Labor Council
The Holiday Edition!
Friday, December 18, 2020
This year more than ever: Thank you!
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We know this will be a holiday season like no other. Many of us will be breaking with our longstanding tradition, staying home in order to keep our families and communities safe. Essential workers will deal not just with the stress of busy holiday schedules, but also will be working with extraordinary courage amid the threat of COVID-19. Just when we thought we might get a well-deserved break, many of us instead will be on the front lines of this terrible third wave, saving lives in hospitals and nursing homes. We’ll be stocking shelves and helping customers in grocery stores, making sure public services are uninterrupted, and so much more.
Every day in every way, union members are rising to the moment—especially during this holiday season.
Nurses and health care workers who have been on the front lines for months, showing the utmost bravery and care for their patients in the face of unimaginable loss and danger. Public service workers who keep our streets clean and safe. Electrical workers who’ve kept the lights and power on when we’ve needed it most. Grocery and food processing workers who made sure we have food to eat. Teachers who’ve gone above and beyond in classrooms and on Zoom, showing amazing fortitude and agility under the most difficult of circumstances. Construction workers who are ready to rebuild America better than ever before. Steelworkers and mine workers and autoworkers who make our communities strong. Firefighters who respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice, and who have had more than their share of work to contend with this year. Transportation workers who move America's people and goods.
As if that weren’t enough, you gave even more to your communities outside of working hours. Across the country, union members fed thousands of people throughout the year, proving that unions are part of the community and the community is a member of our unions.

I also want to say something to the working people whose lives have been put on hold, who have suffered unthinkable economic hardship in the face of this pandemic: We see you, and we will always fight for you.
Airline workers, hospitality and hotel workers, athletes and actors, theater workers, musicians, recording artists—this has been a very difficult year for you and for your families, and I want to acknowledge your sacrifice and commitment to a better path forward. No recovery is possible without you. And recovery is not some return to normal—it’s a new day and a fairer economy that works for all of us.
There are too many workers to name. But every single one of you has made this country better, and I know we are going to come through the other side of COVID-19 stronger than ever.
This year, I am more thankful than ever for the privilege of representing America’s workers. I am so proud and honored to stand and fight with you. So while this holiday season will be different, let it be the start of a new tradition. One where we recognize the sacrifice and dignity of every worker on every job.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or celebrate in your own way, my wish for each of you this holiday season is good health and greater peace of mind.
Together, we will ring in a new year where working people write the next chapter in America’s comeback story.
Richard Trumka
President, AFL-CIO
“A Season to Remember” by Bill Froehle
Brothers and Sisters,

With the Holiday Season upon us I sincerely hope we can all take a moment and think about all that we have to be thankful for this year. With Covid-19 continuing its wrath across this country and around the world along with our own personal struggles of the past year it can be far too easy to have a negative outlook on current events and the foreseeable future. With that being stated here are a few things I personally am thankful for.

  1. Family & Friends: We all know there are a lot of good people, near and far, who we can count on, who care about us, and who want only the best for us. We should all be Thankful for our family & friends. Family and friends are the folks who are by our side in the good times and the rough spells that we all experience in our journey on this planet. Family and friends are not afraid to tell us when we need to get our act together or when we are doing well. Never ever take that for granted.
  2. Being an American: Taking nothing away from any other country, I'm just being thankful for my own and that I was blessed to serve in our nations military. We have the ability to pick and choose our leaders based on what they promise they can do for us if elected, how many countries can say that? It may not be perfect, what place is? We should love it nonetheless
  3. The seasons: Don’t you love them all? Winter, spring, summer, fall, there are so many wonderful, special things about each, no matter where you live or spend the time. Take the time to slow down and enjoy the seasons of your own life. Before you know it you will be approaching your own final season, don’t look back longing for days gone by but rather look back at the roots that you planted along the way and enjoy the harvest of knowing you had a hand in the next generation and their ability to fulfill their own dreams.
  4. Health Care workers, Teachers, First Responders, Military: Not an easy job for not enough pay. We should be especially thankful for some of the great ones we have had ... even though we can't remember all their names. Teachers come in all forms from classroom to on the job training. We can all learn a little something from every one we meet. Health Care workers, First responders and our nation’s military are on the front lines every day not just in the current pandemic but also protecting us and our interests around the globe.
  5. The kindness of strangers: Don’t you love it when someone you don't know smiles at you or says or does something nice, just because. We can all be that person and the best part is it doesn’t cost a penny.
  6. The hard times: Because they make us stronger and wiser, and the good times even better.
  7. Collective Bargaining: We should all be Thankful that we have the ability to bargain with our employers for better wages and benefits through our Union Contract. There are way too many folks who work for less than they should be because they are job scared and trying to negotiate alone. United we bargain, divided we beg. We are a collection of all types of folks from all different backgrounds who have chosen this career path and Local 392. We are truly thankful for each and every member and I am thankful for the men and women I work beside every day who make this job easier and more enjoyable.

