COLUMBUS —Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday said a “Stay at home” order for most Ohioans goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and stays in effect until April 6, when the order will be re-assessed.
Ohio Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Amy Acton issued the order on Sunday.
“Other states have called it shelter in place; we prefer ‘stay at home’,” said DeWine.
It will be enforced by law enforcement and by departments of health.
“I am convinced that we can do this; we’re strong. We’re Buckeyes,” said DeWine.
“Every piece of evidence indicates that we are a an absolute crucial time in this war, and what we do now will make all the difference in the world. It will slow this invader.
“We’re now at a new stage.”
Businesses allowed to stay open must maintain at least 6-foot social distancing and washing hands.
Regarding daycares, he said: “All childcare centers, beginning on Thursday, must operate under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license. We will also go down to a maximum of six children per room. This is a dramatic change, but it’s necessary to minimize the risk to these kids.
“The obvious concern about daycare is that when you put a large number of kids together, social distancing doesn’t work well. Little kids share everything. It is time to move to the next stage — our goals are to keep kids, families, and workers safe.
“Daycare: The number of kids in daycare has gone down dramatically. At the beginning of this, there were 117,000 kids in daycare subsidized by Ohio. That number has gone down to 17,000. We don’t have good numbers on private daycares. Keep children of parents who work at the same employer together. Limit parent interaction at drop off and pick up. The program will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.
The order also says that: “Ratios of one teacher to no more than six children. Limit use of shared space — If shared space is used, it must have a rigorous cleaning schedule.”
He tweeted, “Businesses should take a look at the #StayHome health order. It is an order, not a suggestion, and we expect people to comply. #InThisTogetherOhio #COVID19OhioReady.”
Eating out: Carryout is still OK. We advise people to do social distancing, but they can still pick up food.
Going outside: You can go out in your yard, visit the Ohio State Parks — just keep your social distancing. Get out and walk —- this is important for mental health. Walk your dog, go hiking.
DeWine said, “Again — this is an order, but it’s a reasonable order that is consistent with what has to be done. If everyone cooperates we’ll save a lot of lives. The healthcare system won’t get overwhelmed. Use common sense.”
We have the ability to do religious services other ways. I implore religious leaders to think about their congregations. Gathering in groups is dangerous.
We did not order religious organizations to close, but my message to EVERYONE is that this is serious. When you are coming together, whether in a church or wherever – this is dangerous.
“There is no time left. Listen to what Italy is telling us,” said Dr. Acton. “Today is the day. We must do everything we can in our power to protect the people on the frontlines — the first responders and healthcare workers.”
Dr. Acton said, “It should not be business as usual. This is not a joke. It is not a drill. We must limit exposure. This will help save lives. This is the time that you will see quiet descend on our country – as it should – so we can protect those who protect us.
According to state statistics, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio rose from 247 to 352 in 24 hours, with cases in 40 of the state’s 88 counties, 83 hospitalizations, and the death toll remains at 3.
More to come …