Coronavirus Update: Confirmed Cases Jump, Primary Concerns, Assistance & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
On Tuesday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton announced the latest numbers for COVID-19 cases across Ohio — including for Franklin County, which reports the second-most cases in the state behind Cuyahoga County.
Franklin County now has 75 reported cases, up from 44 on Monday. The county still has just two reported deaths, including one resident of Columbus who became ill and died out-of-state.
Other updates include the Ohio Democratic Party’s voicing of concerns over the state’s primary election, the announcement of more funds and donations in support of those financially affected by the pandemic and more.
The Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association has issued a letter and statement to members of the Ohio Legislature outlining concerns in response to the case filed by the Ohio Democratic Party on the postponement of Ohio’s 2020 primary election, originally slated for March 17.
The letter outlines concerns about the financial impacts to County Boards of Elections throughout Ohio, ballot access to Ohioans, and advocacy for an all-mail model in order to expedite the results and certification of the 2020 primary election.
“There are lasting effects of the decisions that were made that day that have to be considered,” said Janet Carson, president of the Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association. “Throughout this process, the stance of the Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association will be to advocate for as much access to the ballots as possible, providing support to County Boards of Elections that must facilitate some form of a new election and to provide candidates and issues the closure needed to move our Democratic Election process forward.”
Funds and Donations
The Create Columbus Commission has launched a $5,000 young professionals fundraising match challenge to award support to organizations impacted by COVID-19. The group will also refocus its grant dollars to support programs and initiatives directly related to COVID-19 responses impacting young professionals.
The Greater Columbus Arts Council also has an emergency relief program, offering grants of up to $1,000 to recoup financial loss due to gig cancellations. Visit www.gcac.org/COVID-19 for more information.
Battelle is donating $250,000 to food banks in several communities nationwide, including a $50,000 donation to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank. Battelle’s headquarters and two Battelle research facilities are located in Central Ohio.
On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the state government would be cutting expenditures in response to commercial activity slowing in the state and the resulting decrease of state revenues amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two of those expenditure cuts include the hiring freeze of all state government agencies, boards and commissions and new contract services, except for those necessary for the COVID-19 pandemic response.
Child care facilities operating under Temporary Pandemic Child Care licenses are now required to offer spaces for the children of health care workers and physicians before any other child. Any remaining openings will be offered to other families. Child care facilities operating under the special license can be found here.
Beginning Tuesday, March 24, Parking Services at 2700 Impound Lot Rd. will operate under limited hours. The location will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday to help individuals with services such as getting towed vehicles released from the impound lot.
Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano announced on Tuesday that he is requesting an extension to the dog license renewal deadline through June 30, 2020, in order to accommodate residents. Dog licenses are required by state law and can still be purchased online at doglicense.franklincountyohio.gov.
It was announced on Tuesday that the 2020 Olympics in Japan would be postponed. This comes after weeks of hesitancy from Japanese officials to postpone or modify the games.
The Olympics are now expected to take place in 2021.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.