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Here are the latest updates, changes and cancellations related to the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio and the USA. This list will be updated on a DAILY basis. Please keep checking back on a regular basis.

To jump to any of the following sections, please click the links below:

Support for Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations

School Announcements

General Announcements

Church Announcements

Sports Announcements

From the Knox County Emergency Operations Center

 

​The guidance for all reopening businesses and activities can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov under the Responsible Restart tab.

The Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory can be found HERE.

ALL text in RED was updated Wednesday, 7/2/20

For more information, go to https://www.knoxhealth.com/
For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

 

7/2/2020:

In Knox County, we have 40 confirmed cases and 4 probable cases. There are 6 active cases and 33 recovered cases. 12 people are currently being monitored and no one is currently hospitalized. There has been one death. For more information from Knox Public Health, click HERE.

Ohio now has 50,523 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3643 probable cases for a total of 54,166 cases in all 88 counties, with 8038 hospitalizations and 2035 ICU admissions. There have been 2653 confirmed deaths and 250 probable deaths for a total of 2903 deaths.

Governor Mike DeWine's Thursday press conference was full of new updates and guidance. The governor began by announcing guidance for reopening schools. The state has developed guidelines that each school should follow when developing their reopening plans. This approach allows schools to adjust their rules for what works best for them to create a safe environment that will protect students and staff. Details and the full guidance document will be online at coronavirus.ohio.gov, but the main points are as follows:

  • Vigilantly Assess for Symptoms: Daily health checks of temperatures and symptoms should happen. Anyone with a temperature above 100 degrees or showing symptoms must stay home. Schools can scale up this guidance by taking temperatures of students and staff as they enter the building. Administrators must send any student or staff member home who develops symptoms or a temperature, and they must refer them to an appropriate healthcare provider or testing site. They must contact their local health department if there is a case of COVID-19 in their school and work with the health department to implement a testing strategy.

  • Wash and Sanitize Hands to prevent spread: Schools must provide ample opportunity for students and staff to wash their hands. They must also provide hand sanitizer in high traffic areas, such as building entrances and classrooms, and require its use.

  • Clean and Sanitize the School Environment

  • Practice Social Distancing: Schools should strive to maintain six feet social distances between students, staff, and volunteers as much as possible in all school environments- including classrooms, restrooms, playgrounds, and buses. It is up to each school to determine how to best implement these guidelines. Ideas include staggered class times, adjusted schedules, and lunch in classrooms.

  • Face Covering Policy: Every school must develop a face covering policy. Staff are required to wear face coverings unless it is unsafe or when doing so interferes with the learning process. Face shields may be considered when masks are impractical. It is the State's strong recommendation that children 3rd Grade and up wear face masks. The school should reduce any kind of social stigma for students who, for medical or developmental reasons, cannot or should not wear a mask.

DeWine is working with the General Assembly to create a plan for financially assisting schools with implementing this guidance.

Dr. Chris Peltier, President Elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, was present at the press conference via video call to reassure parents who are worried about their children returning to school. According to Dr. Peltier, there is more harm to not being physically in school than there is to attend. Children do not get COVID-19 as frequently as adults and generally do not get as ill. The American Academy of Pediatrics and all children's hospitals in Ohio endorse the guidelines. There is still a risk, but kids in school learn social skills, get exercise, and have access to mental health support. Social isolation can have serious mental health effects. Kids are also missing out on teachers and other school staff recognizing physical and sexual abuse and substance abuse. Parents are asked to stay current on wellness visits and vaccinations and should work with their kids on hand-washing and masks to prepare them for the school year.

Governor DeWine unveiled a Public Health Advisory Alert System- a new warning system for the state that will provide local health departments, community leaders, and state officials with data and information to enable them to layer additional advanced safety measures to combat flare-ups as they occur around the state. The Alert System is a way to look at each county differently based on their individual exposure levels. 

The System is composed of a color coded system built on a data-driven framework to assess the degree of the virus' spread, as well as inform, engage, and empower the appropriate response and action. It consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live. The levels are determined by seven data indicators that identify the risk level for each county and a corresponding color code to represent that risk level. The seven indicators are as follows:

  1. New cases per capita.

  2. Sustained increase in new cases.

  3. Proportion of cases that are not congregate cases.

  4. Sustained increase in emergency room visits.

  5. Sustained increase in outpatient visits.

  6. Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions (based on county of residence).

  7. ICU bed occupancy.

In addition, Dewine reported that they are looking at adding additional case indicators such as contact tracing, tests per capita, and percent positivity.

A county's total number of indicators determine its Alert Level. Alert Levels will be updated on Wednesdays and announced on Thursdays during the press conference. The Alert Levels are as follows:

  • Level 1 (Yellow): Zero to one indicators present. There is active exposure and spread. Residents are expected to follow all current health orders, including social distancing, masks, and limited group sizes. There are currently 53 counties at level 1.

  • Level 2 (Orange): Two to Three indicators are present. There is increased exposure and spread. Residents should exercise a high degree of caution. This means following the same guidelines for level 1 counties and also avoiding contact with high risk persons, decreasing in-person interactions, and limiting unnecessary trips to visit those in medical or residential care. There are currently 28 counties at level 2.

  • Level 3 (Red): Four to five indicators present. There is very high exposure and spread. Residents are asked to comply with the guidelines for both level 1 and level two counties. In addition, they should limit activities, wear masks, and consider online options. They should also consider necessary travel only and limit attending group gatherings of any kind. There are currently seven counties at level 3.

  • Level 4 (Purple): Six to seven indicators are present. There is severe exposure and spread. In addition to following the guidance for level 1, 2, and 3 counties, residents should only leave home for supplies and services. There are currently no counties at level 4, but Franklin County is approaching it, placing it on a watchlist.
     

Regardless of alert level, Ohioans who are considered high risk should take all precautions. Ohioans should assume that if one household member is sick that all are sick. The data shows that the virus is spreading at large family gatherings, other large gatherings, workplaces, bars and restaurants, and tourist destinations. 

In Monday's press conference, Governor Mike DeWine reported that from June 21 to June 27 the state saw its first week of increasing COVID-19 hospital utilization in two months. The number of standard hospital beds used for COVID-19 patients peaked at around 1,000 in late April and reached a low point of 513 on June 20.  The number is now at around 650. No region in the state has reached a concern threshold of 80% yet, but the governor reminded that this could changed as New York City, Houston, and other cities have shown.

Governor DeWine also addressed the increased case numbers, particularly in Hamilton and Montgomery counties. While some of this increase is due to the larger number of tests conducted, the overall percentage of positivity has not gone down- something that DeWine said would have happened when testing was expanded beyond only those with symptoms to the entire population. Instead, the percent of positivity has increased slightly, staying around 4 to 6 percent.

According to DeWine, all existing Health Orders set to expire on June 30 will be extended through the end of the week. A new plan as the state enters the next stage of reopening is set to be announced on Thursday.

Beginning on July 20 nursing homes will be permitted to begin outdoor visitation, provided that all safety standards are met. When assessing their readiness to permit outdoor visits, nursing homes should consider the number of COVID cases in their community, the case status in the home itself, staffing levels, access to adequate testing for residents and staff, PPE supplies, and local hospital capacity.

Ohioans are reminded that more pop-up testing sites are being added regularly. For a full list of testing sites and locations, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Governor Mike DeWine reported in the June 25 press conference that the day's case numbers showed an increase of 892 from Wednesday. This is Ohio's 4th highest day of cases. The three highest days were April 18 to 20 and they included heavy testing at prisons, making this the technically highest normal day of cases. Of the 892 increased cases, 60% are between the ages of 20 to 49.

Testing continues around the state and is available for all. For a list of testing locations and pop-up sites, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

2-1-1 is a phone service that connects Ohioans to local non-profits and government services for food, healthcare, housing, transportation, and legal services. At the beginning of the year, 2-1-1 was available to 51 of Ohio's 88 counties. When the pandemic began the Ohio EMA asked Ohio AIRS to provide the service to the other 37 counties. Any Ohioan can now dial 2-1-1 no matter their location. If their phone does not allow for dialing 2-1-1 they can call 877-721-8476.

To encourage Ohioans to take part in the many pop-up testing sites across the state, Governor Mike DeWine, First Lady Fran DeWine, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted all received nasal test swabs from members of the Ohio National Guard at the beginning of the June 23 press conference, allowing people to to see what they can expect. The involves a 10 second swab of each side of the nose with a break in between. There is no cost at pop up testing sites and the full list of locations and times can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Dr. Sara Bode of Nationwide Children's Hospital was present via Skype for the press conference. Dr. Bode reported that there has been a 45% decline in child vaccinations in Ohio since the beginning of the COVID crisis. It is still important for children to received vaccinations as well as regular wellness checkups and parents are encouraged to still bring their children in for these.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted addressed questions that have been received regarding Fourth of July Celebrations. Firework shows are still permitted, however the restriction on large gatherings is still in place. Ohioans are encouraged to watch fireworks from their homes and to celebrate in small groups of only people with whom they regularly come into contact.

In the June 17 press conference, Governor Mike DeWine announced that overall Ohio is seeing a downward trend in new cases of COVID-19. The exception is in southwestern counties, which contain several hot-spots for the virus. Governor DeWine shared numbers and trends from Montgomery, Greene, Clark, and Warren Counties, as well as maps showing which zip codes in each county was a hot spot. Testing is being increased across the state, but extra testing will be conducted in these counties. Anyone interested in receiving a test can visit coronavirus.ohio.gov for a complete list of testing locations and scheduled pop-up testing sites.

