Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced this week that Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed a health order encouraging people to stay at home during specified hours unless they are working or engaged in an essential activity.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread in Ohio, we need a stronger response to minimize the impact on Ohio’s healthcare and hospital capacity and ensure healthcare is available to those that need it,” said DeWine. “With this order we are discouraging get-togethers and gatherings to minimize the spread of the virus while minimizing the economic impact of a complete shutdown.”
Specifications in this order include:
-Individuals within the state must stay at a place of residence during the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for obtaining necessary food, medical care, or social services or providing care for others.
-This order doesn’t apply to those who are homeless. Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are encouraged to leave their homes and stay at a safe, alternative location.
-The order does not apply to religious observances and First Amendment protected speech including activity by the media.
-The order permits travel into or out of the state and permits travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children according to a custody agreement, or to obtain fuel.
Individuals are permitted to leave a place of residence during the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the following essential activities:
-Engaging in activities essential to their health and safety or the health and safety of those in their households or people who are unable to or should not leave their homes, including pets. Activities can include but are not limited to seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional including hospitals, emergency departments, urgent care clinics and pharmacies.
-To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or members of their household who are unable or should not leave their home, to deliver those services or supplies to others. Examples of those include but are not limited to obtaining groceries and food. Food and beverages may be obtained only for consumption off-premises, through such means as delivery, drive-through, curbside pickup and carryout.
-To obtain necessary social services.
-To go to work, including volunteer work.
-To take care of or transport a family member, friend or pet in their household or another household.
-To perform or obtain government services.
This order will apply for the next 21-days.
Also on Thursday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:
Critical hospitalization levels
As of Thursday, there were 3,829 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ohio, with 943 of those individuals in the ICU. These are the highest patient counts Ohio has had during the pandemic and more than double the hospitalizations recorded during previous peaks.
While statewide testing has increased by 43 percent, positive cases have increased by nearly 300 percent in the past month.
New health data compiled by the Ohio Department of Health revealed Thursday that Franklin County has reached a Level 4 Purple Public Emergency with severe exposure and spread. All 88 counties remain at “high incidence” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the first time, no counties are rated below Level 2.
“Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way as Franklin County, but make no mistake — almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue,” said Governor DeWine.
Senate Bill 311
Governor DeWine announced his intention to veto Senate Bill 311 if passed by the Ohio General Assembly. The bill, which is currently under consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives, would severely limit the ability of the Ohio Department of Health to issue orders necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases now and in the future, according to DeWine.
“Imagine if a country hostile to the United States smuggles a biological agent into our state and unleashes it in Ohio. Our state would need to respond quickly to quarantine the area to stop its spread. This bill would make Ohio slow to respond in a crisis and would put our citizens in severe danger,” said Governor DeWine. “I’ve always listened to the advice of experts, and the experts are telling me this is a dangerous idea. Doctors, nurses and scientists have all advised me that this bill would do great harm if it became law.”
Two new COVID-19 dashboards tracking the number of cases at Ohio child care centers are now available.
The first dashboard tracks the number of children and staff cases in individual centers. Because of the small size of home-based providers, many of which serve six or fewer children, positive COVID cases from children and adults in those facilities will be tracked by county on a separate dashboard.
According to the dashboards, Fayette County Early Learning Center has had two cumulative staff cases and one new staff case, but no children have been reportedly ill. Fayette County YMCA has had one cumulative staff case. Grace Preschool and Childcare has had four cumulative staff cases. Rock-A-Bye Early Learning Center has had one cumulative child case but no staff cases.
Retail compliance update:
Ohio’s Retail Compliance Unit has visited more than 50 percent of Ohio counties in its first three days. Agents have observed over 90 percent compliance in social distancing and mask-wearing in retail establishments, a noticeable improvement.
Current case data
In total, there are 335,423 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,955 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 23,958 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,360 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
According to Fayette County Public Health, as of Friday there was a total of 866 cases (769 confirmed and 97 probable) within the county. Of those 866 cases, 615 have recovered. Overall, 85 individuals have been hospitalized. Currently there are 234 local cases that are active and 15 individuals hospitalized.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit www.coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.