COVID-19 update: Public awareness, fireworks, criminal justice grants



Gov. DeWine this week announced two public awareness campaigns aimed at spreading awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures that impact the well-being of Ohioans and the Ohio economy.

“The messages of these ads are clear,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohioans, by continuing to practice good prevention, can do two things at once, help stop the spread of COVID-19, and responsibly and safely get back to work.”

The first campaign, called “I Believe,” focuses on real Ohioans and the prevention measures they take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These 15-second ads, provided by the Ohio Department of Health, will air for three weeks on broadcast, cable, and social media across the state. The PSAs feature two Ohio healthcare professionals.

Dr. Kevin Sharrett, MD, is a primary care physician with Cedarville and Jamestown Family Practice. He is the Medical Director for the Greene County Health Department and the Medical Director for Rural Health for the Kettering Health Network. He has served as the Greene County Coroner since 1997. A graduate of Wright State University School of Medicine, Dr. Sharrett also is a farmer and has dedicated his career to serving rural Ohioans.

Shareece Mashiska, RN, has been caring for patients in the Youngstown/Warren communities for more than 15 years. A nurse manager at Mercy Health – St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital, Shareece began her career in the intermediate unit at Mercy Health – St. Joseph Warren Hospital before becoming an intensive care nurse working both in-patient and on Mercy Health’s mobile intensive care unit.

Currently residing in the Mahoning Valley, Shareece believes social distancing remains a critical piece of keeping our communities safe, which includes her own husband and three children.

The second campaign, called “Up to All of Us,” focuses on the importance of taking proper preventative precautions, such as maintaining social distance and washing hands, to get Ohioans back to work and Ohio’s economy working again. The ad, provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, will air for three weeks on broadcast and cable television and features an emergency room physician and a local restaurant owner and operator.

Laura Espy-Bell, MD, MHA, FACEP is a board-certified Emergency physician and a native of Columbus, Ohio. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 2003. Dr. Espy-Bell received her Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005. Dr. Espy-Bell graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2011. Dr. Espy-Bell has been an active member of the OhioHealth medical staff for the past 6 years as an Emergency Medicine attending physician with Mid-Ohio Emergency Services (MOES) and has provided quality health care in several OhioHealth emergency departments.

Gary Callicoat is the president of Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern, which he first opened in 2002. Reflecting a long record of giving back to the hospitality industry, Callicoat serves on the board of the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) and is equally committed to supporting charitable causes of the communities in which he does business. He is also on the board of the ORA’s Education Foundation.


Lt. Governor Husted said that Independence Day fireworks shows can proceed, but large gatherings are still prohibited at this time. He encouraged any community that plans on holding a fireworks event to do so safely. Spectators are encouraged to find ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in small groups such as by watching displays from their porches, backyards, or cars.


Governor DeWine announced the first round of funding being distributed to local criminal justice entities as part of the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Grant.

Approximately $2.1 million will be awarded to a total of 65 local criminal justice agencies including law enforcement, probation/parole offices, corrections agencies, courts, and victim service providers.

The funding can be used toward COVID-19 expenses such as cleaning supplies, PPE, and medical supplies like thermometers. The funding will also be used to pay for technology upgrades that are needed for teleworking or other virtual services.

Staff report

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