Coronavirus Update: Bill Becomes Law, Public Health Inspections & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
As President Donald Trump signs into law a historic coronavirus economic relief stimulus package, today, Friday, March 27, Governor Mike DeWine has signed into law additional relief for Ohioans.
Governor DeWine signed Ohio House Bill 197, which was originally passed by the Ohio House of Representatives back in October 2019 “to make technical and corrective changes to the laws governing taxation.” The latest iteration of the bill suspends daycare staff-to-child ratio requirements, makes it so that students participating in EdChoice cannot be found ineligible for renewal, requires a public water system to restore service disconnected because of nonpayment and waive fees for connection or reconnection.
The bill also allows the Director of Job and Family Services to waive unemployment work search requirements and other requirements during the emergency.
Find the full, legislative text here.
Order Inspections in Columbus
Columbus Public Health has announced it is stepping up inspections on businesses to make sure they are in compliance with the Ohio Department of Health’s order for social distancing and hygienic precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Teams sent out by CPH will visit businesses to determine the number of people working, their ability to have adequate physical distance from one another and if soap, water or hand sanitizer are readily available to them. Those not in compliance will receive a warning, and a second violation will result in citations and could lead to criminal charges.
“We are at a critical moment in slowing the spread of this highly infectious disease in our community,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “We have received hundreds of complaints that some businesses are not complying with the Ohio Department of Health’s orders, and we must assure that employees and residents are safe.”
“We are pleased that most people and businesses are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following the Ohio Department of Health’s orders,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Health Commissioner for Columbus Public Health. “However, we continue to receive complaints from residents that some businesses are not following these orders. We will be sending our teams out to investigate these complaints in order to protect the health and safety of our community.”
Columbus Public Health should only be contacted about compliance with the Ohio Department of Health’s order requiring social distancing and sanitary precautions, not to weigh in on if a business is essential or not, as determined by the order.
Wexner Center for the Arts has extended its closure through April 30.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.