Ohio - COVID-19 Covered


Total Cases: 195,806 (October 25)
Fatalities: 5,206 (October 25)
  • Interim Director of Health Lance Himes amended a directive that now requires all labs to start sharing all positive, negative, inconclusive, and invalid test results related to COVID-19 tests with the Ohio Department of Health. (October 20)  
  • A full list of active community health and testing centers in Ohio can he found here.  
  • Governor DeWine announced the creation of a new Lab Capacity Dashboard to help pharmacists, nursing homes, colleges and universities, employers, and others administering COVID-19 tests find a lab to run their samples. (October 13)  
  • Governor DeWine provided an update to the state’s wastewater monitoring network. The Ohio Department of Health is monitoring 36 water sites for traces of COVID-19. Twenty five additional sites will be added in the next month. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is monitoring the wastewater at all prisons for traces of the virus. (September 29) 
  • Governor DeWine announced that Ohio paused its work to test residents and staff at assisted living facilities through saliva testing instead of nasal swabs due to inconsistent test results. (August 27)  
  • Governor DeWine announced that Ohio entered into a multi-state purchasing agreement with Maryland, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Virginia to expand the use of rapid point-of-care tests. (August 4)  


Essential Service Designations:

  • Ohio’s Department of Health defined essential services as healthcare and public health operations, human services operations, essential government functions, essential infrastructure, grocery stores, food and beverage manufacturing, organizations that provide charitable and social services, religious entities, media, gas stations and businesses needed for transportation, financial and insurance institutions, hardware supply stores, critical trades, mail and delivery services, educational institution, laundry services, among others. (March 22 

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Ohio has released official reopening guidance for businesses based on sector. Details for each sector can be found here  

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor DeWine signed a bill that distributed $650 million Coronavirus Relief Funds to local governments across the state. (October 1)  
  • Governor DeWine announced the approval of assistance for 15 projects set to create 1,653 new jobs and retain another 1,676 jobs statewide. Collectively, the projects are expected to result in more than $99 million in new payroll and spur more than $304 million in investments across Ohio. (July 28) 
  • Governor DeWine announced that he is awarding an additional grant of $15 million to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. (July 9 
  • Governor DeWine announced continued funding for the Ohio Department of Health Ohio 2-1-1 initiative, a phone service that connects thousands of Ohioans to local non-profit and government services for healthcare, meals, housing, transportation, mental health and legal services. (June 25) 
  • Governor DeWine signed an executive order which lists several reasons as “good cause” for refusing suitable work, so that Ohioans are still eligible for unemployment insurance. These include: a medical professional recommending someone not return to work because they fall into a high risk category, the employee is sixty-five or older, among others. (June 16) 
  • Governor DeWine allocated $13,285,000 in additional funds to the Temporary Assistance for Families in Need (TANF) program, along with up to $4,970,000 in additional funds to the Ohio Association of Food Banks and up to an additional $1,000,000 in funds to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. (April 10) 


Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor DeWine signed a bill that ensures civil immunity to individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses, and other entities from lawsuits arising from exposure, transmission, or contraction of COVID-19, or any mutation of the virus, as long as they were not showing reckless, intentional, or willful misconduct. (September 14)  
  • Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Liquor Control has granted more than 300 expansion requests to bars and restaurants to allow patrons more opportunities to enjoy dinner or drinks in a safe environment. (July 2) 
  • JobsOhio, Peoples Bank, First Federal Bank and Home Savings Bank announced a partnership to help small businesses to maintain operations and payroll during the pandemic through a loan program. (April 21) 
  • Governor DeWine asked the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to give up to $1.6 billion to Ohio employers to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community. (April 8) 
  • Ohio has opened the Office of Small Business relief, which will serve as the state’s agency for administrating federal recovery funds. (April 7) 
  • JobsOhio, a private nonprofit, has been directed by Governor DeWine to collaborate on economic assistance. The organization announced a $2 million growth fund loan to Appalachian Growth Capital to provide funding assistance for businesses in the Ohio Appalachian region. (March 31) 
  • The State of Ohio launched a website to support small business which allows Ohioans to shop online and take virtual tours of famous sites around Ohio. (March 27) 



  • Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can begin allowing indoor visitation on Monday, October 12. (September 24)   
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced that the one-game-per-calendar-day limit on sports competitions has been removed from the current sports order. (September 24)   
  • Intermediate care facilities for Ohioans with developmental disabilities can resume indoor visitation beginning on Monday, September 28, if safety standards outlined in the order are met. (September 24)  
  • All restaurants, bars, banquets, and catering facilities are permitted to open for full, dine-in service within the State so long all safety standards are met. (September 24)   
  • Director Ursel McElroy of the Ohio Department of Aging said that adult day care and senior centers opened on September 21. Facilities will test staff every other week as well as participants if they present symptoms. (September 17) 
  • Director Ursel McElroy of the Ohio Department of Aging said that adult day care and senior centers will open on September 21. Facilities will test staff every other week as well as participants if they present symptoms. (September 17) 
  • The Ohio Department of Health has granted a variance that would allow up to 6,000 spectators to attend the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the Honda Indy 200, which takes place on September 11-13. Social distancing and masks will be required in accordance with state health guidelines. (September 8) 
  • Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals have been granted a variance to the state sports order that will allow a total of up to 6000 spectators at two home games. (September 5 
  • Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed a health order allowing older adult day care services and senior centers to reopen. (August 31)  
  • Lt. Governor Husted announced that the current sports order has been modified to clarify that participants shall not compete in more than one contest or game in any calendar day, as compared to the 24-hour period outlined in the original order. (August 27)  
  • Interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes signed a Director’s Order that provides mandatory requirements for entertainment venues. (August 25)  
  • Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes will be signing a reopening order for performance theaters that will say that interior venue attendance will be capped at the lesser of 15 percent of their fixed-seated capacity or 300 people, while outdoor venue attendance will be capped at the lesser of 15 percent of their fixed seating capacity or 1,500 people. (August 21 
  • Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Administrative Services will be working with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to ensure that Ohio’s 88 boards of elections have the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to execute early in-person voting and voting on election day. (August 20 
  • Governor DeWine announced that adult day care centers and senior centers may open at a reduced capacity beginning on September 21 if the facilities can meet certain safety standards outlined in a forthcoming health order. (August 20 
  • Governor DeWine announced that new public health data has led the Ohio Department of Health to designate 12 counties as being in a Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency. (August 13)
  • Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2020-30D, which requires all liquor permit establishments that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption to end alcohol sales starting at 10:00PM. The order also prohibits all on-premises alcohol consumption at these same liquor permit premises between the hours of 11:00PM and 5:30AM, and increases the amount of “drinks-to-go” that can be sold with a meal purchase from two to three. (July 31)
  • Governor DeWine has ordered bars across the state to close at 10:00PM due to the spike in cases. (July 29)
  • Governor DeWine announced he would heavily limit activities at county fairs while loosening COVID-19 restrictions on childcare providers come August. (July 28)
  • Governor DeWine announced that new public health data has led the Ohio Department of Health to designate 23 counties as being in a Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency, as defined by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. (July 23)
  • Governor DeWine announced a travel advisory for all individuals coming into Ohio from states reporting positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15 percent or higher. (July 22)
  • Governor DeWine announced a statewide mask mandate for citizens living in all 88 Ohio counties. (July 22)
  • Governor DeWine announced the new Ohioans Protecting Ohioans order, which replaces the Stay Safe Ohio order. (May 19)
    • The new order no longer requires all Ohioans to stay home, but instead strongly encourages high risk citizens to stay home.
    • The order does not change mass gathering restrictions, which are capped at 10 people or less.
    • The new plan also lifts travel restrictions, which previously required individuals to self-quarantine if traveling to or from Ohio from out of state.



  • Governor DeWine announced that 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. (September 8 
  • Beginning Tuesday, September 8, parents, guardians, and school staff should notify their school within 24 hours of receiving a positive test or a clinical diagnosis. (September 3)  
  • The Ohio Department of Health will issue an order outlining how sports, both contact and non-contact, may move forward in Ohio. The order will apply to all organized sports in the state and will include guidelines for spectators. (August 18 
  • According to information gathered by the Ohio Department of Education, 325 public school districts in Ohio are planning to return to school full-time, which equates to approximately 590,000 students. (August 11 
  • Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will issue a health order requiring K-12 students to wear face coverings while at school. (August 4 
  • Governor DeWine announced new guidance for resuming school in the fall. (July 2)  
  • Reopening procedures will be determined by each district individually, according to the Governor’s office. Ohio has 610 districts. The state will release a set of reopening guidelines for districts to consider in the coming days. (June 16) 
  • Governor DeWine announced Ohio “fully intends” to open K-12 school in the fall. (June 2) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Ohio universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here.  
  • Governor DeWine announced that Ohio’s ResponsibleRestart guidelines for higher education will now include a recommendation that all residential colleges and universities regularly test a sample population of asymptomatic students. (September 24)   
  • Ohio University announced a phased return to campus this fall. (July 31) 
  • The Ohio Department of Higher Educationin consultation with Ohio colleges, universities, the Ohio Department of Health, and health experts across the statedeveloped guidance to help campuses safely reopen. (July 9)  

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