An order issued late Thursday by Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton extended Ohio’s latest stay at home order through May 29.
The order also reopens some businesses, with exceptions in what is titled the “Director’s Stay Safe Ohio” order.
A modification to the previous order, medical providers, including dentists, were permitted to resume surgeries and procedures, on Friday, as long as an inpatient or overnight stay is not required.
Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses which were previously ordered to cease operations may reopen on May 4. General office environments may also reopen on May 4, but, the order states that businesses should “strongly encourage” as many employees as possible to work from home by implementing policies such as teleworking and video conferencing.
Retail establishments and facilities may reopen on May 12, but some retail operations were permitted beginning at the end of the day on Friday. “Currently closed retail establishments and facilities, that will restrict their operations to curbside pickup, delivery or appointment-only (limited to 10 customers at any one time) may reopen effective May 1 at 11:59 p.m.,” the order states.
DeWine stated during the news conference on Friday at the curbside, delivery and appointment options beginning now are in response to a request from businesses.
Businesses and operations which remain closed include: schools; restaurants and bars (other than carry out or delivery); personal appearance and beauty businesses including salons, spas, barber shops, tattoo parlors and tanning facilities; adult day support or vocational habitation services in a congregate setting; other adult day care services and senior centers; childcare services; and entertainment, recreation and gymnasiums.
DeWine emphasized during the news conference that Ohio is one state and that opening up some areas before others could be a disaster as people could travel from one area or county to another.
“I know some of you think we’re not moving fast enough. Some think we’re going to fast. We’re trying to get it right. … I know this is hard. I get it. But we have to stick together,” said DeWine.
Included in the order is a section on facial coverings (masks). The order states that businesses must require all employees to wear facial coverings unless a specific exception is met such as a violation of industry standards or that the facial covering would go against the business’s documented safety policies. At minimum, a facial covering should be cloth or fabric and cover the person’s nose, mouth and chin.
Under the order, permitted travel includes the following purposes:
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to activities, businesses and operations that are permitted to be open under this Order or Minimum Basic Operations;
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;
- Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction;
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement; and
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the state.
The new order, which took effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 30 remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 29.
The complete order is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
As of the Friday 2 p.m. update, there were 17,962 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 781 probable cases, for a total of 18,743 total cases in the state. There have been 922 confirmed deaths and 80 probably deaths, for a total of 1,0002 deaths related to COVID-19. To date, there have been 3,634 hospitalizations, with 1,056 ICU admissions.
Locally, case numbers have been unchanged in recent days. Gallia County has reported a total of six cases to date (five confirmed and one probable) with one death and three people recovered, according to the Gallia County Health Department.
Meigs County has reported a total of two cases (one confirmed and one probable), with both individuals having recovered, according to the Meigs County Health Department. Meigs County has the lowest number of confirmed cases in the state.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.