Gov. DeWine makes request to remove some Medicaid restrictions

Gov. Mike DeWine updates Ohio's response to the coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Gov. Mike DeWine says a Medicaid waiver will remove restrictions and “allow health care workers to focus on meeting the needs of Ohioans.”

The waiver, which the governor submitted to the federal government on Tuesday, will allow Ohio to :

  • Increase the use of telehealth and other technology for health assessments and care planning
  • Waive signature requirements for a variety of providers to ensure safe distancing without compromising access to care
  • Ease obstacles to access nursing home care
  • Allow services to be provided at alternative locations
  • Remove staffing-level requirements to give providers more flexibility

Once approved, the waiver will be retroactively applied from March 1.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton announced a new order Tuesday to protect first responder safety.

The order will require local health departments to provide the names and addresses of COVID-19 positive individuals.

Dispatch agencies are required to keep this information confidential.

There are now 7,280 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 324 confirmed deaths.

“We are peaking at a lower level thanks to all of you, but there are still a lot of losses and a lot of sickness going on. This is still a really tough time for many out there,” Gov. DeWine said.

Gov. DeWine also addressed when a decision will be made to reopen Ohio.

He says he owes the people of Ohio a thoughtful response.

The governor says as we get closer to that point, we must continue with social distancing.

He says everyone needs to be thinking about how they will keep employees and customers safe when businesses reopen because COVID-19 will still be here.

“As we reopen Ohio, people will have to be very, very careful until we get a vaccine. You’ll have to weigh benefit vs. risk. You will have to make sure you’re wearing a mask when you go out, continue social distancing, etc. COVID-19 is not going away until we get a vaccine,” DeWine said.

In addition to those announcements, Lt. Governor Jon Husted said that 667 critical employers have listed around 41,000 essential job openings on coronavirus.ohio.gov/jobsearch.

“These employers have created safe environments for their employees,” Lt. Governor Husted said. “These employers need you if you can answer the call.”

Husted said companies that are hiring include LiveOps, Amazon, Walmart, Kroger, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, CVS Health, and FedEx Ground.

He also said the Ohio Office of Small Business Relief has helped 1,300 businesses so far.

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