As Greater Cleveland Partnership works with government officials to aid businesses, we are also committed to providing the best information possible about the economic impact of COVID-19.

Check back for daily updates to help you stay informed and give you access to relevant resources as this situation continues to unfold. 

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>> Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Summary 

>> As the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) and Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) work with policymakers, we want to be prepared with your feedback to ensure our advocacy efforts are aligned with our members’ needs. More information.


State and Federal COVID-19 Daily Updates:

For more State of Ohio updates visit: coronavirus.ohio.gov
For more federal updates visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus 

  • >> As of Saturday, forty states, four territories and 12 tribes issued stay at home orders.

    >> As of Sunday afternoon, 119 Ohioans have reportedly died from the coronavirus and 4,043 Ohioans have tested positive.

    >> The following documents provide new/updated guidance from the Ohio Department of Health
            Guidance on dispute resolutions for essential and non-essential businesses
            • Guidance on how to request resources through your county EMA
            • Guidance on permitted travel in Ohio


    >> Governor DeWine signed an executive order that effectively allows Ohioans to more easily access telehealth services from individual counselors, social workers, marriage, and family counselors without the requirement to have an initial in-person appointment first. 

    >> Governor DeWine encouraged Ohioans to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to allow their employees to wear masks as well. 

    >> Lt. Governor Husted announced that the State of Ohio has been working with providers to find public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access to internet from home. A list of hotspot finders and locations by provider is available at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp under the “Individuals and Families” tab.

    >> Regarding the search for more personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers, DeWine said the state is looking to buy it "wherever we can find it" even as it works to get more in-state manufacturers to make the equipment.

    >> Sunday marked the first time the Governor hadn’t given a daily coronavirus briefing since March 9.

    >> The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) released a Request for Proposals for Environmental Consultants. OHFA is seeking consultants to conduct environmental reviews for their affordable housing projects with certain state and federal funding sources, as outlined in the RFP. Interested firms may send questions to the email address stated in the RFP by Friday, April 17. Proposals are due to OHFA by Friday, May 1.

    >> Support Local Ohio is focused on getting consumers to purchase takeout from restaurants and placing online orders with local retailers.
            • The #InThisTogetherOhio influencer campaign began this past week.

    >> Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to fellow House lawmakers on Saturday that she wants to bring a second CARES stimulus package to the floor by the end of this month.

    >> Federal lawmakers are out of town until at least April 20.

    >> According to the administration, more than 17,500 loans valued at over $5.4 billion were approved on the first day of the U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program.

    >> Additional Federal Guidance (As of April 5, 2020 at 5:30pm):
            • CDC - Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers
            • CDC - Information for Healthcare Professionals: COVID-19 and Underlying Conditions
            • SBA - SBA Clarifies Eligibility of Faith-Based Organizations to Participate in Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs
            • DOL - U.S. Department Of Labor Issues Guidance for Respirators Certified under Other Countries’ Standards During COVID-19 Pandemic
            • DOL - U.S. Department Of Labor Publishes Guidance on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation 

  • >> On Friday, the Ohio Department of Health reported 410 more confirmed cases of coronavirus and 10 more deaths Friday.

    >> Gov. Mike DeWine announced that his administration is asking local judges to consider the early release of 38 non-violent prisoners due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    >> Lt. Governor Husted announced Battelle and JobsOhio have partnered to provide free N95 mask sanitizing for hospitals for the next two weeks. Ohio still faces a critical shortage of PPE. Those with items to donate can email together@governor.ohio.gov. Manufacturers that may be able to temporarily repurpose to create PPE are asked to visit repurposingproject.com.

    >> JobsOhio’s most recent Economic Impact Report is available

    >> The Ohio Department of Education released a guide to help schools, educators, students, parents, and caregivers as they navigate remote learning.

    >> Governor DeWine announced last week that Ohio’s Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 PM on May 1, 2020. Updates included in the new order can be found in the amended order or on coronavirus.ohio.gov. It is GCP’s recommendation that you review the new order. Some of the highlights of the new order include:o The creation of a dispute resolution process that is effective on Monday (see below for more, developing, information) for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business. 

    o The requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time. These businesses must ensure that people waiting to enter the stores maintain safe social distancing.
    o Direction that travelers arriving to Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions include persons who live and work in trans-border areas, heath care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms, excepting in certain circumstances for medical care.
    o The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
    o A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen's permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
    o The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This does not apply to private residential pools.
    o The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
    o The closure of day camps for children.
    o The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports.
    o The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.

    >> The new Ohio dispute resolution panel will consist of Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield, Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo, for cases when “very similar” businesses are treated differently regarding essential status in separate health department jurisdictions; more information will be forthcoming on the dispute resolution board.

    o The Governor said the panel’s decisions will carry the force of law and will not be subject to appeal, as they must resolve matters quickly.
    o Deliberations will be accessible to the public and the underlying rationale for decisions will be given, though hearings will not be held in person.
    o Lt. Governor Husted said the new order contained revised federal guidance on what is an essential business in the e-commerce industry.

