Beginning Monday, Ohio stay-at-home order extended to May 1

Stepha Poulin and Stepha Poulin

At today’s state COVID-19 press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine announced an extension of Ohio’s stay-at-home order until May 1. The order goes into effect on Monday. 

The order is “very similar” to the existing one, DeWine said. However, there are a few changes due to concerns from private citizens and public officials. 

Here are the changes to the order, along with some notes about springtime activities. 

  • Retailers are required to limit the number of customers entering stores. 

The governor didn’t set a specific limit on the number of customers allowed in each store. Retailers will decide how many customers they can safely serve at one time. 

  • Businesses can consult a new dispute resolution panel.

With over 113 health departments throughout the state, similar businesses operating in different counties have faced varied restrictions on operations. This panel will help settle disputes about restrictions placed upon businesses.

  • Weddings and funerals are not regulated, but receptions must adhere to the order.

Weddings and funerals are not affected by the order. However, wedding receptions are limited to 10 attendees who must maintain proper social distance. 

  • As spring begins, pools and campgrounds are closed. 

Pools on private property can remain open, but public pools and campgrounds are now closed. The governor noted that garden centers will remain open as long as they adhere to rules which apply to all retailers. 

  • Organized sports are prohibited.

Both youth and adult organized sports teams cannot gather to practice or play. 

  • Fishing is still allowed.

Most fishers prefer not to be next to other people, DeWine said. Ohio’s waterways will still be open for fishing. 

  • State parks will remain open.

The director of parks can choose to introduce restrictions to parks if social distancing can’t be maintained, DeWine said. However, parks are slated to remain open.

Original Story Posted on May 22, 2020

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton signed a “stay at home” order for Ohio on Sunday. The order is effective starting Monday at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in place until April 6, at which point it will be reassessed.

This comes after similar shelter-in-place orders for states like California and Illinois. The purpose of the order is to make sure Ohioans are maintaining social distancing.

In Sunday’s press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine assured Ohioans that the order follows his previous COVID-19 guidelines and is “nothing new.” However, the order nods to the seriousness of novel coronavirus in Ohio.

“It’s not a suggestion; it’s an order,” DeWine said. “The price you pay (for going out) is a lot of people dying.”

The order will be upheld by local health departments and law enforcement. Violating the order is a second-degree misdemeanor, but DeWine tweeted out “We don’t look to see a bunch of people arrested.”

Exceptions to the stay-at-home order include performing essential work, taking care of others, going outdoors for recreation with at least 6 feet of social distance and leaving the home for necessary supplies or for health and safety reasons. Essential work is defined in the order and follows Department of Homeland Security guidelines.

Ohio residents and business owners flooded to find out what essential work entails, causing the site to crash.