|The situation with COVID-19 is evolving quickly in our state and across the country. As the federal government continues to respond to this crisis, I want to ensure you have access to the latest information and federal assistance available. This page will be updated as new information becomes available.
If you need assistance with federal resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can contact my office through my website here. You can also subscribe to my Weekly Huddle newsletter for regular updates.
You can also find a list of frequently asked questions here.
Constituents with questions or concerns related to the State of Ohio’s response to COVID-19 should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for the latest information from the Ohio Department of Health. You can also find the latest information on the virus, including symptoms and basic steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HOTLINE / WEBSITE:
Staffed from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day
The Cleveland Clinic has two test sites available - one at the W.O. Walker building in University Circle, and one in Summit County at the Akron General Health and Wellness Center in Green. Both sites require an electronic provider’s order for testing. Currently, the Cleveland Clinic is prioritizing high-risk patients, meaning those who are currently hospitalized and those who are age 61 and older. Please check Cleveland Clinic’s website here for the latest information and instructions, including testing locations and changes to testing capacity.
UH’s test site is located at the UH Landerbrook Health Center in Mayfield Heights. UH will test patients of any age who have coordinated their care through a UH physician. Patients who are referred to the testing site will be given a 30-minute time slot to arrive with a physician order for their testing. UH has also announced plans to open an additional testing site in Ravenna to expand operations outside of Cuyahoga County. Please check the UH website here for the latest information and instructions, including testing locations and changes to testing capacity.
MetroHealth is also testing patients but have a limited number of tests available. They have reserved testing for the most severe cases only. For additional information visit MetroHealth’s website here.
Rite Aid is opening a testing site at 4053 South Main Street in Akron and 5795 State Road in Parma. Testing will be available at no cost to individuals who meet the criteria established by the CDC (Priority 1 & 2 patients), provide a government-issued ID, 18 years or older, and pre-register online at www.riteaid.com to schedule a time slot for testing.
Directions to Testing Locations:
Cleveland Clinic - W.O. Walker Building
10524 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44195
Patients should enter the garage from E. 105th St.
Cleveland Clinic - Akron General Health and Wellness Center, Green
1940 Town Park Blvd.
Uniontown, Ohio 44685
University Hospitals - Landerbrook Health Center
5850 Landerbrook Drive
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
MetroHealth - Main Campus Medical Center
2500 MetroHealth Drive
Cleveland, Ohio 44109
Akron Canton Foodbank:
Medina County Foodbank:
ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT AID FOR OHIOANS:
To apply for unemployment benefits please go to https://unemployment.ohio.gov/ in order to submit an application.
Governor DeWine issued an executive order that expands flexibility for Ohioans to receive unemployment benefits during Ohio's emergency declaration period. Unemployment benefits will be available for eligible individuals who are requested by a medical professional, local health authority, or employer to be isolated or quarantined as a consequence of COVID-19, even if they are not actually diagnosed with COVID-19.
SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
New information from the Department of the Treasury as follows:
More information from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is available here.
- For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE
Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequenty-Asked-Questions.pdf
Treasury’s one-stop for assistance to small businesses, nonprofits, veterans organizations, and tribal businesses—as well as to independent contractors and certain people that are self-employed: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses
Resources from the State of Ohio
The state of Ohio's application for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program was recently approved. 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 are eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
To apply, please visit disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Additional information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster. You can also email BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov with any questions you may have.
TAX FILING DEADLINE
The filing deadline for Federal and state of Ohio Income Taxes has been moved from April 15 to July 15 2020. All taxpayers and businesses will now have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.
Please continue to check the Internal Revenue Service Website at www.IRS.gov for updates. You can also check for updates on state and local taxes from Ohio Department of Taxation on their website at tax.ohio.gov.
CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY (CARES) ACT
President Trump signed the CARES Act into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. A thorough overview of this legislation can be found here. This legislation provides important funding to hospitals, small businesses, and now unemployed Americans.
This legislation increases unemployment benefits, including for independent contractors, while also lengthening the amount of time an individual can qualify for benefits to 39 weeks. This is an important provision that will put needed dollars into the pockets of Americans who have been laid off due to no fault of their own. To apply for unemployment insurance benefits, please click here.
Additionally, this legislation also provides a rebate check of $1,200 for adults and $2,400 for joint filers. For each dependent child, a family would be eligible for an additional $500. These checks are reduced for higher income taxpayers and begin phasing out after a single taxpayer has $75,000 in adjusted gross income and $150,000 for joint filers. For more information on the rebate check, please click here.
While most Social Security beneficiaries won’t need to do any additional paperwork to receive these payments, those with dependent children under age 17 who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 need to go the IRS Non-filer tool by Wednesday April 22nd so they can receive the $500 payment for each child.