    >> Governor DeWine announced the creation of his Economic Advisory Board that will help the administration work through economic issues facing Ohio. Several GCP members are on the Board, and the group will be led by Frank Sullivan, Chairman and CEO of RPM International.

    >> WOSU: Federal Judge Refuses To Halt Ohio's Extended Primary Election

    >> On April 3, the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program launched, offering nearly $350 billion in loans to small businesses.

    >> Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which went into effect April 1, 2020.

    >> Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer said Friday that Congress "probably will" need to appropriate even more money for jobless claims after a record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.

    >> Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that there will be a fourth coronavirus bill and that health care should be a top priority as lawmakers draft the legislation, softening his initial resistance to further spending.

    >> McConnell's movement toward a fourth bill comes as Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to scale back her ambitions for the next package, saying that things like improvements to drinking water systems and expanded access to broadband may have to wait.

    >> The IRS has established a special section on IRS.gov focused on steps to help businesses and other taxpayers affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available. The Department of Treasury also has a resource page at Coronavirus: Resources, Updates, and What You Should Know.

    >> Mayors and Governors looking to get assessments of certain sites that have the potential to temporarily act as medical facilities can look to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for help.

    >> The President announced Friday that he has selected a member of the White House Counsel's office to serve as the inspector general overseeing the disbursement of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds as part of the coronavirus relief package.

    >> The Trump administration announced Friday that the federal government will reimburse hospitals treating uninsured patients for the novel coronavirus using funds allocated in the recent relief package passed by Congress.

    >> The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that people wear masks or face coverings in public. President Trump stressed that it would be "voluntary." The new recommendation, issued by the CDC, is a reversal for the agency.

    >> Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Loretta Mester said U.S. unemployment could rise as high as 15%.
  • >> There are 2,902 confirmed cases, 260 ICU admissions, 802 hospitalizations, and 81 deaths in Ohio as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. More data

    >> Governor DeWine announced Ohio’s Stay at Home order has been extended until 11:59 PM on May 1, 2020. Updates included in the new order can be found here or on coronavirus.ohio.gov. It is GCP’s recommendation that you review the new order. Some of the highlights of the new order include:

    o The creation of a dispute resolution process that is effective on Monday (see below for more, developing, information) for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business.
    o The requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time. These businesses must ensure that people waiting to enter the stores maintain safe social distancing.
    o Direction that travelers arriving to Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions include persons who live and work in trans-border areas, heath care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms, excepting in certain circumstances for medical care.
    o The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
    o A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen's permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
    o The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This does not apply to private residential pools.
    o The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
    o The closure of day camps for children.
    o The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports.
    o The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.


    >> The new Ohio dispute resolution panel will consist of Ohio Department of Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield, Ohio Development Services Agency Director Lydia Mihalik and Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chairman Sam Randazzo, for cases when “very similar” businesses are treated differently regarding essential status in separate health department jurisdictions; more information will be forthcoming on the dispute resolution board.

    o The Governor said the panel’s decisions will carry the force of law and will not be subject to appeal, as they must resolve matters quickly.
    o Deliberations will be accessible to the public and the underlying rationale for decisions will be given, though hearings will not be held in person.
    o Lt. Governor Husted said the new order contained revised federal guidance on what is an essential business in the e-commerce industry.

    >> Governor DeWine announced the creation of his Economic Advisory Board that will help the administration work through economic issues facing Ohio. Several GCP members are on the Board, and the group will be led by Frank Sullivan, Chairman and CEO of RPM International.

    >> Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has developed a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID-19 crisis. Both essential businesses and current job seekers can visit Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch to post and search.

    >> New guidance and updates were issued by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Higher Education to previously existing statutes and rules for the College Credit Plus (CCP) program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    >> The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, ending more than a decade of uninterrupted employment growth, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department.

    >> The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.

    >> The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for a surge of calls and email phishing attempts about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft.

    >> This fact sheet provides guidance for determining the eligibility of private non-profit applicants that may be eligible to apply for funding through FEMA’s Public Assistance program.

    >> The United States Patent & Trademark Office announced extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees.
  • >> In Ohio there are 2,547 confirmed cases, 222 ICU admissions, 679 hospitalizations, and 65 deaths as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    >> The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Thursday that initial unemployment claims for the week ending Saturday, March 28 reached 272,117, the second weekly record in a row. Claims for the past two weeks totaling more than 468,000 compare to 364,000 filed in all of 2019.

