Here are the latest details about the region’s issues with the COVID-19 pandemic:
• Ohio had its first fatality from COVID-19 on Thursday, Toledo attorney Mark Wagoner Sr.
• The number of confirmed cases in Ohio is 169, up from 119 on Thursday. There are 39 hospitalizations.
• The number of counties with cases by county are Ashland (1), Ashtabula (1), Belmont (2), Butler (12), Clark (1), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (69), Darke (1), Delaware (2), Franklin (14), Geauga (1), Hamilton (7), Huron (1), Lake (3), Lorain (10), Lucas (2), Mahoning (7), Marion (1), Medina (6), Miami (1), Montgomery (1), Richland (1), Stark (6), Summit (10), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (1), Union (1), Warren (2).
• Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine closed Ohio’s senior citizen centers as of the end of the day on Monday. Feeding programs will continue, with food delivered to homes.
• The Scripps National Spelling Bee canceled for the year. The Lima News’ regional spelling bee, originally scheduled for Saturday, was postponed last week ago, with no reschedule date yet.
• DeWine defended some orders he’s placed, acknowledging they cost people jobs. He noted they also helped to “save lives, protect lives.”
• Lima Municipal Court has decided to liberally grant continuances, and all civil trials and hearings are continued for 60 days. Defendants using public defenders or private attorneys should contact their attorneys about this. Pro se defendants should contact the court. Witnesses concerned about appearing in court should contact the attorney for the party that issued the subpoena for their appearance. Victims with concerns should contact the prosecutor’s office.
• The local COVID-19 call center and screening centers operated by Lima Memorial Health System, Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center and Allen County Public Health have revised hours. The hours are extended to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Those who have fever, cough and shortness of breath should call 419-226-9000 to be evaluated before going to the doctor or emergency room. They will be evaluated and given instructions.
• The Putnam County Commissioners have suspended recycling. Bins have been removed in Ottawa, and service will be discontinued at the area villages.
• The American Township trustees will hold a special meeting to address COVID-19 operations at 8:30 a.m. Monday, March 23, at the township house, 102 Pioneer Road, Elida. The meeting will not be open to public seating, but can be streamed at www.amertwp.us.
• A COVID-19 relief fund has been established through the United Way of Greater Lima to support nonprofits in the Lima region. Donations will be accepted online at www.unitedwaylima.org, by mail to Community Response & Relief Fund, United Way of Greater Lima, 616 S. Collett St., Lima, or by texting ReliefLima to 41444. Organizations can request funds by emailing the United Way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Beginning Monday the office of the Allen County Recorder will operate at 50% staffing levels, with just three employees available. The office will remain open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday unless the courthouse is closed to the public. Effective immediately the office will not longer “abstract” documents and will not record “Redacted By Request” documents except under limited circumstance.
Persons who have business at the Recorder’s Office are asked to call ahead at 419-223-8517 for an appointment. Beginning March 25 the front door lobby will have a secure drop-box where documents may be deposited.
• The Lima-based internet service provider Watch Communications will not enforce data caps and will waive late fees through April 30, two of several new measures to keep customers online during the pandemic. The company will also open some of its WiFi hot zones to the public and is working with local officials to deploy additional open-access WiFi hot zones. Watch Communications says it will not terminate service when customers are unable to pay their bills.
•The Allen County Child Support Enforcement Agency lobby will be open for payments and document drop-off only.
The agency is asking clients to make payments online at https://oh.smartchildsupport.com, over the phone by calling 419-224-7133 option 6 or 1-888-965-2676 option 5, or by mail to Ohio CSPC P.O. Box 182372, Columbus, OH 43218-2372. Include your case number and last four digits of your Social Security number on your check or money order.
All genetic testing appointments and administrative hearings have been canceled or postponed.
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