COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Tuesday updated the public on the latest concerning Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the update were discussions on the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program, Sports Spectator Variance and rumors surrounding the Non-Congregate Sheltering Order.
According to a press release from Gov. DeWine’s office, the following information was included in Tuesday’s update:
Non-Congregate Sheltering Order
In response to a barrage of rumors surrounding Ohio’s latest non-congregate sheltering order, Gov. DeWine stressed that there are no orders in Ohio to create “FEMA camps” to quarantine citizens against their will.
“This is not in our order, and there is no truth to the rumor,” said DeWine. “Families will not be separated, and kids will not be away from their loved ones.”
The order, which was first issued on March 31 and then renewed on April 29 and Aug. 31, creates a funding mechanism to allow for federal reimbursement for communities that choose to offer alternate locations for people to safely isolate or quarantine outside of their homes. If a citizen chooses to recover in a quarantine housing location, others in the household can remain at home and unexposed.
This option has been used in a handful of cases in Ohio.
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)
Governor DeWine announced Tuesday that thousands of Ohio children, who qualify for free or reduced-price meals but are currently learning remotely, will soon receive additional money to purchase nutritious foods through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program made possible by the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will issue this second round of benefits later this month to eligible children. Ohio previously issued more than $250 million in P-EBT benefits to more than 850,000 students through the program in the spring.
Parents do not need to apply to receive these benefits. The benefits will be automatically loaded onto existing Ohio Direction cards or a pre-loaded card will be sent in the mail.
Sports Spectator Variance
The Ohio Department of Health has granted a spectator variance to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio taking place Sept. 11-13. Attendance will be limited to 6,000 spectators, and social distancing and masks will be required in accordance with state health guidelines.
The variance for Mid-Ohio was granted, in part, due to its unique, large outdoor facility that can accommodate social distancing.
Governor DeWine previously announced 6,000 spectator variances for the Browns and Bengals for two upcoming games each.
Get In Line, Online
Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Ohio BMV was awarded the Customer Convenience Award for their Get in Line, Online virtual queuing system, which allows a customer to secure a spot in line at the agency without actually being physically present. Once customers arrive to check-in, they move to the front of the line with minimal wait time.
InnovateOhio, which Lt. Governor Husted leads, worked in partnership with the Ohio BMV on this project.
“InnovateOhio and the Ohio BMV collaborated on the ‘Get in Line, Online’ system with the goal of using technology to improve customer service,” said Husted. “This award is a recognition that we are on our way to making Ohio the most innovative and creative state in the Midwest.”
Information for this story provided by the office of Gov. Mike DeWine.