Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton have extended a stay at home order for Ohio residents until at least May 1 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The order comes as the Ohio Department of Health's daily report of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths shows a continued tightening of the virus' grip on the state. As of yesterday (April 2), 81 people in Ohio had died from the virus — including 16 new reported deaths, a 25 percent increase. The state has confirmed more than 2,900 cases of COVID-19 to date.
DeWine and Acton said at their daily briefing they expect a surge of the virus to come, with infections peaking sometime between mid-April and mid-May. Acton has estimated as many as 8,000-10,000 Ohioans a day could become infected at the spread's peak.
DeWine has taken a number of steps to limit the spread of the virus by restricting public gatherings and places where the infection could spread. On March 23, he issued the state's stay at home order, which requires Ohioans to stay inside unless they're going to get food, medicine or exercise. Non-essential businesses are to remain closed under the order.
Before it was extended, the stay at home order was set to expire Monday. And the extension of the order comes with some new updates. You can read the full order here, but these are the changes as bulleted by DeWine in a press release:
- Essential businesses — aka those that are allowed to remain open — must "determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time." The stores must also make sure that those waiting to enter are observing safe social distancing.
- Travelers arriving in Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Those excepted from this self-quarantine are those who live and work in trans-border areas, as well as health care and public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers.
- If you are a person from out of state experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you are instructed not to visit Ohio.
- Wedding receptions must be limited to 10 people or less.
- Campgrounds must be closed unless a camper or RV on that campground serves as someone's permanent residence and they cannot secure alternate housing.
- The updates also call for "the creation of a dispute resolution process for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business."
- Public swimming pools and pools at private clubs and housing complexes must be closed. Pools at private residences are allowed to remain open.
- Day camps for children must be closed.
- There can be no organized youth or adult sports.
- Fishing is permitted if there is appropriate social distancing.
- And garden centers are allowed to remain open as long as they enforce the above capacity and social distancing rules and keep their employees safe.