COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday “some additional steps that will help” at his 2 p.m. press conference Wednesday:
• He is shutting down most Ohio BMV’s, and extending deadlines for Ohioans whose licenses are due to expire soon. He has asked law enforcement not to ticket motorists with expired tags, for now.
“We are closing 181 Ohio BMV registrar locations. Five will remain open because they are essential to issue/renew commercial drivers’ licenses so that our transportation system can keep moving,” said DeWine.
• Barber shops, hair and nail salons and tattoo parlors must close.
• Public libraries have the option to remain open but those remaining open must employ social distancing. (All libraries in Clinton County have already closed.)
“We are not ordering the closure of libraries, but we are asking them to deliver the services they can in a way that does not put people together,” he said.
Regarding rumors of deployment of the Ohio National Guard, DeWine stressed that if/when they are deployed, the public will be informed. And it will not look like a military deployment, but rather they will doing work more like they do during floods or tornadoes: helping out at hospitals — including the erecting of medical tents, which they are already doing, and at food banks. “
“That’s what you’ll see the guard do in Ohio. If something changes, we will tell you,” DeWine said. “Let me be clear: When the National Guard is going to be doing something, you’re going to know about it.”
• Ohio businesses are asked to be aggressive with cleaning surfaces and to have plenty of soap and sanitizer. Employees are asked to take their temperature every day.
“We are asking businesses — beginning immediately — to take the temperature of every single employee every day before they come to work.” he said. “We’re asking them to be aggressive in regard to cleaning surfaces and having soap/hand sanitizer available. Send employees home who are sick.”
DeWine also said Wednesday:
“If you are feeling symptoms of #COVID19 , the most responsible, heroic, patriotic thing you can do is stay home. Your family should stay home. If your symptoms worsen – especially if you have difficultly breathing – you should go to the ER.
We must reserve the testing for those who are the sickest and the most at risk.
Testing is limited. It will, in all likelihood, remain limited. But please, do not fixate on testing. The vast majority of Ohioans who have symptoms do not need to be tested for the virus. If you are feeling symptoms, you should act like you have it.
Efficiently using our testing to better understand the spread of the virus. This has to be done in a targeted way. Here is the truth: With our without a test the virus is here. It lives among us. And we must be at war with it. We’re at war with a very dangerous, lethal enemy.
#COVID19’s mission is to reproduce. But it can’t do its damage without us. We have it within our own control how fast it spreads and how widespread it spreads. We have our own safety and that of our fellow citizens in our own hands.
This enemy is dangerous and it is using us as its host to survive and multiply —- but we do have it among our ability to fight back. When we stop moving, it stops moving! Each one of us must do all we can to limit our exposure.
Everyone is in this fight. We don’t need to go into the battlefield — we simply need to stay home. Have space, no matter where we are. We need to stay socially connected but physically separated.
This is a crisis you have never seen in real life. We have to get through this. I’m calling on every Ohioan – when you’re going into a situation where you have the potential to obtain or spread this #COVID19 – it’s very dangerous.
Again, #COVID19 is twice as contagious as the flu and 20x more deadly. It’s coming after us and we must take whatever action is necessary to preserve lives in Ohio.”