This week’s COVID-19 news, views, updates

Apr 15, 2020 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

IRS HAS NEW WEBSITE TO EASILY ACCESS CORONAVIRUS PAYMENTS

The latest on the coronavirus pandemic personal stimulus payments is that some money will begin to be deposited this week or next in direct deposit bank accounts. Single taxpayers will get $1,200. Couples filing jointly will receive $2,400, and $500 each for up to two children.

For people who don’t normally file tax returns, the Treasury at first said they would have to file a short tax form to get the stimulus payment. Now the Internal Revenue service has a special website at IRS.gov that can facilitate the payment. Press a big, blue button on the website that says “Non Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.”

Paper checks for people without direct deposit would start going out early next month, though some could take up to five months. The payments are part of the massive coronavirus economic package enacted last month. to give a quick jolt to an economy ravaged by the pandemic. The IRS is working to get paper checks, beginning the first week of May, to the estimated 100 million Americans who don’t have direct deposit, the industry sources said. Some 5 million checks will be mailed weekly over 20 weeks.

GOV. DEWINE WANTS OHIO BWC TO GIVE $1.6 BILLION TO EMPLOYERS

If the Ohio Bureau of Workman’s Compensation (BWC) board agrees with Gov. Mike DeWine, the state worker’s compensation board would disburse $1.6 billion in dividends to employers suffering financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

The disbursement would be relative to each employer’s premiums, minus any outstanding debt. Private employers would receive $1.4 billion, while $200 million would go the public organizations.

“Even with the downturn in the market, BWC is able to provide this important dividend to employers while maintaining funds to take care of injured workers for years to come,” said Gov. DeWine in a press release.

The dividends would be 100% of the premiums employers paid in 2018.

OHIO LIQUOR BOARD OK’s TWO DRINKS WITH CARRYOUT MEAL

People around Ottawa County ordering carryout meals can also order a couple of alcoholic drinks to go, thanks to the Ohio Liquor Control Commission passing an emergency rule. It would allow food establishments with an existing on-premise liquor permit to sell two sealed drinks with each meal.

An individual cocktail must contain no more than two ounces of high-proof liquor, but no straws allowed. The alcoholic drink must not be consumed while driving home. Breweries and restaurants can already sell carryout beer and wine, even without a food purchase.

ZOOM CONFERENCE CALL ALLOWS OCBBD TO MEET

The Zoom conference calls are becoming a popular way to host a public or private internet conference, and the Ottawa County Board of Development Disabilities will use it on April 20 to hold its 5 p.m. meeting. For information and to access the Zoom meeting visit ocbdd.org.

NO STOCKED TROUT FOR ANGLERS AT WHITE STAR PARK

The popular spring rainbow trout stocking at White Star Quarry held during the Easter season has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Ohio Division of Wildlife usually releases about 3,500 of the foot-long hatchery trout, the perfect quarry for kids dunking kernels of corn or larval baits under a float.

The Sandusky County Park District oversees the trout fishing, and reportedly is worried about the ability of anglers to maintain social distancing of six feet between anglers because of the crowds in past years. The White Star Quarry natural trails will remain open, but the campgrounds, playground and shelter house are closed.

B-C-S SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET AT THE HUB ON APRIL 28

The regular board meeting for the Benton-Carroll-Salem School District will be held on Tuesday, April 28 at 5 p.m. at The Hub — formerly the high school library — at Oak Harbor High School, 11681 W. Ohio 163, Oak Harbor.

COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT DEFINES ‘ESSENTIAL BUSINESS’

The Ottawa County Health Department is urging county residents to report any business that is not following “essential business” requirements. If a business remains open, they must follow these guidelines where possible:

  • Designate 6-foot distances with signage, tape, or by other means and allow 6-foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance.
  • Have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products available and ready for use by employees and customers.
  • Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations.
  • Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.

If you notice a business is not following the guidelines in an order set by the Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton order, contact the Ottawa County Health Department at 419-734-6800. A staff member will follow up with the complaint via phone or business inspection.