DeWine announced that a new Hospital PPE Readiness Stockpile will be compiled and stored by Ohio hospitals throughout the state and will be distributed to residents and staff at long term care facilities, should they see a spike in cases. The state is also building a 30 day reserve of PPE. Each hospital will have a different amount of PPE storage depending on the region. The stockpile will be tracked daily.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted shared that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has reported the 7th straight week of decline in jobless claims. During the peak of joblessness in the pandemic essential job openings were posted at coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobs. As the state continues to see decline in jobless claims, it has begun transitioning from this site back to ohiomeansjobs.com. This site has over 120,000 openings posted, according to Husted.

On June 22 contact practice for all sports can resume, as well as scrimmages and full training regimens- so long as safety protocols are observed. The training guidance will be online at coronavirus.ohio.gov

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes has signed an order regarding reopening County Fairs and Animal Exhibitions. The order can be seen HERE.

Governor DeWine shared that for the first time Ohio has borrowed money to pay unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19. The state has requested a $3.1 billion line of credit from the United States Department of Labor, an amount exceeding what it needs to pay out.

DeWine also announced a $1 million grant funding Ohio's local Family and Children First Councils. These councils serve some of Ohio's most vulnerable children. Before the pandemic the state had planned to use $1.5 million from the current operating budget for grants and in person training for Family and Children First Councils. After listening to the needs, funds are being redeployed to allow councils to buy technological devices to help the children.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted gave a reminder of fraud attempts connected to COVID-19. 29% of consumers report that they have been targeted by digital fraud related to COVID-19. In addition, fake unemployment claims are being filed using the names of individuals who have not lost their jobs. Husted also stated that official looking notices pretending to be from the government are going out saying that the recipient has been overpaid in a stimulus check or refund and needs to send in personal info. Information on avoiding scams is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Ohioans were also reminded in the press conference of the suggestions for safe practices at churches and other houses of worship and that anyone in need of medical care should not be afraid to go and receive care.

Governor Mike DeWine announced in the June 11 press conference that Dr. Amy Acton is stepping down as Director of the Ohio Department of Health. Dr. Acton will be staying on staff as DeWine's Chief Health Advisor. In response to a reporter question, Dr. Acton attributed her decision to step down to wanting to do the best job possible and feeling that she was unable to do so in her current position as she attempted to lead the agency and advise the governor. She shared that she wanted to give advising her complete attention. Governor DeWine expressed his gratitude for Dr. Acton's service and credited her with saving many lives in the state. Lance Himes will serve as Interim Director of Health, a position he has held in the past.

Governor DeWine announced another expansion to testing priority in Ohio. Due to the testing shortage in the state, testing had previously been limited to priority groups such as medical staff and those with pre-existing medical conditions but now it has been expanded to include anyone in the state who wants a test. Testing sites are listed on coronavirus.ohio.gov. According to DeWine the online listing now includes pop-up testing locations. Pop-Up sites are currently in Columbus, but more will be coming to other locations across the state.

While places of worship such as churches, synagogues, and mosques were never closed by the state, many choose to find distanced service methods during the COVID-19 crisis. As many begin to reopen, Governor DeWine has announced that the state has released suggested best practices. While not required, places of worship are encouraged to implement these guidelines, which can be found online at coronavirus.ohio.gov. These practices include having families sit together with space in between each family, encouraging members to wear face coverings, and eliminating touching of common surfaces as much as possible.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted shared that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services has reported a decrease in jobless claims for the sixth week in a row. In addition, the department has received an $8.5 million training grant for employment recovery under the National Dislocated Worker Act. These funds will help reemploy individuals who lost their jobs in the pandemic.

In the June 9 press conference, Governor Mike DeWine shared that the state has distributed over 30 million pieces of PPE. Of that total, 27.8 million pieces have been shipped to county EMAs to be distributed locally. In addition, the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation has sent 1.5 million non-medical face coverings to local workers in their "We've Got You Covered" initiative. 

 

According to Governor DeWine, the state has expanded priority requirements in an effort to ramp up testing. Healthcare providers can now test anyone with symptoms. The state has also reached out to retail, especially pharmacies, to create partnerships to aid in testing. There are currently over 40 retail testing centers and more will be coming. To find locations and make appointments, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov and click on the Testing and Community Health Centers Tab at the top of the page.

In the June 2 press conference, Governor DeWine began by addressing the issue of reopening schools during the COVID-19 crisis. According to DeWine, the state fully intends to have school in the fall and is working with school officials to make a plan for reopening. The date for starting school is entirely within the power of the local school board with the state planning to provide broad guidelines in regard to health, recognizing that each district has different needs and situations.

 

Governor DeWine also announced that health care providers may resume all surgeries and procedures that had been delayed. In doing so, they need to create a plan for maintaining PPE supplies and should continue to use telehealth whenever possible.

Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced several grants that will be distributed to assist local businesses as they reopen after being hit by the coronavirus. The Ohio Microenterprise Grant totalling $10 million will help small minority owned and woman owned businesses, hopefully up to 500 companies. The Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program will provide $10 million to help businesses in Ohio's Appalachia region.

Knox Public Health will offer a drive-thru opportunity this week to collect specimens for COVID-19 testing. The specimen collection will be by appointment only and available to anyone with or without symptoms, age 18 yrs. and older. The drive-thru event will take place at the health department on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (June 3-5) from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 -3 p.m. Appointments to participate in the testing drive-thru can be made by calling the Knox COVID-19 Call Line at 740-399-8014. They will be able to test up to 300 people during the drive-thru and there will be no charge to participants for testing. During the appointment process, a brief health assessment will be taken over the phone. The participant will sign a consent form on-site when they arrive for testing. All participants will need to have an appointment. Anyone showing up during the drive-thru without an appointment will not be tested.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the following orders have been signed by  Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton:

Director’s Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing

Director's Order that Rescinds the Director's Order that the Sale of Spirituous Liquor be Restricted in Certain Instances in Certain Counties

In the May 28 press conference, Governor Mike DeWine addressed visitation restrictions on care facilities. Beginning June 8, intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities and assisted living facilities can begin to allow outdoor visitation, if they are properly prepared. The governor said the state is "not to nursing homes yet." All facilities must develop a policy that includes screening for temperature and symptoms, scheduling set hours and visit lengths, and proper social distancing measures and masks. From there, each facility can determine how to best implement outdoor visits for their residents in a way that works best for all of them. The state will continue to monitor, exam, and discuss the topic of visitation.
 

Governor DeWine also gave an update on County Fairs. The state had assembled a task force to look at holding Junior Fairs. The group has come up with guidelines on how County Fair Boards and Agricultural Societies can work together with their County Health Departments. They are asked to come together to provide a safe outlet for kids to participate in limited livestock shows, showmanship, skillathons, barn or building activities, the auction, as well as the non-livestock exhibits and exhibitions. The guidelines are posted at coronavirus.ohio.gov and focus on maintaining social distancing, limiting crowds, and ensuring the health of everyone involved in the Junior Fair activities and the component of animal care and welfare.
 

DeWine said that decisions on whether or not to hold fairs need to be made locally because each county and fair is unique and face unique financial situations. Conditions may change over the summer, but Fair Boards are asked to comply with all current Health Department Orders that are in place and the guidelines for other sectors that apply to fairs, such as food service.

The Bureau of Workers' Compensation will be deferring Ohio employers' premium installments for the months of June, July, and August. This is the second deadline extension the BWC has offered.

Governor DeWine announced an additional priority category for COVID-19 testing in Ohio. Currently, first priority is given to hospital patients and workers with symptoms, including those working at nursing homes. The second priority category is people at high risk of complications from COVID-19, including residents of long term care facilities and congregate care facilities, patients 65 and older with symptoms, patients with underlying conditions with symptoms, and racial and ethnic minorities with underlying conditions and symptoms. The third category is for individuals receiving essential surgeries or procedures not requiring an inpatient hospital admission. The new category is fourth priority and includes individuals in the community who have symptoms and do not meet any other category.

In the May 26 press conference, Governor Mike DeWine provided an update on testing in Ohio's nursing homes. Starting this week, a new plan and effort will begin with involvement from the Ohio National Guard. Governor DeWine announced the launch of Congregate Care Unified Response Teams. Each team will consist of ten members and there will be up to 14 teams in the state.

The Response teams will begin testing in nursing homes this week. The goal is to test all staff members of the facilities. Resident testing will be determined by assessments done by an advance team. The decisions will be based on clinically driven strategy that targets those likely exposed to COVID-19. The testing will start at the nursing homes that have had an experience with COVID-19. Of Ohio's 960 nursing homes, approximately 200 have had some level of experience currently or in the past.

The testing of nursing homes will be an ongoing process and the state is unsure how many facilities will be tested each week. Updates will be given weekly.

Governor DeWine also announced that testing will begin this week for all residents and staff at the state's developmental centers.

 

Effective June 1, catering and banquet centers will be able to reopen under similar guidelines as restaurants. Guidelines include six feet of distance between tables, no congregating, and a limited gathering size of 300 for these facilities

 

Governor Mike DeWine addressed the disproportionate risks for minorities of not just COVID-19 but other health and economic conditions. The governor shared that a minority strike force will be making plans to address these issues. 

 

Governor DeWine also announced a new communications campaign called "Stay in the Fight." The purpose of the campaign is to stay informed, involved, and inspired during the COVID-19 epidemic.

 

To expand testing, the state had partnered with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers. In addition, the state and the OACHC have also partnered with the Nationwide Foundation to distribute wellness kits.

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), and the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), will work together to distribute remdesivir across Ohio that was received from the federal government on Tuesday, May 12. The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA), has issued an Emergency Use Authorization for remdesivir to allow it to be administered to patients. It is currently being studied in treatment of COVID-19 in clinical trials and has been found to shorten the duration of disease from 15 to 11 days in patients being treated in-patient hospital settings. Ohio has received an allotment of 20 cases of remdesivir which is estimated for about 100 patients. How to distribute the drug was decided by the clinical leaders of the geographic zones that were created to help Ohio with this pandemic response.