    >> Governor DeWine signed an order to provide small businesses relief from commercial evictions and foreclosures. The order requests landlords suspend rent payments for small businesses and implement a moratorium of evictions for no less than 90 days.  Lenders to commercial real estate borrowers with a commercial mortgage loan are asked to provide an opportunity for forbearance for at least 90 days.It is GCP’s recommendation that landlords review the order with their legal counsel.

    >> Governor DeWine is asking manufacturers to increase Ohio’s supply of medical gear – gloves, masks, goggles and surgical gowns.He also announced the establishment of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance, a public-private partnership tasked with coordinating efforts to provide health care workers and first responders the personal protective equipment (PPE).If manufacturers have the capability to produce any of the in-demand PPE supplies, the state encourages them to visit RepurposingProject.com.

    >
    > The Ohio Department of Health ordered coronavirus tests must be sent to major health care systems, including the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, and University Hospitals in northeast Ohio. 

    >> The Governor outlined a new program designed to allow people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase food while limiting potential exposure to the coronavirus through a new state “click and connect” program; the state is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and grocery stores to make it available. Individuals may qualify for SNAP if their household’s gross monthly income is at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. To apply, visit benefits.ohio.gov. Benefits can be used to buy most food products, including prepared food from grocery stores and restaurants.

    >> The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) said in a news release that the agency has received approval to extend by six months the recertification eligibility periods for March, April and May. ODJFS said it also received federal approval for all SNAP recipients to receive the maximum benefit possible for their families in March and April.

    >> In response to the coronavirus pandemic state emergency legislation has enabled the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) to offer relief for individuals and business entities whose licenses expire during the state of emergency. An ODI release said provisions cover licenses for major lines agents, limited line agents, title agents, title insurance marketing representatives, managing general agents, public insurance adjusters and agents, reinsurance intermediary brokers and managers, surety bail bond agents, surplus lines brokers, third party administrators and viatical settlement brokers.

    >> On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health issued an order to track where ventilators are and how many are in Ohio.Inventory is to be reported online at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/VentInventory no later than 5 p.m. each Wednesday beginning April 1, 2020 until further notice.The order impacts manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, transporters, distributors, retailers, physicians, clinics, hospitals, medical facilities, and any other entity in the supply chain.

    >> 
    The Ohio Secretary of State’s office is sending postcards to registered voters, outlining the rules for Ohio’s primary election.

    >> Ohioans ought to be receiving a notice in the mail from the United States Census Bureau with a code. You can respond online at
    2020Census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020.

    >> In the U.S., a record number of 6,648,000 people filed initial unemployment claims in the last week of March, shattering the record number for the second week in a row.

    >> President Trump said he is considering using federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid to cover the rising ranks of the uninsured after his administration decided it would not reopen the Affordable Care Act insurance markets to address the coronaivrus crisis.The President and Vice President Pence did not offer details, but did indicate they were looking at some version of Medicaid and Medicare to fill in some of the cost gaps.

    >> On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020.

        o FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. WHD administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.    

       o WHD will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA. 

        o View the webinar www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic


    >> On March 31, the president extended the nation’s “Slow the Spread” campaign until April 30.

        o The American people play a key role in the campaign to help slow the virus’ spread and keep our most high-risk populations safe.

        o The initiative presents the entire country with an opportunity to implement actions designed to slow and limit the spread of COVID-19, like staying home as much as much as possible, canceling or postponing gatherings of more than 10 people, and taking additional steps to distance yourself from other people.

        o For the latest updates and information on how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick is available at www.coronavirus.gov.
  • >> On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health reported fifty-five deaths from COVID-19 and 2,199 people were confirmed to have the virus in Ohio.

    >> The Ohio Department of Health issued an order to track where ventilators are and how many are in Ohio. Inventory is to be reported online at Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/VentInventory no later than 5 p.m. each Wednesday beginning April 1, 2020 until further notice. The order impacts manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, transporters, distributors, retailers, physicians, clinics, hospitals, medical facilities, and any other entity in the supply chain.

    >> Ohio recently received a shipment of personal protective equipment from the federal Strategic National Stockpile, but state Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said it’s not nearly enough.

    >> Lt. Governor Jon Husted reported Ohio’s unemployment compensation call center will have increased capacity. He also reiterated that unemployment benefits will be back dated to the date a person is eligible. The Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services (ODJFS) is saying it has paid more than 95,000 claimants a total of nearly $40 million thus far.

    >> On Tuesday, Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services (ODJFS) spokesperson Bret Crow relayed the following on the $2 trillion stimulus bill that passed Congress and was signed by the President on March 27, saying it creates the following three federal programs for Americans who lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19:

        o The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program will provide up to 39 weeks of benefits to self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers and some other individuals previously ineligible for unemployment compensation. The benefit amount will be like traditional unemployment benefits, plus an additional $600 per week. The program’s effective date is Jan. 27 through Dec. 31.

        o The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program will provide an additional $600 per week to existing benefit amounts for those in both the “regular” unemployment program and the PUA program. The average unemployment benefit in Ohio is currently about $380 a week. The FPUC program began on March 29, and benefits will be retroactive to that date.

        o The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will provide up to 13 weeks of additional benefits for Ohioans who exhaust their maximum 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. This program also began on March 29.


