Photo: Screengrab from press conference
In his daily press briefing on Sunday, March 22, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton had signed a statewide “stay at home” order, essentially an order to shelter in place.
The order goes into effect Monday night (March 23) at 11:59 p.m. and will be in effect until April 6.
You can read Acton’s full order here.
According to Acton, as of today, Ohio has 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and three deaths; 83 people are hospitalized. The age range is 1 year old to 93 years old, with a median age of 51. Acton said this is the “tip of the iceberg.”
“Every one of us matters and every day matters. But today is the day that matters,” she said. “Today is the day we have to batten down those hatches. Today is the day we’re doing the final orders about staying at home and moving to a model of essential business.”
She said front-line workers must be protected so they can protect us, adding that this is our one shot in this country and our time to sacrifice.
DeWine outlined the basics of the order, which does permit the following exceptions:
- You may leave home for essential actives for health and safety, including obtaining necessary supplies and services and for outdoor activity (note: playgrounds are closed).
- You may leave home for certain types of work.
- You may leave home to take care of others — a family member, a friend, a pet — and to transport them.
- You may attend weddings and funerals.
- Getting carry-out from restaurants is still OK.
Essential businesses are allowed to stay open, and those have been determined based on a homeland security document identifying essential workers.
In addition, starting Thursday, daycares must operate under a temporary childcare pandemic license and have a maximum of six children per room. Earlier this week, DeWine also ordered the closure of senior centers, senior day care facilities and day support for the developmentally disabled.
These orders can be enforced by local health departments and law enforcement, DeWine said.
At a 4 p.m. news conference, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley today said that the city will enforce the order.
“This is an extraordinary time, something that none of us have experienced before, when the governor has issued a stay at home order,” Cranley said. “The city is of course going to continue at this time to deliver the basic services that we all depend on.”
Cranley called enforcing the order “the right thing to do.” He said the law will apply to private residences and asked those in the city not to host large social gatherings at home.
“We understand there will be a lot of confusion as to who this applies to,” he said. “We will be taking a cooperative and collaborative approach to enforcing this. But these are now orders. They carry the weight of law.”
Cranley implored residents not to run to the grocery store to horde food and supplies, saying those would continue to be available.
“Life seems like it’s shutting down, but I feel like life is waking us up,” Acton said. “I see a vision of a future that is brighter than we have known.
“Please don’t feel like this is pulling us apart, I believe this is drawing us to each other and binding us to each other. But it will have to be all of us. All of us following the direction the governor is laying out to go into this battle and make these sacrifices.”
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