Governor Mike DeWine announced in the May 12 press conference that the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services received notice that their Pandemic Electronic Benefit Plan was approved by the US Department of Agriculture. This will allow Jobs and Family Services to distribute SNAP benefits to help 850,000 students across Ohio. These students are children who relied on free or reduced lunches while schools were still in session. Benefits will be emailed out and families do not need to apply to be eligible. According to Governor DeWine, the benefits will be more than $250 million that will go to Ohio's grocery and retail stores.

Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton announced that voluntary coronavirus antibody testings will be conducted across the state to help doctors better understand how the disease spreads. These tests will see if persons who are no longer sick previously had the virus. State officials will select 1200 random households from across the state. Selected Ohioans will receive a postcard informing them of their selection and when to expect ODH workers visiting. Anyone who is picked can opt out of testing by phone or email beforehand, or turn away ODH workers at the door. The tests will be conducted in the volunteers' homes. During the in-person visit, one adult from the home will be randomly selected for participation. There will be no financial costs to anyone who participates.

In the May 5 press conference Governor Mike Dewine announced significant cuts in the state budget. According to DeWine, state tax revenue ending in April was $776.9 million below estimates used for building the budget. This prompted the decision to implement a $775 million budget reduction in spending for the remainder of 2020. The cuts will be to Medicaid spending ($210 million), K-12 school basic aid ($300 million), other education items ($55 million), higher education ($110 million), and other state agencies ($100 million). The state does have a $2.7 billion rainy day fund, but the governor says this is not the time to pull from that as this will not be a "quick spring shower" but rather "could be a cold, lingering storm."

Governor DeWine also announced that the state hiring freeze and the freeze on pay increases and promotions will continue.

In the April 24 press conference, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio will cover the care of all youths about to age out of the foster care program until the pandemic ends. This will provide what the governor referred to as a "safety net" for the more than 200 youths about to turn 18 in the next three months. This option is also available for those in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Bridges program, which is foster care to age 21. DeWine said those in Bridges can stay in the program to help them maintain their housing, jobs, and education.

 

Lori Criss, Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services was present for the April 22 press conference via video call. She shared that the department has created a COVID-Care Line, which is a new toll-free and confidential emotional support call service. Trained, licensed staff will be available to provide assistance from 8:00am to 8:00pm, seven days a week. At 8:00pm each day calls will roll over to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, so Ohioans will have access to trained supporters 24/7. The COVID-Care Line number is 1-800-720-9616.

Governor DeWine announced several changes coming to Medicaid in light of the COVID-19 epidemic. Medicaid has eased several pharmacy restrictions:

  • Prior Authorization will be bypassed for new prescriptions.

  • Members will receive pharmacy benefits regardless of in-network or out-of-network provider status.

  • The threshold for refills on certain prescriptions will be relaxed.

  • Pharmacists who dispense emergency refills without a prescription will be reimbursed.

  • Pharmacies that dispense over the counter medication without a prescription will be reimbursed.

  • Member copays will be waived for all prescriptions.

  • 90 day supplies on maintenance medication will be authorized.

A new office has been developed within the Ohio Development Services Agency to better coordinate Ohio's efforts to identify and provide support for Ohio’s nearly 950,000 small businesses. The Office of Small Business Relief will:

* Serve as the state’s designated agency for administrating federal recovery funds awarded to Ohio for small business support and recovery;
* Work with federal, state, and local partners to evaluate and determine possible regulatory reforms that encourage employment and job creation; and
* Coordinate efforts of Ohio’s Small Business Development Centers and Minority Business Assistance Centers.
More information on all resources currently available to small businesses is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

Governor DeWine opened his March 27 press conference by signing into law the bill approved earlier this week by Ohio Lawmakers. Among other things, this bill will waive mandatory state testing for schools, extend professional licenses of nurses, allow for local governments to hold public virtual meetings, and extend the tax filing deadline to July 15

The Ohio Department of Insurance is issuing an order for insurers in Ohio to allow employers to offer employees a grace period for insurance premiums. The grace period is for all health insurers, and it must provide the option of deferring premium payments interest free for up to 60 calendar days from the original premium due date, which means employers can defer their premium payments for health insurance for up to two months. Health insurers must allow employers to continue covering employees even if the employee would otherwise become ineligible for insurance because of a decrease in the hours worked a week.  

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, the US Senate passed HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and President Trump signed the bill into law. Provisions of the Act take effect in 15 days and automatically expire on December 31, 2020. Here is a link to the Act.

 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved their request to allow small businesses and nonprofits in Ohio to apply for low-interest, long-term loans of up to $2 million through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and nonprofits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75 percent. To keep payments affordable, the loans are long term, with up to 30 years for repayment. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on each borrower’s ability to repay. Loan applications can be completed online, or applicants can obtain a paper application by calling 1-800-659-2955. For more information about the loan program, visit SBA.gov/Disaster.

 

Has your job been impacted by COVID-19? You may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Visit: unemployment.ohio.gov

 If you’ve already filed an application, you do not need to add the mass-layoff number. Your application will still be processed. 
 

Knox Community Hospital in cooperation with Knox Public Health and Knox EMA is providing a “Call Line”. The “Call Line” will be for Knox County residents who think they might have COVID-19. Residents will be able to talk directly with a medical professional about their symptoms and concerns. The call-line number is 740-399-8014. The call-line will be operational from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday. This call line is for medical questions only. For other questions regarding COVID-19, residents are requested to call the State Hotline at 833-427-5634. The State Hotline is open daily from 9am - 8pm.

     

INFORMATION FROM THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES:

Information for Families and Households:

· Information on COVID-19 for Pregnant Women and Children

· Interim Guidance for Household Readiness

· Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for U.S. Households

· Guidance for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in Homes and Residential Communities

· FAQ: COVID-19 and Children

· EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19

Information for Businesses:

· Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

· Information for Communities, Schools, and Businesses

· Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations – Community Facilities

· SBA: COVID-19 Resources

· DOL: Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus

· DOL: OHSA Resources for Workers and Employers on COVID-19

· WHO: Get Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19

· CISA: Risk Management for COVID-19

· EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19

Information for Healthcare Providers, First Responders, and Research Facilities:

· Information for Healthcare Professionals

· Resources for State, Local, Territorial and Tribal Health Departments

· Resources for Healthcare Facilities

· Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with COVID-19 or Persons Under Investigation in Healthcare Settings

· Information for Laboratories

· Resources for First Responders

· Guidance for Public Health Professionals Managing People with COVID-19 in Home Care and Isolation Who Have Pets or Other Animals

· FAQs and Considerations for Patient Triage, Placement and Hospital Discharge

· Guidance for Homeless Shelters

· Guidance for Hemodialysis Facilities

· CMS: Information on COVID-19 and Current Emergencies

· CMS: Guidance for Hospice Agencies

· CMS: Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act Requirements and Implications Related to COVID-19

· CMS: FAQs for State Survey Agency and Accrediting Organizations

· EPA: Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19

CDC Website with the most up-to-date information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES & NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS:

Looking for Local SBA Loan or Other Financial Assistance? Click Here for a list of local financial institutions willing to help.

The list contains direct lines and emails to Bank staff who are dedicated to working with you and your business, as well as brief messages from a few of these institutions.

Main Street Mount Vernon now has a hand sanitizer filling station set up at their office, 501 South Main Street. Businesses can refill one 8-oz bottle of hand sanitizer on Mondays from 9:00am to 11:00am and on Thursdays from noon until 3:00pm. Appointments can be made for other days and times by emailing chamber@knoxchamber.com.

Main Street Mount Vernon has reserved 5 downtown parking spots for pick-up and carry-out orders. Any downtown business is welcome to use the spot, but they must be used by customers for pick-up and carry-out only. After parking, customers can identify the spot they are at and staff can bring their order to them.

The spots are reserved from Monday-Saturday of each week from 11am-6pm.

Main Street Mount Vernon is compiling supplies and resources for a Reopening Plan Tool Kit. This tool kit will include:
Several Masks
Hand Sanitizer (We do not have individual bottles, Please provide your own bottle)
Reopening Plan Poster (Click Here to View Downtown Version) (Click here for Knox County Version).
Resources on hygiene standards

If you are in need of any masks, or hand sanitizer, please contact Anthony at director@mainstreetmountvernon.com.
 

Main Street Mount Vernon is asking their members and other downtown merchants to send in a short 20 second video clip detailing your excitement to get back to business and the safety precautions that you are taking to ensure customer safety. These clips will be promoted on the Main Street Facebook page and used to keep track of the reopening of business. Clips can be emailed to Anthony at director@mainstreetmountvernon.com, or texted to Anthony at 740-243-5042.

In accordance with Ohio's statewide transition plan announced April 27, 2020, and as buildings re-open that have had little to no water usage during the Stay at Home Order due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to flush water that has been stagnant in both cold- and hot-water distribution lines and fixtures. Low water usage can contribute to bacterial growth, including Legionella which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. It can also cause other water quality issues with potential health risks due to the build-up of lead and copper in stagnant water that's been collecting in older pipes and fixtures. As buildings reopen, it is critical to drain, flush, and if necessary, based on a review of building conditions, disinfect the hot and cold-water systems to remove harmful contaminants. Devices that store water, such as drinking water fountains, water heaters, storage tanks, and any droplet or mist-forming devices such as cooling towers, humidifiers, showerheads, and certain medical and manufacturing devices and process equipment should also be flushed and disinfected in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations or industry best practices. The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have issued the "Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration" which can be found HERE.

