DRO Update on COVID-19 "Stay at Home" Order

March 23, 2020 / COVID-19

While Disability Rights Ohio has moved our operations remotely, we continue to monitor the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the care and wellbeing of people with disabilities in Ohio. We are also pleased to see that the Governor's "Stay at Home" Order recognizes other social and health services that our clients rely upon on as "essential businesses." Below, you can view a summary list of "essential businesses."

We know our clients are being impacted by this crisis. The closure of day centers for people with developmental disabilities brings real concerns about service access for 26,000 Ohioans. DRO is also closely watching updates from both the state and federal government and engaging in advocacy to ensure children with disabilities have meaningful access to the remote educational services provided by school districts during school closures. While visitors have been allowed to communicate electronically with loved ones in state psychiatric facilities, the risk of isolation is real.

We appreciate the Governor and the Directors of State Agencies speaking up and trying to provide assurances that their focus is on physical and mental health of people with disabilities. However, we also know that during this uncertain time, we also must remain focused on ensuring these promises are kept. As more direct care workers get sick themselves or call off work for precautionary reasons, our clients are put at more at risk. Many people with disabilities cannot avoid direct contact with home or facility staff to get care.

DRO's internal Workgroup is staying informed and beginning to create FAQs on various topics which we will put on our website in our newly created COVID-19 central resource page soon. Our public intake is operational via voicemail during normal intake hours at 614-466-7264 or 1-800-282-9181 (Press option 2 and leave a voicemail) and https://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/contact.

Service Exceptions from the "Stay at Home" Order 

Summary list allowing people to leave their home or residence to work for or obtain services from any provider funded by:

  1. Ohio Department of Medicaid,
  2. Ohio Department of Aging
  3. Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
  4. Ohio Department of Health
  5. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  6. Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
  7. Ohio Department of Veterans Services
  8. Ohio Department of Youth Services
  9. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
  10. State-operated, institutions, or Community-based settings providing human services to the public 

Also included in the allowed travel were two additional broadly defined lists. The first being for "Healthcare and Public Operations," such as hospitals, clinics, home healthcare services providers, mental health and substance use providers. The second being for "Human Services Operations" including long-term care facilities, group day care homes, residential settings for people with disabilities, home-based settings, businesses that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for people with disabilities.


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