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Coronavirus Update: Craft Brewers Legislation, Food Assistance & More

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Coronavirus Update: Craft Brewers Legislation, Food Assistance & MorePhoto by Mustafa Omar.
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The Numbers

COVID-19 cases — As of Tuesday, Sept. 8, 18,287 cases and 456 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 24,758 cases and 619 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.

Statewide, 131,992 cases and 4,298 deaths have been confirmed or are probable, as reported by the Ohio Department of Health, with 110,279 presumed recovered.

More Updates

Second Round of Food Assistance — Thousands of children across the state who qualify for free or reduced-price meals but are learning remotely will soon be able to receive additional money to purchase food through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer. It will be the second round of benefits issued, after the state issued over $250 million this past spring to 850,000 students.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will issue benefits later this month to eligible children via families’ Ohio Direction card, which will be reloaded or mailed without needing to apply.

OCBA Urges Passage of Craft Beverage Legislation — The Ohio Craft Brewers Association is urging Congress to pass the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, a piece of legislation that would help small and independent brewers stay afloat during the pandemic.

At the end of 2020, the altered Federal Excise Tax rates for 347 small and independent breweries in Ohio will expire. Brewers are asking that current FET rates be made permanent.

“The nation’s craft brewers, distillers, winemakers, and cider makers have been among the hardest hit during COVID-19,” said Mary MacDonald, executive director of the Ohio Craft Brewers Association. “Significantly increasing taxes on these small businesses even in normal circumstances would be devastating, but to do so during a pandemic would undoubtedly force many of them to close.”

Non-Congregate Shelter Order — In response to a barrage of rumors surrounding Ohio’s latest non-congregate sheltering order, Governor Mike DeWine stressed that there are no orders in Ohio to create “FEMA camps” to quarantine citizens against their will.

“This is not in our order, and there is no truth to the rumor,” said Governor DeWine. “Families will not be separated, and kids will not be away from their loved ones.”

The order, which was first issued on March 31 and renewed the latest time on Aug. 31, creates funding for communities that choose to offer alternate locations for people to safely isolate or quarantine outside of their homes. This option has been used in a handful of cases in Ohio.

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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