COVID-19 Local Updates

08.06.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates, News
Good afternoon. Bear with me, we have much to relay today!
Our annual scholarship golf outing is in exactly 4 weeks! As all money raised goes back to area graduating seniors in the form of scholarships, we humbly ask for your support again this year.
If you wish to sponsor golfer swag bags, prizes, or a hole, please complete THIS FORM.
If you wish to register a team, please complete THIS FORM.
As always, we welcome volunteers! Lunch will be provided and it is a great way to promote your company to those in attendance. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Many of you have asked if we, in collaboration with the City of Washington, would be facilitating another Supply Share Program. Since our last group order, Sun Rise Ohio Valley has been able to secure several items necessary for the safe operation of your business. They have no minimum order requirement and you can contact them directly to place yours. I am attaching a list of their items with corresponding prices. Should you have any questions, please feel free to call 740.335.0555.

On August 18th at 9:00 a.m. you are invited to attend a FREE Zoom meeting where we will discuss the application process for PPP Forgiveness. Alex Kohls, Senior Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration will be our moderator. Alex will discuss the various programs and services offered through the SBA, as well as provide information on PPP Forgiveness, EIDL updates and SBA Debt Relief programs. REGISTER HERE
The Paycheck Protection Program is accepting applications through August 8, 2020. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a copy of the PPP borrower application form (revised June 24, 2020) to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender.
Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of watching my stepson show and sell his 4-H animals. 4-H and FFA have always been a large part of my life and it makes me smile to watch our kids carry on where I left off. As I sat in the sale ring, I could not help but notice the majority of the buyers were also members of our Chamber of Commerce. As a parent, I would like to thank you. Today, I was informed of a group of businesses and individuals named the “Friends of the Fair.” These businesses have donated additional money that resulted in each participant in the livestock sale receiving an additional $65.00. Again, your support of Fayette County and its youth is admirable. Thank you.
Governor DeWine did not have a press conference scheduled for today as he was to meet with President Trump during his visit to Ohio. The governor has since been diagnosed, via rapid test, with coronavirus. At this point, he is still planning to address the state on Friday, August 7th. If new developments or new orders are presented, I will forward those to you following their announcement.
Until tomorrow – stay healthy and enjoy your evening!

08.04.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates No Comments
Good afternoon.
Today, Governor DeWine announced a new order mandating that all students, K-12, are required to wear a face mask while in school with some exceptions for children with special needs. FEMA will be delivering 2 million masks to regional educational resource centers for distribution at Ohio schools.
Although a public health order relating to contact sports in Ohio was extended over the weekend, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said no final decisions had been made for the fall season. The order currently on the books is to be looked at like a ‘placeholder’ while the new/revised order for fall athletics is drafted.
Lt. Governor Husted announced a 101% increase in the credentials earned through the Tech Cred program. In January, 1,611 credentials were earned, and in June, a total of 3,241. No matter what your industry, technology impacts the future of your business and the nature of your work. TechCred helps Ohioans learn new skills and helps employers build a stronger workforce with the skills needed in a tech-infused economy. Many of these trainings can be completed online! 695 Ohio employers have taken advantage of this great program that allows for the upskilling of employees and reimbursement from the state. To learn more about TechCred or to register, visit, and enroll. The current enrollment period opens today and runs through August 30, 3030.
As a reminder, the Paycheck Protection Program is accepting applications through August 8, 2020. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a copy of the PPP borrower application form (revised June 24, 2020) to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender.
I am currently making plans for our annual golf outing to be held in just a month! Call or email your questions and/or registrations. It is a great day for a great cause and we hope you will join us!
Wishing you all a great evening,

07.23.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Good afternoon.
As we prepare for the statewide mask mandate to begin this evening at 6:00 p.m., I have attached a poster you can print and hang on your doors to remind visitors to wear their masks. As official signage from the state becomes available, I will forward that to you. Click here to print the Mandatory Mask Sign.
The order discussed during yesterday’s news conference has not yet been published on the coronavirus webpage. Up-to-date information can be accessed by visiting
Fayette County remains at a level one in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. Detailed information about the advisory system and indicators therein is found by clicking this link.
In other news, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an order allowing Ohio attorneys to receive required Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit for serving as precinct election officials on Election Day this fall. The decision supports the Secretary’s Ready for November initiative by recruiting new poll workers to ensure Ohio voters have a safe, secure, and fair election.
“Safe and accessible in-person voting is essential, and that requires large numbers of dedicated poll workers who will deliver accurate, accessible, secure, elections for their fellow Ohioans,” Secretary LaRose said. “The smart, hard-working, patriotic men and women who practice law in our state are ideally suited for this crucial public service.”
The office will be closed Monday, July 27 through Friday, July 31, 2020. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020. There will be no daily updates sent next week, so pleased stay tuned to the website for current information and guidance.
Wishing you all a great evening,