Knox County small businesses in need of short-term working capital have a new source for funding, according to Jeff Gottke, president of Area Development Foundation. The Emergency Business Loan is available locally with the intent to provide operating capital as businesses make cost-saving measures and tighten their belts in order to continue operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans, available up to $10,000, are at zero interest and will have 1- to 3-year repayment terms. Qualifying businesses must be in Knox County, employ low-to-moderate income county residents, have maintained stable business operations prior to COVID-19, and have ability to repay the loan. Companies must also have demonstrated significant cost-savings measures in response to the current economic condition. Referrals to the program must be made through a qualifying Small Business Association lender. Any business interested in applying should contact their SBA lender first. Each application is then reviewed in the order it is received by a 12-member committee. Final approval comes from the state level.

Small business owners that employ between 3 and 20 people can apply for a $5,000 grant beginning April 20, 2020. Click HERE to learn more.

Small business owners are getting hit with a lot of information and making tough decisions on how to survive the COVID-19 crisis. Emails are coming in from every direction about local, state, and federal government relief loans. They're also sifting through advice on how to keep employees, maintaining a safe work environment and tips on cybersecurity and protecting all of their data. With all of these messages flooding inboxes, social media, and phones, it’s easy to mistake a scam for a real offer. BBB wants business owners to be aware of false SBA grant offers.

Tips for Spotting a Small Business Loan Scam:

  • Look for a website that ends in .gov or .ca and be cautious of those that don’t: Legitimate government entities will have websites and emails that end with .gov such as SBA.gov.

  • Double check emails from respected organizations: Unfortunately, respected organizations like SBA and BBB are being used in scams to get more consumers to give information. If an email has an offer that seems too good to be true, call the organization to double check the authenticity of the offer.

  • Do a quick internet search for similar offers: Many government agencies helping small businesses are offering loans and other programs. Be sure to confirm that the offer is real before sharing personal or business information. Find the agency website through an online search (never click on a link in an email) and be sure the program is on their website.

  • Government agencies do not typically text or communicate through social media avenues such as Facebook: Be wary of unsolicited messages. Recently, scammers have been hacking into people’s Facebook accounts and messaging their friends and family claiming they’re eligible for grants. Grants aren’t given as personal prizes.  

  • You should never have to pay money to receive money: If you have to pay money to claim a "free" government grant, it is not really free. A real government agency will not ask you to pay an advanced processing fee.

  • Businesses typically don’t receive government grants: In general, the federal government only offers grants to nonprofits, educational institutions, and state and local governments. Learn more at SBA.gov.

Businesses and workers can now access all of these resources related to COVID-19 in one place at ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

The portal includes information on unemployment benefits, the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Liquor Buyback Program, modified rules for trucking to help ship critical supplies into the state, the delay of BWC Premiums, etc.

The Ohio Development Services Agency is preparing to submit 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 BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov. Additional information on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.

 
 

SCHOOL ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 

 

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS:

​​​

  • The Mount Vernon Farmers Market will return to the Public Square this Saturday, July 4 from 9:00am to noon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the market has adopted new guidelines to make it safer for vendors and shoppers to participate in the market on the square. The guidelines are those of the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Farmers Market Coalition.​ No one will be allowed to enter the market area prior to 9:00am. Vendors will be located on just one side of the walkways and there will be signage directing shoppers where to enter and exit the market area. Shoppers are encouraged to wear masks and maintain social distancing with one shopper at a time at each booth. Hand sanitizer will be available.
     

  • Due to the extended period of social distancing needed to deal with the ongoing risks from the COVID-19 virus, the Board of Directors of Praisestock has decided to cancel the 2020 worship gathering.   Other alternative plans have been considered for online or smaller venue events, but at this time none have appeared feasible.  While Praisestock 2020 has been cancelled, the Board is continuing to look at opportunities for community worship, for support of Food for the Hungry and the Knox Network of Christian Ministries, and to plan for an even bigger and better worship gathering in 2021. 
     

  • Recovery Bags made for the residents of Knox County are ready for distribution. These bags were designed for people to feel safe going back into the community.  The bags consist of a mask, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, Kleenex, 1 pair of gloves, magnifying card, and educational information. People can pick them up at Knox Public Health, both locations of CES Credit Union, and Knox Area Transit.  If there are questions, anyone can call 740-485-5002 for more information.

  • All Chautauqua programs for June and July have been cancelled.
     

  • The Knox County Junior Fair has released the schedule for this year's fair. It can be viewed HERE.
     

  • The Mayor will be holding a press conference on the Public Square at noon on Thursday, June 11 to make an official announcement about the summer recreation programs in the City of Mount Vernon. If the weather does not permit being outside on the public square, it will move to the Woodward Opera House.
     

  • The Mount Vernon City Schools Summer Food Program will be providing Breakfast and Grab & Go lunches until July 31 from 11:00am to 12:30pm at the following locations: Dan Emmett Elementary, Pleasant Street Elementary, The Learning Center, Wiggin Street Elementary, and the High School.
     

  • The Knox County Jr. Fair Board has released the following information regarding this year's Knox County Fair:
    - Market Projects will be exhibiting.
    - Booth Displays, Commodity Sponsored Events, King & Queen Competition, Junior Fair Showmanship, Junior Fair Skillathon, Outstanding Market Exhibitor, and Showman of Showmen have all been postponed to the 2021 Knox County Fair.
    - FFA Shop & Crop and Vegetable and Flower judging will be restructured and held outside of the Knox County Fair. Premiums will still be paid to those who completed their project and receive a letter grade at judging.
    - The Junior Fair Livestock Sale will be conducted but will be restructured to comply with all health and safety guidelines.
    - Junior Fair Premiums will be paid by mail after the conclusion of the 2020 Knox County Fair.

     

  • The Knox County Chamber of Commerce Zoom Meeting featuring business reopening guidelines from Health Commissioner Julie Miller is available to watch HERE.
     

  • The Knox County Chamber of Commerce Safety Council on June 17 and Mixer on June 30 have been cancelled. 
     

  • The Ohio BWC has cancelled the June meeting.
     

  • On Monday, June 1, United Way of Knox County office will return to business hours 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. Please call the office at 740.397.5721 to reach staff directly or email liveunited@uwayknox.org
     

  • The 2020 Ohio State Fair has been cancelled.
     

  • Interchurch Social Services plans to reopen the thrift stores in Mount Vernon and Danville on Monday, June 1. Staff & volunteers will wear masks and gloves as needed. Shoppers are asked to wear masks while in the stores and maintain social distance. They will limit the number of shoppers in the stores at any given time. Mount Vernon store hours will be Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm. Danville will be open Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 2:30 pm. The Fredericktown location will open their Thrift Store May 26 – June 6. Food Pantry Assistance and Emergency Financial Aid will continue to be available in our temporary offices located in the Fredericktown First Presbyterian Church. For more information, please call 740-694-8110. The Centerburg Thrift Store will remain closed at this time. Please watch for additional information.
     

  • The United Way of Knox County’s Affinity Group, Women United, has made the decision to hold an online Power of the Purse Auction, partnering with Jagger Auctioneers, instead of holding a traditional live event, originally rescheduled on August 21, 2020. This unique event will take place online the week of October 12-16, 2020. As the event gets closer, more information will be released. To donate a new purse to the auction, please contact United Way at 740.392.5721 or email lindsay@uwayknox.org.
     

  • Skyview Ranch has cancelled all youth sumer camp programs for 2020.
     

  • The  June 11 Chautauqua- D Day Girls: the spies who armed the Resistance, sabotaged the Nazis and helped win WWII- has been cancelled.
     

  • Foundation Park Conservancy announces that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is cancelling its 2020 free summer concert series, including three Movie Mondays and the scheduled Aug. 22 Rastin Challenge for First Responders.
     

  • The African Children's Choir concert at Roscoe UMC (in historic Roscoe Village) that was to be held on Monday, June 29, has been cancelled.  A reschedule date has not been decided at this point. 
     

  • The Mount Vernon Fourth of July Fireworks at Ariel Foundation Park have been cancelled.
     

  • The Heart of Ohio USA Days Festival in Centerburg (June 18-19) has been cancelled.

  • Two events normally held in May in Fredericktown have been postponed until June. The Spring Garage Sale Day is now June 6, while Dumpster Day is moved to June 13. 

  • Main Street Mount Vernon has cancelled June and July First Fridays. They have also cancelled the May Ladies' Night and their Awards Dinner/Taste of Knox.
     

  • The 2020 Knox County Relay for Life will be postponed to a later date.
     

  • The Foundation for KCH has cancelled the annual Charity Golf Classic originally scheduled for July 10.
     

  • KSAAT has several COVID-19 support resources available on their website.
     

  • USDA has announced a Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. More information is available HERE.
     

  • MTVArts has cancelled their summer musical, "Sound of Music."
     

  • Spirit Song at Kings Island (June 18-20) has been cancelled. Tickets will be refunded.
     

  • The Ariel Foundation Park Conservancy has cancelled the following events at Ariel Foundation Park:
    * May 31: Knox Community Jazz Orchestra Concert
    * June 8: Movie Night
    * June 19: Popgun Concert

     

  • Weathervane Playhouse in Newark has cancelled their 2020 summer season. It is anticipated that the fall and winter shows, Clue the Musical and Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings, will go on as scheduled. In addition, Weathervane staff is working with the respective licensing agencies to acquire the rights to move the 2020 summer shows to the summer of 2021.
     

  • One Columbus has created a webpage for Federal, State, and Local COVID-19 resources. The local resources that are listed are specific to their 11 county region, which includes Knox County. Click HERE to access the information.
     

  • Zoombezi Bay will delay its opening for the 2020 season due to the coronavirus. The park was initially scheduled to open for the season on May 16. Park officials now say the park is preparing to open sometime later during the month of May or in early June.
     

