Sunday, March 22, 2020, 03:05 PM
Governor Issues 'Stay At Home' Order, Seeks Waiver Of School Testing Mandates
The state is leveling up its suggestions to fight the coronavirus pandemic to an official order that will restrict public movements,
Gov. Mike DeWine
Following the lead of other states, Mr. DeWine said the order signed by Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, to be detailed later today, would go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday through April 6 ad require citizens to remain in their homes with certain exceptions.
Those exceptions that include "essential activities" involving health and safety, gathering necessary supplies and services, outdoor activities except for closed playgrounds, certain types of work deemed essential, or to take care of others, he said.
The governor's order will also list essential businesses that will be allowed to stay open and provide guidelines for their operations. Mr. DeWine said those will include mandated protocols to protect the public health, such as social distancing of at least 6 feet, washing hands and availability of sanitizing and cleansing supplies for customers and workers.
"These are just basic, common-sense things that we have covered" already, he said.
The order, however, comes with the heft of enforcement, which the governor said will be pursued by local health departments and local law enforcement.
The state's action follows those by California, Illinois and New York, which have issued what some officials have characterized as "shelter in place."
"It's pretty much the same thing," Gov. DeWine said.
The governor also announced restrictions on daycares that will become effective Thursday.
As of that day, all daycare centers must operate under a temporary pandemic license that will limit services to six children per room and teacher, he said.
Guidelines for daycares will also include "rigorous cleaning" schedules and recommendation for no common space, he said. Daycares are directed to keep children and parents of the same employer together, and limit interactions at drop-offs and pick-ups.
Officials continued to liken the crisis to a severe weather disaster or a war.
"Today is the day that we have to batten down those hatches," said Dr. Action. "This is a war on a silent enemy."
With the legislature expected to convene during the coming week on a raft of virus-related actions, Mr. DeWine said one of his requests would be for the state to forego state-manded testing this year for primary and secondary students.
"We have not faced an enemy like we're facing today in 102 years. We are certainly at war. I don't know any other way to describe this," Mr. DeWine said.
He thanked people for cooperating with government edicts, which already included curbs on gatherings. "What you are doing is making a huge, huge difference," he said. "Time is of the essence and we have to buy that time."
Meanwhile, the state on Sunday released the following update, which details the expected increase in cases and geographical spread:
- 351 Confirmed Cases in Ohio.
- 40 counties reporting cases.
- 83 related hospitalizations in the state.
- Three deaths, with one each in Cuyahoga, Erie and Lucas counties.
The number by cases by county is as follows: 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).
The median age of those diagnosed with COVID-19 is 51 years old.