Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a state-wide stay-at-home order which will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday night and end on April 6.
The new order comes after DeWine’s multiple attempts over the past week to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus through other executive orders such as the closure of restaurants and bars and banning gatherings of more than 50 people.
Currently, there are 351 cases of the coronavirus across 40 counties in Ohio, with the death toll remaining at three.
“We haven't faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years,” DeWine said. “We are at war. In the time of war, we have to make sacrifices.”
Essential businesses such as hospitals and grocery stores will remain open. Restaurant carry-out and quick food services are still available. DeWine said the state of Ohio is following the Department of Homeland Security’s essential business list to determine what will remain open.
Beginning Thursday, childcare services are ordered to operate under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care License until April 30. This license provides short-term childcare services to children of health and safety service workers as defined by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. It is also mandated that no more than six children can be in a room at a daycare center at one time.
Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted encouraged people whose jobs have been temporarily shut down to apply for jobs in industries currently under pressure within the supply chain, such as grocery stores. Ohioans also can apply for unemployment assistance.
DeWine said people are allowed to leave their homes when necessary, which includes outdoor exercise. He recommended that all Ohioans read the order to educate themselves on what it entails.
“Use common sense,” he said.
Throughout the conference, DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, both stressed the need to practice social distancing at all times.
“This is not a joke; it is not a drill,” Acton said. “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.”
This is a developing story, and more information will be added as it becomes available.