Last but not least we should all be thankful for today. Whatever the past was and the future might be, have little bearing on how we live today. Be thankful that we woke up this morning and have been granted the opportunity to do something positive for all those around us. There are so many more reasons to be thankful today and every day, feel free to add to this list.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Local 392!!

(Bill Froehle is Business Manager for Plumbers, Pipefitters & Mechanical Equipment Service Local Union No. 392 and President of Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council - )
Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021! by Peter McLinden
The year 2020 will always be remembered as one of the most pivotal and difficult years in our nation’s history. As a country, we were challenged by a three-part epidemic: COVID-19, an economic crisis leaving millions out of work and working families struggling everywhere, and rampant, ongoing nation-wide racism/bigotry exemplifying the need for greater social justice, especially for African-Americans, LGBT individuals, immigrants and other minority groups. 

We lost several social/economic justice leaders, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Federal Judge Nathaniel Raphael Jones, Commissioner Todd Portune, and long-time Labor lawyer/activist David Cook. And most sadly, as reported by The Cincinnati Enquirer, 2020 will be remembered as the City of Cincinnati’s deadliest homicide killing year on record. 

However, at the same time, we should also remember the good memories of 2020: Watching thousands of marchers/protesters stand up and demand greater social justice and fairness, in urban, suburban and rural cities throughout our country. Celebrating the service and dedication of thousands of healthcare, public safety, education, food service, transit/transportation and public services front-line workers, keeping us all healthy and safe. Witnessing our democratic election and voting process successfully work, electing more pro-Labor and pro-working family candidates than ever before, including Kamala Harris, the first African-American/southeast Asian Vice President. Currently, with the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections (set for January 5th), tens of thousands Labor leaders and members are volunteering hundreds of hours on our GOTV efforts, with ground canvassing, phone banks, text banks and a national postcard campaign. In Ohio, we are leading the country with the AFL-CIO postcard campaign, mailing out over 55,000 election postcards to Georgia voters, 11,000 of which are coming from the greater Cincinnati region! As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka always reminds us: When we stand together, work and fight together, we ultimately win together. With a pro-worker, pro-working families and pro-middle class United States Senate majority (and also White House administration!), the American people will finally have a Federal government that will truly be a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

So, Sisters and Brothers of the greater Cincinnati Labor movement, as we leave 2020, let us begin 2021with new hope and inspiration. Seven months after the House passage of the Heroes Act, Senate leadership are finally hearing the pleas of working families, public schools, local government entities and small businesses, are close to agreement on a new, bipartisan COVID relief legislation, which includes extended unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and other safety net measures for all American workers. President-elect Biden is promising new infrastructure investments which will help our economy, make America more competitive globally, and create more union job opportunities and better wages/benefits for younger workers. New COVID-19 vaccines are being approved and distributed, bringing greater safety, more relief and less stress to our front-line workers. And finally, after experiencing numerous racial and social injustice instances over the last four years, many people have a much greater understanding and awareness of the needed/long overdue need for criminal justice and police reform. So, yes, the moral compass needle of our nation is moving in the right direction; However, we have a long journey ahead of us and we all need to work cooperatively and collaboratively together to move the needle positively forward at a much faster pace.

Thank you for your work, your continued support and commitment to the Cincinnati Labor movement, and we look forward to working with you in 2021 for a stronger, pro-working class economy and greater social/economic justice for all!

May God’s Blessings be with all of you during the holiday season!
In Solidarity, U and I . . .
Peter McLinden

(Peter M. McLinden Esq. is a proud member of AFSCME Local 2461/Union Township, the Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center (GCOHC), Board President of Cincinnati Labor Agency for Social Services, Treasurer for the Hamilton County Democratic Party, Chairperson/Commissioner - Cincinnati Civil Service Commission, Commissioner - Ohio Real Estate Commission, former Commissioner - Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, and the Executive Secretary of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council -
"Labor is the backbone of a strong community" by Ted Thompson
Brothers and sisters of the AFL-CIO,

We all know labor is the backbone of a strong community. While always striving to better pay, benefits and working conditions of the members we serve, this year has been an especially tumultuous year for the United States Postal Service. 

