IMPORTANT UPDATE: OHO IS UNDER A STAY AT HOME ORDER
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, along with Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, and Lt. Governor Jon Husted held their daily news briefing at 2 P.M., Sunday, March 22, 2020, during which DeWine announced that beginning on Monday, March 23 at 11:59PM a Stay At Home order will be in effect for the state of Ohio. The effect will remain in effect until April 6th at which time the order will be reassessed.
View the Stay At Home order here:stayathomeorder-1584906494
View the Stay At Home order FAQ here:Stay+At+Home+FAQ+03.22.20
In accordance with this Stay At Home order, all Ohio businesses who are considered non-essential will be required to temporarily close. “All the evidence shows, every piece of evidence that I can lay my hands on, indicates that we are at an absolute crucial time in this war, and that what we do now will make all the difference in the world. What we do now will slow this invader. It will slow this invader so that our healthcare system, our doctors, our nurses, all the professionals, the hospitals, will have time to treat the casualties,” Governor DeWine stated. Additionally, Governor DeWine stated that “Time is of the essence and we have to buy that time. We have to do it by the strong actions that you all have been taking”. He continued “We are at a new stage” and as a result, “Dr. Acton just signed a stay at home order for all Ohioans”.
There are exceptions to this Stay At Home order. Those exceptions include, but are not limited to:
- Leaving “home for essential activities is permitted, for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity
- Certain types of work, work that is deemed essential
- Leaving home is also permitted for taking care of family members, friends, pets in another household. This includes attending weddings and funerals.
For those organizations deemed essential, they and their employees are required, by order, to follow the guidelines for good health, including but not limited to:
- Maintaining 6 feel social distancing and designate work spaces in 6 foot distances
- Washing hands for 20 seconds
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizer products must be available for employees and customers
- Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations
- Online and remote access – posting online hours and ways to conduct business remotely and by phone
These orders can be enforced by local health department as well as local law enforcement.
So what will remain open? The obvious will remain open, like first responders services, health care workers, transportation and essential infrastructure.
According to CDC guidelines, the following businesses are considered essential
- Retail fuel centers, such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them
- Retailers that sell groceries and medicine
- Restaurant carry-out and quick-serve food operations
- Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees
- Employees and firms supporting food, feed and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers
- Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities and other agricultural inputs
- Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure
- Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting and retail for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
- Truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions and services
- Workers who are needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, and to move currency and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers)
Additionally, Governor DeWine stated that the General Assembly is coming back into session next week and will take up a decision to forgo state mandated testing for school students. Moreover, the Board of Pharmacy met to put a rush on Malaria drugs (chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine). They put out provisions for the prescribing of this drug which will be allowed to be prescribed for COVID-19. With regards to daycares, Governor DeWine stated that as the days go on, the number of children in daycare have gone down dramatically. “The obvious concern in regard to daycare is when you are putting a lot of children together, social distancing does not work too well,” Governor DeWine stated. Therefore, beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020, “All daycare centers must operate on a temporary pandemic childcare license”. This means that daycares will be going down to a maximum of 6 children per room to minimize the risk to children from other children in regard to crornavirus, as well as the risk to that child’s family when that child goes home, and will also reduce the teacher to child ratio to 1 teach to 6 children. Additionally, daycares will need to enact rigorous cleaning schedules and allow for no common spaces. Daycares will also need to keep children with parents of the same employer together whenever possible.
This comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement where Mike DeWine stated he will be opening the state’s emergency operating center, shutting down centers serving people with disabilities and allowing bigger loads to be trucked to grocery stores and medical facilities. The Emergency Operating Center will serve as a command and control center and can manage supply chain and logistics as businesses offer supplies and help. The EOC is often opened during weather crises.
Dr. Acton offered an update on the COVID-19 stats stating that as of today (Sunday, March 22, 2020) there are 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, up from 247 yesterday. The illness onset dates range from February 7th to March 22th. Age range for those infected are 1 – 93 with an average median age range of 51 years. The number of confirmed Ohio deaths from coronavirus remains unchanged from yesterday at 3; however, multiple presumptive coronavirus deaths are still under ODH investigation. 83 individuals have been hospitalized (up from 53 yesterday), multiple in ICU as a result of caronavirus. A total of 40 Ohio counties are now affected, up from 33 yesterday.
Ohio counties with confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 3/22/2020:
- Ashland (1)
- Ashtabula (2)
- Belmont (2)
- Butler (17)
- Carroll (1)
- Clark (1)
- Clermont (5)
- Clinton (1)
- Columbiana (2)
- Coshocton (2)
- Cuyahoga (125)
- Darke (1)
- Defiance (2)
- Delaware (6)
- Erie (1)
- Franklin (34)
- Gallia (1)
- Geauga (1)
- Greene (1)
- Hamilton (19)
- Hancock (1)
- Huron (1)
- Lake (6)
- Licking (1)
- Lorain (19)
- Lucas (5)
- Mahoning (18)
- Marion (1)
- Medina (10)
- Miami (13)
- Montgomery (5)
- Portage (1)
- Richland (1)
- Stark (10)
- Summit (23)
- Trumbull (3)
- Tuscarawas (2)
- Union (1)
- Warren (3)
- Wood (1)
Dr. Acton stated that, “Today is the day that matters. Today is the day that we have to batten down the hatches. Today is the day we are doing the final orders about staying at home and moving to a model of essential business”. “There is no time left. Listen to what Italy is telling us.” We must protect the healthcare workers so that they can protect us.
According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, as of today (3/22/2020) there have been a total of 318,662 confirmed cases of Coronavirus worldwide (up from 297,090 at yesterday’s reporting) resulting in 13,672 total deaths (up from 12,755 yesterday). The United States is still ranked fourth in the world with total COVID-19 cases confirmed according to the Johns Hopkins data. China has 81,397 (up from 81,304 yesterday) confirmed cases followed by Italy (53,578 – no change from yesterday), Spain (28,603 – up from 25,374 yesterday) and then the US (27,004 – up from 22,177 yesterday). Within the US, as of today, there have been 347 (up from 278 yesterday) total confirmed deaths and 176 (up from 147 yesterday) confirmed individuals who have recovered.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.