Weekly Chamber COVID-19 Update

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September 3,2020

HEALTH DASHBOARD UPDATES
For the most recent information on COVID-19 case numbers by jurisdiction, please visit the following dashboards:
Ohio  
Kentucky
Indiana
Hamilton County
City of Cincinnati

REGIONAL COVID COMMUNICATIONS CENTER (RC3) UPDATE
•     Companies when they can provide flexibility for employees to focus on work product and value as they "double juggle" children who are distance learning.
•    30 percent of districts are blended or district learning. 
•    MasksOn works. Dr. Robert Kahn General Pediatrician/ Child Health Researcher from Cincinnati Children's Hospital cites a small business in Missouri.   
•    Keep modeling #maskson.  Keeping community spread low is key to keeping schools open safely.
•    Speaking of schools Xavier, UC, Cincinnati State have agreed to join our MasksOn movement. Sharing social media assets created by P&G. RC3 and the regional colleges are working on a collabortive MasksOn rivalry.  NKU and Miami were also contacted, efforts underway to include
•    Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Shonda Sullivan appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer's CoffeeBreak with Kathrine Nero ( in collaboration with RC3) to discuss BACK TO WORK WHILE BACK TO SCHOOL.


FEDERAL & NATIONAL NEWS 
•    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent an advisory letter to the nation’s governors asking them to prepare their states for possible distribution of a vaccine by November 1, 2020. Preparations could include waiving building permits and zoning requirements for distribution facilities. The timeline for a vaccine to be approved for widespread use is still uncertain. 
•    The CDC also announced a nationwide eviction moratorium through December. The agency cited the public health necessity of keeping people in housing to prevent further accelerated spread of COVID-19. The moratorium comes without any financial assistance to renters or landlords. 
•    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has begun canceling contracts for ventilator production, as the country now has over 120,000 ventilators in the Strategic National Stockpile. Over 15,000 ventilators have been distributed through mid-August. 
•    The IRS has posted guidance for employers on President Trump’s recent executive order to defer employee payroll taxes. The action does not eliminate the tax, only delaying when the tax is due, meaning businesses will still  be responsible for paying the entire amount of the tax. 
•    A new report from the Federal Reserve indicates that economic activity has been increasing, but still remains well below pre-pandemic levels. Even with high unemployment rates, businesses are facing labor shortages as workers cite problems accessing childcare or responsibilities at home with their children doing virtual instruction. 
•    Unemployment claims dropped to 881,000 for the last week in the United States, a decrease of more than 10% from the week prior. It is only the second week since March that initial claims were under 1 million. New claims in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana were relatively flat compared to the previous week. 

STATE UPDATES  
OHIO 

•    The updated Ohio Public Health Advisory Map elevated Butler County to Level 3 – Red. Much of the increase comes from an outbreak of cases at Miami University. All other counties in the Cincinnati region are Level 2 – Orange.  

•    The Ohio General Assembly passed legislation providing legal immunity for businesses, non-profits, healthcare organizations, religious institutions, schools and others from COVID-related litigation. The entities must act in good faith to provide reasonable protections to customers, employees and any others using their services. The bill now goes to Gov. DeWine for his signature. 
•    The Ohio Senate advanced a measure allocating $650 million in CARES Act funding to local governments in the state. The funds will be distributed on a per-capita basis and may be used for any expenses local governments have incurred from the public health emergency. The House of Representatives will soon take up the proposal. 
•    Governor DeWine announced that a program testing wastewater samples for COVID-19 will be expanding. The monitoring system allows public officials to see warning signs of potential case increases in specific communities. Several sewage treatment facilities in Hamilton County will be participating in the program. 
•    FEMA is sending Ohio a shipment of 9 million masks, which will be distributed to K-12 and higher education providers, childcare centers and other underserved communities. The remainder will be placed in storage in the state’s emergency stockpile. 
•    The Governor’s clean water initiative, H2Ohio, will be awarding $725,000 to the City of Cincinnati to replace lead pipe systems at nearly 200 childcare centers in an effort to eliminate lead poisoning exposure. 
•    Lt. Gov. Husted announced the US Department of Defense has designated Ohio as a Defense Manufacturing Community and will be planning to award a $5 million grant to improve manufacturing processes and implement training programs to develop the skilled workforce needed by the industry.  
 
KENTUCKY 
•    Governor Beshear and Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander announced updated guidance for the state’s childcare providers. Infant and 1-year-old classrooms may return to normal capacity. The total number of children at licensed facilities is also expanding to 15 per room, up from the current limit of 10. Individuals looking to start a licensed childcare facility could be eligible for a $2,500 startup incentive from funding  provided under the CARES Act. 
•    The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport with a $45 million aid package. The funds will go toward infrastructure projects at the airport, including runway and taxiway rehabilitation. Funds were made available through the Airport Improvement Program and the CARES Act. CVG had already been awarded a $43 million grant in April to help cover operating expenses lost as a result of the pandemic. 
 
INDIANA 
•    The new color-coded county map that ISDH announced last week is live on https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/. The map will be updated every Wednesday and will score counties based on positivity rate and new cases per week for every 100,000 residents. Each score is associated with a color that will come with recommendations to help guide counties and school districts make decisions. 
•    ISDH officials are still working to put together a dashboard of coronavirus cases in schools, and hope to publish one by the end of the month. 

LOCAL 
•    The application period to small business relief closes THIS FRIDAY September 4. The program criteria has been simplifies to make it easier for businesses to apply and qualify. Click here to apply. 
•    Hamilton County’s positive case number is increasing, mostly driven by cases in 18-24 year olds, and the reproductive number is 1.22. 
•    Beginning September 2, Cincinnati Public Schools will serve breakfast and lunch to all children 18 and under for FREE. Meals can be picked up on Wednesdays from noon to 4 p.m. at any CPS schools. 



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