Help with rent now available to Ohioans

Staff Report

Here are the latest details on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the area:

• Help with rent and other bills is now available to some Ohio residents.

The Ohio Development Services Agency is now distributing $100 million in federal funding to help low-income Ohioans who do not own their own home pay their rent, water, sewer, wastewater, electric, gas, oil and/or trash removal bills.

Ohioans can apply for assistance with outstanding balances dating back to March 13, 2020, assistance for future rent/utility payments once back bills have been made current, and assistance for future rent and utility assistance for three months at a time.

Eligible Ohio households must meet income limts, have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability.

The funding, which was approved by the Ohio Controlling Board for distribution, will be divided among Ohio’s 47 Community Action Agencies. Ohioans can apply for assistance by contacting their local Community Action Agency.

Fulton County residents can contact the Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission at (419) 784-5136.

• The Fulton County Health Department reported 22 new cases on Tuesday. Combined with the 29 cases reported on Monday, there have now been 3,525 cases overall. Last week, there were 52 new cases reported on Monday and Tuesday.

There are no updates from the county on weekends, so the Monday number includes Saturday and Sunday figures.

No new COVID-19 deaths were reported on Tuesday, and the total remains at 48.

There were no hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Fulton County reported Tuesday, according to the Fulton County Health Department. That makes for a total of 198 so far in the county.

Among the cases through Tuesday, there were 1,978 females and 1,632 males. The median age for confirmed cases is 45.

Lucas County had 33,564 cases and 692 deaths as of Tuesday. Defiance County had 3,555 cases and 92 deaths, Williams County 3,020 cases and 75 deaths, and Henry County 2,364 cases and 57 deaths.

There have been 925,350 cases overall in Ohio. Statewide, there have been 47,853 hospitalizations and 6,869 intensive care unit admissions related to the disease, as of Tuesday’s update.

There are 10,468 confirmed deaths statewide, with 1,325 more probable COVID-19 deaths, through Tuesday.

• Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced progress toward the goal of getting K-12 students back into the classroom by March 1. In December, 45 percent of Ohio students were attending school remotely full-time, but today, less than 15 percent of Ohio students are still attending classes completely online.

Despite this progress, the pandemic has taken a toll on academic progress, he said.

“This once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has impacted all of us, so it should be no surprise that it has impacted our children. But we should not panic, nor should we be surprised by the results of assessments,” said Governor DeWine. “Instead, we should do what Ohioans have always done when facing a challenge – stay calm, roll up our sleeves, and work to solve the problem.”

DeWine asked school districts to work with their communities to help students advance and make up for any learning that may have been lost or delayed because of the pandemic.

DeWine also requested that school districts design plans to meet the needs of the students in their districts that include ending the school year later than scheduled, beginning the new year early, or even extending the school day. Summer programs, tutoring, or remote options could also be considered. School districts should provide their plans to the public and General Assembly no later than April 1.

• Some northeast Ohio residents will need to be revaccinated after it became known that vaccines were not properly stored.

Tuesday, Walgreens Pharmacy alerted the Ohio Department of Health that vaccines that had not been stored under the proper cold storage conditions were administered Sunday to some residents in five long-term care facilities. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents who received these vaccines will be revaccinated.

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Staff Report