COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Ohio continues under a stay-at-home order, Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Health Director Dr. Amy Acton conitnue to remind of the importance of staying home to limit spread of COVID-19.
“Enforcement is coming. We can’t have people who are violating this. Because it’s not fair,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted in describing crackdowns on companies violating the governor’s “stay at home” order, which limits business operations to those providing essential services. Husted also reminded that even essential businesses which do not following the steps in the order can be made to shut down.
Gov. DeWine stated that they are beginning action against one business, and that it likely “won’t be the last company”.
The stay-at-home order remains in effect until at least April 6, but could be extended if deemed necessary.
Gov. DeWine stated in then news conference Wednesday that all the decisions have been based on the best information they could get, while reminding that the essential job of the government is to protect people, especially the most vulnerable.
“These decisions weren’t easy but they were based on protecting Ohioans’ lives,” said DeWine.
As for when things could reopen, DeWine stated, “We hope everyone is back in business shortly, but we don’t think this will peak until May 1.”
Dr. Acton spoke of a letter she received from a nine-year-old in Ohio about the response of Dr. Acton during the pandemic.
“Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve all the attention I’m getting. I am the tip of an iceberg of a group of amazing colleagues of mine. There is a huge amount of folks working on your behalf. They will keep working for you. It’s not just me, it’s all of us,” said Acton.
Acton added, “I’m really proud of all the young people at home. I want all of you at home to keep spreading the word and staying at home.”
Acton also reminded that the state COVID-19 hotline (1-833-4-ASK-ODH) is not to be used to provide legal advice related to the stay-at-home order, but health related COVID-19 questions.
Below is information provided the Associated Press:
Ohio has more than 700 cases, including 116 health care workers, and 10 deaths. A handful of long-term care centers are being called hotspots for cases, accounting for 25 of the 62 intensive-care patients in Ohio.
The state Controlling Board on Wednesday added $15.6 million to the Ohio Department of Health’s budget to provide supplies to front-line healthcare workers. The bipartisan legislative board approves a wide variety of state spending.
The state is limiting testing to those who are hospitalized and to health care workers. The Health Department said people with suspected symptoms should call a medical provider first, but seek immediate help if symptoms are serious, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
As questions continue about what jobs are considered essential, the state said several trades are on that list, including building and construction tradespeople, plumbers, electricians, and exterminators, among several others.
Ohio medical marijuana patients and their caregivers can telephone orders to dispensaries during the outbreak under revised Board of Pharmacy rules. Orders must be placed during dispensaries’ normal hours, and patients must go there to pick up products.
THE NEW NORMAL
About 2,000 child care centers have been approved to date under a special license to care for the children of first responders, health care workers, children service workers, and other workers deemed essential. All others must close Thursday.
In Dayton, plans are on hold to rebuild homes damaged in last year’s Memorial Day weekend tornado outbreak as volunteer groups are canceling planned trips to the area.
The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio warned Wednesday that emergency shelters and other homeless programs lack cleaning, hygiene and protective supplies and nearly all lack space needed to quarantine and isolate anyone suspected of contact with the coronavirus or who have COVID-19.
The Daily Sentinel managing editor Sarah Hawley and Associated Press writers Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Julie Carr Smyth in Columbus, Mark Gillispie in Cleveland contributed to this report.