COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

Information and resources you can trust.

Helping Our Community Cope

Check back for up-to-date information.

CORONAVIRUS SCAMS

Protect yourself from scammers who are taking advantage of the pandemic to steal people’s personal information.

Attorney General Dave Yost’s Coronavirus Resources and Guidance

Information for consumers, businesses and more on scams and price-gouging related to COVID-19.

IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts

Alerts from the IRS for individuals and tax professionals on current tax-related scams, including coronavirus-related scams.

FDA - Fraudulent Coronavirus Products

Provides consumers with a searchable list of companies that have been issued warnings for marketing scam products related to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as resources such as product pictures, news and updates and information on reporting unlawful sales and scams.

Identity Theft and Unemployment Benefits

Ohioans have had their identities used to file fraudulent unemployment claims. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services offers resources to help both individuals and employers who have been affected. Call 1-833-658-0394 or visit their website for assistance.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Increasing numbers of individuals and families are finding themselves in situations of financial uncertainty. These resources can help.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes language that waives taxes on unemployment benefits at certain income levels. Please consult with a tax professional or review IRS guidance for assistance.

Unemployment Benefits

Apply for unemployment benefits through the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. You can also apply for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (or “PUA”) program, which provides benefits for individuals who are ineligible for state unemployment benefits, including self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers and part-time workers.

Economic Impact Payments

If you missed the deadline to register for Economic Impact Payments, or didn’t get the full Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The CFPB provides helpful information on protecting your finances and avoiding scams during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Cash Assistance

See if you’re eligible to receive cash assistance through Ohio Works First (OWF). OWF supplies up to 36 months of cash benefits for eligible families.

FOODBANKS AND DINING SERVICES

Find foodbank or meals-to-go services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Children’s Hunger Alliance

Children’s Hunger Alliance has partnered with a number of organizations to offer free meals to children across Ohio to help reduce food insecurity amid the pandemic. Check out the map to find the most convenient location.

Columbus City Schools

Columbus City Schools has 44 Fuel Up! Regional Meal Sites offering freshly prepared grab-and-go meals for any student under 18. Families can choose from a daily take-home meal plan or a five-day take-home meal plan (includes weekend and holiday support). Check the CSS website for locations as well as additional community food-access resources.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP is a service provided by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to help families stretch their food budgets.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

Currently seeking volunteers to package meals to provide to vulnerable children during the COVID-19 crisis.

Salvation Army of Central Ohio

The Salvation Army is providing food to those affected by the coronavirus in Franklin, Delaware and Union counties. No proof of ID or income information required.

FreshTrak

Input your ZIP code to find food access resources in your community such as food banks and pantries. Click here for a COTA bus map to local food pantries.

HEALTHCARE

HealthCare.gov

The federal government’s healthcare website explains the differences between Medicaid, CHIP, COBRA and health insurance marketplace plans, with links to apply to each. If you have lost your job and your job-based health coverage, you qualify for a special enrollment period to get coverage through the health insurance marketplace.

HOUSING

Find resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

Columbus City Council FAQs for Landlords and Tenants

Recommendations and resources to help guide tenants and landlords facing challenges related to COVID-19. An FAQ for landlords can be found here, while a tenant FAQ can be found here. If a tenant feels they are being informally evicted, or their eviction is being served as a retaliatory action, please call Todd Dillard at 614-645-5650.

Mortgage Relief

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both instituted mortgage relief measures. If your mortgage is serviced by a private lender, they might be offering similar relief. Contact your lender and specifically mention that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted your ability to make payments.

Impact Community Action Emergency Assistance

Impact Community Action can provide assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities, transportation and material support for acquiring appliances and/or furniture for households with a qualifying emergency that meet federal poverty level requirements.

Lead Safe Columbus

The mission of the Lead Safe Columbus program is to generate lead-safe and healthy affordable housing and to prevent lead poisoning of children and adults in Columbus neighborhoods. This program offers funding to eligible property owners for lead-based paint hazard control and to address healthy homes hazards in tenant- or owner-occupied units.

LEGAL HELP

Get help with your legal needs.

Ohio Legal Help

Provides interactive self-help tools and connections to local legal resources to assist individuals with resolving their legal issues.

