DeWine, Acton Order Ohioans To 'Stay Home'

In the state’s continued effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) Gov. Mike DeWine announced in order on Sunday similar to what other states in the country have adapted.  DeWine said that Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed -- effective 11:59 p.m. Monday, a stay at home order. DeWine said while other states have referred to it as shelter and place orders, DeWine is calling it stay at home, but added that both orders are the same. The order is online at Coronavirus.Ohio.gov.  The order will
By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Managing Editor

In the state’s continued effort to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) Gov. Mike DeWine announced an order on Sunday similar to what other states in the country have adapted.

DeWine said Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed — effective 11:59 p.m. Monday —  a “stay at home” order for all Ohioans for nonessential reasons. DeWine said while other states have referred to it as shelter-and-place order, the governor is calling it stay at home. He added that both orders are the same and Ohio’s order, as well as frequently asked questions, can be found online at Coronavirus.Ohio.gov.

The order will last until at least April 6 and will be reassessed at that time and as necessary, DeWine said, and that there is nothing in the order that is different than what he has asked Ohioans to do leading up to Sunday. 

The order has three compartments to it: stay at home, what businesses are essential and the guidelines those businesses need to maintain.

The order, however, does consist of what DeWine considers common-sense exemptions, such as health and safety, necessary supplies and services, outdoor activities — although playgrounds are closed — certain types of work that are deemed essential, take care of family members and neighbors, weddings and funerals and restaurant carry-out

The second part of the order lists essential businesses that can remain open. DeWine’s list was put together in conjunction with what businesses Homeland Secretary deems essential and what other states have deemed as essential businesses. The third part of the order is making sure those essential businesses that are allowed to remain open continue good protocols and guidelines in regard to health.

The requirements include maintaining a six-foot distance as part of social distancing from other individuals, washing hands for at least 20 seconds, hand sanitizers should be readily available for employees and customers, separate hours for a vulnerable population and online remote access, among other guidelines.

Violation of the order is a second-degree misdemeanor. Under Ohio’s laws, a second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of as much as $750, or both but DeWine added it is not about getting people arrested, it is about telling people that the order is important.

The state of Louisiana has ordered a similar stay at home protocol that will go in effect at 5 p.m. Monday. New York, California and Illinois have similar orders in place.

“We are at war and at a time of war, we have to make sacrifices,” DeWine added.

According to Acton, there are 351 confirmed cases in 40 counties from the age range of 1 to 93 years at an average age of 51 years old. 

There are 83 hospitalizations, three deaths in the state. 

Nearby Logan County announced its first confirmed case on Sunday. There have been no confirmed cases in Auglaize and Mercer counties.

In other news released in Sunday’s press conference:

• Lt. Gov. John Husted said businesses and workers can access resources at Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

This portal includes information on unemployment benefits, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Liquor Buyback Program, modified rules for trucking to help ship critical supplies into the state, the delay of BWC Premiums, etc.

The lieutenant governor said businesses are hiring by the thousands — including local businesses such as Kroger and Walmart — during the crisis and for people looking for work can go to OhioMeansJobs.org.

• Beginning Thursday, child daycares must operate under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license. The order will limit a maximum of six children per room. The governor said the number of kids in daycare has gone down dramatically. At the beginning of the crisis, there were 117,000 kids in daycare subsidized by Ohio, that number has gone down to 17,000 and DeWine added that while there is not a great estimate of private daycares, he estimated numbers were down to 40,000, down from 183,000.

“This is a dramatic change, but it’s necessary to minimize the risk to these kids,” he said. “The obvious concern in regard to daycare is when you’re putting a large number of children together, the social distancing does not work too well and children are known to share about everything.

• The governor said he will ask the General Assembly to forgo state testing for the rest of the school year. The General Assembly will meet this week.

• The Board of Pharmacy passed an emergency measure on Sunday to put a rush on malaria drugs and certain provisions in regards to prescribing for the drug. Malaria drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have shown early signs of improving symptoms.

• On Saturday, the governor announced the closures of adult developmental disability day programs unless it is a group of 10 or fewer.

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