Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has issued a stay-at-home order for Ohioans amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Dr. Acton just signed a stay-at-home order for all Ohioans,” DeWine said during a Sunday press conference. “Other states have called this shelter-in-place, we prefer stay-at-home. It’s pretty much the same thing.”
The order goes into affect at 11:59 p.m. Monday evening, DeWine said. It will stay in effect until April 6.
“There really is nothing in that order that we have not already been talking about. There’s nothing in that order that I have not been asking you to do for the past week or so,” DeWine said. “This order has really three separate parts: The first part is, stay at home order.”
DeWine said the order permits exceptions for being at home. Leaving home for essential activities is permitted: for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity (taking a walk, going to park, etc.), certain types of work (work deemed essential), and to take care of others.
Attending weddings and funerals are also permitted exceptions to the order, DeWine said.
The second part of the order lists the essential businesses that will be allowed to stay open. “We used the Homeland Security document identifying essential workers,” DeWine said. “This document has been used by several other states as well.”
The third part of the order says that each of the businesses allowed to stay open must follow good protocols and guidelines in regards to health, including maintaining at least a 6 feet distance from other individuals, washing hands frequently, availability of hand sanitzers for employees and customers, separate operating hours for elderly and other high-risk groups, etc.
The Department of Homeland Security defines essential businesses as:
- Health care and public health workers
- Law enforcement, public safety and first responders
- Food and agricultural workers
- Energy employees
- Waste and wastewater
- Transportation and logistics
- Public works
- Communications and information technology
- Community based government operations
- Critical manufacturing
- Hazardous materials
- Financial services
- Chemical workers
- Defense industrial base
DeWine also addressed the risks of daycare centers throughout the state, limited the maximum amount of children in a room to six at a time. DeWine has expressed concern over the availability of childcare services for essential workers, such as healthcare professionals and grocery store employees.
On Sunday, the Ohio Department of Health confirmed 351 positive cases of coronavirus in the state, spanning 40 counties, with 3 deaths and 83 hospitalizations.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.