07.22.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Good afternoon.
As we are aware, cases of the coronavirus continue to spike in areas throughout our state. With that in mind, today Governor DeWine announced the following changes to current orders:
  • Beginning 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, 2020 all Ohioans will be required to wear face masks while in public.
  • Masks are required when indoors at any location other than your home.
  • Masks must be worn outdoors if you are unable to maintain an appropriate social distance from those not residing in your household.
  • When waiting for or riding in public transportation.
This order is for all Ohioans 10 years of age and older but the following exclusions do apply:
  • Those with a medical condition or a disability or those communicating with someone with a disability
  • Those who are actively exercising or playing sports
  • Those who are officiants at religious services
  • Those active involved in public safety
  • Those who are actively eating or drinking

A ‘Travel Advisory’ has been issued for the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, South Carolina, and Texas. If you have visited or plan to visit one of these states, you are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days once returning home.

The official order discussed during today’s news conference has not yet been published on the coronavirus webpage. Up-to-date information can be accessed by visiting
I am happy to leave you with a bit of good news. Lt. Governor Husted reported that Ohio saw a 10.9% unemployment rate for the month of June. Since the reopening of Ohio, our unemployment rate has continued to decline.
Wishing you all a great evening,

07.16.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Good afternoon.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced $20 million in grants have been awarded to retool or expand manufacturing facilities in Ohio. These grants were awarded to help continue producing personal protective equipment locally.
Each grant is worth up to $500,000 and is expected to create 829 new jobs and retain 1,133 Ohio jobs. More than half the grants have been awarded to small businesses with less than 25 employees.
In an effort to keep all informed on the statistics here at home, please review the graphic below provided by our Fayette Co. Public Health Department. Fayette County remains a level 1 county on the state alert system.
Wishing you all a great evening,

07.15.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Good evening to you all.
This evening, Governor DeWine spoke to all Ohioans from his office inside our capitol building. He stated that our way of life and the well-being of our state are in danger due to the drastic increase in positive cases over the last several weeks.
While he understands we are all tired of the changes we have had to endure over the last several months, he asked all Ohioans to continue to or begin to wear masks in public. ‘Good decisions will protect the economy and save lives,’ stated the governor. Another round of shutdowns will cause a loss of at least 5% of the country’s GNP.
Numerous news outlets have reported Kroger (effective 7.22.20), Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club (effective 7.20.20) will begin requiring the wearing of face coverings while shopping.
While no orders were released this evening, we expect a 2:00 p.m. news conference on Thursday, July 16th. If new orders are issued, or any pertinent information is shared, it will be forwarded to you.
Wishing you all a great evening,

07.09.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Good afternoon to you all.
In an effort to ‘catch up’ with the most recent orders, changes and recommendations, I am providing links for sector specific guidelines.
Colleges will have to implement a coronavirus testing plan and guidance on isolating students and staff who are showing symptoms of the virus, according to guidelines announced DeWine Thursday. Because coronavirus safety precautions will increase costs for schools, DeWine’s administration and the General Assembly are requesting the Controlling Board approve $200 million to be allocated for higher education and $100 million for K-12 schools.
Lt. Governor Husted announced the IMAP program today. This program was created to provide opportunities for Ohioans who are low income, partially unemployed or totally unemployed to participate in a training program and receive a microcredential. Training providers that submit successful applications will be reimbursed up to $3,000 upon completion of each microcredential. Additional information and application can be found at Applications for trainers are being accepted through July 24, 2020.
Don’t forget tomorrow’s shop hop in downtown WCH! Main Street Fayette has organized a fun evening with the Candy Land theme. Please remain vigilant of social distancing and hand hygiene as we continue to show the rest of Ohio that business and public health can coexist in Fayette County. I am sure it will be a ‘sweet’ evening!
Make it a great day-

