A few moments ago, Governor DeWine announced his Administration’s plans to begin reopening the state.
Among the announcements were these, all with restrictions and recommendations:
- All health procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital will be able to move forward on May 1st, including dentistry and veterinary services;
- Manufacturers, distributors, and construction may resume operations on May 4th;
- General office environments may reopen on May 4th;
- Consumer and retail operations may resume operations on May 12th;
- The general shelter at home order shall remain in place, with obvious modifications based upon those now able to return to work;
- Gatherings of 10 or more people are still prohibited.
“These are first steps,” Governor DeWine said. There are many steps to go, and the governor wants to see how the numbers change as things open up the first half of May.
In our sector, health and human services agencies never stopped serving our community. Our agencies will continue working diligently to serve the still-billowing needs while navigating this pandemic.
But the only way our sector and the social safety net can continue meeting the growing needs of our community is for Congress to intervene and allocate significant financial support for our members, and for agencies like theirs across the country. Last week, we dispatched a letter to our Congressional delegation, a letter signed by our friends and partners across many sectors, asking for two things in particular:
- $60 billion in funding for health and human services nonprofits across the country to navigate this first wave of the coronavirus crisis; and
- Expansion of eligibility for SBA loans to include large nonprofits that employ more than 500 people.
There is so much more that we know members need, that their clients need, that other sectors need, too. There is so much uncertainty, too, even as Ohio takes these steps toward reopening in May.
Ohioans have flattened the curve; that is a great achievement. But the virus remains. Our member agencies will continue to be on the “other front line,” and we’re committed along with so many others to ensure they have all the resources they need to stay safe, and to serve, through the difficult weeks and months still to come.