04.29.2020

Today, Governor DeWine announced the availability of over 16 million dollars in grant money that is being made available to law enforcement agencies. This money can be used for items such as PPE, facility cleaning expenses, over time, new technology for virtual court hearings, COVID-19 testing, and monitoring. These funds can also be used for alternative housing for violence survivors. Agencies can apply for up to 12 months of funding, and there is no requirement for matching funds. At this time, there is no request cap or deadline for applications, but you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as funds may deplete early. For further information, visit ocjs.ohio.gov.

Some clarification for high school graduations was given during today’s press conference. Governor DeWine announced a list of three alternatives to the traditional ceremony. These suggestions are listed below in order of the governor’s preference:

  • Virtual graduation
  • Drive-in style ceremony
  • A ceremonial event consisting of less than 10 people

Each school district is to work with their local health department to execute their preferred plan. The guidance, in full, is expected to be posted on coronavirus.ohio.gov.

As I stated last night, we are still awaiting the official amended order from the governor’s office. This order will list the businesses that are permitted to reopen and what regulations they will be required to follow. Unfortunately, we do not expect the order until Friday. Until that time, we do not have legal guidance for which you can write solid policies. Based solely upon the Lt. Governor’s comments today, I have compiled the list below that defines what we expect the new rules to include:

  • Customers are NOT required to wear a face covering while shopping.
  • Individual businesses have the right to mandate customers wear a face covering before entering their place of business.
  • Employers: Face coverings ARE required while employees are working.
    • EXCEPTIONS (including but not limited to):
    • When documented best practices prohibit an employee from covering their face
    • When a face covering is not advisable for the employee’s health conditio
    • When an employee is sitting alone in a private workspace

If you feel your workplace or a specific employee meets any of these exceptions, you will be required to document the specific exception.

OSHA has published their response for workplace safety regarding COVID-19. That publication can be read by CLICKING HERE.

As I stated last night, we will reschedule the zoom webinar once we have received the new order. Until then, stay safe. Take care of yourself and each other.

Julie