Ohio State Governor, Mike DeWine, has ordered a stay at home for all residents of the state, beginning midnight of Monday, March 23, 2020 to April 6, 2020, following the advice of the State Health Director, Dr Amy Acton to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Other states have referred to it as shelter in place, but we prefer to call it stay at home. Either one is the same thing,” said Governor DeWine.
Some of the essential services that are not affected by the shutdown include
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Police stations
- Fire stations
- Hospitals, clinics and healthcare
- Public transportation
- Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid)
Additional information can be found on the website: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/
Governor DeWine explained that, “there is nothing in the order that we have not really been talking about. This order has three separate parts. The first part has stay at home order and it does permit exceptions.
“These are the common sense ones that we have been talking about. Leaving home for essential activities is permitted, for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activities like take a walk, walk your dog, and certain types of work deemed essentials.
“You still can take care of others like your neighbors, your dad, your mother, your child, family members and to transport family members.”
He continued:“The second part of the order lists essential businesses that can still be opened. We used the homeland security orders as used by other states. These are generally essential businesses that are essential for us to continue to live. The third part is that each of the businesses that are allowed to stay opened must follow good protocol and guidelines with regards to health.”
On childcare centers, he said, “beginning from Thursday (March 26), all centers must operate under a temporary pandemic childcare license.
“We are going down to having a maximum of six children per room to minimize risk to children and to a child’s family when the child goes home. Small group sizes of not more than six children per class. This program will operate until April 30.”
Responding to the stay at home order, City of Columbus Mayor, Andrew Ginther said, “It is important that we take this order seriously to stop community spread of COVID-19. We are at a critical point in our fight to stop the spread of this virus, and we must follow the governor’s order.
“But this order should not cause panic, and I urge the residents of Columbus to act responsibly. You will still have access to the necessities you need to keep the community healthy and safe, including grocery stores, pharmacies and health care.
“For government, businesses and nonprofit organizations that will remain open to serve critical needs and provide essential services, this is not business as usual. Employees who can work from home should, and steps should already be in place to allow employees to practice safe social distancing and assure proper sanitation. We should redouble our efforts to ensure steps we’ve taken to protect our employees are being followed in practice”.
“For individuals, to the extent you must leave home, follow the advice of public health experts. Limit your movement, practice safe social distancing, and wash your hands.”
He added, “While these are challenging times, it is not a time for fear. Instead, we must rely on facts. Our decisions should put the common health and well-being of our community and our families first. Be patient with one another. Support each other and be kind. These are times unlike any most of us have ever seen, but together we will get through this and we will emerge stronger, smarter and healthier.”
Also, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew E. Doehrel said, “Governor Mike DeWine has once again demonstrated his unwavering commitment to saving lives during this horrible pandemic. True leaders make difficult decisions, and we know ordering Ohioans to stay home and closing some businesses was not done lightly.
“Today’s announcement was made out of necessity and only as a last resort, and we applaud the governor for allowing businesses that perform essential operations or provide essential services, and those in their supply chains, to continue to operate in an as-close-to-normal manner as is practical. This announcement will undoubtedly cause further disruption to our economy and impact many employers and their employees, but let’s be clear: Ohio is still open for business, and the governor is doing his best to strike the right balance between protecting Ohioans and keeping the economy moving.”