  • The American Red Cross has critical needs in Knox County for local service areas which include: 
    * New volunteers (10-12) to assist with local blood drives (non-medical staff that can help at registration desk and health history) and 4-6 volunteers to assist with local disaster response.
    * Virtual "help from home" volunteers (2-4) (with good computer skills) that could be trained to assist with screening and dispatching needs.
    * The need for on-going local blood donations. We need to make sure that during this COVID-19 event that we still have an adequate blood supply throughout Ohio in the coming months.    

     

  • City of Mount Vernon Mayor Matt Starr announced that Hiawatha Water Park will keep its doors closed for the 2020 season. 
     

  • All Knox County EMS and fire departments are accepting donations of homemade masks. In addition, Knox Area Transit (KAT) will be accepting both donations of homemade masks as well as material to make homemade masks. All donated masks will be sanitized prior to use or distribution. KAT will send donated masks they receive from the public to Mount Vernon Fire Department to be sanitized. Masks will then be returned to KAT for distribution. PPE donated to EMS and fire departments will be used for patients they transport as well as for their personnel. Surplus donated masks will be provided to KAT. KAT has agreed to take the lead in distributing homemade masks to business, organizations and individuals in need. These include EMS patients and personnel, KCH Cancer Center patients, the Community Health Center, senior citizens that need to leave their homes, and workers in essential business (i.e. grocery stores). Anyone receiving requests to receive homemade masks should direct those requests to Knox County Mobility Manager Susie Simpson at 740-485-5002.
     

  • The Hot Meals program is still offering community meals during the pandemic, offering a grab and go style of meal. Meals are available in the following locations:
    * On Sunday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Parish House, 100 E. High St., Mount Vernon.
    * On Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 102 N. Gay St., Mount Vernon
    * On Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 200 N. Main St., Mount Vernon
    * On Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Father's Table, Mount Vernon First Naz Foster's Ministry House, 723 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon.
    * On Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Salvation Army, 206 E. Ohio Avenue, Mount Vernon
    * On Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Gay Street United Methodist Church, 18 N. Gay St., Mount Vernon
    * On Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Mount Vernon Seventh-Day Adventist School, 221 Sychar Road, Mount Vernon
    FACA Hot Meals at the Senior Citizens building in Fredericktown is suspended until further notice. For more information contact 2-1-1 or the Knox Network of Christian Ministries on Facebook or contactKNCM@gmail.com.

     

  • The March 31, 2020 deadline for private pesticide applicators (farmers) and the May 31, 2020 deadline for agricultural fertilizer certificate holders to renew their license and get training has been extended. The deadline is now 90 days after the state of emergency Executive Order ends or December 1, 2020, whichever comes first.
     

  • The Knox County Sheriff's Office would like to remind residents to be aware of scammers taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis. The IRS should not be contacting you. Report COVID-19 Fraud at 866-720-5721 or Disaster@leo.gov. Tips for protecting yourself from fraud include:
    * Ignore unsolicited offers for coronavirus cures, vaccines, pills, or treatment.
    * Never share personal information with strangers.
    * Never open emails or links from unknown sources.
    * Have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware software protections on your devices.
    * Beware of requests to send money in any form.

     

  • The annual Columbus Arts Festival will not take place this Summer. The board of trustees for the Greater Columbus Arts Council, which produces the event, voted Thursday to cancel the 2020 festival, which attracts more than 500,000 people every June to the Downtown riverfront. As the coronavirus pandemic looms large, the decision comes amid uncertainty as to when public gatherings might once again be able to take place.
     

  • The Democratic National Committee is delaying its presidential nominating convention until the week of August 17.
     

  • United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. announced that it will establish a local Community Response and Recovery
    Fund. Funds raised will go toward COVID-19 community response and recovery projects. Those who contribute to the COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund will be supporting projects to help our community members maintain access to food, medical supplies, and stable housing. United Way will make those funds available to United Way Partners, Food For the Hungry, and other groups that require medical supplies. This generosity will provide essential community services to alleviate the community impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Donors can visit the website uwayknox.org/Respond to place on online donation using their credit card information. If individuals or organization are interested in contributing to the fund, but unable to do so electronically, they may also mail their contribution to the United Way office at 305 E. High Street in Mount Vernon or contact Kelly@uwayknox.org. Every gift makes a difference, especially today.

     

  • Additional "Local" direct lines for services needed during COVID-19:
    * Food and Medication Delivery Service: 740-485-5002
    Dial this number to arrange for free delivery of food and or medications. All food and medications must be prepaid or they can also pick up free food at the Salvation Army or Interchurch and deliver. This is a partnership between United Way, Knox Area Transit and the Knox County Community Parishioners.
    * Salvation Army: Food, Utility and Rent Assistance
    740-392-8716
    * Interchurch Social Services: Food Utility and Rent Assistance
    740-397-8716
    *New Directions: Domestic Violence/Crisis Center
    740-397-4357
    * Knox Community Hospital
    740.393.9000
    * Knox Health Center
    740-399-8014
    * Winter Sanctuary Homeless Shelter: Will be closing on April 1, 2020
    Emergency Assistance still available at 740-392-9277
    * Job and Family Services- Unemployment
    740-397-7177

  • The Knox Substance Abuse Action Team (KSAAT) has announced the postponement or cancellation of the following events:
    * All upcoming Hidden in Plain Sights have been postponed.
    * All Prevention Action Alliance events scheduled between now and May 31st have been canceled. This includes: Advanced Ethics, Problem Gambling 101 & Prevention Ethics, The G.A.P. Network Regional Summit – Southeast (Zanesville), Statewide Prevention Coalition Association meeting, We Are The Majority Rally, The Statewide Prevention Coalition Association Annual Meeting, The Ohio College Initiative Annual Luncheon, The Ohio College Initiative Presidents Luncheon, The G.A.P. Network Regional Summit – Northeast (Akron)
    * The Communities Coming Together Conference scheduled for June 29-30 has been cancelled. Individuals who purchased tickets will receive a full refund.

     

  • The OSU Extension Office of Knox County is holding 4-H Open Chats to answer questions about 4-H and the Junior Fair. 
     

  • The Foundation Park Conservancy announced that the Rastin Observation Tower at Ariel Foundation park will be closed until further notice. However, the park will remain open for people to walk, bike, hike, and spend time outdoors, while maintaining an appropriate distance. With 250 acres, park leaders believe Ariel-Foundation Park is the perfect location to break up the monotony of staying at home, to get some fresh air, sunshine and exercise which contributes to overall mental and emotional health. The public is also encouraged to check out the trails at Brown Family Environmental Center and the other Knox County Park District locations (www.knoxcountyparks.org). One Foundation Park event, the Face-2-Face fundraising concert on Thursday, June 11, has been cancelled thus far. The board is continuing to monitor the ongoing situation and may make further cancellations/postponements to May/June 2020 free summer concert series dates as facts become more defined over the next few weeks.
     

  • NAMI announced their programs have been postponed; however they are looking into virtual class for Family to Family if enrollment warrants it.  Call 740-397-3088 if you have questions. 
     

  • The Price is Right Live has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 30, and is back on sale to the public. Tickets already purchased for the previous date will be honored, and ticketholders need only to present them at the Palace Theatre on Aug. 30. Ticket purchasers who prefer a refund can contact the CBUSArts Ticket Center via phone at 614-469-0939. Refund requests will be accepted through Thursday, July 30.
     

  • The Pheasants Forever Youth Field Day has been postponed until August 15, 2020.



 

  • The Child Evangelism Fellowship Fundraising Banquet scheduled for March 24 has been postponed to September 15. 
     

  • The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County has closed all of its locations until further notice.  While the Library takes steps to continue providing library services through alternative means, it has asked that persons who have borrowed Library materials NOT return them for the time being.  The Library will waive all overdue fines and fees for the entire period of closure and for two weeks after its eventual reopening.​

    • Two popular writing programs will continue online on Tuesdays and Thursdays hosted by the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County:

      Authors Anonymous Google Hangout: Tuesdays 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. via Google Hangout
      A support group for age 18 and above creatives who write. Space is limited and registration is required. Please email Knoxwrites1@gmail.com for more information or to register.

      Teen Writing Program Meetup: Thursdays 4:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m.
      Weekly meetup with creative writing prompts and activities for young authors age 13-18. A casual, fun atmosphere to connect teens during social isolation. Space is limited and registration is required. Please email knoxwrites1@gmail.com for more info. Note: An "Unplugged" version of Teen Writing Program is available for teens without internet access. Call (740) 392-BOOK Ext 224 and leave a phone number where you can be reached. We will call back and connect you with materials to keep you creative!

    • According to Library director John Chidester, the Library will not circulate physical items for the next two weeks but is exploring the possibility of resuming limited circulation of some items without allowing public access to the buildings.  In the meantime, the Library will be increasing its holdings of e-books and e-audiobooks and maintaining access to streaming video, music and other materials online.

    • The Library will also service patrons’ needs through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), phone and email (plmvkcohio@gmail.com) and will provide wifi access to the internet accessible from its parking lots.

    • All of the Library’s digital and online resources can be accessed through its website: www.knox.net.

    • During the period of closure Library staff will continue to work to provide library services in the following ways:

      • Phone assistance to answer questions and provide information for persons with no internet access, who are isolated and may need to speak to another human.

      • Online chat help to answer questions and help connect patrons to digital and online resources, especially those who may be undergoing self-quarantine.

      • Increase in digital holdings to make e-books and e-audio books more immediately available.

      • Promotion of digital and online resources on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

      • Facilitation of applications for online library cards to provide check-out of e-materials without entering the building.

      • Streaming of some programming content and story times online, possibly with a live chat feature for social interaction.

      • Provision of WIFI signals accessible to persons in parking lots to allow them to access the internet safely from their cars.
         

  • The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Services at the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County have been canceled until further notice. The program’s website, www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide, is the best resource for information and changes in service availability.
     

