As you know, the entire world, including but not limited to the United States, has been feeling the effects of the COVID-19 virus. This virus initiated in China in late 2019 and has since made its way to the United States, where it has found its way into every state. As a result of this virus, all levels of government have been busy monitoring and implementing various procedures to help stem the spread of this virus and “flatten the curve.” This is to try to make sure that a number of citizens do not all become sick at the same time and overwhelm our health care system.
On March 22nd, the Ohio Department of Health issued a “Stay at home Order” to begin March 24th and end at 11:59pm on April 6th. Basically this means that Ohio residents should stay at home (with some exceptions) and that non-essential businesses needed to close. The order also listed a number of prohibited activities. We will see if this order is terminated or extended in the next few days. If interested, the entire order is at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov and also on the Ohio Department of Health website. Additionally, on March 29th, President Donald Trump announced that he was extending his distancing guidelines until April 30th. Ohio may extend the “Stay at home Order” until April 30th as well. We will see what happens in the next few days.
In order to prevent the spread of the virus, various businesses have been closed. As a result of closing down various businesses in the state of Ohio, a number of previously employed individuals have filed for unemployment benefits. The initial numbers showed over 3 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in the country and with almost 200,000 of those filings being Ohioans. Normally there is a one-week waiting period in order for an individual to receive these benefits. However, the state of Ohio has waived this one-week waiting period.
The federal government has passed various pieces of legislation to assist individuals and businesses in coping with this COVID-19 virus situation. Some of those items are as follows:
*The federal government has extended the income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15th to July 15, 2020. Ohio and local governments such as Dover and New Philadelphia have also extended deadlines until July 15, 2020 as well.
*The federal government has also provided a program where small businesses can obtain loans to be able to continue to run their business and pay for various expenses and debts. Please contact your local bank to determine if you would be eligible for this type of small business loan.
*The federal government also has passed another piece of legislation which would apply to employers with less than 500 employees and for those employees who are affected with COVID-19. These types of individuals would be able to receive two weeks’ paid sick leave if they meet various requirements.
*The government passed legislation in which it will provide relief to Americans in the form of a cash payment of $1,200 per individual and $500 per child. The specific details on when and how these checks will be mailed is still being processed.
*The government passed legislation to allow loans to passenger and cargo airline businesses as well as other distressed businesses.
Therefore, as of right now, various governments are trying to assist citizens with a number of measures to help them financially during this COVID-19 crisis.
A huge thank you to all of those medical personnel and workers on the front lines in the battle against this virus. I believe that we will all work together so that we can all get through this COVID-19 virus situation and return America to the prosperous country it was before this virus. It may take some time; however, we certainly have been a resilient country in the past, and we will be a resilient country going forward. Stay safe everyone.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.