Coronavirus Update: Festival Latino, City’s Small Business Fund & More
Keep up with regular news updates regarding Columbus and Ohio’s response to COVID-19 here.
COVID-19 cases — As of Thursday, May 28, 4,416 cases and 196 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported or are probable in Columbus and Worthington. Countywide, 5,766 cases and 260 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported by Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health.
Statewide, 33,915 cases and 2,098 deaths have been confirmed or are probable.
Unemployment — For the week ending May 23, Ohio received 42,082 new unemployment claims, amounting to 1,257,838 unemployment claims in the last 10 weeks. As of last week, 633,750 Ohioans were on unemployment.
Festival Latino Canceled
The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts announced on Thursday that Festival Latino 2020 has been canceled. The festival was previously scheduled for August 8 and 9 at Genoa Park.
Instead of a physical weekend event, CAPA will offer the week-long virtual experience “Viva Festival Latino!” from Monday, August 3 to Sunday, August 9.
The alternative virtual event will feature Latin-American music, food, dance, children’s activities, community health resources and other cultural offerings from Festival Latino.
“While we can’t be together in person this year, we can still celebrate what makes Festival Latino so special—the flavors, the sounds, the artists, and the community,” said CAPA President and CEO Chad Whittington in a statement. “The health and safety of our community has to be our first priority, but we invite everyone to gather online and enjoy all that Latin culture has to offer.”
The full schedule for Viva Festival Latino! is to be announced at a later date on the Festival Latino website.
City Announces COVID-19 Small Business Fund — On Thursday, the City of Columbus announced the COVID-19 Small Business Response and Recovery Fund, which will provide $5.5 million in loans and grants to small businesses across the city. The funding comes from the $157 million the city received from the federal CARES Act.
The funding will be split into three areas — recovery grants, “return safely” grants for personal protective equipment and pivot loans. Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin estimates the fund will help more than 500 small businesses in Columbus.
Visitation for People with Disabilities — Assisted living facilities and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities can begin to allow outdoor visitation starting Monday, June 8. The decision was the result of requests from families and residents, consultation with providers and an acknowledgment of the impact an extended loss of social connection can have on these individuals.
More Funding for Rental and Mortgage Assistance — The Franklin County Board of Commissioners have announced they will invest an additional $2.6 million in rental and mortgage assistance, in order to help county residents in danger of eviction and foreclosure.
The initiative includes redirected federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program funding for the Prevention, Retention and Contingency program via Job and Family Services, an expansion of the PRC program, and an investment of federal CARES Act funding in the Housing Stabilization Coalition’s HOPE Fund and other funding sources.
The Prevention, Retention and Contingency program and the HOPE Fund — in an initiative administered by IMPACT Community Action — have different eligibility requirements, however both target low-income Franklin County residents. Both will be available beginning Monday, June 1 and are expected to provide assistance to more than 3,000 families.
For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.