Rental/Mortgage/Utilities Help

Central Ohio community has been deeply impacted by COVID 19 and IMPACT Community Action has served as an essential service to many with emergency needs.  Thanks to generous funding from the City of Columbus and other Hope Fund partners; IMPACT has distributed over $5.5 Million to 2,040 residents to assist them in maintaining their housing. If people applied before October 2nd, we continue to work with partner agencies to get applications processed on our 1st round of Hope Funds. 

Governor Mike DeWine announced the Development Services Agency has provided additional assistance to Ohioans with rent, water or sewer. The additional funding from the Home Relief Fund will help with outstanding rent or mortgages, water shutoff or to avoid foreclosure or eviction.  Those in need APPLY HEREIMPACT Community Action is one of 48 Community Action Agencies to receive funding. Franklin County households behind on bills and are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line will be eligible for aid, for a family of four that is an annual income of $52,400. 

In order to keep our clients safe, we have gone live with an online portal TODAY to allow clients to see if they qualify through a questionnaire; where we will capture name, email, phone, and requested assistance amounts for rent, mortgage, water, and fees.

After that, applicants will receive a wait list number and a message letting them know we will notify them when the portal is open and ready to accept their application. We encourage applicants to gather materials needed to apply before November 9th and to contact their landlord to ensure they know our team will be reaching out.

Columbus Public Health Update

Here are the latest updates on COVID-19 and Columbus Public Health’s response.

Situation Update

As of October 26, 2020, there are 24,953 cases of COVID-19 and 489 deaths in Columbus Public Health’s jurisdiction. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 case numbers in Columbus and Worthington, view the case summary report or follow Columbus Public Health on social media.

Other News to Know

New CDC Guidance

The CDC issued new guidance that expands the pool of people considered at risk of getting COVID-19 by changing the definition of who is a “close contact” of an infected individual. The CDC had previously defined a “close contact” as someone who spent at least 15 minutes within six feet of a person with COVID-19. The updated guidance now defines a close contact as someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Several months ago, the Ohio Department of Health clarified that the 15 minutes are cumulative and do not need to be consecutive, which is consistent with the new CDC guidance. The time frame of 15 minutes within 24 hours is new guidance which Columbus Public Health has now implemented in evaluation of close contacts.

COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing at Columbus Public Health has moved to the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair Celeste Center at 717 E. 17th Ave. Testing is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through a partnership with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, OhioHealth and Mt. Carmel Health System. To make an appointment to get tested, call 614-645-1519.

Flu Shot Clinics

Getting a flu shot is more important than ever this year to protect health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Columbus Public Health is offering drive-thru clinics to get a flu shot at no cost. Visit to see a list of clinic dates and locations. Flu vaccines also are available by appointment through the Immunization Clinic at Columbus Public Health, and at many health care providers and retail pharmacy outlets.

Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 cases are going up across the state. Please help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Always wear a face covering in public.
  • Practice social distancing by staying 6 feet apart from others.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid gatherings and large groups.

Learn More about COVID-19

Please use only credible and reliable sources for information and updates on COVID-19. See the latest here:

Public Comment Open on Environmental Assessment of the Lower Olentangy Tunnel

Last year, Columbus engineers spoke at one of our meetings about plans to address sewers which are overwhelmed when there is a heavy rain and back up into the Olentangy River, roads, and residential basements. One of the improvements described was a a 12-foot tunnel called the Lower Olentangy Tunnel (LOT) which extends from Tuttle Park south to Vine St.

The final environmental assessment of LOT has been issued by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as of October 14, 2020, with a comment period of 30 days. If you are interested in this project and how it may affect you, the document provides information about how to comment.

Election Sign Recycling Event

Election Sign Recycling Event 
November 7 – 8 a.m. to Noon
Bill McDonald Athletic Complex, 4990 Olentangy River Road

Election season is in full swing, as evidenced by the number of political ads on TV and political signs in yards. Whether you’re showing your support for or opposition to a candidate, levy or bond issue, please remember that when Election Day is over, there’s a better way to discard of election signs than throwing them in the trash.

This year, SWACO will again host a yard sign collection event on November 7, the Saturday after Election Day. We will accept all types of yard signs, including those made of paper, cardboard, plastic and corrugated plastic, as well as the metal frames that hold them up.

Town Hall on Monday, August 24th

Katherine Cull and Rebecca Deeds from the Department of Neighborhoods will be hosting a virtual Town Hall on Facebook Live. Updates from multiple City of Columbus departments will be shared. You may watch and participate by visiting and clicking on the “Video” link, which will show that there is a “Live” event. If you have a Facebook account, you will be able to comment and ask questions in the Comments section. If you do not, you can still view the event at this site, and means by which to submit your questions will be provided.

AARP Fraud Prevention

At the August 5th meeting, trained AARP volunteers, Phil Smith, Veronica Carter and Mike Kessler, gave a fraud prevention presentation on identity theft, how to outsmart cyber-attacks, and the latest scams including corona virus related scams. The presentation provided an inside look at how scammers think and gave tips and tools to safeguard against theft & fraud and what to do if you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud. If you missed it, or would like to learn more, they provided some materials.

