Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week 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 food through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program.
The P-EBT program is 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.
NO FEMA CAMPS
Separately, in response to a barrage of rumors surrounding Ohio’s latest non-congregate sheltering order, DeWine on Tuesday 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,” DeWine said. “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.
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, in Morrow County, 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.
DeWine said the variance for Mid-Ohio was granted, in part, due to its unique, large outdoor facility that can accommodate social distancing.
The governor previously announced 6,000-spectator variances for the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals for two upcoming games each.
GET IN LINE,
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted on Tuesday announced that the Ohio BMV received the Customer Convenience Award for its 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 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, a Montpelier native. “This award is a recognition that we are on our way to making Ohio the most innovative and creative state in the Midwest.”
CURRENT COVID-19 DATA
There are 132,965 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 4,324 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 14,083 people have been hospitalized, and 111,201 presumed recovered.
Williams County is reporting 170 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, with three confirmed and probable deaths. A total of 10 people have been hospitalized, and 147 are presumed recovered.