COLUMBUS — On Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thursday, Nov. 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days.
According to a news release from Gov. DeWine’s office, 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.
Additional details on the 21-day curfew order are forthcoming, according to the governor’s office on Tuesday.
“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” said Gov. DeWine. “The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”
The decision to impose a 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause, according to the news release.
“This is a balanced approach that will slow down people coming together and impact the spread of the virus to the point that it can be controlled, and at the same time, not cause a catastrophic effect in the economy,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “You have to care about both the economy and health – you can’t just care about one in isolation. Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption.”
According to the Associated Press, DeWine said this measure, effective Thursday, is needed to reduce cases and stop the state’s hospitals from being overrun. The curfew under which retail businesses must close, paired with increased mask-wearing, could help cut contacts between people by 20% to 25%, he said.
DeWine also asked Ohioans to consolidate their movements — such as combining shopping trips — and do at least one thing daily to reduce contact with others.
The state restaurant association expressed support for the move Tuesday, according to the AP.
“We think it’s the right step at the right time,” said John Barker, president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association.
Additional reporting from the AP stated Ohio hospital and intensive care admissions for COVID-19 are at record highs, with more than 3,600 people hospitalized as of Tuesday. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 3,097 new cases per day on Nov. 2 to 7,199 new cases per day on Nov. 16, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.
Information for this article provided by the office of Gov. Mike DeWine, with reporting from Report for America/Associated Press reporters Farnoush Amiri and Andrew Welsh-Huggins.