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Today's COVID-19 Report: More Businesses to Close, Primary Election Delayed

Today's COVID-19 Report:

More Businesses to Close, Primary Election Delayed

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday morning, March 17 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

DeWine Closes Gyms and More; Communities Should Follow Suit

In the now-daily address, Governor DeWine announced yesterday that the next round of business closings include: gyms, bowling alleys, recreation centers, movie theaters, indoor water parks, and indoor trampoline parks. They were ordered to close as of close of business yesterday. 

It is recommended that communities that house gyms, theaters, or pools should follow the state's lead in temporarily closing these facilities. LeadingAge Ohio will ask for specific guidance on this issue from state authorities and inform the membership in a future alert. 

Administration Recommends Pushing Election Day to June 2

Today's St. Patrick's Day Primary Election in-person voting does not conform with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, therefore Governor DeWine and Secretary of State Frank LaRose are recommending that Election Day be moved to June 2 and absentee voting remain open during the interim. 

DeWine noted that we should not force older Ohioans, pregnant women, and individuals with health issues to make the choice between constitutional rights and their health and safety. DeWine noted that this is a recommendation, but that he does not have the power to do this except in cases when Ohio is invaded.

Last night, there was a lawsuit filed on behalf of older Ohioans and others whose health is threatened by COVID-19 to postpone today's primary. Judge Richard Frye of the Franklin County Common Pleas Court rejected the request, citing that the election is too close to postpone. This prompted another order issued by Governor Mike DeWine and Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton to close the polls today in response to the public health crisis. This dramatic action was taken to make health and safety the top priority. 

As of now, in-person voting will be postponed to June 2, 2020, and absentee voting will be extended during the interim. 

Acton Addresses Risk to Older Adults

Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton stated that 50 cases are confirmed statewide. The cases have an age range of 14 to 86; median age 51. 14 hospitalizations have resulted from illnesses. Acton noted that high-risk groups include older adults, adults who are immune-compromised, like those on chemotherapy drugs, pregnant women and children with cystic fibrosis or hemophilia. 

Foodservice, Dentists, Vets Encouraged to Donate PPE

PPE remains very important and in-demand for providers. Members of the food and beverage industry will be asked to provide gloves, as well as dentists, veterinarians, and anyone who may have personal protective equipment on hand.

Grocery Stores and Take Out to Remain Available

Lieutenant Governor Husted noted that grocery stores would remain open, and that the essentials will continue to be available throughout the crisis. He encouraged Ohioans to patronize restaurants by purchasing takeout and/or delivery, noting that “we want them to still be here when this is over.” 

Trump Administration Asks Americans to Stay Home

Concurrent with the Governor’s press conference, Trump Administration officials asked Americans to consider at-risk individuals in their homes, and focus on their protection, noting that if one person in a household is infected, the entire family should stay home. President Trump also encouraged Americans to avoid all gatherings of 10 individuals or greater.

Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton mirrored the President’s advice:  “If it is non-essential, you should not be doing it.”

LeadingAge Leadership Summit Rescheduled for August 10-12

The LeadingAge Leadership Summit originally scheduled for April 20-22 has been rescheduled to August 10-12 in light of the President's national emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. LeadingAge wants to give all members the ability to focus on the health and welfare of residents, staff, clients, and families and comply with travel restrictions and guidance. 

Look for continued communication from LeadingAge on this change in dates. 

Q&A Document on COVID-19 Hot Topics Updated as of 3/17/20

LeadingAge Ohio has updated the Q&A document originally sent to members on Friday March 13. The document is available now and responds to member questions related to COVID-19. 

LeadingAge Ohio Facebook Working Group

LeadingAge Ohio has created a Facebook group to provide a forum for members to share questions, strategies, resources, and news related to COVID-19. LeadingAge Ohio staff will also post content to the group. 

The group can be accessed by all members, but will remain a private page. LeadingAge Ohio staff will be responding to access requests daily.

Letters to the Administration

LeadingAge is sharing two letters with the Ohio Governor's office.  

Letter of Support. Yesterday LeadingAge Ohio sent a letter of support to Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted in response to the Administration's strong action to protect Ohio's most vulnerable citizens during the spread of COVID-19. 

Joint Letter with OHCA Requesting SupportThis morning LeadingAge Ohio joined the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) to pen a letter to the DeWine Administration to request a series of supports for providers as they deal with the COVID-19 crisis, including: designating containment center, expanded child care for health care workers, PPE priority, and more. 

State Dental Board Recommends Rescheduling Elective Procedures

The State Dental Board has come out with a series of recommendations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio and conversations with the DeWine administration. The recommendations include rescheduling all elective procedures to allow dentists to share supplies with fellow clinicians in light of PPE shortages. We encourage providers to continue ongoing communication with their local department of health on PPE needs/shortages. 

LeadingAge to Hold Daily Call

LeadingAge is going to begin offering a 3:30 p.m. ET daily phone call to check in with members. LeadingAge will share relevant information and offer members the chance to ask questions. This will be an opportunity for transparent questions. LeadingAge will hold the calls over the next 7 day on a trial basis to evaluate whether and how to continue it. Recordings will be posted on LeadingAge's website daily, so members can listen even if they can’t dial in. To join today's call, register now.


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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.