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03/19/2020

ONMA Coronavirus Information Page

Updated 7/24/2020

The Ohio News Media Association has created this page to centralize resources about the COVID-19 outbreak for our member journalists. If you don’t see the information you need on this page, contact the ONMA’s Jason Sanford at jsanford@ohionews.org.

Member-Only Slack

ONMA has created a member-only Slack, which allows Ohio’s editors and journalists and other newspaper staff to connect and communicate with each other. To request access, enter your email address here.

This Slack allows information to be shared quickly among Ohio's journalists on topics such as this outbreak. People can use the Slack through their web browser or by downloading the app to their phone, tablet or desktop.

House Ads and PSAs

ONMA has created a house ad about how Ohio newspapers are responding to COVID-19 and how we're working to keep our communities informed. Feel free to run this ad in your paper.

ONMA is also sharing a series of print and digital public service announcement ads which members are free to use. The ads each highlight one of the actions recommended by the CDC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 along with managing the associated stress related to this pandemic.

The ads allow ONMA members to drop in their own logos and are available in both print and digital formats. We encourage our members to run these ads to help keep their readers informed and healthy.

Thank you to the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association for originally creating these PSAs.

In addition, Responsible Restart Ohio has published posters which your paper can both use in the workplace and share with readers.

Finally, The Free Speech Center has created an excellent series of ads reminding Americans of the valuable role a free press plays in both our daily lives and during a national crisis. Any paper may run these ads.

PPP Loan Information

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) allows companies and nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees to go into any FDIC bank and take out a loan equivalent to eight weeks of their prior average payroll. There are no payments on that loan for six months and if the business maintains its workforce the government will entirely forgive the portion of the loan spent on payroll, benefits, utilities, rent, mortgage payments, or other debts.

On July 4, President Trump signed a new law extending the deadline for applying for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from June 30 to August 8. This extension comes on the heels of new Interim Final Rules issued by the Small Business Administration, clarifying some issues and attempting to make complete loan forgiveness attainable for most borrowers.

The ONMA urges our member papers to apply for these PPP loans if you haven't already done so, especially since the loan forgiveness terms have been vastly improved from what was in place earlier in the program. A number of ONMA papers have already received PPP loans, including AIM Media Midwest, which said the loans helped retain 328 jobs when local advertising declined as part of the pandemic, and Lorain County Printing and Publishing.

For more information on apply, contact your bank or go to this Small Business Administration website.

Other Business Resources

The US Small Business Administration has set up a site for businesses to apply for disaster loan assistance.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has created a resource page on the coronavirus for Ohio businesses. ONMA members may find this page useful as they deal with the business aspects of the outbreak.

Governor DeWine has asked the Bureau of Workers Compensation to issue a $1.6 billion dividend to employers to help them deal with COVID-19. To learn more, access this FAQ.

Ohio Attorney General Open Meeting Letter

The Ohio General Assembly this year passed legislation whose wide-ranging provisions address challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s emergency declaration related to the virus’ spread. Included in amended Substitute House Bill 197 are some temporary changes to Ohio’s Open Meetings Act, effective until the end of the declared emergency or Dec. 1, 2020. A summary of these provisions is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.

In addition, Attorney General Dave Yost sent out an FAQ on the state's Open Meeting Act with regards to the temporary measures enacted by the General Assembly. To download this FAQ as a PDF, click here.

ODH Coronavirus Website

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has created a comprehensive clearinghouse-style website for Ohio coronavirus information, including the current number of cases in the state and what members of the public should do to prepare. The website is suitable for sharing with your paper’s readers. The shareable url is coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Ohio Department of Health Press Contact

ODH Pressroom email: OPA@odh.ohio.gov

Media Contact:

  • Melanie Amato, Press Secretary, Office of Public Affairs and Communications, ODH
    Phone: (614) 644-4278
    Cell: (614) 309-7188

Locate Your Local Health District Info

The ODH maintains an interactive site allowing you to quickly find the contact info for your local health department.

CDC Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers media outlets a number of digital resources including videos, audio clips, podcasts, and public service announcements, plus a limited supply of B-Roll for productions. In addition, the CDC offers a number of print resources on COVID-19, including educational posters for use in workplaces.

Cleveland Clinic

The Cleveland Clinic has a media resource page. Here are their media contacts:

  • Hope Buggey 216.444.8853
  • Katrina Healy 216.444.4255
  • Shannon Nealon 216.318.8067

OSU Wexner Center

The OSU’s Wexner Medical Center has a page about the coronavirus, including info about the current status of the virus in Ohio and how it’s affecting the university.

WHO Info

The World Health Organization posts regular press briefings on their website.

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