COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided a daily update on the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on Monday afternoon, enacting a hiring freeze at the state level, as well as providing clarification on the stay-at-home order and daycare closures.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced an immediate freeze in state government hiring and ordered state agencies to identify immediate budget cuts of up to 20 percent. He also has frozen new contract services.
“Commercial activity is slowing down across Ohio, and as a result, state revenues will also go down dramatically. It is important, as Governor, that I take action now,” said Governor DeWine. “The earlier we start slowing down the spending, the more impact it will have.”
Governor DeWine ordered an immediate hiring freeze for all agencies, boards, and commissions under the control of the Governor. The only exceptions are for positions that provide: a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic; safety and security; direct care or institutional services.
Governor DeWine also ordered:
- A freeze on pay increases and promotions for state of Ohio unclassified and exempt staff.
- A freeze on new contract services for the state of Ohio, except for those services that are necessary for the emergency response.
- That state agencies work to cut unnecessary spending up to 20 percent for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.
Governor DeWine also pulled back spending requests for a variety of projects that needed legislative spending authority.
As for the approaching tax deadline, DeWine said he expects state lawmakers will act to align the state’s income tax deadline with the adjusted federal deadline of July 15.
Governor DeWine said Monday that any child care facility that remains open to care for children under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license must give priority to families on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Placement of children must first be offered to kids with parents who are healthcare workers, first responders, hospital and clinic staff, pharmacy staff, children service workers, adult protection workers, developmental disability aides, mental health counselors, psychiatrists psychologists, nursing home workers, elder care workers, home health care workers, and dentists.
Any remaining childcare openings will be open to other families.
Parents can enroll now. A full list of child care centers operating under the special license can be found at http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc.
There are 442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and six deaths. A total of 104 people are hospitalized.
The total cases involve a wide age range, from younger than 1 year old to 93. Two nursing homes, in Troy and Tipp City, have confirmed coronavirus cases, while Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton confirmed its first case over the weekend.
The state is limiting testing to those who are hospitalized and to health care workers. The Ohio Department of Health said people with suspected symptoms should call a medical provider first, but seek immediate help if symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.
Confirmed Deaths: Cuyahoga (1), Erie (1), Franklin (2), Lucas (1), Stark (1)
Confirmed cases: Ashland (1), Ashtabula (3), Belmont (2), Butler (17), Carroll (2), Clark (1), Clermont (5), Clinton (1), Columbiana (2), Coshocton (3), Cuyahoga (149), Darke (1), Defiance (2), Delaware (7), Erie (1), Franklin (44), Gallia (1), Geauga (2), Greene (1), Hamilton (26), Hancock (1), Highland (1), Huron (1), Knox (1), Lake (8), Licking (1), Logan (1), Lorain (24), Lucas (9), Madison (1), Mahoning (23), Marion (3), Medina (15), Miami (17), Montgomery (7), Portage (2), Richland (1), Sandusky (1), Stark (12), Summit (28), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (2), Union (1), Warren (5), Washington (1), Wood (2)
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Additional information provided by the Office of Governor Mike DeWine.