While Congress continues to kick the can on postal reform, letter carriers continue to serve their customers with pride without clear legislative reform on the horizon and without a contract, all the while doing so as front line workers during a global pandemic. Slap on an executive administration that has attacked the USPS and its employees like no other administration and a new Postmaster General hell bent on destroying service, 2020 has been a challenging year.

From the onset of the pandemic, letter carriers have delivered for the public without missing a beat. During a divisive election, letter carriers delivered democracy. Currently, letter carriers are working long hours in understaffed offices to deliver vital supplies and holiday gifts. 

As 2020 turns to 2021, letter carriers will continue to deliver for you. I ask that you deliver for them. With the arrival of a new administration, meaningful postal reform is possible. I ask that you engage with your congressional representatives and join me in mandating postal reform, not to weaken, but grow a service that's enshrined in our cherished constitution. Together, 2021 can not just be a year of hope, but a year of change. Together, labors voice is strong. Together, we will prevail. 

As the year comes to an end, I wish all friends of labor and all the hardworking men and women a happy and safe Christmas. I look forward to the new year and wish you all a great one!

(Ted N. Thompson is President. Branch 43, NALC and a member of the Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council Executive Board -
“Fear Not” by Brian Griffin
"And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” ~ Luke 2:10-11

Let me start by saying that I am a Cradle Catholic… What’s more, I am an Irish Roman Catholic which means I’ve even mixed a bit of Druid in there for good measure… They say once a Catholic, always a Catholic, and I guess that’s true because I cannot deny that much of my life has been informed by that upbringing and to some extent, I see the world through those filters.

However, I like to think that I’ve arrived at a place where I can, and do take my “meaning,” if you will, from many, many faiths. I find that truth is truth wherever you find it… So, having said that, let me share this little story with you…and let’s not think of it as a Catholic story…or even a Christian story…or maybe not even a story any one faith – but perhaps all of them.

I’ve not really counted for myself, but I’ve heard it said that the phrase “fear not” appears in the Bible 365 times ─ or once for each day of the year. I don’t know if it’s really in there 365 times, but I do know it makes a great story, and it is in fact the most repeated phrase found in the entire Bible.

The reason I bring this up is that each year, CBS dutifully airs “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” as it has each year since its debut on December 9, 1965. And as we were, our children were also raised with it. It has been a staple for every generation since our parents ─ you know, the ones Tom Brokaw referred to as "The Greatest Generation" ─ bought the first color TVs. So, for more than 50 years since its premiere, honored with both an Emmy and a Peabody Award, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” remains the single most beloved holiday TV special. It is a tradition in our home, as it is in so many.

For me, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” is more than just an annual Holiday tradition. To me, it best captures that something special that is at the very heart of what many people, myself included, call “The Christmas Spirit.” Now understand, as I’ve grown up, that thing ─ the feeling that I got as a kid ─ changed and became something much broader and more easily understood. It became a more seasonal recognition of when we all just try a little harder… to do a little better. To be better. When each of us – meaning most of us – become purposeful, intentional in making this world we live in a little bit better, if only for a few weeks out of the year.

My favorite part of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” is the segment when Linus takes the stage, centered in the spotlight, and begins reciting the traditional Christmas Story from Luke 2. As always Linus stands there with his trusty, powder-blue security blanket over one shoulder – the very icon of who Linus is in every Charles Schulz animation and comic strip. That little blanket represents Linus’s armor against all the fear, insecurity, and divisiveness in the world. And that is why I was all the more amazed by what I noticed, for the first time, only this last year. I mean, after all these year, there it was. Right in front of me...and I had never noticed.

When Linus, standing alone on the stage, framed in only a single spotlight, comes to the passage where he says “Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy…” he casually let’s fall his trusty blanket. Right as he says the words “Fear not,” he drops the very symbol of all his fear, all his insecurity, and it falls in a heap at his feet on the stage floor. In that moment he is transformed, free of all his fears and doubts. And what had already been a moment of pure Christmas Spirit for me, became something entirely new again. After so many years of seeing this same little TV holiday special, there it was, and all the magic and wonder I felt all those years ago came rushing back.

So, when you watch this beautiful little Christmas classic in 2020 with your kids, grandchildren (or maybe even your great-grand children!) … whether you are Catholic, or Protestant, or Jewish, or Hindu, or Muslim, or follow any faith… this time pay particular attention to that particular moment. I don’t believe for a minute it is coincidental. And, like so much of Charles Schultz’s genius, he put it there for us to see and feel…when we were ready to see it, and feel it.

