Ohio capital city issues stay-at-home order to slow virus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Residents of Ohio’s capital city and the surrounding county should stay at home as much as possible and not have guests inside their homes, including on Thanksgiving Day, according to an advisory stay-at-home order issued Wednesday by public health directors.

People living in Columbus and Franklin County are also advised to avoid traveling in and out of state, based on the order by Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts and Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola.

The order includes a recommendation that people forgo “having guests in their homes during the upcoming holiday season.”

Exceptions would be for essential needs such as medical care, groceries, medicine and food pick-up, according to the order. It follows an increase in the local seven-day average of COVID-19 cases from 143 on Oct. 1 to 742 on Nov. 15. Local positivity rates have also jumped from 3.7% the week of Sept. to 12.5% as of last week.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday announced a three-week statewide 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. general curfew.

The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 3,343 new cases per day on Nov. 3 to 7,280 new cases per day on Nov. 17, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.