FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 30, 2020
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend its order to keep schools closed through the end of April.
Ohio’s previous order was set to expire on April 3, 2020. The new order will extend the closure through May 1, 2020.
“There is the real possibility that our schools could stay closed longer than this, but we want to give parents and teachers as much notice and flexibility as we can,” said Governor DeWine. “Schools should continue to do what they’re doing now — providing the best remote learning that they can, serving meals to students in new ways, and planning for what the rest of the year may look like.”
Governor DeWine announced today that he has formed a “Homelessness Team” to help people who may rely on homeless shelters, domestic shelters, group homes, and recovery housing – all of which pose challenges for social distancing.
The Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio, the Ohio Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Ohio Recovery Housing are working as part of this team to provide localized guidelines for these shelters. They will also work to incorporate these populations into the state’s ongoing planning for access to healthcare through community health centers and planning for quarantine or isolation.
In addition, the Ohio Housing Financing Agency Board has approved $5 million in unrestricted Agency General Fund Reserves to be used for Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing funds and Emergency Rental Assistance that will be distributed through the state’s nine Continua of Care.
The Ohio Development Services Agency has also established a $1 million Emergency Shelter Gap Funding Program to support emergency shelter providers during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The Development Services Agency will reallocate Community Development Block Grant dollars to emergency shelter providers to meet immediate needs for homeless individuals and households.
Further, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is directing some federal opioid response funding to help people living in recovery housing or engaged in treatment to maintain their current housing and prevent homelessness. Federal funds will be deployed to cover additional expenses that adult care facilities are taking on because of COVID-19.
The CDC guidelines and information about all of these funding opportunities are available on coronavirus.ohio.gov, and anyone with questions can email COVID19Housing@mha.ohio.gov
BUSINESS ADVISORY GROUP:
Governor DeWine also announced today that he will develop a business advisory group to convene over the phone to:
- Ensure businesses are doing everything they can to keep their employees safe;
- Provide recommendations (to the greatest extent possible) to mitigate the negative impact the COVID-19 crisis is having on our economy in Ohio;
- Provide recommendations on building a platform for economic recovery.
More details on this group will be released in the near future.
PRISONS AND PPE:
Due to the shortage of PPE in Ohio, the inmates incarcerated at Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction prisons have begun making some of these necessary healthcare supplies.
So far, inmates have made 500 hospital gowns and will make 44,000 more when they get additional fabric. Inmates will also begin making cough masks – similar to surgical masks — and will be able to make 5,000 a day up to a total of 2 million. They will also make hand sanitizer. and face shields. Each prison with its own workshop will also make masks for the people in those prisons.
CURRENT OHIO DATA:
There are 1,933 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 39 deaths. A total of 475 people have been hospitalized, including 163 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Video of today’s full update, including versions with foreign language closed captioning, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
WE NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER!
Over 6,000 Ohio citizens live in adult care facilities or group homes. Right now, these homes are in DESPERATE NEED to supplies to protect their residents from the threat of COVID-19.
Many of the individuals living in these homes have co-occurring health conditions that put them at a higher risk of contracting the illness AND of having the most severe outcomes.
The operators of these homes, who house anywhere from 5 to 16 severely mentally disabled citizens, are trying to do everything they can to protect their residents, but necessary supplies are simply not available in the quantities that they need it.
Without cleaning supplies, ample amounts of food, and basic household essentials, the people living in these homes will die.
If you are able to purchase or donate any of the following items for these homes, NAMI Ohio will ensure the items get delivered to those who need it the most.
Most needed items include:
- HAND SANITIZER
- DISINFECTANT CLEANERS
- CLEANING WIPES
- NON-PERISHABLE FOOD ITEMS
- GROCERY GIFT CARDS
NAMI Ohio has decided that 100% of all donations made to our organization during this crisis will be used to purchase cleaning supplies and other much needed items for these homes.
NAMI Ohio will use our donations to purchase, collect, and distribute these items to adult care homes throughout Ohio (100% of all donations will go to this purpose).
If you have any items that you would like donate, you can do so at the NAMI Ohio office located at 1225 Dublin Road, Suite 125, Columbus, Ohio 43215. These items can be left outside the NAMI Ohio office door (Suite 125).
We are all in this together and we must protect Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens.
Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated.