In this beautiful season of Advent, and Christmas, and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Chinese New Year, St. Lucia’s Day, Día de los Muertos, Las Posadas, Chung Yeung Festival, Boxing Day, Festivus, whatever… let’s remember what Charles Schulz was telling us all those years ago, and again each year. Let’s listen and learn from Linus’ example. Let’s strive to spend our days filled with “great joy.” Without fear, without hatred, without prejudice, without malice, without stress, without turmoil. Make time to relax and enjoy the season. And most of all, “Fear not!”

Have a blessed and celebrated Holiday Season!

(Brian Griffin is Director, Communication & Technology, Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council and Program Manager, Greater Cincinnati Occupational Health Center -
Lame Duck Session by Matt Smith
Ohio General Assembly: What started out as a very busy and cautiously hopeful state legislative “Lame Duck” session is coming to a close with no progress on Labor’s priorities. The state federation has been advocating for Workers Compensation benefits for first responders who are dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) without an accompanying physical injury. We were successful in lobbying to have this language included in the House‘s BWC budget bill earlier in the session. However, after an agreement by the Republican majority to pull this provision from the budget bill and act on it separately before the end of the session is not materializing.  Although the evidence is clear that our safety forces deserve the care and benefits should they suffer from work-related PTSD, the Republican majority has instead decided to create a Study Committee that will make recommendations to the next General Assembly.
Another major disappointment after much talk about school funding equity has been the unwillingness of the Senate majority to pass the fair school funding bill, House Bill 305. After two years of workgroup meetings, over a dozen committee hearings, and countless hours of thorough debate, and decades of operating under a school funding scheme that has been ruled unconstitutional, the Ohio House overwhelmingly passed HB 305 in early December. Beyond having a funding formula that meets the educational needs of each child, the bill also would end the disastrous policy of offsetting funds for school districts based on private school voucher cost. This change is desperately needed as charter schools continue to siphon necessary resources from our public school districts.
A victory for Labor came in the form of stopping Senate Bill 243, legislation that would have allowed employers to stop paying employees overtime for performing certain tasks before or after their shift. For example, the legislation would allow employers to stop paying employees overtime for checking e-mail or taking a work call after hours, or hospitals to stop paying nurses for putting on or taking off their personal protective equipment. The state federation joined with allies in opposing this unnecessary bill. We will likely see it reintroduced when legislators return in January.  
On the federal front, Democrats and Republicans are inching toward an agreement for another COVID-relief package. While the final text is not available at the time of this publication, rumors on the deal have been leaking out. It’s expected that the package will include another round of direct payments to Americans, likely to be around $600 or half of Americans received the last round. It is also expected that the package will reinstitute the federal supplemental jobless benefits, at an additional $300 a week (also half as much as jobless Americans received over the summer). The measure is also rumored to include money for vaccine distribution, schools and small businesses. So far, Senate Republicans have refused to include much needed relief for local governments because Democrats have kept egregious corporate immunity language out of the bill. The total price tag for the measure is believed to be just under 1 trillion. Lawmakers have been warned to stay in town over the weekend in order to get the deal done.

(Matt Smith is Ohio AFL-CIO Legislative Director -
Sen. Brown's Latest Work for Working People

Why hasn't the Trump Administration done anything to protect our essential workers - especially as they put their lives at risk to work through a deadly pandemic? Sherrod blasts this administration's actions that continue to prioritize corporate interests and treat workers as expendable.
DECEMBER 15, 2020 ─ Brown, Wyden Press for Answers Following Treasury Department Cybersecurity Breach ─ WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and Senate Finance Committee ranking member, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), are pressing for answers from the U.S. Treasury Department after recent reports indicate the department suffered a serious cyber-attack by actors widely... READ MORE

DECEMBER 15, 2020 ─ Brown Blasts FDIC For Endangering the Economy ─ U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following statement after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced changes to rules around brokered deposits and industrial loan companies: “The FDIC and OCC have spent the last several months... READ MORE

DECEMBER 15, 2020 ─ Brown Statement On The Selection Of Pete Buttigieg To Be Secretary of the Department of Transportation ─ WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which has jurisdiction over public transportation, released a statement after President-Elect Biden announced the nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be Secretary of the Department of Transportation. If confirmed,... READ MORE

