COVID-19 State Updates: March 21
Everything you and your business need to know about state coronavirus response efforts for March 21, 2020.
The Ohio Department of Health reported 169 confirmed cases of coronavirus Friday in its daily update, up from 119 Thursday. Unfortunately, there was one death in Lucas County – a well-known attorney who previously served on the Lucas County Board of Elections.
New actions in response to the coronavirus announced Friday by Governor DeWine include an order for senior centers and senior adult day cares to shut down by close of business Monday, and an order by the Ohio Department of Insurance granting flexibility on health coverage, including the allowance for employers to cover employees whose hours would otherwise fall short of minimums required for coverage.
Ohio’s Lt. Governor Husted is to issue the order that will allow all employers to take care of their employees’ health insurance during the state’s shutdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Husted said the order will give employers a two-month grace period to pay insurance premiums to their insurance providers.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) issued an order directing Ohio’s electric, natural gas, water & wastewater distribution utilities to suspend any in-person meter reading activities, and any other non-essential work that would create unnecessary social contact. In its order, the Commission noted functions that are necessary to initiate new service or to ensure the continuity of service should be deemed essential and should continue during the state of emergency. Utility customers who have questions or concerns regarding their utility service are encouraged to contact the PUCO online at PUCO.ohio.gov/contact-us.
Governor DeWine also issued a warning to business ownerswho are not complying with orders to take steps to protect employees from the spread of COVID-19. Although many businesses are heeding the advice of the Ohio Department of Health, others continue to ignore directives to keep distance between employees and keep a clean environment. Governor DeWine said, “As I continue to balance my responsibility to protect the people of Ohio with our attempt to keep this economy moving, let me make it clear that I will err on the side of protecting people. The bad, reckless behavior must stop."
Video of Friday's full update from state officials can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's website.