07.07.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Good afternoon to you all. I am pleased to begin this update with a bit of good news. Our Public Health Department is reporting no active cases of COVID-19 today! If you are unfamiliar with their daily updates, visit their Facebook page for more in-depth information. Vigilance is so important. Please do not let your guard down – Fayette County is in a great spot right now and I am sure we all want to stay there!
Unfortunately, many of Ohio’s counties are not as healthy. Today, the governor announced an order that will go into effective Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. This order will mandate that any person in a level 3 or level 4 county (see picture below) must wear a facial covering while in public spaces. Lt. Governor Husted reminded us that enforcement of this order is on the shoulders of law enforcement, not business owners. Additionally, if any of these counties drop to a level 2, the order for mask wearing will drop.
The Ohio Department of Health has issued an order allowing for contact and non-contact sports to resume for all teams provided the teams agree to all of the guidelines to include but not limited to:
  • Testing of all players, coaches, athletic directors, support staff and officials before travel and before competition.
  • Daily symptom assessments
  • Strict social distancing by players who are not actively playing or practicing
  • Immediate isolation for a participant who develops symptoms
  • Athletic Trainers must wear a face covering while attending to a player
  • Strong recommendation for coaches and officials when possible
Once the official order is published, I will forward a link as well as a summation of important information. Today’s orders have created several questions and concerns and we will do our best to get answers.
Many of our members are also members of the Highland-Fayette-Clinton Safety Council. Attending Safety Council meetings allows our members to save a significant amount on their Workers’ Compensation premium each year. Additionally, each county is awarded funds to assist in a community safety project. Today, I had the pleasure of presenting a $1,000.00 check to Chief Andy Bivens of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. These funds will be used to purchased LED lighted safety vests and Stop/Slow signs for emergency response vehicles.
If you would like to participate in safety council, or if you have questions, please give our office a call at 740.335.0761. Our new membership year will begin soon. There is no fee to join, you can potentially save premium money and we have a great lunch and program monthly!
Wishing you all a great Tuesday evening!

07.02.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates
Happy Independence Day! As we begin a new month, and a new year for the chamber, we thank you for your support. This year is special – we are celebrating our 75th anniversary! Stay tuned for details on how we plan to celebrate this milestone.
I would like to take a moment to thank you for the purchases made during our ‘Fayette County Focus Forward’ grant program. Each and every purchase helped us provide grants for our small businesses adversely affected by the mandatory shut down. We will be awarding those grants soon – stay tuned for pictures!
Today, the governor announced his guidance for the reopening of schools. At this time, the website is experiencing issues and the complete publication is not available online. We are hopeful that will be quickly resolved and that we will be able to provide you that complete guidance.
Although the publication is not available, Governor DeWine outlined the principles listed below. These guidelines are for any school system in the state of Ohio.
  • Symptom assessment – any child with a temperature of or over 100.4 will be sent home.
  • Proper hand washing/sanitation
  • Sanitize high-touch surfaces
  • Practice social distancing
  • Every school must develop a face covering policy.
  • School staff must wear a face covering.
  • The governor strongly recommends children in grades three and up to wear a face covering.
Governor DeWine turned his conversation to, as he put it, ‘how to live with the virus.’ Seven indicators have been established to determine the threat of the virus on a county by county basis. The seven indicators are:
  • New cases per capita
  • Sustained increase in new cases
  • Proportion of cases not congregate cases
  • Sustained increase in emergency room visits
  • Sustained increase in outpatient visits
  • Sustained increase in new coronavirus hospital admissions
  • ICU bed occupancy
As depicted in the image below, we are at an ‘Alert Level 1.’ This is positive news for Fayette County and we ask for continued vigilance in slowing the spread.

06.29.2020 Update

By COVID-19 Local Updates No Comments
As you are aware, the ‘Fayette County Focus Forward’ initiative is currently running through June 30, 2020. The small business that will benefit from the proceeds of the sale of these items greatly appreciate your generosity. It is not too late to order your items and you can do so by clicking this link. THE ONLINE STORE CLOSES TUESDAY AT MIDNIGHT! Don’t delay!
Several of the items available for purchase can be seen at the chamber office. We are located at 206 E. Court Street and welcome you to come in, take a look and place your order! These items make great incentive prizes for employees, Christmas gifts, or ‘just because’ gifts. Your purchase makes a difference in the life of a small business owner. If your business has purchased items, send us a picture of the employees in their shirts! We would love to promote you on our social media pages! Thank you for your support!
Just a reminder – The deadline for SBA to approve Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications is Tuesday, June 30. This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.
In today’s press conference, Governor DeWine announced that the current Stay Safe Ohio order will continue to be in effect until which time he is able to release the next-phase plan. We expect that plan later this week. As always, it will be forwarded to our membership as soon as it is published.
Stay cool and enjoy your evening!