    The programs above are new. ODJFS is waiting for further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. Retroactive benefits will be provided.

    >> Husted also took an opportunity yesterday to highlight two orders related to insurance issued March 20. The first addressed a grace period for employers who cannot pay their premium; and, health insurers have been ordered to provide flexibility to maintain eligibility for health insurance. The second order he mentioned requires insurers to cover hospital bills from out-of-network providers as they would in-network care and to pay for COVID-19 testing.
    More information


    >> Governor DeWine signaled the possible release of some correctional facility prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes, those that are at the end of their sentences or who may have a medical condition that puts them at higher risk of dying from COVID-19.

    >> The Governor is extending the work from home policy for state employees through at least May 1. About 18,000 state employees are teleworking currently.

    >> JobsOhio announced it has provided a $2 million growth fund loan to Appalachian Growth Capital (AGC), which provides small business financing in the 32-Appalachian Counties of eastern and southern Ohio.

    >> Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announced that unpaid insurance premium installment amounts due for March, April, and May for the current policy year can be deferred until June 1, 2020. Learn more. 

    >> An updated K-12 school closure order is now effective through May 1, 2020. 

    >> Citing the coronavirus pandemic, the campaign backing a ballot issue to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $13 has sued, asking a Franklin County Common Pleas Judge to relax the state’s rules for qualifying for the ballot. “Raise the Wage Ohio” has been collecting signatures for a proposed amendment to raise Ohio's minimum wage, currently $8.70 an hour, in increments until it reaches $13 an hour in 2025. To make the November ballot, the group will need to collect 442,958 valid signatures by Wednesday, July 1.

    >> The United States this morning reported at least 189,633 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 911 additional deaths in the last 24 hours.

    >> The President approved Ohio’s request for a disaster designation, allowing Ohio to take advantage of emergency federal money.

    >> The President called for $2 trillion in new public works programs, appearing to back an idea promoted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Federal policymakers in both parties also framed infrastructure as a strategy for creating jobs amid mass layoffs. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is skeptical of the House Democratic plan.

    >> In a letter to the President, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is suggesting extra money for workers at a variety of other “essential businesses,” to compensate them for their dedication. He also said it should be “retroactive from the beginning of the public health emergency and last for its duration” and be made available to part-time workers and independent contractors, for hours worked and provided in their regular paychecks. The Senator is urging these provisions, what he’s calling “Pandemic Premium Pay," to be included in the next coronavirus emergency stimulus and offer time and a half wages to doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, building cleaners, letter carriers, and transit workers. 

    >> Ohio Senator Rob Portman is working to lift tariffs implemented by the administration on several Chinese-made packaging parts that Akron-based Gojo Industries uses in the pumps that dispense its Purell brand hand sanitizer – an item that is in heavy demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    >> The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation on Tuesday announced they’ll lower fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles set during the Obama administration.

    >> Last week, the third coronavirus-related package was approved by Congress and the President signed the legislation. GCP crafted a short two-page summary of the legislation. 

    >> USA.gov is cataloging all U.S. government activities related to coronavirus. From actions on health and safety to travel, immigration, and transportation to education, find pertinent actions here.

    Each Federal Agency has also established a dedicated coronavirus website, where you can find important information and guidance.

    They include: Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Education (DoED), Department of Agriculture (USDA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of State (DOS), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Commerce (DOC), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of the Treasury (USDT), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

  • >> The Ohio Department of Health reported 1,933 confirmed coronavirus cases and 39 deaths, with cases resulting in 475 hospitalizations and 163 intensive care unit admissions.

    >> As of March 30, at least 29 states are under strict stay-at-home orders; DeWine has been in contact with Governors from the bordering states on how to best prevent cross-border spread.

    >> Governor Mike DeWine Monday announced the Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton will sign an order extending school closings through Friday, May 1. They will reevaluate as that new deadline approaches.

    >> Governor DeWine will develop a business advisory group to convene by phone to:
        1. Ensure businesses are doing everything they can to keep their employees safe;
        2. Provide recommendations (to the greatest extent possible) to mitigate the negative impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on our economy in Ohio;
        3. Provide recommendations on building a platform for economic recovery.
        More details on this group will be released.

    >> Governor DeWine announced today he has formed a "Homelessness Team" to help people who may rely on homeless shelters, domestic shelters, group homes, and recovery housing - all of which pose challenges for social distancing.

