Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a curfew for Ohio that will start Nov. 19 and run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for 21 days in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m.
“Basically, we want people not to be out,” DeWine said. “It will in and of itself reduce the contacts that are going on.”
DeWine asks that each Ohioan do at least one thing in addition to the curfew to reduce contact with others.
“If we can cut down contact by 20 to 25%, this will make a difference,” he said.
Lt. Gov Jon Husted said the curfew was an option that would be the least disruptive to the economy.
“Out of all the options we discussed with business leaders, health care community leaders, legislators, school leaders, a 21-day temporary curfew was considered the least disruptive option to our economy but also believed to have a meaningfully positive for our healthcare providers,” he said. “That’s the balance. … No shut downs, just a slow down.”
John Barker, president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association, said the association was in support of the curfew.
“We think it’s the right step at the right time,” he said. “We believe the curfew is the best choice to slow things down.”
Restaurants will be allowed to complete takeout orders after 10 p.m., an exemption Barker said the association is happy with as it will allow restaurants to serve customers working second shift.
"The success of this also not only depends on people following the curfew but also people wearing masks and seeing that mask compliance go up," DeWine said. "We set a goal, we got 21 days. We have to knock this thing down, we have to start seeing cases go down because even at the rate we are at now ... if it never goes up anymore, it is not acceptable. These high numbers that we are at – 7,500 to 8,000 cases a day – are going to mean a lot more deaths."
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, said the state is at a critical juncture and is need of protecting healthcare workers.
Even if necessary changes are made immediately, it will still take weeks before we see an improvement in hospital numbers, he said.
In regards to the upcoming holiday and people are limited to being indoors, Vanderhoff said to consider cracking a window to keep good ventilation, which has been proven to lessen the spread of the virus.
“Keeping your distance, wearing a mask and good ventilation all work together to create a protective barrier against viral transmission,” he said.
He also noted that people should celebrate small this year and celebrate with those in your household.
Ohio has had 312,443 total cases of COVID-19 and 5,772 total deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported Nov. 17.
The number of reported cases increased by 7,079 from Nov. 16.
The total number of individuals who have been tested in Ohio is 5,348,464. The new daily percent positive cases 13.8%, with a seven-day moving average of positive cases of 12.8%, according to data from Nov. 15.
The individuals who have tested positive range in age from less than 1 year old to 109 years old, with a median age of 42.
The ODH reported 30 new deaths Nov. 17. The median age of those who have died is 80.
The ODH reports 22,846 cumulative hospitalizations, and 4,250 individuals have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus. The median age of those hospitalized is 66.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in the last 24 hours is 368. There are currently 3,648 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus.
The ODH reports 208,945 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.
Cuyahoga County accounts for 30,581 of the cases, 3,033 hospitalizations and 720 deaths.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.