UPDATED: Clinton County has second confirmed case; county courthouse open; news from state on ballots, schools


News Journal



Clinton County now has its second confirmed case of the coronavirus, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s latest update.

As of Wednesday the state has 704 confirmed cases, with 10 fatalities; 14,764 people in Ohio have been tested.

Schools, ballots

Mandatory state testing for schools would be ditched this year and Ohioans who didn’t vote in the March 17 primary would have until April 28 to cast an absentee ballot under emergency legislation approved Wednesday by Ohio lawmakers to address the impact of the coronavirus.

The bill also would allow high school seniors to graduate if they were on track already, waive district and school report cards, let school districts use distance learning to make up for missed days caused by the virus-related closure of districts statewide, and freeze the school voucher program at the current level of 517 schools.

Recent nursing graduates could receive a temporary certification to allow them to begin work immediately, and people unable to renew drivers’ licenses or professional licences wouldn’t be penalized. The deadline for filing state income taxes would be extended until July 15 under the legislation approved unanimously by the Senate, followed by the House.

The bill heads to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, who’s expected to sign it soon.

Updates

In response to the state’s need for donations of personal protective equipment (including in Clinton County), Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday, “We are so appreciative of other businesses sharing their PPE, also career and technical schools, construction businesses and others. To all those who are sharing their supplies of PPE — thank you! If there are any of you who can add to this, we appreciate it!”

DeWine said, “We have also learned that the Development Services Agency has secured approval from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services to extend the Winter Crisis Program from March 31 to May 1.”

Regarding “essential businesses”, he said, “Even if you aren’t an essential business, these safe work environment standards are going to last for a while as we come out of the situation we’re in. Everyone should prepare themselves to follow these standards.

“Please do not call law enforcement, the health department, or the COVID-19 helpline to ask for advice on if you are an essential business. Business owners must read the order and make their own judgments.

“You do not need a letter, certification, or clearance, but it is recommended that you create a document about why you believe you are an essential business and how you are providing a safe workplace.

DeWine also said, “I’m really proud of all the young people at home. I want all of you at home to keep spreading the word and staying at home!”

Lt. Gov Jon Husted added regarding the stay at home order, “We ask you to just read the order. It’s on the website at http://coronavirus.ohio.gov. You need to use your own good judgment of that order to make your own determination if you are essential.”

Courthouse is open

The Clinton County Board of Commissioners wants to emphasize that the Clinton County Courthouse is open for business. All essential work is absolutely still being performed.

We encourage citizens to call the office if they need service so that it can be determined how to best serve their needs. In support of the governor’s order, we find that much of our essential business is effectively being conducted by mail, online or by phone and, depending upon the nature of the business, in-person by appointment or by calling ahead.

We recognize our role as public servants, and our employees are working hard to maintain essential services while fully complying with and supporting the governor’s rrder.

We can’t thank our Sheriff’s Office, local law enforcement, our communication officers, our volunteer fire and EMS services, nurses, and doctors for all their hard work during these tough times.

We encourage our community to continue to buy local and help our local businesses.

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