During Tuesday's COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Mike DeWine introduced a new concept: an Urgent Health Advisory - Ohioans Protecting Ohioans.
The advisory will in essence lift and replace the Stay Safe Ohio stay at home order, which was set to expire May 29.
"Since the original stay-at-home order, a lot has happened. Our orders have evolved and the circumstances have evolved in Ohio as well," said DeWine. "So it's now time for our orders to reflect the reality of where we are today."
Urgent Health Advisory - Ohioans Protecting Ohioans:— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 19, 2020
We are now moving from orders to strong recommendations. This is a new phase in our battle against #COVID19, and it is incumbent upon each of us to protect each other.
He then went on to relate a series of facts: that Ohioans have effectively social distanced; our current infection rate or R0 ("R naught") is one person infecting one other person; that a lot of Ohioans have worked to come up with best practices, orders and frameworks to reopen businesses and protect employees and customers from COVID-19; and each subsequent order issued by Ohio has allowed for more freedom.
"We are now moving from orders to strong recommendations," DeWine said. "This is a new phase in our battle against the virus and it really is even more incumbent upon each of us, as we open up Ohio economically, to protect each other."
The Ohioans Protecting Ohioans advisory includes these recommendations:
- Six feet of social distancing
- A limit of 10 people for mass gatherings
- Frequent hand-washing and other sanitizing efforts
- It asks all business mandates about social distancing and sanitation, including employees wearing masks, be followed in order to protect the public and employees
- It asks high-risk and vulnerable Ohioans stay home as much as possible to avoid contracting the virus
- It asks the rest of Ohioans — but doesn't order them — to stay home as much as possible to avoid increasing their chances of contracting or spreading the virus
- And while it does lift travel restrictions, DeWine says unnecessary travel outside of the state is still not recommended
"Ohioans take care of Ohioans. That is really the core of who we are. Ohioans have done this very, very well for the past several months. It's how we flattened the curve. It's how we slowed the spread of this deadly virus. It's how we've saved the lives of many Ohioans — our neighbors, our friends, our loved ones. And that is how we're going to save our economy," DeWine said. "That's how we're going to grow our economy. Because we cannot separate keeping safe, keeping the virus spread down and growing the economy."
What this comes down to now is that each of us has a responsibility to each other to slow the spread. No other time in our lives will our individual actions play a greater role in saving the lives of so many of our fellow citizens.— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 19, 2020