22 March 2020 22:33
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday issued a 'stay at home' order for Ohioans and ordered the state's nonessential businesses closed, although there are sweeping exemptions for designated essential businesses that DeWine said should make sense to most Ohioans. The order, will take effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, DeWine said Sunday during his daily briefing from the Ohio Statehouse. He said many businesses are exempted due to their connection to 16 sectors designated by the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as "essential" infrastructure. Click here to read the order. Click here to read a state government FAQ.
DeWine's new order makes it a second-degree misdemeanor for Ohioans to leave the home for an ineligible reason. Allowable exemptions include eligible work-related travel, getting gas, going to health-care appointments, taking care of friends and family, getting groceries and other essentials, going to the bank, outdoor activities (although playgrounds will be closed), and attending weddings and funerals, for example. Businesses and workers exempted include grocery stores, banks, religious buildings, liquor stores, medical-marijuana dispensaries, media, gas stations, post offices, take-out restaurants, legal, real-estate and other professional services, hotels and motels, and funeral homes. The new order appears it could close certain retailers, although there are broad exceptions for those selling food and drinks, home goods medical supplies, hardware and construction supplies, office supplies, and guns. DeWine also announced new restrictions under which starting Thursday, only specially licensed "pandemic" daycare centers will be allowed to operate. State officials have said these centers are set up to watch children whose parents work in critical fields, like healthcare, public safety and other "essential services." But they didn't spell out which parents will be eligible to enroll their children there. The new measures are the most drastic yet announced by DeWine, in that they impose mandatory restrictions on everyday Ohioans. But he called them "common sense," and said they aren't that different than his recent advice that Ohioans not leave their homes if they don't need to. DeWine previously ordered the closure of bars and sit-down restaurants, bowling alleys and movie theaters, gyms, barber shops and salons schools and other workplaces. "We're not going to look and see two days from now, a bunch of people getting arrested," DeWine said. "That's not what we're trying to accomplish. What we're trying to show is the seriousness of this. We are no longer suggesting." Asked to elaborate on the outdoor activity exemption, Dr. Amy Acton, director of the state health department said: Walking your dog or taking that hike is OK," she said. "But mostly, we need folks snuggling up with the Netflix, binge-watching your way through this." The stay-at-home order also has a broadly written exemption for maintaining "minimum business activities." Lt. Gov. Jon Husted used the example of visiting an office to water plants or care for an animal, as an illustration. "We are going to allow for these kinds of things to happen," Husted said. "We did this with the practicality of these issues in mind to make sure you could do what you needed." DeWine again used battleground terms to frame the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic. "All the evidence shows that we are at an absolutely crucial time in this war, and what we do now will make all the difference in the world," he said. "What we do now will slow this invader so that our health-care system, our doctors, our nurses all the professionals at hospitals will have time to treat the casualties." The state also released new coronavirus data on Sunday. But state officials warned it was lagging. "These numbers are pouring in to us. I'm hearing of cases that are happening at the local level that have not yet been reported to the state," Acton said. The number of confirmed coronavirus in Ohio increased to 351 with 83 hospitalized, according to the new state data. No new deaths were reported since Saturday, according to Ohio Department of Health. As of Saturday afternoon, 247 people were confirmed to have COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. At that time, there were three deaths, including one in Cuyahoga County, and 58 hospitalizations. The number of Ohio counties reporting positive cases grew from 33 to 40 compared to a day ago. The number of cases in Cuyahoga County grew from 92 to 125. Worldwide, non-China confirmed cases had grown to roughly 237,300, compared to roughly 223,200 the day before, according to Sunday afternoon data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, there have been 27,004 confirmed cases, with 347 deaths and 176 confirmed recoveries. Check cleveland.com for additional, ongoing coverage. This post will be updated. Here is the county-by-county breakdown of coronavirus cases: Ashland (1) Ashtabula (2) Belmont (2) Butler (17) Carroll (1) Clark (1) Clermont (5) Clinton (1) Columbiana (2) Coshocton (2) Cuyahoga (125) Darke (1) Defiance (2) Delaware (6) Erie (1) Franklin (34) Gallia (1) Geauga (2) Greene (1) Hamilton (19) Hancock (1) Huron (1) Lake (6) Licking (1) Lorain (19) Lucas (5) Mahoning (18) Marion (1) Medina (10) Miami (13) Montgomery (5) Portage (1) Richland (1) Stark (10) Summit (23) Trumbull (3) Tuscarawas (2) Union (1) Warren (3) Wood (1) Read other recent state coronavirus coverage: Gov. Mike DeWine orders developmental disability day service centers be closed due to coronavirus The federal government has extended federal income tax deadlines. Will Ohio? Ohio investigates Cuyahoga County among 3 possible coronavirus clusters First Cuyahoga coronavirus death among 247 confirmed Ohio cases and 3 deaths: Gov. Mike DeWine's Saturday, March 21 briefing Ohio Attorney General sends letters to 2 abortion clinics, telling them to stop all non-essential procedures