  • The Knox County Sheriff’s Office is implementing the following new procedures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

    • For background checks, fingerprints, CCW applications and renewals, visitors will be screened prior to entry using the following questions.

      • Do you have symptoms of respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?

      • Have you travelled outside of the United States to any of the following countries within the last 14 days, China, Iran, Italy, Japan and/or South Korea?

      • Do you co-habitat with another person that has travelled outside of the United States to any of the following countries within the last 14 days, China, Iran, Italy, Japan and/or South Korea?

      • Do you co-habitat with another person that has, or has shown symptoms of respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?

      • Have you or anyone you co-habitat with had a documented (by a doctor, nurse, or health official) temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or higher in the last 14 days?

      • A yes answer to any of the above questions, or an elevated temperature when checked by staff will result in a denial of entry.  

    • Knox County Sheriff’s Office Hours of Operation:

      • Services are available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm

      • Reminder, CCW permits are good for 30 days after expiration. Most permit applications are returned in 14 to 21 days. If possible, we ask you to delay your visit for at least 2 weeks. These hours are subject to change or cancellation. We are committed to preserving services as much as possible during this time and we appreciate your patience and understanding.   
         

  • Effective immediately, and until further notice, the procedure for incoming inmates and visitors to the Knox County Jail will contain additional screening measures. In-person visits and jail programs will also be temporarily suspended. The jail facility is a closed environment and the introduction of infected persons could severely impact operations. Both those incarcerated and those who watch over them are at risk for airborne infections. Jail staff is using information provided by Knox Public Health and the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to coordinate best practice procedures.
     

  • The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is now closed until further notice. The dedicated animal care team and other essential personnel will remain active at the Zoo; however, staff who are able to work from home will be encouraged to do so. Zoo leadership will continue to monitor developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and follow guidance from federal, state, and local authorities to determine when the park will reopen.
     

  • The Cincinnati Zoo is closed until further notice, but will have a Facebook Live event every day at 3pm on their home page featuring an animal and an activity that kids can do at home.
     

  • Parent Support Initiative of Knox County: TRIPLE P CLASS information - Sessions for all courses that are currently in process will be completed via phone or virtually. Any currently scheduled course that has not begun will be postponed. Please contact Susan McDonald, Knox Parent Support Initiative Coordinator at 740-324-5789 or psiknox@gmail.com . Time slots for Primary Care individual classes are available now. If interested please contact PSI of Knox County or Candice Meadows at (740) 214-6452. Updates will be given at the Parent Support Initiative of Knox County Facebook page.
     

  • Knox County Probate/Juvenile Judge Jay Nixon files the following emergency orders with the court, effective immediately:

    • All persons shall wash their hands with soap and water in the first floor entrance bathroom before proceeding through the security checkpoint and entering the courthouse.

    • Access to the courthouse shall generally be limited to: parties to a case set for hearing; parents or custodians of juvenile parties; attorneys; guardians ad litem; victims; necessary witnesses; and other persons with express permission from the judge.

    • All persons awaiting hearing in the courthouse shall practice social distancing by staying at least six (6) feet away from other persons when possible.

    • Limited access to the courthouse shall be granted to persons wishing to file documents with the court clerk. Such persons shall proceed directly to the clerk's office and conclude their business with the clerk as expeditiously as possible.

    • Security personnel shall ask all courthouse visitors whether they are ill or have been ill and, if they are ill, have been ill, or decline to respond, visitors may be denied access to the courthouse at the sole discretion of the judge. The court will make every effort to make reasonable accommodations to preserve access to the court system for affected individuals.

    • Attorneys, parties, or victims shall be permitted to make a record, either orally or in writing, of any objection to this temporary emergency order restricting courthouse access.

    • Continuances may be granted, on motion of any party or the court, for illness or other reason during the pendency of these temporary emergency orders.

    • The Juvenile Probation department is hereby authorized to implement temporary internal policies necessary to protect the health and safety of probation staff, other court employees, probationers, and other visitors to Juvenile Probation.
       

  • Knox County 4-H Specific Updates:​

    • OSU Extension Administrative Cabinet has extended the prohibition of in-person programming from May 15 to July 6. This includes all 4-H programs, activities, and events.

    • 4-H clubs in Knox County must cancel or hold their 4-H meetings virtually until after May 15. Any meetings scheduled after that can go on as planned. However, evolving situations may require us to extend this deadline even further. That would include turning in all the club paperwork as well. This does not mean that you cannot continue to communicate with members to get the 4-H Online enrollments complete now instead of waiting to the last minute.

    • 4-H Project Books can be ordered online from extensionpubs.osu.edu. A family can choose between free shipping (promo code: FREE2020) or 20% off the entire order (promo code: 20IN2020). 

    • The Lambing and Kidding simulator Workshop originally scheduled for March 16, 2020 has been rescheduled for Monday, October 5, 2020.

    • April 4: Knox County 4H Youth Day has been moved to August 15

    • May 2: Market Lamb Tagging  – POSTPONED TO JUNE 6

    • May 2: Dairy Market Feeder Tagging  – POSTPONED TO JUNE 6

    • May 2: Market Goat Tagging  – POSTPONED TO JUNE 6

    • June 5-9: The Knolmes County 4- Camp has been cancelled per Ohio State.

    • ALL Animals with a May 1 possession have been moved to June 1 (for the Knox County Fair Market and Breeding Exhibitors) 
       

  • Knox County Agriculture Specific Updates:​​​

    • April 6: Lambing and Kidding Simulator – Moved to October 5, 2020

    • June 1: Goat Improvement Meeting – WILL NOT BE HELD AT THE EXTENSION OFFICE (Possibly Virtually)
       

  • Continue to check the OSU Extension Office blogs, website, and Facebook page to keep updated. 

 

CHURCH ANNOUNCEMENTS:​​​
 

  • Centerburg Church of Christ is holding regular Sunday worship services at 9am & 10:30am with COVID19 guidelines & protocols in place, including cleaning/sanitizing before and after each service. There is also a 6pm outdoor service that is family focused for those with younger children. Livestream is available at 9 & 10:30am on Facebook, YouTube, the church website (centerburgchurchofchrist.com) & app (CenterburgCC). On-demand services are available on the church YouTube channel any time after the 10:30am service has ended. You can additional church information, and links to the church Facebook page & YouTube channel on the church website.
     

  • Presently, the Roscoe UMC (475 High St., Coshocton ~ Historic Roscoe Village) is offering a 10:30 AM service only in their large parking lot by the picnic shelter.  Starting June 14, there will be 2 outdoor services (8:30 AM & 10:30 AM) in the same place.
     

  • Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene will begin holding in person services beginning June 14th at 9:30 a.m. Because of safe distancing practices and limited seating, those wishing to attend are encouraged to register/RSVP at Lakeholm.org.  Guests and families with children are encouraged to attend.  Services may be viewed currently on line at Lakeholm.online.church or Lakeholm.org.  Please check Facebook and YouTube for further connections. Lakeholm has also begun “The Great Milk Giveaway” (2% gal. milk) each Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. at 16001 Glen Rd, Mount Vernon. Milk is free to the public. For further information please see our website at Lakeholm.org or please call 740-397-1105. 
     

  • First Presbyterian Church, 106 North Gay Street in Mount Vernon, will resume onsite worship, one service, beginning on Sunday, June 7, at 10am.  The service will also be on Facebook Live on the church Facebook page Sundays at 10:00am so as to include those who choose not to join us in person at this time.  Details concerning health and social distancing protocols can be found on the church Facebook page.  Other in-church activities and group events are suspended until further notice.  Monday Hot Meal (5:30 to 6:30pm) will continue Bag-and-Go only, no in-church serving. 
     

  • Mulberry Street United Methodist Church will be hosting Drive-In Church Services until further notice. Services will be Sundays at 9:30am and 10:45am. Attendees must stay in their cars and can tune in 97.5 FM. 
     

  • Overcomers Christian Church is happy to announce Drive-in Church. Enter their parking lot from Ames street.  Please park facing the church.  Ushers will be handing out information and fellowship cups for communion.  You will be instructed as to which FM channel to tune to.  Pastor Troy Dugan will be giving the message from just outside the building.  We will also broadcast live praise and worship.  No nursery or children’s church will be available. They ask that you please stay seated in your cars.  Overcomers Christian Church is located at 998 Newark Road Mount Vernon Ohio 43050. For more information find them on  Facebook by searching for "overcomerscc" or call 740-397-0600
     

  • Courtside Ministries, which meets Thursday mornings at the Knox County Courthouse, have suspended all meetings until further notice.
     

  • All regularly scheduled activities at Faith Baptist are suspended until further notice. Sunday messages will be posted on their website and Facebook by 8:30am Sunday mornings.
     

  • Vineyard Church of Knox County has cancelled services until further notice. They are doing services on Sunday mornings via Facebook live at 10:30am on Sunday mornings and mid-week video chats.  
     

  • Gay Street United Methodist Church has suspended worship, classes, and meetings until further notice. The Friday Hot Meal will continue as carry-out.
     

  • New Life Church of the Nazarene is meeting online at https://Newlife.online.church each Sunday at 9:30am and 11:00am. Join them for an interactive time of chatting, worship, and an inspiring message. To stay up to date, please visit Newlifenaz.net or their Facebook page - New Life Church of the Nazarene. New Life is offering to record pastors on Thursday afternoons at their church during this time of social distancing.  Whether it's a simple greeting, word of encouragement/hope, or a devotional / mini-sermon.  Music, slides, etc. are not available, just a pastor talking to his/her people.  New Life will handle the recording and then provide the link that can be shared with the congregation.  It would be hosted on the New Life youtube channel.  Please schedule a time by Tuesday of whatever week you want to record. Please email Cody McNichols at cody@newlifenaz.net.  Please include your name, church, what type of talk and approximately how long, and what time window works best for you.  Then Cody will confirm with you from there. 
    - New Life Church has established a COVID-19 fund as a place to contribute to those affected by this crisis. 100% will go to those impacted by the epidemic. To give to this fund visit www.newlifenaz.net and select "Giving" in the menu bar and then choose "COVID-19 Relief." You can also mail or drop off cash/checks to the church, 665 Harcourt Road, Mount Vernon, with a note designating it to COVID-19 Relief.

