
During the week of
February 15, Ohioans with any of these conditions, and do not have a
developmental or intellectual disability, will be eligible to receive
the vaccination. Additional information on how these individuals can
choose to receive their vaccines is forthcoming.
“This group has
been identified by medical professionals as having a high risk of death
if they caught COVID-19,” said Governor DeWine. “It’s critical that we
continue to prioritize Ohioans who are most vulnerable.”
provider will begin administering vaccines the day after they receive
their shipment. All vaccines must be distributed within seven days.
Week of February 1: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 70 and up following the same process outlined above.
Week of February 8: Vaccinations are anticipated to begin for those ages 65 and up following the same process outlined above.
Ohio Department of Health has launched a tool on
vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov to assist residents looking for a provider
that has been allocated vaccines.
The tool is searchable by zip
code and county, but it will not be uploaded in real-time. It is
critical that those eligible to receive a vaccine consult local
resources to determine up-to-date vaccine availability.
will also be available for personnel in Ohio schools in Phase 1B. As of
Tuesday, 96% of public school districts have committed to returning to
school at least partially in-person by March 1.
to at least partially returning to in-person by March 1 have been
designated a local Educational Service Center as a working partner.
Additional details will be confirmed between the working partners and
School districts are also choosing a retail
pharmacy partner, secured by the state, or an existing local
partnership, to administer the vaccinations to school personnel.
Beginning the week of February 1, vaccination administration will be
coordinated with school-provider partnerships, and a majority will be
closed clinics for school personnel only.
Governor Husted outlined various resources available to Ohioans who are
interested in earning a credential, or pursuing a career, in
cybersecurity. Strengthening the state’s talent and workforce in this
industry is a key component to improving cybersecurity efforts and
protecting citizens and businesses from cyberattacks.
Industry-recognized credentials are offered at high schools across Ohio. Learn more at education.ohio.gov.
Cybersecurity programs offered at institutions of higher education: Ohioc3.org
Ohio Cyber Range supports curriculum development, cyber contests for
k-12 to college students, internship programs, and more. Learn more at
TechCred: Offers tech-focused credentials, including many on cybersecurity. Visit TechCred.Ohio.Gov to learn more.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
DeWine announced his nomination of former Ohio Supreme Court Justice
Judith L. French as Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. French
brings more than 30 years of experience, and will lead the department
in providing consumer protection through education and fair, but
vigilant, regulation while promoting a stable and competitive
environment for insurers.
On Thursday, Governor DeWine announced
that the state is purchasing 2 million at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests
using telehealth services where the results are delivered in minutes
without the need to send the test to a lab for processing. Developed by
Abbott, BinaxNOW is an easy-to-use antigen test that detects the virus
when people are most infectious.
To facilitate the delivery of the
BinaxNOW test to the home and the guided collection and testing
process, Abbott has partnered with digital health solutions provider
eMed™, who will deliver their results through Abbott’s complementary
NAVICA™ app in a matter of minutes. eMed™ will report the rapid test
results in the electronic lab reporting system.
“Abbott has been a
valued partner throughout this pandemic and this new partnership will
help us continue aggressive testing at colleges and universities, and
pursue access to rapid testing in every county in Ohio,” said Governor
DeWine. “These tests combined with the telehealth solutions provided by
eMed™ will provide equitable access to testing for those who may not be
able to access traditional testing because of their working hours, have
mobility or transportation issues, or have caregiving responsibilities.”
partnership with the State of Ohio is proof of our ability to get
millions of tests in the hands of people who need them,” said Dr.
Patrice Harris, eMed™ CEO. “We are proud of this joint accomplishment
which fortifies our belief that serial testing, when deployed in
accordance with public health best practices, CDC and FDA guidance,
plays a critical role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and getting
our society and economy on the right track.”
This partnership will
provide at least 2 million of the BinaxNow tests for Ohioans as, Abbot,
eMed™, and the Ohio Department of Health pursue innovative efforts to
end the COVID-19 pandemic.
OHIO COUNTY COVID DATA
county-by-county breakdown outlining the presence of COVID-19 in all of
Ohio’s 88 counties can be found on the Ohio Public Health Advisory
All 88 counties have a level of spread that is
at least three times more than what the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) considers high incidence.
“As we have seen
recently, our number of new cases seems to be flattening,” said Governor
DeWine. “We are still much higher than where we want to be, and still
much higher than where we’ve been most of this pandemic.”
DeWine also discussed key measurements regarding incidence cases per
100,000 residents over two weeks, as well as regional COVID-19 ICU
“Out of any 200 Ohioans, at least 1 has tested
positive for COVID during the past 2 weeks,” said Governor DeWine.
