DeWine Orders DMVs, Additional Businesses To Close

Gov. Mike DeWine speaking at a press conference this week to update the media and public about the coronavirus. (MCT)
Managing Editor

During his daily press briefing on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state of Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered additional steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

DeWine ordered the closing of all but five DMV facilities in Ohio — 181 registrar locations in total — by the end of the business. Five will remain open because those five are essential. 

"The Bureau of Motor Vehicles has about a million people go through their doors throughout the state of Ohio each and every month," DeWine added. "That's an opportunity to slow this down.

"We should only be doing these things that are essential for the health and welfare of the people of the state."

Five DMV facilities will remain open to issue commercial drivers licensing in order to keep essential supplies moving throughout the state.

"All other services will be online or by mail of they will simply be paused," DeWine said.

Fifty-two driver examination stations will close as well.

DeWine added that he will be asking the state's General Assembly to grant a gave period for people who will not have a chance to renew their license. In the meantime, DeWine asking all law enforcement in the state and instructing the Ohio State Highway Patrol to not issue tickets for someone who has an expired license, which will be due from the fact that after today, motorists cannot get a renewal of their license.

By the end of the business day on Wednesday, all barbershops, hairdressers, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlors. DeWine did not order libraries to close around the state, adding that he will leave that decision to each individual county and individual libraries.

"They are essential parts to our community," he added. "We would ask them, however, to offer their services in a way that does not put people together to honor social distancing.

"Again, our goal is to put a social distance between people."

DeWine spoke to all businesses where a number of employees show up, asking them — beginning immediately — to take the temperature of every single employee every single day before they come to work.

"We are asking them to be very aggressive in regards to cleaning surfaces and in regards to the availability of soap, water and hand sanitizers," DeWine said. "A temperature check is not perfect, but it is one way to screen individuals out for employees who come in."

Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said Ohio has 88 confirmed cases in 19 counties, up from 67 on Tuesday and 50 from Monday, from ages 2 to 91 years old. The breakdown is 33 females with confirmed cases and 55 males. There have been 26 hospitalizations. 

For unemployment benefits, 78,000 people have applied, up from 6,500 two weeks ago.