Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Tuesday provided several updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Basic Reproduction Number
Governor DeWine released the latest basic reproduction number or R0 (pronounced “R naught”) for eight regions of Ohio. The R0 represents the number of people, on average, that a person will spread a disease to. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that COVID-19’s R0, without interventions, to be 2.5.
The latest R0 in northwest Ohio, which is Region 1, is 0.65 as of June 7. An R0 of 1 means that, on average, an infected person would infect one other person.
With Ohio’s interventions, the R0 for the state overall measured at 0.87 on June 7.
Summer food program
More than 65,000 children a day are expected to take part in Ohio’s Summer Food Service Program this summer. With more than 1,500 sites across the state, many of the programs have set up new guidelines for distributing food to kids.
There is a site at Reighard Park in Wauseon that serves between 12-12:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Additional information can be found at education.ohio.gov/kidseat or by calling 866-3-HUNGRY.
DeWine announced that Ohio will borrow money to meet its unemployment obligation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state requested $3.1 billion in borrowing authority from the U.S. Department of Labor.
This is not an unprecedented situation, Ohio borrowed more than $3.3 billion during the last recession and joins states such as California and Texas in borrowing money during this crisis.
Governor DeWine reminded houses of worship to continue utilizing the best practices when resuming in-person services. While these are not requirements, they are best practices that include having families sit socially-distant from other families; encouraging members to wear face coverings; and eliminating the touching of common surfaces, such as the collection basket and hymnals, as much as possible.
This guidance can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
DeWine announced $1 million in grant funding to Ohio’s local Family and Children First Councils (FCFC). Local FCFC’s serve some for Ohio’s must vulnerable children and often need services from many different agencies. These grant dollars will help local FCFC’s ensure that children can continue to connect with their loved ones and access essential medical services.
The Office of Budget and Management (OBM) and InnovateOhio have identified $950,027 in savings to state taxpayers through data analytics applied to state agency spending ledgers, according to Husted. These are actual taxpayer dollars recovered, not just potential savings identified. The total dollar amount of duplicate payments identified totals $1,008,876, leaving $58,849 still in the process of being recovered, according to Ohio officials.
The total number of confirmed duplicate payments identified by InnovateOhio from January 2019 to May 2020 is 107 across 27 different agencies, boards, and commissions. The duplicate payments tool was initially announced in November 2019. The initial release is available on the InnovateOhio website.
Husted also reminded Ohioans to be on alert for individuals that may want to take advantage of them with potential fraudulent cures, work-from-home offers, and messages asking for personal information.
He also warned Ohioans of fraudulent unemployment claims. For resources on how to protect your personal information and protect yourself from fraud, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or the Ohio Department of Commerce, or the Ohio Department of Insurance websites. If you think you have been a victim of fraud contact the Ohio Attorney General office.