Veterans benefit recipients who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 should also use the online tool to claim any dependent children.
Supplemental Security Income recipients with dependent children also need to file the online form, but a deadline hasn’t been announced yet.
For small businesses, the bill provides $350 billion in funding for SBA loans that can be forgiven if used for payroll, utility, and rent obligations during this crisis. For more information, please click here.
The CARES Act also provides temporary loan relief for federal student loan borrowers by suspending all federal student loan payments through Sept. 30, 2020. Additionally, no interest will accrue on federal student loan amounts during the suspended period.
Finally, the legislation also includes significant funding for our health care providers, including $100 billion to reimburse health care providers and $16 billion to procure personal protective equipment (PPE).
If you have questions about this legislation, please contact my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-3876. For assistance accessing resources provided through this bill, please contact my Strongsville office at 440-783-3696 or my Canton office at 330-599-7037. You can also send my office an email at anthonygonzalez.house.gov/covid19help.
FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
H.R.6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, was signed into law March 18, 2020. Of significant note for employees and employers of small businesses with less than 500 employees, there are now new emergency sick leave and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requirements. The Act provides that employees of eligible employers can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and seeking a medical diagnosis. An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may in some instances receive up to an additional ten weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.
The Act provides a dollar for dollar credit to allow employers to help maintain operations. Businesses who are required to pay this leave can retain the amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.
Note: While changes in implementation of this act are possible, currently credits are not retroactive for wages paid prior to April 1 for paid leave related to the Coronavirus.
For more information, please visit the Labor Department website here.
Fact Sheet for Employees
Fact Sheet for Employers
Questions and Answers
For information about Employment Tax Credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-20-21.pdf
INFORMATION FROM GOVERNOR MIKE DEWINE:
You can find a list of frequently asked questions about Governor DeWine's Stay at Home Order here.
The following orders have been issued in response to the coronavirus, either by his administration, or by his cabinet agencies:
OHD – Director’s Order, Related to the Temporary Closure of Bars and Restaurants
March 16, 2020
ODH – Director’s Order, Related to the Limiting of Access to Ohio’s Jails and Detention Facilities
March 15, 2020
ODH – Director’s Order, Related to the Temporary Closure of K-12 Schools
March 14, 2020
ODH – Director’s Order, Related to the Prohibition of Mass Gatherings
March 12, 2020
ODH – Director’s Order, Related to Visitation in Nursing Homes
March 11, 2020
Executive Order 2020-01D, Related to the Declaration of a State of Emergency
March 9, 2020
ODH – Director’s Order, Related to Spectators at the Arnold Sports Festival
March 5, 2020
Restaurants, bars ordered to close/actions taken to help those impacted
On Sunday, March 15, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued a Director's Order that will closed all Ohio bars and restaurants to in-house patrons, which became effective at 9:00 p.m., March 15, 2020.
Restaurants with take-out and delivery options will still be able to operate those services, even as their dining rooms are temporarily closed.
ONE-TIME LIQUOR BUYBACK:
The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick's Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.
Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.
TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR RETURNING AMERICANS FROM ABROAD
The U.S. Department of State has issued an advisory to all U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel at this time due to the global impact of COVID-19. U.S. citizens in countries where commercial departure options remain available are advised to arrange for an immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel. Additional information on the State Department's most recent advisory can be found here. If you are an American currently abroad, we also encourage you to visit the local Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction. This information and more can be found in the international travel section on travel.state.gov here.
American citizens, legal permanent residents, and other immediate families who are arriving in the U.S. from COVID-19 impacted areas must currently travel through one of 13 airports where DHS has established enhanced entry screening capabilities, in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. These individuals must also self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.
Non-U.S. citizens who do not meet the above criteria and are from or have recently been in China, Iran, or certain European countries are temporarily banned from entering the United States.
If you need help navigating these restrictions, please contact my office at covid19help.OH16@mail.house.gov.
More information from the Department of Homeland Security can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/13/fact-sheet-dhs-notice-arrival-restrictions-china-iran-and-schengen-countries-europe
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. More information can be found here: https://step.state.gov/
FEDERAL STUDENT AID:
The CARES Act provides temporary relief to federal student loan borrowers by suspending federal student loan payments until September 30, 2020. During the suspended period, no interest will accrue on federal student loan amounts and loans will be treated as if all payments were met for the purpose of loan forgiveness programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). The CARES Act also directs all involuntary collection of federal student loans to be suspended, including wage garnishments and the reduction of tax refunds. If you have additional questions about how the CARES Act provides federal student loan borrowers relief, please do not hesitate to contact my office.