April 03, 2020

Your Gastroenterology
COVID-19 Update

  • Loan Forgiveness for Keeping Staff

  • Mental Health Help for Doctors

  • Stay-At-Home Order Extended

  • State Seeking Faster Test Results

  • Weekly Ventilator Reports Required


Loan Forgiveness Available
for Maintaining Staffing Levels

The federal government is making a loan forgiveness program available to medical offices to cover payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides 100-percent federally guaranteed loans to small businesses of up to 500 employees. Practices must maintain their same staffing levels to receive the maximum benefit from the program.


Mental Health Help for
Physicians During the Pandemic

With physicians stretched to new boundaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Medical Association (AMA) is reminding providers to care for themselves. The AMA has created a list of resources aimed at helping physicians cope with increased levels of stress and anxiety due to the pandemic, including ways to manage your own mental health while caring for patients.


Stay-At-Home Orders Extended to May 1

Ohio’s Stay-At-Home order, set to expire on April 6, has been extended thru May 1, state officials have announced. The order mandates Ohioans remain home with a few exceptions for essential work duties and some allowable activities outside the home. The order continues to ban non-essential business and prohibits public gatherings.

The updated order requires people traveling to Ohio to self-quarantine for 14 days, retail business can remain open but must limit the maximum number of people inside, and a panel is being appointed to handle enforcement discrepancies between political subdivisions.


State Seeks Faster Test Results

To speed up COVID-19 testing, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is ordering all assessment sites to send their tests to an ODH lab, or contract with a local hospital with testing capabilities, rather than sending to private labs for results. The order also says that hospitalized patients and symptomatic healthcare workers should be given priority for receiving the tests.


State Requiring Weekly Ventilator Inventory

The Ohio Department of Health has issued an order requiring all entities with ventilators to report their inventory by no later than 5:00 p.m. each Wednesday. The move was made so that the state can gain a better understanding of resources available should Ohio see a wider outbreak of coronavirus cases.

The order defines a ventilator as a machine, equipment or device designed to move breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breathing assistance to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or has difficulty breathing. This includes machines such as:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
  • Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BPAP)
  • Anesthetic Machine
  • Medical Ventilator
  • Bag Valve Mask
  • Nasal Cannula
  • Laryngeal Mask Airway (LMA)
  • Endotracheal Tube
  • Tracheostomy Tubes, Trach Tubes, or Tracheal Tubes

Any entity (including physicians’ offices and surgery centers) should report inventory online here.


To share your COVID-19 experience or ask a question, email OGS Director Reginald FieldsAnd continue to check for updates at the OGS website.

Stay Current on the Latest:

Coronavirus.ohio.gov   OSMA.org/coronavirus

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