DECEMBER 14, 2020 ─ Brown, Scott, Booker and Graham Introduce Resolution Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the National Urban League ─ WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), along with Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), introduced a resolution congratulating the National Urban League on 110 years of service. Ohio is home to seven affiliates, including Greater Cleveland, Columbus, Southwestern Ohio, Greater Stark County, Lorain County,... READ MORE

Keep up with Sherrod:
Homeless Memorial Day Virtual Vigil
Or by phone:  Meeting ID: 920 5173 2746
646 558 8656 US (New York)
301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
David M. Cook ─ Founder of, and managing principal in, Cook & Logothetis, LLC
Earlier this week, we received word of the passing of David M. Cook the founder of, and managing principal in, Cook & Logothetis, LLC. For nearly forty years, David devoted his professional career to giving voice, counsel, and representation to union, individual workers, and employee benefit plans. He litigated and won cases before government boards and agencies as well as before state and federal courts around the country.

David practiced primarily in the areas of labor union representation, employee benefits, focusing on the representation of workers in employment law matters, and wage and hour cases. During his career, he more than earned the trust of labor unions, both at the local and national levels, and developed a national reputation as an expert in employee benefits law. In Cincinnati, his firm is where unions turn when they need advice in times of crisis or when there is a lawsuit that has to be filed the next day.

David was a Charter Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and is also a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. He previously served as General Counsel for the National Postal Mail handlers Union, and as General Counsel for the Armco Employees' Independent Federation. David served as a member of the AFL-CIO Center for Working Capital's National Advisory Council of Employee Benefits Professionals.

He served in various capacities in the American Bar Association Section of Labor & Employment Law, including: Current Vice-Chair of the ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law ("LEL") Annual CLE Planning Committee; Co-Chair of the ABA LEL Section Employee Benefits Committee (1996 to 1999); member of the ABA's Joint Committee on Employee Benefits during 1998 and 1999; Senior Editor for Employee Benefits Law (BNA, Second Edition, 2000) annual supplements - including chapters on Civil Procedure & Enforcement, Collective Bargaining & Employee Benefits, and Ethics and Evidentiary Privilege. He appeared and presented papers and presentations at over 65 programs, seminars, and CLE programs across the US.
But perhaps most noteworthy and meaningful was David’s willingness and passion for mentoring new and future lawyers. Numerous lawyers started their legal careers under his training and went on to flourish in other settings. Often David’s family, friends and colleagues heard from practicing attorneys who spoke of how instrumental David was to them, giving them the solid foundation they needed to be the lawyers they had become. David was never too busy to offer practical advice on how to approach a tense mediation, reword a sentence in a brief, or exactly what to say to a disgruntled client. He and his firm regularly sent associates to conferences and meetings throughout the country in order to expand their professional networks and learn from other attorneys.

He was active in the community and his church for over 40 years, including service on the boards of Minorities in Math, Science & Engineering, and the Better Housing League, serving as a knothole baseball coach, and in a number of leadership positions in his church.
David was a friend and ally to Organized Labor and all working people for many years. Some can even recall David's law firm when it was known as Cook, Portune and Logothetis. He spent his career fighting for working people and Promoting Social & Economic Justice. Please keep David and his family in your prayers.
A Few Important Items from our Friends at RetireMEDiQ
What is the Part D Donut Hole and Why Does It Matter?
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. There are varying levels of costs and coverage associated with Medicare Part D, including what’s called the “Donut Hole.”

Many retirees with high medication expenses worry about entering the Donut Hole. We want to help you understand the Donut Hole so you can financially prepare for the year to come. Read more
Understanding Your Medicare Advantage Plan: Costs
At RetireMEDiQ, we want to make sure you understand what your out-of-pocket costs are for your Medicare plan so that you can budget accordingly. This article explains some common costs that you can expect from a Medicare Advantage plan, such as premiums, copays, and coinsurance.

Understanding Your Medicare Supplement Plan: Costs
Knowing how to anticipate your out-of-pocket health care costs is helpful as you plan for the new year. In this article, we break down the costs associated with a Medicare Supplement plan. Expect higher monthly costs and lower out-of-pocket costs with a Supplement plan. Read more
Vaccinations Continue in Ohio, Local Health Department Vaccination Guidance
December 15, 2020 - COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Seven hospitals in Ohio received their first vaccine shipments today, bringing the total number of vaccine doses delivered to Ohio over the past two days to 98,475.
Governor and First Lady DeWine were present this morning for the delivery of the vaccine shipment to Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center and Lt. Governor Jon Husted visited OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus as they received their first delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
In addition to the two aforementioned hospitals, COVID-19 vaccine shipments of 975 doses apiece were also delivered to:

  • Mercy Health St. Vincent Hospital, Lucas County
  • Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga County
  • Metro Health Medical Center, Cuyahoga County
  • Aultman Hospital, Stark County
  • Genesis Hospital, Muskingum County

An additional 975-dose shipment was delivered today to OhioHealth Riverside Hospital for use at OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in Athens. 