“Additionally, we still have more than 1 out of 4 patients who are COVID
positive in our ICUs, which means our hospitals are still spending a
lot of time and effort to treat these patients who are critically ill
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FRAUD
identity theft is a nationwide problem and no state is immune. Many who
did not apply for unemployment benefits, may receive a 1099 form from
the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, indicating that they are
likely a victim of identity theft and their personal information was
used to file a fraudulent claim.
Here is what they can do:
identity theft at unemployment.ohio.gov, and click on the red button
that says “ID Theft: What to do” to report suspected identity theft.
ODJFS will send a confirmation email with resources available to victims
of identity theft.
File your taxes following guidance regarding identity theft from the IRS and the Ohio Department of Taxation.
your identity from future fraud by consulting resources from the Ohio
Attorney General, the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Federal
Lt. Governor Husted thanked
the many businesses and organizations that have donated supplies and
equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) since the start
of the pandemic.
The latest donation, 250,000 disposable masks
from the Home Depot, adds to the millions of masks, gowns, gloves, face
shields, and sanitizer donated by organizations ranging from large
national companies and foundations to small Ohio businesses. The donated
supplies are added to the State’s stockpile and distributed around the
state as needed.
INNOVATEOHIO, OBM DUPLICATE PAYMENT TOOL
Governor Husted also provided an update on InnovateOhio’s Duplicate
Payment tool, which is a project developed with the Office of Budget and
Management (OBM) that identifies duplicate payments in the state
government accounting system. On Thursday, an additional 72 duplicate
payments were identified, totaling $168,277 in savings, using the
InnovateOhio Duplicate Payment Tool.
Since the project’s launch,
it has identified $1.37 million in savings. This update brings the total
number of confirmed duplicate payments to 258 since January 2019,
across 33 different agencies, boards, and commissions.
Governor DeWine provided brief virtual remarks at the start of an online
event focusing on the Ohio Governor’s Expedited Pardon Project.
project was launched by Governor DeWine in 2019 to accelerate the
lengthy clemency process for certain citizens who have a felony
conviction but have become contributing members of society. In the first
year of the project, nine people received a pardon through the
expedited program, but it is estimated that thousands of other Ohioans
“I am sure there are thousands of Ohioans, that if
we had the facts in front of us, that we would look at that and say
‘that person certainly should be given a pardon’,” said Governor DeWine.
“But it’s getting them in front us, getting the paperwork and
background check done, and getting the information to honestly make that
evaluation, that is what we need.”
Approximately 200 people
participated in the event, which was hosted in partnership between the
Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and the CARES
Justice Institute in Dayton. Governor DeWine thanks the special guest
presenters, Judge Walter Rice, United States District Court, Southern
District of Ohio; Bishop Mark McGuire, CARES Justice Institute; and
Joann Sahl, University of Akron School of Law.
Also on Friday, Governor DeWine signed the following Executive Order:
Order 2021-01D: Implementing Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Reductions to
Balance the Biennial Budget While Partially Restoring Fiscal Year 2021
Additionally, Governor DeWine issued the following statement:
the springtime, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global
economy, and on Ohio’s revenues, was dire. With this, reductions were
made to the state’s biennial budget.
“With this Executive Order,
we are finalizing current year budget reductions at $390 million across
all agencies, which is less than the cuts implemented last year.
the cuts implemented today are less than last year’s reductions, OBM
Director Murnieks is authorized to allot to the Department of Education
an additional $160 million; and to the Department of Higher Education an
additional $100 million of enacted fiscal year 2021 General Revenue
Fund appropriations previously withheld.
Also on Friday, Lt.
Governor Husted, Director of InnovateOhio, announced a new pilot project
aimed at expanding broadband using existing technology through MARCS
towers located in Scioto and Jackson Counties, in Southeastern Ohio. The
innovative project builds upon the goal of BroadbandOhio by enhancing
and expanding high-speed internet access to unserved and underserved
Ohioans, particularly those in the Appalachia region of the state, by
creatively leveraging state assets.
Lt. Governor Husted was joined
by Matt Damschroder, Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative
Services, and John Carey, Director of the Governor’s Office of
Appalachia. Multi-Agency Radio Communications System towers, also known
as MARCS towers, are part of a statewide, wireless, digital
communication network that allows emergency and law enforcement
personnel to communicate instantly during emergencies. This project will
give Internet Service Providers an opportunity to apply for a grant
through the state to attach to six towers in Scioto and Jackson
Counties, ultimately providing low-cost internet to unserved households
in the area.
The grant application period opened on January 22,
2021, and will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 2021. Visit
Development.Ohio.gov to apply.
Also on Friday, Governor Mike
DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s
10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 30, 2021 (order).
curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an
emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended
to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy. Picking
up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is
permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease
at 10:00 p.m.