COVID-19 Update: PPE Manufacturing, Testing Order, Click and Connect, Foreclosure Prevention


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced the establishment of the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19. The collaborative public-private partnership will coordinate efforts to provide healthcare workers and first responders with the personal protective equipment (PPE).

"This new alliance will work to more quickly mobilize every manufacturer capable of helping us make PPE and win the fight against our lethal enemy," said Governor DeWine. "This effort is important because it not only enables us to meet the immediate challenges, but it will also strengthen our PPE supply chains permanently so we are not dependent on other countries moving forward."

The alliance includes: Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, nursing home organizations, JobsOhio, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Ohio Development Services Agency, and the Ohio Department of Health. 

The alliance is working to identify and match the critical needs of Ohio’s healthcare system with companies willing and able to repurpose production to meet those needs.

Manufacturers that can help should visit RepurposingProject.com for more information. Those involved with this project will be compensated. 

TESTING ORDER

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, MPH, has signed an order to quicken the turnaround time of COVID-19 testing.

All Ohio hospitals that do not currently conduct their own testing must now send their specimens to one of the following laboratories:

  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • University Hospitals in Cleveland
  • MetroHealth

Other labs with testing capacity may be added to this list in the future. 

"These labs have a massive capacity that isn’t being fully utilized right now, and these labs can turn around results more quickly than what private labs have been doing," said Governor DeWine. "Getting test results more quickly provides peace of mind to patients and their families and gives us the best data possible so we can make decisions about where to allocate resources."

The Ohio Department of Health will continue to analyze tests for the most critical patients, including hospitalized and symptomatic healthcare workers.

The order also directs hospitals to immediately begin utilizing new rapid tests as soon as they become available in an organized framework utilizing freestanding emergency departments, urgent care centers, free-standing ambulatory surgery centers that are not in use due to postponement of elective surgeries, and hospital multi-use healthcare facilities that house a lab service.

SNAP CLICK AND CONNECT

To help ensure that Ohio's most vulnerable citizens have access to food while limiting potential exposure to COVID-19, Governor DeWine announced a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service and grocery stores to develop a "click and collect" option for groceries.

Those receiving SNAP benefits will be able to shop online, pick up their groceries in their cars, and swipe their EBT cards from their vehicles without entering the store. If a store does not have a mobile point-of-sale device, a SNAP recipient can continue to order online, but pick up the groceries and pay inside the grocery store. This option reduces the time SNAP recipients are in the grocery store and reduces the risk of community spread.

FEMA DISASTER DECLARATION

A Major Presidential Disaster Declaration approved by President Trump on Tuesday provides grants from FEMA to state and local governments for costs associated with emergency protective measures, such as emergency operations center operations, fire and police services, emergency medical care, sheltering, etc.

This declaration shifts some the funding burden from state and local governments to the federal government, with the federal government picking up 75 percent of certain COVID-19 costs, including:

  • Emergency Operation Center costs;
  • State agency purchases in response to COVID;
  • Disinfection of eligible public facilities;
  • PPE;
  • Temporary medical facilities and enhanced hospital capacity.

The declaration also allows direct federal assistance to local governments, such as support from the Ohio National Guard and US Army Corps of Engineers.

SMALL BUSINESS FORECLOSURE PREVENTION

Governor DeWine has signed an executive order that seeks to provide some assistance for small businesses with mortgage and rent payments. The order asks lenders and landlords across Ohio to work with their small businesses and suspend payments for at least 90 days in an effort to avoid foreclosures.