While many have been left with questions after Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton ordered 11.7 million Ohioans to stay at home amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, area law enforcement agencies are asking individuals to avoid calling 911 with questions regarding the order.
“We are getting calls asking if the caller would be considered an essential employer, and if we are stopping people for being out. Please call your employer for work requirements,” a Facebook post from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office said. “We will not be stopping and ticketing people.”
The order takes effect Monday evening at midnight and is set to last through April 6. However, Gov. Mike DeWine indicated at a briefing Sunday it could be extended.
It carves out exemptions for when people can leave their homes.
- Activities for health and safety
- Obtaining necessary services and supplies
- Outdoor activity like walking, running, biking, or hiking. Playgrounds, however, shall be closed.
- Going to work at an essential business
- Taking care of other people or their pets. This includes attending weddings and funerals.
“Essential businesses,” as defined in the order, can stay open. They include the following:
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine
- Food, beverage, licensed marijuana production and agriculture business
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services
- Religious entities
- First amendment protected speech
- Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
- Financial and insurance institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades like HVAC, security, operating engineers and others
- Mail services
- Educational institutions, although they are still bound by previous orders closing their in-person learning operations
- Laundry services
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises
- Businesses selling supplies to work from home
- Professional services i.e. lawyers, accountants, insurance brokers, etc.
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Home-based care and services
- Funeral services
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