COLUMBUS — Ohio continues to move forward with reducing restrictions due to COVID-19 with Tuesday’s announcement of the “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans” health advisory.
The advisory comes approximately three weeks after the “Stay Safe Ohio” order and nearly two months after the original “Stay at Home” order.
“We are now moving from orders to strong recommendations. This is a new phase in our battle against COVID-19, and it is incumbent upon each of us to protect each other,” said Governor Mike DeWine in Tuesday’s news conference.
“Ohioans take care of Ohioans because that is at the core of who we are, and that is how we are going to save our economy,” said DeWine. “What this comes down to now is that each of us has a responsibility to each other to slow the spread. No other time in our lives will our individual actions play a greater role in saving lives.”
The health order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay at home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those who are high-risk, stay at home as much as possible.
The “urgent health advisory,” explained the Governor incorporates parts of the previous orders, while lifting some of the previous restrictions.
The advisory includes the requirements for six feet of social distancing, a limit of 10 people on gatherings, frequent hand-washing and sanitizing efforts.
Also included are all the previous requirements and orders related to the operation of businesses, including employees wearing masks and sanitizing procedure.
The advisory focuses on the most vulnerable population, who could be impacted more by the virus. The order strongly recommends that high-risk Ohioans stay at home as much as possible and avoid places where they are likely to encounter a lot of people.
All other Ohioans, under the advisory, are recommended to stay in their place of residence, but it is not required.
The new health advisory also lifts overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio. Unnecessary travel within or outside of Ohio is not encouraged.
“The coronavirus is not gone. It is real. And it is deadly. This new phase that we are now in is about learning to live with this virus. It is with us — it will remain with us — and we must do all we can to contain it and keep it from killing our fellow citizens,” said DeWine.
As of the 2 p.m. update on Tuesday, Ohio had a total of 27,106 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 1,846 probable cases for a total of 28,952 cases. To date, there have been 1,556 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, plus 164 probable deaths, for a total of 1,720 deaths.
To date, Gallia County has had seven reported cases (five confirmed, two probable) and Meigs County has had three reported cases (two confirmed, one probable).
For more information on coronavirus in Ohio visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
A portion of the information provided by the office of Governor Mike DeWine.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.