• Advocacy Team

COVID-19 State Updates: May 22, 2020

The Ohio Department of Health reported Thursday that cases of coronavirus increased by 731 and deaths increased by 55 from Wednesday, reaching respective totals of 30,167 and 1,836.

  • Cases have resulted in 5,295 hospitalizations and 1,397 intensive care unit admissions.

  • Nursing home deaths account for at least 70 percent of the total coronavirus deaths in Ohio.

For the week ending May 16, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 46,062 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor.

  • The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last nine weeks (1,215,756) is more than the combined total of those filed during the last three years.

  • Over the last nine weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $2.8 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 619,000 claimants.

  • Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, more than 92% have been processed, with less than 8% pending.

Lt. Governor Husted announced several new sector opening dates in Ohio:

On May 26, miniature golf, batting cages, and bowling alleys may resume operations if they can meet required safety protocols.

  • On May 26, skills training for all sports, including contact sports, may resume if required safety protocols can be met. Tournaments, games, and competitions for contact sports are still prohibited.

  • On June 1, catering and banquet centers may reopen if they can meet required safety protocols. Protocols include six feet between tables, no congregating, and a crowd size of no more than 300 people.

  • Guidance for these Orders are here: baseball, golf, general non-contact sports, and skills training.

  • Full guidelines to ensure that these sectors operate in the safest manner possible are/will be available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Governor DeWine announced initial findings from his Minority Health Strike Force.

  • The Minority Health Strike Force’s preliminary report will be available soon at coronavirus.ohio.gov and final recommendations will be issued on June 11.

  • Examples of these recommendations include: establishing culturally appropriate and accessible COVID-19 exposure notification services for communities of color; expanding testing capacity and access for minorities and high-risk populations; using data to prioritize resources in the communities that have the highest need; developing and launching a statewide, culturally-sensitive outreach campaign that educates African Americans and communities of color on COVID-19, health disparities, and social determinants of health.

  • A new position will be created within the Ohio Department of Health dedicated to social determinants of health and opportunity. This person’s work will build on several existing efforts to respond to health inequity by working directly with local communities on their specific long-term health needs and Ohio’s response to COVID-19.

The Ohio Expositions Commission cancelled the 2020 Ohio State Fair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Hannah News Service, a collection of budget planning documents Governor DeWine requested from state agencies, boards and commissions as he contemplated how to handle declining state revenues are now available.

  • The details submitted by agency heads in response to DeWine’s order to identify FY20 cuts of 20 percent are not necessarily reflective of the actual course the administration took; they do show, however, where state agencies placed their priorities, information that will continue to be relevant as additional cuts loom in FY21.

  • The Governor and Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks detailed in early May their plans for $776 million in FY20 reductions.

  • OBM recently told agencies to identify 20 percent of spending in certain GRF line items for FY21 that could be placed into a holding account and would be inaccessible.

  • The department plans to release updated FY21 revenue projections in June.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture appears to have issued 195 cultivator licenses under the Ohio Hemp Program.

  • Hemp was legalized in Ohio following Governor DeWine’s signing of SB 57 last year, a bill GCP supported.

  • The first license application period ended on May 1.

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