Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. MPH, on Sunday announced that Ohio will be under a “Stay at Home” order.
The order will go into effect beginning Monday, March 23, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, unless the order is rescinded or modified.
As of Sunday afternoon, Ohio had 351 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and three deaths.
“Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle,” DeWine said in a press conference on Sunday. “What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence.”
What a ‘Stay at Home’ Order Means for Ohio Families
According to the Ohio Department of Health, This order prohibits holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. Residents can return home from out of state and can leave the state.
Essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to:
• Grocery stores — grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options
• Gas stations
• Police stations
• Fire stations
• Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
• Public transportation
• Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines
Families will still be able to go outside, including to parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining six feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission.
Child Care/Day Care
Beginning on Thursday, March 26, all operating child care centers in Ohio must do so under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license and follow these guidelines:
- There should be no more than six children in a class.Ratios must be kept at one teacher to no more than six children.
- Children whose parents are employed by the same entity should be kept together whenever possible.
- The same teachers and children in each room should be maintained whenever possible.
- There should be limited use of shared space or mixing of groups.
- If shared space is used, a rigorous cleaning schedule must be in place.
- Parent interaction should be limited at drop off and pick up.The program will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.
Information for Employees in Ohio
According to the Ohio Department of Health, unless your work is an essential function (i.e. healthcare provider, grocery store clerk, first responder), you should stay home. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing. If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician.
Essential businesses will remain open during the Stay at Home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Ohioans. Those businesses include, but are not limited to, pharmacies, certain government offices, and restaurants providing take-out meals. If you work for an essential business, you should continue to practice social distancing and should stay at home outside of work hours. If you believe your business is nonessential but are still being asked to show up to work, you may discuss with your employer.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.