     

  • Fredericktown United Methodist Church has canceled in-house worship services.  At this time, they will be posting services online, probably on Saturday nights, for people to be able to view at their convenience. They have also suspended Wednesday evening PeaceMeal and Ignite Worship Service.  
     

  • New Life Community Church in Fredericktown will have no services until further notice. NewLife will live stream service via Facebook Sunday at 10am.
     

  • Faith Baptist Church has suspended all Wednesday evening activities until further notice
     

  • Mount Vernon First Church of the Nazarene will provide their services online during their normal service time (10:45 am) and will also provide regular updates through their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/firstnaz.mtvernon) and website (firstnaz.net). Their services will continue to be broadcast on 1300AM WMVO at 11:30am each Sunday as well. 

    • Fathers Table Update:

      • Wednesday night hot meal will be served at the door with to go containers at its regular time.

      • Food pantry will also be at its normal time. We will meet people at the door to give assistance.

      • We will also be giving out kid packs, that will have basic needs for families.

      • If you know of anyone that needs food, care items, or assistance please let us know.

 

SPORTS ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • MVNU Basketball has postponed their June camp slate, which includes five team camps, prospect camp, and the RULECougar skills camp. A rescheduled date has not been announced.
     

  • The Memorial Tournament, originally set for June 1-7, has been rescheduled for July 13-19.
     

  • The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course announced that the 2020 Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio originally set for May 1-3, 2020, has been rescheduled to Sept. 25-27, 2020.
     

  • Major tennis tournaments are also dealing with the coronavirus crisis, as Wimbledon is cancelled for 2020 and the French Open is moving from May 24th to September 20th. The U.S. Tennis Association says it is proceeding with plans to hold the U.S. Open in New York as scheduled, starting August 24th.
     

  • The Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until August 23.
     

  • The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed until 2021.
     

  • The Boston Marathon is postponed from April 20th to September 14th.
     

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame is Temporarily Closed
    As a public health precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Museum is now closed to the public until further notice. The health and safety of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s visitors, as well as staff and volunteers, is our top priority.
     The Hall of Fame will continue to closely monitor the situation and maintain ongoing communication with state and local health officials. Updates will be provided at www.profootballhof.com/visit/ and on the Hall’s social media - @ProFootballHOF on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
    Tickets and official packages for Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls remain on sale at https://www.profootballhof.com/tickets/
    Exclusive Hall of Fame merchandise and gear for all 32 NFL Clubs is available at  https://www.profootballhof.com/store/

     

  • The NBA has suspended all games until further notice.
     

  • The NHL has suspended its season, also until further notice.
     

  • Major League Soccer has suspended its season until further notice.
     

  • Major League Baseball has suspended spring training and pushed back opening day. (No date has been set at this time)

 

From the KNOX COUNTY EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER:

Click here to see the Daily Situation Report

One of the priorities of the county’s COVID response is to insure all members of the community are informed of local resources that are available to provide assistance.  In an effort to communicate these resources, the Knox County EMA has developed COVID-19 Informational Bookmarks.  If you would like bookmarks to provide to those you serve they can be picked up from the Chamber of Commerce or at the EMA office.

Thanks to a $45,000 contribution from AT&T, the Emergency Management Association of Ohio (EMAO) launched its "Frontline Heroes Fund," which is aimed at helping the state's county emergency management director’s support their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knox County EMA received $500 from AT&T’s contribution to the fund. Knox County Director Mark Maxwell presented the $500 to Jerry Scott of the Knox County Chaplin’s Corp. The donation will assist the Corp in their continuing effort to provide food to those in Knox County who are most vulnerable as a result of COVID-19.

Knox County Emergency Management Agency and Knox Public Health have been tireless in their efforts to inform the community of directives, statistics, and new information coming from the state and federal levels of how to handle the COVID-19 virus on the front lines. Representatives from several agencies around the county are participating in countless meetings and briefings where information changes at the turn of each passing minute. In response to the business community’s health, Knox County EMA Director, Mark Maxwell, announced the expansion of an Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF), which will serve as a special sub-committee to the already created Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC) currently serving Knox County’s disaster plan. The ERTF sub-committee is a natural extension to address business-specific needs during and after a disaster. According to the National Disaster Recovery Framework, there are short-term, intermediate, and long-term recovery planning structures to help guide communities through their own recovery plan. The mission of the ERTF is divided into a triage approach where short-term measures explore temporary actions to support business reopening’s, maintenance, and reestablish cash flow. At the intermediate planning level, the establishment of a “one-stop” recovery center approach is well underway with the creation of a centralized document for finding financial assistance. Regarding long-term strategies, the ERTF will take the lead from the Area Development Foundation, which has already made headway. The ERTF is planning to meet weekly and will report their recommendations to Maxwell and other
members of the Long Term Recovery Committee. Knox County EMA will share the plans on their updates as they become available. A wide cross section of countywide leaders from respective communities and businesses are being recruited to provide help to the task force.

Unified Command (UC) was officially established on Friday March 20, 2020. UC is comprised of Health Commissioner Julie Miller, Sheriff David Shafer, Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher, Knox Community Hospital Safety Officer Russell
Maroni, and Emergency Management Director Mark Maxwell.

 

Emergency Operations Center Status: Partial Activation.

EVENT RESOURCES

  • Knox Community Chaplain Corps is coordinating material assistance as well as mental health and spiritual support. Those needing this service can call 740-485-5002.

  • Knox Public Health are providing a “Call Line”, 740-399-8014, for medical related questions. The call-line will be operational from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday.

  • Ohio Department of Health (ODH) COVID-19 call center 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

  • (ODH COVID-19 information is available at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov

  • COVID-19 confirmed cases in the US (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-inus.html)

  • Ohio EMA public assistance information: https://www.ema.ohio.gov/Recovery_covid19.aspx


Mass Care Assistance Provided

  • To date our mass care volunteers have provided the following:
    o 74 requests for assistance with food
    o 20 requests for assistance with prescriptions
    o 100 requests for homemade masks
    o 23 requests for information

  • The Salvation Army has received a 70% increase in requests for food boxes with 42% being first time requests

  • 2-1-1 has referred 33 calls to the Knox County Chaplain’s Association, 28 of which requested food delivery assistance

  • Knox Public Health’s Call Line will be reducing hours to 8 a.m. to noon beginning Monday. Messages can be left 24 hours a day.

CURRENT EOC OBJECTIVES
Operations

  • Establish and maintain situational awareness and common operational picture of the event and
    potential impacts.

  • Using all available sources, communicate details to key partners in a coordinated manner.

  • Support executive decision making.

  • Receive, prioritize, and fulfill requests for resources.

  • Support Mass Care coordination

  • Conduct advance planning.

  • Conduct planning for future needs and contingencies. Coordinate the sustainment of economic and business activities to pre-disaster conditions.

  • Promote the development of new economic opportunities resulting in a sustainable and
    economically resilient community.

CURRENT EOC ACTIVITIES
Operations

  • Distributing daily Situation Report

  • Working with community partners to meet mass care needs

  • Recruiting additional medical staffing for estimated patient surge

  • KCH staff will provided training for KPH nursing staff

  • KPH staff will contact healthcare facilities to emphasize coordination of PPE requests and conservation efforts

  • Developed and distributed a procedure for homemade mask collection, sanitization and distribution

Logistics

  • Documenting and tracking all PPE supplies

  • Collecting information from community partners PPE supplies and use

  • Fulfilling requests for PPE

  • Continuing to receive donations of PPE

  • Establishing quarantine and isolation locations

Planning

  • Ongoing discussion of strategy and support for quarantine and isolation sites

  • Continuing to discuss strategies for the possibility of mass fatalities

  • Ongoing discussion of strategy and support for a patient surge

  • Planning continues of supporting deliveries of food and medicine for those at highest risk

  • Ongoing discussion of strategy and support for of Responsible Restart Ohio

Public Information

  • Provide information to the public via media, social media and other means

  • Continually Identifying priority information that needs communicated to the public

Recovery

  • Ongoing discussion of strategies to provide mental health, emotional and spiritual support for those impacted

BOARD OF PHARMACY: To address any possible workforce shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has adopted guidance authorizing pharmacists and pharmacy technicians licensed in other states to work in Ohio pharmacies under certain conditions. 

 

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: ODH unveiled a new Coronavirus dashboard that is available on their website. The new dashboard is interactive and can display data based on user input. ODH has also issued new guidance that allows local health boards to disclose to police, fire, paramedics or other first responders information concerning a patient that they came into contact with who is positive for COVID-19.
 

Share Your Ideas for Conserving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Governor DeWine and Dr. Acton are working with experts from across the country to brainstorm ways to conserve PPE. From gloves to masks to shields, we know you have great ideas, too. Please take a moment and share your ideas with us. You will have the opportunity to indicate if you would like your name/practice information to be shared or remain anonymous. Click Here to Share Your Ideas

Strategic National Stockpile Update - Ohio did not receive as much PPE as what they had requested and they do not feel that it is enough to handle this pandemic. Ohio has requested additional supplies, but we have no confirmation if and when we may receive them. Conservation of PPE is still remains a priority. There will be four types of PPE allocated: fit
tested masks (N95 and P100), surgical masks, disposable gowns and gloves. The allocation was based upon the CDC’s Pandemic Plan that takes into consideration critical users. Critical users have been identified as: EMS, hospitals, long term care, other healthcare and law enforcement. To donate items, please call the Knox County COVID Call-Line, 740-399-8014 (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm). 

