COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton issued a 'Stay at Home' order for all of Ohio.
Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, signed the order Sunday.
Gatherings of 10 or more people is prohibited and all other places of public entertainment and amusement that were not specified in previous orders have been ordered to close.
Only essential travel and activities are permitted, according to the order. Those using public transit must comply with social distancing practices of maintain six feet of space between individuals.
The order allows certain activities including leaving the house for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, and for outdoor activity, although playgrounds will be closed.
Those who work in essential work fields will still be able to go to work.
Essential businesses include but are not limited to:
- Restaurants (carry-out and delivery)
- Grocery stores
- Food production
- Beverage production
- Licensed marijuana production
- Charitable organizations
- Social services organizations
- Religious entities
- Media organizations
- Gas stations
- Veterinary care
- Businesses needed for transportation
- Financial institutions
- Insurance institutions
- Hardware and supply stores
- Critical trades -- plumbing, HVAC, extermination, electricians, etc. providing services for residences and other essential business
- Mail and delivery services
- Educational institutions
- Laundry services
- Home-based care and services
- Hotels and motels
- Residential facilities and shelters
- Funeral services
The order lists all businesses that have been deemed essential:
The order also allows individuals to leave their homes to care for family members in other households and transport individuals to important events and locations. Attending weddings and funerals is permitted in the order.
Ohioans experiencing homelessness are exempt from the order but are encouraged to find shelter that complies with social distancing requirements. Individuals whose residences are unsafe of become unsafe, including victims of domestic violence are permitted and strongly urged to leave their home and stay in a safe alternate location, the order said.
"We haven't faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years - we are at war. In the time of war, we must make sacrifices, and I thank all of our Ohio citizens for what they are doing and what they aren't doing. You are making a huge difference, and this difference will save lives," said Governor DeWine. "Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle. What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence."
The order can be enforced by the local health departments and local law enforcement.
The order goes into effect Monday night at 11:59 p.m. and will last until April 6, but will be reassessed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop.
While the order is in effect, DeWine said people can still go outside. He even encouraged people to go on walks to get out of the house. However, he empahized staying 6 feet apart.
News 5 caught up with people in Edgewater Park on Sunday, hours after the order was issued.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet by yeah, it's kind of scary," said Ulysses Bermudez.
He was at the park with friend Nick Ryan. The pair drove from Columbus up to the park before the order went in to effect.
Ryan said the pandemic and all the changes are weighing on his friends.
"It's a very sketchy situation. I wouldn't call it fear necessarily but it's kind of unnerving and I would think naturally we just cope with it with humor," Ryan said.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the order:
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.