Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a press conference today at the Ohio Statehouse where he, along with Lt. Gov. John Husted and Director of Ohio Health Department Dr. Amy Acton provided an important update regarding the current status of COVID-19 in Ohio.
According to DeWine, the current stay at home order expires Monday night at midnight, but Ohio is still on the upswing in their battle against Coronavirus and the progress that Ohio has made in buying time for the healthcare system to ready and prepare for the peak cannot be prematurely undone. Therefore, DeWine stated that Dr. Acton will be issuing an additional stay at home and essential business order that will kick in Monday night and will extend until May 1st. “This coincides with what we have done with regards to our schools,” DeWine stated.
The new order is very similar to the current order; however, there are some changes, “And the changes have come about frankly because of what we’ve heard,” Gov. DeWine stated. “We’ve tried to make the order more fair, and we’ve also filled the gaps, frankly, […] where we have seen people coming together in spite of the order. We have tried to deal with that in this new order”.
Additions and/or changes in Ohio’s new Stay At Home and Essential Business Order, which goes into effect on Monday night:
- Created a dispute resolution panel for situations where similar businesses in different counties are being treated differently. This panel will look at how similar businesses in one county are being treated compared to businesses in another county and will make decisions regarding how these businesses are treated.
- A constant complaint the DeWine administration hears every day is regarding overcrowding in stores; therefore, the new order “Requires retail businesses to establish a number of people that should be in that business at one time. We are not telling them what number to set because every business is configured differently […] but we want each of the businesses to set a number, post the number so everybody in the store knows the number, and if they fill up to that number they stop people from coming in,” DeWine stated.
- With regard to people traveling to Ohio, “Anyone who is traveling into Ohio – coming into our state, we ask them to quarantine for fourteen (14) days”. Exceptions are made for those who work along the border.
- Wedding ceremonies themselves are not affected by any change in the new order; however, wedding receptions are required to not have more than ten (10) people coming together. “Just because [a reception] is associated with a wedding does not mean that it is opted out from that requirement,” DeWine stated.
- Campgrounds are closed with a few exceptions, swimming pools will be closed, as well as day camps and residential camps. Garden centers can remain open must follow the same rules as retail business.
- Organized sports are prohibited; however, fishing is still permitted so long as fishermen enact the 6 foot social distancing rule.
- State parks are open, but if the Director overseeing state parks feels that there is a state park that has too many people in it, or there is a state park that is configured in such a way that there are people coming in contact with one another, then the Director has the option to take whatever action is necessary to enforce the public health orders.
Dr. Acton provided updated stats for Ohio’s Coronavirus cases which include: 2,902 confirmed Ohio cases with 28% of those (802) requireing hospitalization and of those, 9%, or 260 have been admitted to the ICU. There have been 81 Ohio death. The age range is less than one year to 99 years in age with a median age of 53 years. Females account for 51% of Ohio COVID-19 patients whereas men account for 49%.
While 75 Ohio counties have at least one person who has tested positive for coronavirus, there have not been any confirmed cases in Putnam County. In the 7 counties sharing boarders with Putnam (Defiance, Henry, Wood, Hancock, Allen, Van Wert, and Paulding) there are a total of 44 cases with 26 hospitalizations and 0 deaths.