    >> Cleveland.com, among others, is reporting the Governor and Ohio's congressional delegation asked the President to declare Ohio a "major disaster" area because of the coronavirus; the designation would open up emergency federal funding to the state. Trump has signed off on disaster declarations for more than 20 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the District of Columbia in recent days.

    >> The Ohio General Assembly is extending their work from home policy until May 4 based on distancing guidelines.

    >> The Ohio Supreme Court issued an order which aligns time requirements as established by all Supreme Court-promulgated rules. See FAQs on the order.

    >> Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announced unpaid insurance premium installment amounts due for March, April, and May for the current policy year can be deferred until June 1, 2020. Learn more. 

    >> Last week, the Ohio 2020 Primary Election was extended to April 28, 2020. Request an absentee ballot to vote by mail. 

    >> A coalition of voting groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday evening challenging provisions that extend absentee voting until April 28; the groups believe the changes create a cumbersome vote-by-mail process and will harm minority voters.

    >> The Ohio Lottery Commission reported that during the final two weeks of March, the Ohio Lottery will bring in about $30 million less than it did during the same time period last year.

    >> Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Democrats' fourth phase of coronavirus stimulus would be focused on helping the front-line medical workers, homebound parents and patients afflicted by the deadly virus. Democrats are also eyeing new funding for water, broadband, schools and other infrastructure systems that have proven insufficient, they said, in the face of the current coronavirus crisis.

    >> The President extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April. The guidelines were set to expire Tuesday and urge individuals to cancel nonessential travel and limit in-person gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

    >> Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) resigned from Congress Monday evening ahead of starting at the White House as President Trump's next chief of staff.

    >> House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) said Monday that she has been diagnosed with a "presumed" case of the coronavirus, although she has not been officially tested.

    >> Last week, the third coronavirus-related package was approved by Congress and the President signed the legislation. GCP crafted a short two-page summary of the legislation. 

  • >> As of Sunday, 1,653 people had tested positive and 29 Ohioans had died from COVID-19.

    >> The Governor wants completed plans, that may evolve, by noon Monday to increase Ohio’s hospital capacity in preparation for a peak in coronavirus by mid-April. The Ohio National Guard will oversee the program.

    >> On Saturday, Governor DeWine made a plea to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue an emergency waiver for the use of new technology that could sterilize up to 160,000 used personal protective face masks per day in Ohio. On Sunday, the FDA rewrote rules to allow full application of potentially game-changing Battelle technology to sterilize protective masks worn by those treating coronavirus victims.

    >> Governor DeWine has requested anyone who has unneeded personal protective equipment (PPE) or can manufacture new PPE to email the state at together@governor.ohio.gov. State staff will receive these emails and coordinate how resources can be used to benefit Ohioans.

    >> PPE items of critical need, include, but are not limited to:
        o Surgical gowns (S, M, L, XL, XXL)
        o Face/surgical masks (adult, pediatric)
        o Gloves (nitrile, vinyl, or butyl)
        o N-95 particulate respirators
        o Isolation gowns
        o Face shields
        o Tyvek coveralls
        o Thermometers
        o Foot coverings
        o Ventilator tubing
        Note: The above items are not intended to be in order of importance.

    >> Following unanimous votes in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 197 into law on Friday. Read a summary of the emergency legislation. GCP is appreciative of Governor DeWine’s hard work, and the work of Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, Senate President Larry Obhof, Speaker of the House Larry Householder, Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, and House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes. 

    >> Last week, the Ohio 2020 Primary Election was extended to April 28, 2020. Request an absentee ballot to vote by mail.

    >> UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested positive for COVID-19. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went into self-quarantine this week after one of her doctors contracted coronavirus. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) became the first senator to test positive for the coronavirus, causing several senators to self-quarantine. He becomes the third member of Congress to be diagnosed, joining Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Ben McAdams (D-UT).

    >> The President extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April. The guidelines were set to expire Tuesday and urge individuals to cancel nonessential travel and limit in-person gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

    >> Members of Congress mostly plan to be in their home states and districts this week. Federal policymakers are discussing the potential for a fourth coronavirus-related package.

    >> On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – released updated guidance on the essential critical infrastructure workforce (see Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response). The guidance and accompanying list are intended to support State, Local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

    >> Last Friday, the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was approved. This is the third coronavirus-related package Congress has passed. President Trump signed the legislation late Friday afternoon.
         o The $2.2 trillion, 800-page stimulus package will provide additional support to businesses of all sizes, provide direct payments to individual taxpayers, enhance benefits to individuals out of work, add financial resources to state and local governments, and assist hospitals with funding. Read GCP's short summary of the legislation. 
         o The U.S. Senate Small Business Committee also released a guide to the CARES Act. 
         o GCP appreciates the efforts of the entire Ohio Congressional delegation in passing the CARES Act. Particular thanks go to Senators Portman and Brown and Representatives Kaptur, Joyce, Fudge, and Gonzalez for acting swiftly to support the Northeast Ohio community.

