As a community and as a country, we’ve faced our share of challenges through the years. Wars, weather-related catastrophes, and epidemics have all taken their toll.
Each and every time, we’ve come together as Ohioans and Americans and overcame the challenge before us.
This is one of those times.
All of Ohio, and I will say specifically the 91st district, possesses an attitude of facing all challenges head on, never backing down from a challenge and willing to do whatever it takes to make it through. However, this particular challenge requires us to respond in a bit of a different way.
As opposed to a head on assault, here is what the experts are saying we need to do in order to reduce and slow the spread of this virus. Many of you have heard all of this before but it is worth repeating:
· Wash your hands frequently, especially after being in public places. Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is sufficient. Hand sanitizer is also an option, provided it contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
· If you or your child are sick, stay at home, unless medical care is needed.
· When you cough or sneeze, do so into your arm or shoulder, or use a tissue.
· Make a habit of not touching your face.
· Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily.
We are also known to be friendly down here, so let’s talk a little bit about social distancing. Experts say this is critical. For now, no handshakes, no hugs, and try to keep 6 feet between you and others when you are out as this virus is thought to spread from person to person in close contact through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes. Of course, only go out if absolutely necessary and avoid crowds.
It’s also important to stay informed. There’s a great deal of information being disseminated. Clear, accurate information is critical to help protect yourself and those around you. The Ohio Department of Health has launched a website – coronavirus.ohio.gov – to help keep Ohioans informed.
Another good resource is the Centers for Disease Control.
If you have questions or concerns, the Ohio Department of Health has set up a call center that is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and they can be reached at 833.4-ASK-ODS or 833-427-5634.
I also want to share with you some other helpful resources relating to unemployment benefits and relief for those that have been negatively impacted by this crisis:
· For unemployment benefits, to file a claim: unemployment.cmt.ohio.gov.
· Impacted Ohio small businesses can contact Ohio Development Services Agency for assistance at [email protected]
· The Small Business Administration Disaster Relief office has set up a three-step process for funding/loan assistance: https://bit.ly/2w0nj75, hotline: 800-659-2955, email: [email protected]
· Bar/Restaurant: Liquor Buy Back Program, hotline: 877-812-0013, email: [email protected]
Please know that my Ohio House office is open and will continue to serve the people of the 91st District. If we can be helpful, please do not hesitate to reach out.
On a personal note, I’d like to take a moment to thank all of the companies and individuals, all across our district and state, for helping keep us safe and fed. Thank you!
Let’s all be good neighbors and take care of each other. This situation is temporary and won’t last forever. I’ve seen Ohioans overcome so much, and have faith that we will recover and emerge stronger than ever. Remember, we will get through this.
Finally, individuals struggling financially right now do have options. Below is a list of Highland County organizations that provide food, groceries, and other necessities:
· Highland Community Action Organization — Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Phone: 937-393-3458, Address: 1487 N High St #500, Hillsboro.
· Because He Lives Food Pantry — Hours: Monday, 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, 5-7 p.m., Phone: 937-579-5210, Address: 111 Main St, Lynchburg.
· Samaritan Outreach Services —Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Phone: 937-393-2220, Address: 537 N. East St., Hillsboro.
· New Life Ministries —Hours: Friday, 2 p.m., Phone: 937-393-2429, Address: 6101 SR 247, Hillsboro.
· Pricetown Church of Christ —Hours: Not listed, Phone: 937-288-2418, Address: 2070 SR 131, Hillsboro.
State Rep. Shane Wilkin (R-Hillsboro) represents the 91st district including all of Clinton, Highland and Pike counties and portions of Ross county.