- Donate online via PayPal at www.namiohio.org/donate
- Donate with cash or check by mail to 1225 Dublin Road, Suite 125, Columbus, Ohio 43215
- Donations can be left at the NAMI Ohio office at 1225 Dublin Road, Suite 125, Columbus, Ohio 43215 in the building lobby outside the NAMI Ohio office (Suite 125)
Thank you & God Bless,
Terry L. Russell
March 25, 2020
COVID-19 Related Federal Legislation Update
On March 6, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6074, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. This bill allocates $8.3B to be used for coronavirus preparedness and response, which includes $1.05B for grants to states and local governments. The bill also temporarily modifies certain Medicare requirements to allow providers to offer telehealth services to beneficiaries outside of rural communities. For a more detailed summary of information on H.R. 6074, click HERE.
On March 18, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6021, Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill provides FFY2020 supplemental appropriations to support expanded food and nutrition services, establish a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak, expand unemployment benefits, and temporarily increase the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP). For a more detailed summary of information on H.R. 6021, click HERE.
SAMHSA Training and Technical Assistance Related to COVID-19
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is committed to providing regular training and technical assistance (TTA) on matters related to the mental and substance use disorder field as they deal with COVID-19. Click HERE for available TTA resources.
Free App to Support People in Recovery During COVID-19 Outbreak
As the nation grapples with COVID-19, it’s important to remember that social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation, especially for individuals in recovery from addiction, who rely on supportive networks as part of their healing. To help support individuals in recovery from substance use disorder, Addiction Policy Forum has partnered with CHESS Health to launch the Connections App, a free smartphone app that is scientifically proven to support patients in recovery by reducing relapse and promoting pro-social engagement.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). For behavioral health-specific information, visit: https://mha.ohio.gov/coronavirus. For behavioral health-related questions, email covid19BH@mha.ohio.gov. For COVID-19-related OTP questions, email OTP_COVID19@mha.ohio.gov, for Housing questions, email COVID19Housing@mha.ohio.gov and for Telehealth questions, email COVID19BHTelehealth@mha.ohio.gov
COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, presents a major challenge to the behavior health system to be able to provide optimal services to adults, children and families in the State of Ohio. The purpose of this memorandum is to make sure you know some of the directions that many of the behavioral health providers are instituting because of this virus.
First they are committed to the primary mission of providing service during this time but they must also must be committed to make sure their workforce and the persons served are protected at all times. So, some of the changes you may experience are:
- Home visits – may be limited, unless major crisis
- Should ask these questions to help determine if they can come to the home:
- Do you currently have symptoms of corona virus (cough, fever of 100.4®F or higher or shortness of breath )?
- Have you had direct personal contact with someone who is positive for the corona virus?
- Have you been tested for the coronavirus?
- Office visits – a number of offices are not accepting walk in for appointments and many are trying to reschedule appointments or conducting telehealth appointments
- Telehealth – will have your meeting with worker via electronically such as face time, skype, etc.
- Trainings, conferences, and larger meetings are being cancelled, you should contact the provider agency via telephone to make sure of all cancellations
If the you or your family members have symptoms please stay home and contact the Ohio Department of Health at (614) 466-3543 or 833-427-5634) for further guidance, which may include a recommendation for a self-imposed isolation of 14 days.
COVID-19 Resources to parents during this time:
- The Crisis Kit: 5 tools for helping clients through turbulent times
- Corona Virus Social Story:
- Scholastic is offering free online courses so your kids can keep learning while schools are out
- Headspace is FREE for Mental Health Professionals
- State of Ohio:
- CDC Guidance:
- CDC Webpage:
- CDC Steps to Prevent COVID 19:
- CDC: Mental Health and Coping:
- CDC: Talking to Kids about COVID-19:
- HIPAA and Telehealth Guidance:
- State of Ohio (Cleaning-Disinfecting Alternatives):
If you are struggling with your mental health and need to talk to someone, please know resources are available. If you are currently connected to a mental health agency, you can call your therapist or case manager. Many of these organizations are doing tele-health services and still accepting patients.
If you cannot talk to anyone at your mental health agencies or if you need immediate help, please reference one of the guides below with crisis line contact information organized by county in Ohio.
Community Help and Crisis Lines Updated
County Board Directory