Although vaccine supplies are currently limited, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has advised that Ohio will continue to receive vaccinations throughout the month of December. Next week, Ohio is expected to receive 123,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, as well as 201,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine. During the week of New Year’s, Ohio is expected to receive an additional 148,000 Pfizer vaccines and an additional 89,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. 

A number of healthcare workers who received vaccinations today joined today's public briefing to discuss their experiences, including Kasi Gardner, RN, of Mercy Health Springfield Regional Medical Center who received her vaccine during the news conference.

Dr. Jennifer Wall Forrester, associate chief medical officer at UC Health, also discussed when citizens should call their doctors or go to the hospital if they develop COVID-19 symptoms


Ohioans continue to be hospitalized at record numbers. As of today, 5,296 patients are hospitalized throughout the state and 1,311 of those patients are in intensive care units. Ohio currently has more patients in the ICU than it had total for all COVID-19 hospitalized patients during the previous peak last summer. There are currently 863 patients who need a ventilator, as compared to 360 patients on ventilators a month ago.

"While there is good reason to be optimistic about Ohioans receiving the vaccine, we have our work cut out for us to slow the spread of the virus until enough Ohioans can be vaccinated," said Governor DeWine. "We must continue rallying together to prevent overwhelming our hospitals."


Next week, local health departments in Ohio that registered as providers are expected to begin receiving vaccines. Today, Governor DeWine outlined guidance on individuals who should be prioritized by health departments during Phase 1A.

Local health departments should coordinate the vaccinations of congregate care residents and staff, such as those at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, who are not enrolled in the federal long-term care pharmacy programs or are not registered as providers themselves. This includes people with developmental disabilities and those with mental health disorders, including substance use disorders, who live in group homes, residential facilities, or centers, as well as staff.
In addition, local health departments should prioritize vaccinating other healthcare providers who are not being vaccinated by hospitals and health systems and are not enrolled as providers themselves. These providers could include:

  • Home health workers
  • Hospice workers
  • Emergency medical services responders
  • Primary care practitioners
  • Free-standing emergency department, urgent care, pharmacy, and dialysis center providers not vaccinated by hospitals or healthcare systems
  • Dental providers
  • Public health employees who are at risk of exposure or transmission, such as vaccinators
  • Mobile unit practitioners
  • Federally-qualified health center providers
  • High-risk ancillary health care staff members


In total, there are 579,357 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 7,654 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 32,878 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 5,283 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting 

Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page

For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
We need your help...
An ICU nurse shares the impact of COVID-19.
COVID-19 Fact Sheet 
Ohio Stay at Home Tonight Order
Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.

  • Stay home 
  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
  • Call before visiting your doctor
  • Practice good hygiene habits 


High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19
please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
COVID - 19 By The Numbers
Global Confirmed: 74,378,599
Global Deaths: 1,652,235
U.S. Confirmed: 16,985,170
U.S. Deaths: 307,552
(As of 3:00 PM, Thursday, December 17, 2020)
Ohio COVID-19 Dashboard
Current Trends
Below are the current reporting trends for key indicators calculated from data reported to the Ohio Department of Health. The graphics and information were taken from the Ohio Department of Health Coronavirus (COVID-19) website Thursday, December 10, 3:30 PM.
Hamilton County
Clermont County
Brown County
Butler County
Warren County
A Special Note for Our Sisters and Brothers at UFCW

This holiday season, we want our coworkers and ourselves to stay safe when we are at work. COVID cases are on the rise in every state. Essential workers have kept this country running during one of the most difficult times in our nation. And we know we aren't done yet. UFCW wants to help us all stay safe this winter. That's why they've created this online form we can use to report any COVID 19 related issues in our workplaces. If you're a fellow UFCW member, please fill out this online form to report any issues in your workplace and help us by sharing this resource with other members:

Other Important Headlines and Information:
Special Editor's Note: This is the last Edition of The Cincinnati AFL-CIO Labor Council "Working for a Living" weekly update for the remainder of 2020. Happy Holidays and we look forward to seeing you each Friday morning in 2021 beginning Friday January 8.