Coronavirus Information

The threat of the coronavirus is serious and we all need to work together to slow to the spread in order to make sure our healthcare system can absorb the coming increase in demand for care. 

We can reduce this through things like social distancing, avoiding large gatherings indoors, canceling non-essential events, and telecommuting when possible.  The CDC has especially encouraged those at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 - older individuals and those with underlying medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes - to stay at home as much as possible.

Good hygiene practices like frequently washing and sanitizing hands, disinfecting common surfaces, and not touching your face are also important. 

As the CDC’s chart below illustrates, by delaying the spread and “flattening the curve,” we can decrease the spike in demands on our hospitals and healthcare system, which will save lives. 

Responsible actions now will have a large impact in the weeks and months ahead, and I applaud Governor DeWine and President Trump for taking decisive steps to help slow the spread of Covid-19.  I was also proud to support the $8.3 billion funding measure to help prevent, prepare, and respond to the spread.  I am asking all Ohioans to take steps to “Flatten The Curve” to help our health care workers, our first responders, and the many Ohioans who are at higher risk.  We are in this together, and together we will prevail. 

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I released a video addressing the threat of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and steps that Congress and the administration are taking to ensure Ohioans and the rest of the country have the resources they need to stay safe during this uncertain time, including a few steps all Ohioans can take to minimize the risk of catching or spreading this coronavirus.

I voted for the passage of the CARES Act and the $8.3 billion funding measure to help prevent, prepare, and respond to the domestic spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide economic relief and support to all the individuals, families, and small businesses impacted by the threat of coronavirus. 

For more information, the Ohio Department of Health has opened a call center to answer questions regarding coronavirus which will be open 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). Resources and up-to-date information can also be found on the Ohio Department of Health’s website: http://coronavirus.ohio.gov/.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION INFORMATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Detailed information via the following link: COVID 19 Unemployment Compensation Information

OHIO HAS TWO WAYS TO APPLY:

Online
File online unemployment.ohio.gov 24 hours/day, 7 days a week. Note that we are experiencing slow processing times due to high claims activity.  As your submission is processing please do not hit refresh because that will send your submission to the end of the virtual line.

Telephone
Call toll-free 1-877-644-6562 or TTY 1-614-387-8408.

    • Call center hours have been extended
    • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.,
    • Saturdays 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

It is not possible to apply for unemployment benefits in person.

AFTER YOU FILE

Once your application has been filed:   

  • You will receive further information by mail or e-mail.  E-mail will be sent from OJI@odjfs.state.oh.us.
  • Your claim will be assigned to a Processing Center, based on the last four digits of your Social Security number. Click here for a list of Processing Centers by Social Security number.
  • If filing online and you need your Personal Identification Number (PIN) reset, please call toll-free 1-866-962-4064.     

INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES

Please see following guidance on essential businesses from the office of Lt. Gov Jon Husted…

  • Use good judgment to follow the plain requirements of the order. 
  • Businesses do not need a letter, certification or clearance to operate, but it is recommended that a business develop a document providing the rationale on how you qualify as “essential business” and what you were doing to comply with item 18 (see full text below) which includes a checklist of sanitary workplace regulations.
  • Please don’t call law enforcement and don’t call the health department to ask them to interpret it for you. They are in charge of enforcement and can’t take thousands of calls to interpret the order for you.
  • Be prepared, because if you are a violator you can expect that a neighbor, competitor or employee will report you and you will be asked to justify your operations and ultimately be held accountable.
  • Please read the order: If you see an exemption for your business in the order as an “essential business” then you can remain open. But if you’re not on the list of exemptions or you are not part of the essential supply chain then consider yourself closed until April 6 at 11:59 pm.
  • And remember, even if you are in an “essential business” you need to follow the health and safety guidelines outlined in this order under section 18. Remember the goal of why we asking you to do this: to limit the spread of coronavirus. If can stay home please do."

The CARES Act provides significant relief to Ohio small businesses and non-profits through the expanded SBA 7(a) program.  Answers to frequently asked questions for small businesses can be found here.

Small business in need of disaster relief assistance due to the coronavirus can apply for an SBA loan here.

 

TRAVEL INFORMATION

On March 11, 2020, President Trump announced new travel restrictions for European Union countries.  He suspended travel for foreign nationals who have been in certain European countries at any point during the 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in the United States.

The impacted countries are the 26 European countries who comprise the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Travel into the country for foreign nationals who have been in China and Iran in the last 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in the U.S. is also prohibited.

These restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens, immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and generally to legal permanent residents. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS CURRENTLY IN COSTA RICA AND NICARAGUA: If you do not intend to remain there for an extended period, you should depart via commercial means now.

Costa Rica:

U.S. Embassy San Jose tweeted:

We urge all U.S. citizens who wish to depart Costa Rica to do so now.  U.S. citizens who remain in Costa Rica should be prepared to remain in Costa Rica for an indefinite period.

For full message, see cr.usembassy.gov.

Nicaragua:

U.S. Embassy Managua tweeted:

Suspension of Several Airline Services 

As of March 25, 2020, AeroMexico is the only international carrier serving Nicaragua that has not announced plans to suspend service. AeroMexico does not have direct flights to the   United States from Nicaragua, but does fly 5 times per week from Managua to Mexico City with connecting service to Miami and other U.S. cities.  There is confirmed seat availability on outbound AeroMexico flights through April 7, 2020.  

For the full message, please see ni.usembasy.gov.

As of March 12, American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their families who have been to China or Iran in the last 14 days will be routed to one of 11 airports in the country to undergo health screenings.

Those airports are:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts 
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • O’Hare International Airport, Chicago (ORD)
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW)
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)
  • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

We have been working to take inquiries regarding Americans stuck abroad. I reached out to the Deputy Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch to discuss ways of getting Ohioans and other Americans home safely.  

The first step if you have not already done so, is to immediately enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), http://step.state.gov which is the State Department’s system for registering and communicating with U.S. citizens abroad.  This is also helping the State Department quickly track and identify where all American citizens are stranded throughout the globe.  This will ensure you receive all Embassy travel updates, including any regarding return flights to the United States.

As of Friday, March 20, 2020, they have set up a task force and are asking affected Americans to register at e-mail repatriationtaskforce@groups.state.gov. You should put the country you are in in the subject line of your e-mail. You should include name, date of birth, passport number, age, gender and most importantly, your exact location and a phone number or e-mail address where you can be reached.

The State Department has stated that they are working with U.S. airlines, U.S. Department of Transportation and others to arrange for charter flights to go to where groups of Americans remain abroad to bring them home. The State Department is paying for it, but the person will be required to sign a note and repay the State Department for the trip. Those in remote areas should do their best to get to the nearest large city where most of the evacuation flights will be landing. The State Department will not retrieve individuals in remote areas. If arrangements are successfully made, this is an emergency operation to get citizens back into the U.S.

Once the returnees arrive in the U.S., they will be turned over to Health and Human Services for a medical check. They will be responsible to get themselves from where the flight lands to their home state.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

CDC COVID-19 Homepage: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

CDC Steps to Prevent Illness: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fprevention-treatment.html

U.S. State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html

Ohio Department of Health: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/Novel-Coronavirus/Resources-for-the-Public/

SBA Disaster Assistance: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance 

USDA Nutrition Programs Information:  https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19

Department of Labor FAQs: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions