Ohio is now under a shelter-in-place order to limit the spread of coronavirus, Governor Mike DeWine announced Sunday afternoon. Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed the order, which is in effect beginning midnight on Monday through April 6.
“We are at war,” DeWine said in a press conference. “And in a time of war we have to make sacrifices.”
The order comes after the Ohio Department of Health announced there were 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. Three Ohioans have died from the effects of the virus and 83 are hospitalized.
Ohioans are ordered to stay home unless it is necessary to leave. All nonessential businesses will now close—following last week’s order to close all bars, restaurants and public-facing businesses such as barber shops, movie theaters and recreation venues. Essential businesses remaining open include take-out restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, financial institutions, hardware stores, educational institutions and pharmacies. Religious organizations can stay open but are encouraged to close. Daycares will now be limited to six children per room.
Outdoor exercise is also still allowed under the order.
“Going outside: You can go out in your yard, visit the @OhioStateParks — just keep your #SocialDistancing,” DeWine tweeted. “Get out and walk — this is important for mental health. Walk your dog, go hiking.”
All public and private gatherings “of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited” except for a few other purposes listed in the order.
It is not yet known how the order will be enforced in Ohio; however, in other states or areas with shelter-in-place orders—like the San Francisco Bay Area—breaking the order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine or imprisonment.
“We don’t look to see a bunch of people arrested. This is not what we want to accomplish,” DeWine tweeted. “By doing the #StayHome health order, we can convey the seriousness of this. The businesses that stay open must figure out how to follow these guidelines.”
DeWine later tweeted that everyone should read the full order to understand what they can and cannot do. You can read it here.
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