  • >> The latest update on coronavirus from the Ohio Department of Health shows 1,137 confirmed cases and 19 deaths, with 276 hospitalizations and 107 intensive care unit admissions. The number of cases in Cuyahoga County rose to 330 as of Friday, however these numbers may be impacted by residents from outside Cuyahoga County that are tested at locations inside the county.

    >> The Ohio Department of Health has made substantial improvements to the state website coronavirus.ohio.gov in recent days.They continue to build out and share resources through this platform, including a new dashboard showcasing some of the key statistics.

    >> Following unanimous votes in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate earlier in the week, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 197 into law on Friday afternoon. Read a summary of the emergency legislation. 

    >> The aforementioned law also modified the statutes surrounding the Ohio primary originally planned for March 17. The provision extends absentee voting by mail until April 28An absentee ballot can be requested here. As a result of the passage of the law, the Ohio Democratic Party dropped its lawsuit against Secretary of State Frank LaRose challenging the authority to cancel in-person voting on the original date.

    >> On Thursday, Speaker Larry Householder announced the creation of a bipartisan task force to prepare the state for economic recovery following the coronavirus challenges.In a prepared statement Speaker Householder said, “we don’t know yet when the COVID-19 situation will improve to the point that Ohio businesses can reopen and people can get back to work, but we need to prepare now for the future.” The Speaker also encouraged the Governor to form a task force of employers.

    >> Lt. Governor Husted announced a new “Ohio. Find It Here.” campaign to support businesses in the state challenged with the coronavirus. Among other highlights, the site features Ohio restaurants offering carryout, retailers, and virtual activities.  

    >> 
    The Administration is asking residents and businesses who can donate personal protective equipment to reach out. Additional details here.

    >> Governor DeWine, Speaker Householder and Senate President Obhof announced the “State of the State” address planned for next week (March 31) would be postponed.

    >> At the Friday daily coronavirus press conference, Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton spoke at length about the anticipated pace of the spread of the disease. They spoke of recent conversations with Cleveland Clinic and Ohio State University who are modeling scenarios for the spread of the disease. The Administration is anticipating the disease will peak in mid-May. At the time, we should expect to see roughly 6,000 to 10,000 confirmed cases daily. The Administration is working closely with the hospital and health care community to drastically expand capacity across the state. There is a sense that 2 to 3 times our existing healthcare capacity will be needed when the disease peaks in Ohio. The state has been divided into six regions and regional plans are being prepared and finalized to address this drastic increased need in capacity. Draft plans were due to the Administration today and a final plan is expected by Monday.

    >> On Friday morning, the U.S. House approved the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This measure had been passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate the prior dayPresident Trump signed the legislation late Friday afternoon. The $2.2 trillion, 800-page stimulus package will provide additional support to businesses of all size, provide direct payments to individual taxpayers, enhance benefits to individuals out of work, add financial resources to state and local governments, and assist hospitals with funding. READ GCP's two-page summary of the extensive legislation.

    >> GCP appreciates the efforts of the entire Ohio Congressional delegation in passing the CARES Act.Particular thanks go to Senators Portman and Brown and Representatives Kaptur, Joyce, Fudge, and Gonzalez for acting swiftly to support the Northeast Ohio community.

    >> The President announced that Peter Navarro, Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, will serve as the Administration’s policy coordinator for the Defense Production Act.GCP has already been in touch with Mr. Navarro’s office on issues impacting Northeast Ohio.

  • >> Earlier today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed House Bill 197, a sweeping coronavirus relief bill. The legislation includes many important measures that will help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. GCP was strongly supportive of several key measures in the bill and thanked Governor DeWine, Lt. Gov. Husted, Senate President Obhof, Speaker of the House Householder, Senator Minority Leader Yuko, House Minority Leader Sykes and other state elected leaders who were crucial to its passage. Read the full letter that GCP sent to Governor DeWine upon passage of House Bill 197.

  • >> Ohio’s “stay-at-home” order is in effect. It is GCP’s recommendation that you review the recent ODH order and FAQs with your legal counsel and/or go to coronavirus.ohio.gov for additional information.

     

    >> The latest update on coronavirus from the Ohio Department of Health shows 704 confirmed cases and 10 deaths, with 182 hospitalizations and 75 intensive care unit admissions.

     

    >> According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), the state reported more than 187,000 claims for unemployment compensation in the week ended Saturday, March 21, compared to just more than 7,000 the week earlier. For comparison, ODJFS notes that weekly total exceeds many of the highest monthly totals of the early 1980s recession.