 

KEY PARTNER ACTIVITIES:

Knox County – All county offices are open and providing essential services. Individuals are still encouraged to call or email the offices to set up an appointment.

 

COTS - Hired a contractor to work with the hospitals to create a regional alternate care site (ACS). This ACS will be a regional asset and all central region hospitals will be able to transport patients into the system via one of the 4 healthcare systems in Franklin County.

 

Board of Elections - The Ohio Primary Election was postponed to June 2. Absentee ballots will be permitted, but in-person voting would not take place until June 2. The Knox County Board of Elections is accepting applications for absentee ballots for the Primary Election that was cancelled on March 17, 2020. The deadline to turn in an application is May 6, 2020. Visit www.co.knox.oh.us/boe and click Online Forms, or call 740-393-6716.

 

City of Mount Vernon -  Effective Tuesday, May 12, the City will reopen most public offices. All members of the public are requested to call before visiting City facilities. A Public Notice to this effect has been provided to each department and they are required to post this notice at the entrance to all facilities. (Click HERE to see the entire plan). All department heads have been authorized to reduce their workforce or move to remote work to the extent practical.

The City of Mount Vernon has experienced an increase in the number of sanitary sewer issues resulting from people flushing household and "flushable" wipes. We would like to remind everyone that even though these products are marketed as "flushable" or "disposable", they do not break down properly and can block sewer lines and cause pumps to fail. Any consumer item that is not toilet paper should not be flushed. These wipe-style products should be placed in the trash. 

Village of Centerburg – The village offices will be open to the public beginning on May 11. Individuals are still encouraged to conduct business by phone or email where possible.

 

Village of Danville - The Danville Municipal Building will be closed to the public. Essential services will still be conducted. Due to Ohio Stay at Home Order the Village Offices, Maintenance, Water/Sewer and Clerks offices will be available by phone only. Please call 740-599-6888, follow the prompts, and leave a message. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.
 

Village of Gambier – The village is limiting access to public facilities. The Library, Head Start, and the Community Center are closed to the public. Water bill and tax payments should be placed in the drop box.

Village of Fredericktown – The Village of Fredericktown office is open. Individuals are requested to conduct business remotely as much as possible. In lieu of coming in to the Village office, customers may continue to pay their utility bill by mail, auto deduct, on the fredericktownohio.net website, or at the drop box in the alley east of the Municipal Building.

AEP Ohio – Currently AEP is not disconnecting service and not doing planned outages unless absolutely necessary due to the large amount of people working from home.

Knox County Common Pleas Court - Criminal cases involving jail inmates will be handled by video conference. All non-jail criminal cases will be continued until after April 15. Civil and domestic relations cases will be handled by telephone. Civil Protection Orders will be accepted as normal. Anyone having an emergency or urgent matter can file a request with the Court for a hearing.

 

Central Ohio Trauma System (COTS) – The Regional Healthcare Emergency Preparedness (RHEP) Coalition is in response mode for COVID 19. COTS has activated their Hospital Incident Liaison (HIL). Central Ohio hospitals continue to make preparations for a medical surge. Testing supplies (viral swabs and viral medium) and PPE are in extremely short supply.

 

Knox Area Transit – KAT will continue to provide service as directed during this covid-19 event. All buses will continue to be disinfected on a daily basis with many disinfected more often, especially those transporting to and from medical appointments. Riders are asked to practicing social distancing, not ride if they have a fever or are feeling ill, and if you begin a fever or feeling ill, notify the driver so they may disinfect the bus.


Knox County 9-1-1 – Call takers will be asking callers viral illness screening question early in the call is to provide additional situational awareness for responders.

Knox County CERT - Eight CERT members are actively involved in delivering prescriptions and groceries. CERT has made 33 deliveries to date working with KCCP.

Knox County Clerk of Courts- The Knox County Clerk of Courts Title Office will be closed to the public until further notice. The Governor's orders regarding BMV operations has affected this decision. Titling services go hand-in-hand with other BMV operations. The closure is consistent with decisions made by other government offices to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Auto dealer transactions will not be impacted. The Title Office is located at 671 N. Sandusky St., Mount Vernon.

Knox Community Chaplain Corps – KCCP is coordinating local service organizations to provide material assistance as well as mental health and spiritual support. Deliveries will be scheduled from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., Monday through Saturday. Sunday deliveries will be from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. Those needing this service can call 740-485-5002.

 

Knox Public Health - Citizens who have questions or complaints concerning business and the “Stay at Home” order should email info@knoxhealth.com. The COVID-19 Call-Line is for medical related questions only.

 

Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services – The ODJFS is offering assistance to those whose jobs have been impacted by COVID19. Visit unemployment.ohio.gov. Upon the direction of the Knox County Commissioners, Knox County Department of Job & Family Services offices are closed to the public until further notice. Also closed to the public until further notice is Opportunity Knox Employment Center, 17604 Coshocton Road, and its recycling facilities. We ask the public to utilize the many options for continuing to receive our services via telephone, email, fax and websites as follows: 
               Agency website/phone: https://www.co.knox.oh.us/jfs/ and 740-397-7177.
               Drop box – Drop boxes have been installed at the rear entrance of the Knox County                                                                                       Service Center, 117 E. High St., and at Opportunity Knox, 17604 Coshocton Road. The public can                                             leave items for JFS in these boxes. Please be sure the items are clearly marked for “JFS”.
               Child Support – Call 740-397-7177, ext. 3029 or email KNOX_CSS@jfs.ohio.gov. Access case information,                                                     communicate with your caseworker and get payment histories at                                                                                                   https://childsupport.ohio.gov/login.jsf Documents can be faxed to 740-397-5200 or mailed to                                                   KCDJFS/CSS, 117 E. High St., Mount Vernon, OH 43050. Child support payments can be made by                                           mail at Ohio CSPC, P.O. Box 182372, Columbus, OH 43218-2394 or online at                                                                               http://oh.smartchildsupport.com.
               Children Services – Many Protective Services staff will be working remotely, but will remain accessible by                                                       phone during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will provide                                                     on-call coverage. We continue to evaluate the ability to safely provide services to families and                                                   community partners. Call 740-397-7177, ext. 3027. Concerns of abuse or neglect of a child or                                                     elderly adult can be called in to 740-392-KIDS (5437). Documents can be faxed to 740-397-2617 or                                           mailed to KCDJFS/SS, 117 E. High St., Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
               Public Assistance – The website www.benefits.ohio.gov can be used remotely to apply, renew or make                                                          changes to cash, food or medical assistance. You can also call 1-844-640-6446 to apply, renew or                                              make changes for cash, food or medical assistance. We ask everyone to exercise patience as the                                              phone queues will likely be lengthy as many more people will be using this service. Documents                                                can be faxed to 740-392-8882 or mailed to KCDJFS/PA, 117 E. High St., Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
               Workforce Development/OhioMeansJobs – If you have internet access, you can utilize ohiomeansjobs.com or                                             reach a member of the Opportunity Knox team by calling 740-392-9675. Documents can be faxed                                           to 740-397-5078 or mailed to OKEC, 17604 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050.
                                     The Foster Parent Pre-Service Training has been canceled for March and April, as have many internal                                       meetings. The current pandemic situation is continuing to evolve and practices at KCDJFS may                                               need to change and evolve as well. We continue to be committed to serving the citizens of Knox                                             County and will update the community if services are further altered. Be sure to follow us on                                                     Facebook at Knox County JFS for real-time updates.

 

Mount Vernon Police Department – Calls not requiring a physical response to the scene of an incident may be handled via phone call if possible. Officers responding to calls that require an in-person response will be directed not to enter private residences or enclosed spaces if it is not necessary to address the incident. Complainants will be requested to meet the Officers outside. Background checks, and fingerprinting, tours and PR events are suspended.

Ohio EMA – The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) transitioned to Full Activation. Ohio EMA’s Watch Office remains available 24 hours per day. Operational and planning efforts were focused on public information & warning, healthcare systems support, responder security and protection, and private sector coordination.

 

Pathways/2-1-1 – Remember to direct callers to 2-1-1 for non-emergency questions. They are referring callers with COVID-19 questions to the ODH call center or the CDC website.

PUCO – Transportation Department has granted limited regulatory relief from the hours of service requirements for the intrastate commercial motor vehicle operations to meet the immediate needs for consumer goods (food, paper products, and groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores), medical supplies, gasoline, diesel, propane, heating oil, and waste removal (residential waste and transfer of waste between transfer stations and landfills and remain in effect for the duration of the declared State of Emergency or until rescinded.

 

Station Break Senior Center - The Station Break is closed to the public. Meals are still being provided to homebound seniors. Drivers will be tested for temperature and wear gloves and mask. Drivers will need to see the client before the meal can be left. The box of frozen meals will contain 5 meals in each box and will replace the hot meal that is delivered daily. These will be delivered once a week.

INCIDENT OVERVIEW:
The first cases of COVID-19 were identified in Ohio on March 9, 2020. Governor DeWine declared a State of Emergency in order to increase resources available for state-response. March 11, 2020, a fourth case, the first of “community spread” was confirmed in Stark County.

 

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, which is thought to be spread through person-to-person contact. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The virus is thought to spread via droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or among people who are in close contact with one another.

 

The outbreak was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”

 

(PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.

​This list will be updated on a regular basis. We will post daily updates with cancellations, changes to events or services and information from our local emergency management agency. Please check back each day. For more information, go to https://www.knoxhealth.com/

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Phone 740-392-9090 | wnzr@mvnu.edu

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