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On The Go: News from Greater Ohio Policy Center

March 18, 2020

State of Ohio Providing Resources for those Impacted by COVID-19 Outbreak


The last month has seen unprecedented disruptions in the normal way of life as state and local governments have had to respond  to the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools, bars, and restaurants have closed their doors and many offices have moved to working remotely. 

Below is information about a number of steps that have been taken by the State of Ohio to provide assistance as Ohioans continue to work to "flatten the curve" on the virus outbreak and stop the spread of the illness. 




The Governor has issued an executive order, which will grant the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) with the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation suspending the normal 1-week waiting period.

This order will also give relief to applicants who are not offered paid leave through their job, as well as those who have been quarantined by a medical professional, their employer, or whose employers must temporarily close. Those who apply for unemployment under these circumstances will be exempt from the requirement that they be actively seeking work.

The Ohio Development Services Agency has submitted an application in the coming week to qualify Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low-interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.

Non profit organizations in Ohio will also be eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

In order to complete the state's application, businesses impacted by the current public health crisis should immediately send their contact information to Additional information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at

In Franklin County, the Columbus Foundation, in partnership with city, county, and state officials, activated its Emergency Response Fund.

This fund assists nonprofit organizations that are responding to the spread of COVID-19 and experiencing financial challenges by doing so. Nonprofits seeking assistance may apply through this link.

GOPC recently shared information for FHA Homeowners about eligibility for disaster relief on our blog.

If you have a conventional mortgage, you are strongly encouraged to contact your lender for further information, and to see if you are eligible for relief.

If you have an FHA-insured mortgage, please see our blog to find out what options may be available to you.

Below is additional general guidance for natural disasters, providing general insight into policies and procedures regarding assisting homeowners with foreclosure avoidance.

Protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like coronavirus disease 2019. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy. CDC is aggressively responding to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and community spread in the United States. CDC's all of community approach is focused to slow the transmission of COVID-19, reduce illness and death, while minimizing social and economic impacts. Framework includes: (i) Local Factors to Consider for Determining Mitigation Strategies, (ii) Community mitigation strategies by setting and by level of community transmission or impact of COVID-19, and (iii) Potential mitigation strategies for public health functions. More here.



A Note to Our Friends & Supporters


As all of our thoughts are on the Covid-19 situation, GOPC would like to share an update on how we are responding as an organization. 

Through at least April 3, staff at GOPC will be working remotely. We will provide an update (via social media and our website) if this is extended beyond early April. We will also be postponing any in-person meetings and conferences that we had planned at-least through May 10, 2020. 

If you need to contact us, please do so via email. You can find links to all staff contacts via our website


GOPC Compiling & Sharing Resources for Dealing with Crisis & Afterwards


GOPC staff is rapidly pivoting to identifying tools, resources, and best practices that can help our communities—and their residents and businesses—respond to the virus crisis and prepare for its aftermath. 
We have included a number of links in this newsletter and will be sharing information through our blog, facebook, and twitter accounts. 
If your community is doing a good job handling crisis or preparing for afterwards, please drop us a line at
We know the power and value of peer-learning and peer sharing.  Through the four statewide networks we already stewarded, we are well-prepared to continue serving as a clearinghouse for local leaders.



Ohio Department of Health Resources


The Ohio Department of Health has provided a number of resources to help you deal with the stress and mental toll of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Family Activities to Try During COVID-19 Closures

COVID-19 and Reducing Panic

COVID-19 and Anxiety

Kids and COVID-19

Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event

Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation

Coping with Stress During an Infectious Disease Outbreak



Ohio's Transit Agencies Respond to Outbreak


Transit providers have increased rigorous and frequent cleaning of all hard surfaces in facilities and buses. They are taking preventative measures as recommended by the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health. Transit providers are also coordinating with the Federal Transit Administration on proper protocol and for emergency support.

Passengers can help prevent the spread of the virus by taking everyday precautions: wash hands, do not touch your face and avoid sick people. Ohio Public Transit Association (OPTA) is encouraging Ohioans to check their local transit system’s website and social media channels for the latest updates on service and protocols. OPTA also encourages customers to avoid transit centers and to purchase tickets and passes through mobile devices if available. 

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