     

    >> The Ohio House and Ohio Senate both cancelled sessions on the calendar for Thursday, March 26 after passing emergency legislation yesterday to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Read a summary of the state legislation.

     

    >> Lt. Gov. Husted has recommended businesses create their own documentation with rationale for staying open and what measures they are taking to implement safe workplace practices and social distancing protocols. It is GCP’s recommendation that you review the recent ODH order and FAQs with your legal counsel and/or go to coronavirus.ohio.gov for additional information.

     

    >> The Ohio Treasurer unveiled a program to help hospitals save, gain liquidity during COVID-19.

    >> According to the Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Ohio hotels are preparing to serve as emergency shelters if needed during the COVID-19 crisis.

    >> The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a roughly $2.2 trillion, 880-page stimulus package to send direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals as well as money to states and businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation is the third federal stimulus response to COVID-19. The U.S. House of Representatives is set to meet and pass it at 9 a.m. Friday.


    >> In other federal news, the U.S. Department of Transportation has reportedly made modifications related to obtaining or renewing commercial driver licenses (CDLs) and other licenses that are vital to the efficient movement of essential goods across the state and country, while ensuring that safety standards are still being followed. See the waiver.

  • >> The entire shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) Ohio received from the Strategic National Stockpile has been distributed to counties based on the prioritization of need.

     

    >> GCP is represented on what the state is calling the “COVID-19 Economic Strike Force” group.These leaders are geared towards providing policy solutions during the crisis around regulatory reform, tax reform, and direct financial assistance.

     

    >> Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Tuesday that businesses should interpret the state’s order closing nonessential businesses themselves instead of overloading law enforcement and local health departments asking for guidance.Businesses should have a justification ready if they intend to stay open, Husted said. Husted did instruct employees who might see violations to report them to either local law enforcement or the health department. More on Cleveland.com


    >> Governor DeWine may tap the state’s rainy-day fund to fill in budget shortages.The Columbus Dispatch reported that forty-six percent of the general revenue fund is covered by sales taxes and 39% by income taxes. “With businesses such as dine-in restaurants closed and workers laid off, collections of both taxes are dwindling,” says the report.

     

    >> The state legislature will meet today “to pass a number of coronavirus-related items.The Senate is slated to meet in the morning with the House to meet at 3 p.m.The Senate and House are believed to have similar priority lists. Here is a full list of items that may be found in the House Omnibus.


    >> State Senator Matt Huffman introduced legislation to extend absent voting by mail for the March 17, 2020, primary election to April 28, 2020.

     

    >> Statewide banks and credit unions are offering loan payment deferrals, fee waivers or refunds, and extending credit lines to both businesses and individuals. Many financial institutions are also suspending foreclosures where possible. If individuals need help, they should reach out to their local banker for assistance. Read a joint statement from the Ohio Credit Union League and the Ohio Bankers League.


    >> The U.S. Treasury Dept., IRS, and the U.S. Department of Labor announced in a news release that soon small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

     

    >> The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an opportunity to offer their perspective as the Department develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). DOL needs your input by March 29, 2020. Those interested can participate online ffcra.ideascale.com from March 23 through March 29, 2020 or can join a Twitter chat hosted by @ePolicyWorks on March 25, 2020 at 2 p.m. using the hashtag #EPWChat. Learn more.

     

    >> The President and U.S. Senate reached an agreement early Wednesday on a roughly $2 trillion stimulus measure to send direct payments and jobless benefits to individuals as well as money to states and businesses devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation, which is expected to be enacted within days, is the biggest fiscal stimulus package in modern American history. The indication is that the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to approve the measure by unanimous consent following a U.S. Senate vote.Bill language is expected to be circulated soon.

     

    >> GCP, and our partners, have been advocating for the relief package to include – among other priorities – support for Section 501(c)(6) organizations such as trade, professional and membership associations.

     

    >> The Department of Health and Human Services announced it would provide $100 million to 1,381 community health centers to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The money comes from a supplemental funding measure, the first congressional response to the pandemic.

     

    >> The Trump administration is advising those leaving New York to self-quarantine for 14 days to avoid potentially spreading the coronavirus.

     

    >> The Vice President relayed that the federal government was providing guidelines to states and was encouraged by the actions of Governors around the country but have not considered a national lockdown or "stay at home" order. That would be left up to the states.

     

    >> Additional White House / COVID-19 Updates:

  • >> State officials announced three deaths on Monday related to the coronavirus, bringing the total to six in Ohio at that point in time.

     

    >> The Governor has directed members of his cabinet to look to cut their budgets by up to 20 percent.

     

    >> Speaker of the House Larry Householder announced that the Ohio House will be in session on March 25 and 26. The Senate announced that its March 25 session will begin at 10 a.m. Both chambers may suspend rules to forgo the committee process in order to act in a timely fashion on emergency legislation.

