Ohio COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program Expands Eligible Entities and Extends Reimbursement DeadlineMay 5, 2021 – Articles
The Ohio COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality Assistance Program allows eligible private employers to receive reimbursement for eligible inspections, assessments, maintenance, and/or improvements to indoor heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to help control the spread of COVID-19. Employers are not eligible for this program if any other federal funding has been supplied for the same purposes.
Who is eligible?
- Facilities licensed by the Ohio Department of Health (nursing homes, assisted living/residential care facilities, and hospices).
- Facilities recognized by the Ohio Department of Aging (senior centers, adult day support centers that are Medicaid providers in the PASSPORT, Ohio Home Care, and MyCare Ohio Waiver programs).
- Facilities certified/licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (substance use disorder residential treatment providers, class 2 and class 3 residential treatment providers, and adult care facilities).
- Effective Feb. 26, 2021, eligible entities were expanded to include facilities certified/recognized by the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities – Residential Waiver settings (group homes, intermediate care facilities, and adult day support providers that are Medicaid providers and have submitted a Provider Assurance Form).
- The Employer/facility must have a physical location in Ohio.
What is an eligible expense?
There are two types of eligible expenses: Inspection/assessment (execution of deferred maintenance/repair) or improvement (enhancement to an existing system/facility).
There are three categories of deferred maintenance or repair expenses: Maintenance, ventilation, and filtration.
Maintenance expenses could include:
- Engineering services, recommissioning, or retro-commissioning of existing HVAC systems related to improved indoor air quality;
- Servicing of HVAC/ventilation systems to ensure that ventilation and outdoor air intake systems are operating as intended; and/or
- Replacing failed temperature, humidity and CO2 monitoring for improved Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) monitoring.
Ventilation expenses could include:
- Recommissioning or retro-commissioning of existing ventilation systems related to improving or increasing ventilation;
- Verification of review that the existing systems are providing code-required ventilation; and/or
- Purchase of new temperature humidity and CO2 monitoring for improved IAQ monitoring.
Filtration expenses could include:
- Purchase of MERV-13 or higher filters for HVAC system to improve IAQ.
There are four categories of expenses for enhancement to an existing system facility: Maintenance, ventilation, filtration, and secondary device action.
Maintenance enhancement could include:
- Purchase of additional temperature, humidity, and CO2 monitoring for improved IAQ monitoring.
Ventilation enhancement could include:
- Improvements to a building control system to allow for increased ventilation;
- HVAC system modifications to allow for increased ventilation;
- Ventilation modifications due to fewer building occupants;
- Purchase of new temperature and CO2 monitoring for improved IAQ monitoring; and/or
- Adding or converting to operable windows to allow for natural ventilation.
Filtration enhancement could include:
- Purchase of commercial-grade portable air filtration system with minimum MERV-13 or HEPA filter.
Secondary device enhancement could include:
- Purchase of air treatment devices that may include (but are not limited to) ionization technology or UV-C technology designed to reduce airborne pathogens.
Eligible expenses do not include the following:
- Purchase of N95 masks;
- Installation of Plexiglas barriers; or
- Repair of environmental controls in a vehicle used to transport residents.
- The maximum allowable expense is $15,000.
- Goods must be installed, operational, and the receipts for the products/services submitted by June 30, 2021.
- HVAC contractors need to be licensed by the Ohio Construction Licensing Board to perform work on commercial building in Ohio. Professional engineers (firms) need to be licensed in Ohio to practice engineering and design HVAC system modifications. A facility cannot use an out-of-state HVAC company to provide services.
Remember, if this program is of interest to you, your SH-58 Application with required documentation must be submitted to the BWC by June 30, 2021. A link to the application is below for your convenience. Please do not delay and miss out on this opportunity. Contact a Dinsmore workers’ compensation attorney if you have any questions.