For additional information on the Ottawa County response to COVID-19, visit Ottawahealth.org, or follow the Ottawa County Health Department on Facebook.

UNITED WAY ACCEPTING EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND GRANTS

United Way of Greater Toledo (UWGT) requested community organizations, who are specifically working in the space of food insecurity, apply for an Emergency Relief Fund grant. Grants will vary in quantity and size based on the request outlined in the application, which can be found at UnitedWayToledo.org/EmergencyFund. Singular grants will be capped at $25,000 in size. The objective is to expand the applicant’s capacity to serve community members, due to COVID-19.

The goal of the Emergency Response Fund is to address ongoing, emerging community needs as COVID-19 continues to impact every corner of UWGT’s three-county footprint, which includes Ottawa County.

“The team at United Way, along with key volunteers and funders will be closely reviewing proposals through April 27 on a rolling-basis,” said Wendy Pestrue, president & CEO of UWGT. “Initially, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been around food insecurity in the Greater Toledo area. In the last 30 days alone, United Way 2-1-1 has received over 3,200 requests for food resources. With these statistics in mind, as well as listening to our fellow partners, we have concluded that this is an immediate point-of-focus.”

DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE HAS COVID-19 PROGRAMS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES

The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.

The USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities preparing for and impacted by COVID-19,” officials said. “This resource guide will help our rural leaders, whether they are in agriculture, education, health care or any other leadership capacity, understand what federal assistance is available for their communities during this unprecedented time.”

For more information, visit usda.gov/coronavirus.

OTTAWA COUNTY HEALTH, OCIC TO HOST COVID-19 WEBINAR ON APRIL 17

The Ottawa County Improvement Corporation has developed an interactive COVID-19 Resource Packet for quick and easy access to local, state and federal resources. It will continue to update the packet as it receives new information.

A COVID-19 Webinar will be held on Friday, April 17 at 10 a.m., with Ottawa County Health Commissioner Nancy Osborne and the Ottawa County Health Department providing information on COVID-19 testing, the new Ottawa County COVID-19 Dashboard and general updates on the pandemic.

During the webinar, all questions should be submitted via Zoom’s chat option. If you would like to ask questions prior to the webinar, submit them under the COVID-19 Response Form. A question and answer session will be held at the end of the webinar.

The webinar will be recorded. To register for the webinar, or to hear replays of the April 3 and April 10 webinars, visit icic.biz/coronavirus.

OSS SOLID WASTE DISTRICT CANCELS ALL SPRING RECYCLING

Due to the health and safety concerns involving the COVID-19 epidemic for local citizens, contracted businesses, OSS staff, and assisting community service workers and volunteer groups, the Ottawa, Sandusky Seneca Solid Waste District has cancelled all spring recycling collection events. That includes household hazardous waste (May 2), electronics (May 9), and appliances (June 13)

The District anticipates holding the scheduled of fall recycling collection events in August and September at local fairgrounds in Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties from 9 a.m. to noon.

CATAWBA ISLAND GARDEN CLUB ANNUAL SALE ON MAY 9 IS CANCELLED

The Catawba Island Gard Club’s Annual Plant Sale, the club’s major fundraiser each spring, has been cancelled for May 9, reported Susan Pickens. For any questions, call 419-341-7742.

OHIO OFFICIALS ORDERING 24-HOUR REPORT ON VIRUS AT NURSING HOMES

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has ordered all nursing homes to report cases of the coronavirus within 24 hours. The ODH plans to publish the names and locations of the nursing homes on its website, odh.gov, reports cleveland.com.

PENNSYLVANIA DRINKERS CAN’T BUY BOOZE IN OHIO

Gov. Mike Dewine has banned the sale of liquor in six ohio counties along the Pennsylvania border to anyone who does not have valid Ohio identification. Pennsylvania banned the sale of liquor last month, and Keystone residents have been crossing the line to buy Ohio liquor, and possibly spreading the coronavirus.

The counties where an Ohio ID is needed are Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson and Belmont.

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