Stay One Step Ahead of the Scammers (PowerPoint)

Con Artist’s Playbook (pdf)

Watchdog Alert Handbook (pdf)

New Airport Director Named

Adam Wolf has been named Airport Director for the Ohio State University Airport effective August 1, 2020. In this position, he will be responsible for both the strategic development and the overall day-to-day operations of the Airport.

Wolf has served on the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP).  He earned a bachelor’s degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives.  He holds an FAA Private license. Since joining OSU, he has taken progressively more responsibility, including serving as the Interim Director.

Congratulations, Director Wolf.

Update on the “Sheep Farm” Park on Case Rd.

Columbus Recreation and Parks Department acquired the 57-acre West Case Road property from The Ohio State University at the end of 2019. The department currently is mowing grass walking paths through the former pasture, which will be ready for use later this summer. Temporary on-site parking will be available at that time.

Later this year, the department will begin the planning process for permanent development. This includes creating a master plan for the property. The department will reach out to the community for input at that time.

Do you know of someone who would like to receive these updates? For email updates, sign up here.

Columbus Requires Face Coverings

From the City of Columbus website

News Date: July 06, 2020

Information about the Face Mask Executive Order

This order requires the wearing of facial coverings when in public to slow the community spread of COVID-19 and shall be in full force and effect on and after July 3, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until such time as superseded by ordinance of City Council.

Face Covering Requirements

For the purposes of this executive order: “Face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.

Where Face Coverings are required: All individuals are required to wear face coverings in indoor areas accessible to the public and within the confines of public or private transportation regulated by the City of Columbus, unless otherwise exempted, as follows:

a.     In Retail Businesses. Retail Businesses must have all workers wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. In addition, Retail Businesses must require that all customers wear Face Coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within (6) feet of another person, unless the customer states that an exception applies.

b.     In Restaurants and Bars. Restaurants and bars must have all workers wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. In addition, restaurants and bars must require that all customers wear Face Coverings when not at their table/seat, unless the customer states that an exception applies.

c.      In Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo Businesses. Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo Businesses must have workers wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. In addition, the business must require that all customers wear Face Coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six (6) feet of another person, unless the customer states that an exception applies. Customers may take off their Face Coverings if they are receiving a facial treatment, shave, or other services on a part of the head which the Face Covering covers or by which the Face Covering is secured.

d.     In Child Care Facilities, Day Camps, and Overnight Camps. Child care facilities, day camps, and overnight camps must have workers, all other adults, and children six (6) years or older on site wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person.

e.     In Transportation. All workers and riders on public or private transportation regulated by the City of Columbus, as well as all people in Columbus airports, bus, and train stations or stops, must wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. This provision does not apply to people traveling alone or with household members or friends in their personal vehicles, but does apply to ride-shares, cabs, vans, and shuttles, even if the vehicles are privately owned.

f.       In Certain High-Density Occupational Settings Where Social Distancing is Difficult. Social distancing is inherently difficult where multiple workers are together in manufacturing settings, at construction sites, and in agricultural settings. Therefore, in businesses or operations within North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors 311 to 339 (manufacturing), 236 to 238 (construction), and 111, 112, 1151, and 1152 (agriculture), all workers must wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person.

g.     Long Term Care Facilities. All workers in Long Term Care (“LTC”) Facilities, including skilled nursing facilities (“SNF”), adult care homes (“ACH”), family care homes (“FCH”), mental health group homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (“ICF-IID”), must wear Face Coverings while in the facility, and those Face Coverings must be Surgical Masks, as long as Surgical Mask supplies are available.

h.     Other Health Care Settings. Health care facilities other than LTC facilities must follow the Face Covering requirements in the CDC Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).

i.        Religious facilities and facilities owned and operated by the State of Ohio and the Federal Government are exempt from this order.

Exemptions: This Executive Order does not require Face Coverings for, and a Face Covering does not need to be worn by, a worker, customer, or patron who:

  • Should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
  • Is under six (6) years of age;
  • Is actively eating or drinking;
  • Is strenuously exercising;
  • Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;
  • Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;
  • Is temporarily removing his or her Face Covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes;
  • Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
  • Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle; or;
  • Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child’s face; or
  • Is within a religious facility.

Application of Exceptions: Anyone who declines to wear a Face Covering for any of the reasons which constitute an exception should not be required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition. Children under two (2) years of age should not be required to wear a Face Covering. 

Enforcement: Citations under this Executive Order shall be written only to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement to wear Face Coverings; this order’s purpose is to impose organizational criminal liability pursuant to CCC Sec. 2301.23.  Businesses and organizations are entitled to rely on their customers’ or patrons’ statements about whether or not they are excepted from the Face Covering requirements, and businesses and organizations do not violate this Executive Order if they rely upon such statements.

a.     Law enforcement personnel are not authorized to criminally enforce the Face Covering requirements of this Executive Order against individual workers, customers, or patrons.

b.     However, if a business or organization does not allow entry to a worker, customer, or patron because that person refuses to wear a Face Covering, and if that worker, customer, or patron enters the premises or refuses to leave the premises, law enforcement personnel may enforce the trespassing laws and any other laws that the worker, customer, or patron may violate.