     

    >> It’s thought state legislators will put all coronavirus-related issues into a single omnibus bill, rather than having lawmakers stay at the Statehouse to vote on separate bills. For any state bill to take effect immediately, it must include an “emergency clause,” which requires two-thirds support in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. This means a level of support from House Democrats will be necessary to pass legislation.

    >> Groups are pushing for an earlier Ohio primary date than June 2, due to local tax issues and school levies. The Secretary of State of Ohio believes holding the election before June 2 is “logistically impossible.” 

    >> Despite federal lawmakers’ claims that nonprofits will be eligible for relief under the to-be-passed relief package, language was changed in the last few days which would limit stimulus funds to only non-profits that are organized as a 501(c)3, which most associations are not. 
    GCP, and our partners at the National Small Business Association, urge you to act now

    >> Senate Democrats on Monday voted against a relief bill for a second day after more than three days of negotiations. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer’s office and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said negotiators were “very close” to an accord.

    >> In the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled a plan in excess of $2.5 trillion. 
    Read a summary of the House proposal.

  • >> It has been reported that the state received 139,468 unemployment applications from Sunday through Thursday last week; this is an increase over the 4,815 received over the same five-day period the previous week.

    >> The Governor announced that Department of Health Director Amy Acton M.D., MPH signed a "stay at home" order until April 6. The stay at home directive allows for some exceptions such as leaving home for essential activities, for health and safety, for needed supplies, for outdoor activity, certain types of essential work, and to care for others. The order lists essential businesses that will remain open during this time that will be subject to social distancing directives. 
    The order, enforced by the local health departments and local law enforcement, goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. ET on March 23.

    >>
    The Governor also announced a day-care order that will last through April 30. Day-care centers around the state will operate under temporary pandemic child-care licenses starting March 26. The order limits rooms to six children at a time, requires rigorous cleaning of shared spaces, and limits parent interaction at drop-off and pickup.

    >>
    Ohio’s senior centers will be indefinitely closed after the end of business on Monday.

    >> 
    As a reminder, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is able to get businesses access to up to $2 million in low-interest federal loans to help them stay afloat during the crisis.

    >> 
    The Lt. Governor also made available resources to help employees who may wish to use this time to obtain online job training in order to qualify them for a different position once work can resume.

    >> 
    Voters can learn more about what’s being done to safely bring Ohio’s primary election to a conclusion at VoteOhio.gov/CoronaFacts

    >> 
    The Ohio Senate has notified its members to be on notice for a possible voting session today at the call of the chair, with three hours' advance notice. As of March 23, the Ohio House has scheduled session for Tuesday, March 24 at 1 p.m. They also have session scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 25 and 1 p.m. on March 26.

    >> 
    The Federal Reserve announced its plans to purchase an unlimited amount of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. The Fed also plans to open three new facilities to purchase corporate and municipal debt.

    >> Also from The Hill, 
    the next federal stimulus package is still being worked on. Democrats have pushed back on aspects of the nearly $2 trillion package, including provisions that could allow companies to lay off workers.

    >> 
    During Sunday’s press briefing with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, President Trump provided several updates on the federal government’s response to COVID-19.

  • >> Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is delaying premium installment payments due for March, April and May until June 1, 2020. As the June 1st date gets closer, this issue may be reconsidered. Additionally, BWC will not cancel coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid because of COVID-19. More information.

    >> The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will issue waivers for haulers carrying heavy or oversized loads of essential goods. 
    Information available at ODOT's website.

    >> Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton gave increasingly strong direction that Ohioans stay home whenever possible. They used images and explanation from this New York Times 
    article to support their points. Governor DeWine said, “What we do now will ultimately determine how many Ohioans will die.”

    >> Video from Saturday’s full update from state officials can be viewed on the 
    Ohio Channel’s website.

    >>States across the country have issued orders to shut down major aspects of business and society to combat the spread of the virus. Illinois was the latest example with the 
    order issued this past Friday. Other examples include PennsylvaniaNew York and California.

    >>The President indicated work on the phase 3 stimulus package was bipartisan and positive and would continue over the weekend. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that a tentative stimulus package in response to the coronavirus outbreak will include two weeks of loans to small businesses and an average payment of $3,000 to a family of four. 

    >> The President discussed the previously announced travel rules with U.S., Mexico, and Canada to restrict non-essential travel across borders.

    >> President Trump spoke with small business representatives on Friday – an opportunity that was afforded to several GCP small business leaders – and assured them that the Administration is going to utilize the full extent of its authority to help small business with the economic impact of COVID-19.

    >> The President announced he was working with FDA to speed up approval of medical supplies manufactured by companies under the Defense Production Act invoked this week. FDA is reportedly "moving mountains" to approve anti-viral drugs that are proving safe in clinical trials to treat COVID-19.