MENTAL HEALTH & SELF CARE

Taking care of yourself isn’t always a priority, especially during a crisis. These resources can help you cope and manage stress.

Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH)

A centralized resource for COVID-19 linking to the Ohio, Franklin County and Columbus Public Health departments, it provides information for managing stress and anxiety and for those in crisis, as well as resources focusing on mental health and addiction.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis Line for Youth

For Franklin County children in crisis, call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis Line for Youth at 614-722-1800.

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

OhioMHAS has provided a tip sheet for Managing Coronavirus Related Stress, including a national Disaster Distress Helpline, which you can reach by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” or “Hablanos” to 66746.

Rally Columbus

This free running and walking initiative provides inspiration to help the community get through tough times.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

COVID CareLine

Call this toll-free and confidential emotional support helpline at 1-800-720-9616 or text the keyword “4hope” to 741741 between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. for assistance.

Netcare Access

For adults experiencing mental health or addiction crises, call Netcare at 614-276-2273.

Return to Work Ohio

These resources can help you manage stress and anxiety as you prepare to return to work.

PERSONAL CARE

Period Pantry

Provides a consistent source of menstrual hygiene products to those in the central Ohio region in need. The Period Pantry Project provides one week’s worth of supplies with no-contact delivery.

SOCIAL SERVICES

Find children’s and senior services, volunteer opportunities or other social services during the coronavirus pandemic.

CAP4Kids

Includes community resources for food, housing, utilities, finances, healthcare and more.

Franklin County Job & Family Services

Provides resources for temporary pandemic childcare, tips for child care providers, Medicaid Virtual and Telehealth resources.

HandsOn Central Ohio

HandsOn Central Ohio is now LSS 211. Call 2-1-1 or visit the link above to get connected to thousands of social service, government and community resources in Franklin County to address any problem you might be facing..

Coronavirus Pandemic Childcare

Find childcare through the the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services by using their map-based search of programs approved for pandemic childcare.

Ohio Department of Education

Resources for homeless and/or disabled students, as well as information about children’s social, emotional and behavioral health, school nutrition programs and emergency feeding.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Offers resources to help veterans protect and care for themselves and their families during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit their vaccine information page to get the latest updates about COVID-19 vaccines.

TRANSPORTATION

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

Shares public transportation and rideshare information, including service updates, fare changes and policies with guidelines requiring passengers to wear masks. Find COTA routes and lines to your local food pantry here.

John Glenn International Airport

Planning a trip? See how COVID-19 is changing air travel plans, including essential and non-essential travel, and requirements for visiting the airport. Those entering Ohio after travel can find the COVID-19 Travel Advisory here.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)

Provides information regarding online services and the pilot of Get in Line, Online, a virtual queuing system to better serve Ohio drivers for BMV services such as license renewal or vehicle registration.

Smart Mobility Hub

We’ve partnered with Smart Columbus to bring a Smart Mobility Hub to our Linden Branch customers. Smart Mobility Hubs bring transportation options together at a single location to make it easier to get to jobs and services in the Linden and Easton areas.

UTILITY SERVICES

Public Utilities City of Columbus

Provides updates on suspension of delinquency utility turnoffs and in-person bill pay. Emergency funding is also available to provide a one-time credit for water and/or electric bills services for customers who are having difficulty paying their bill.

Free WiFi Locations

Columbus City Schools has provided a list of schools and libraries that have boosted WiFi signals that can be accessed from outside the building, as well as a directory of free WiFi hotspots around the state.

Electricity and Gas

AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are continuing to look for ways to support customers facing disconnections due to financial hardship.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

Provides eligible Ohioans assistance with their home energy bills. This onetime benefit is applied directly to the customer’s utility bill or bulk fuel bill.

PCs for People

Provides eligible families with the opportunity to apply for reduced cost technology.

Internet Access

Internet providers are instituting changes, such as moratoriums on rate hikes, removal of data caps or overage charges and temporary holds on disconnection of service for non-payment. If you don’t have internet access at home, some companies are providing free broadband internet for households that meet certain conditions. For more information about internet pricing and access options, visit the websites for AT&TSpectrumT-MobileWide Open West (WOW!) and Verizon.