Statewide curfew begins tonight

Empty Cleveland night
Posted at 2:24 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 21:45:48-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Earlier this week Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the 10 p.m. curfew for the state that will go into effect tonight for 21 days in an effort to limit the community spread of the coronavirus.

"Our situation in Ohio is deteriorating," DeWine said on Tuesday.

The Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management sent a text to residents in the county stating that if cases continue to increase, a city-wide shutdown is possible for Cleveland.

"Governor DeWine has issued a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning November 19, which will be in effect for 21 days. In response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County also issued a Stay At Home Advisory beginning November 18. The City's advisory will remain in effect through December 31.

"The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work or those who have an emergency or need medical care. Serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m. Residents should only leave their homes for essential reasons.

"If cases continue to increase, a city-wide shut down is possible."

The curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for three weeks. Retail establishments should be closed and people should be at home, DeWine said during his Tuesday COVID-19 briefing.

"We believe that this is going to help reduce some of the contacts that are taking place," he said.

DeWine clarified that the curfew has exceptions for those going to and from work, emergency situations, getting food and going to the hospital.


While responding to reporters, DeWine answered the following questions regarding the curfew:

  • Takeout will be still be allowed.
  • If you have to go to work at 10 p.m. or take care of an emergency, you are allowed to do that, DeWine said.
  • Local police departments can enforce the curfew if they see groups out at a park, for example.
  • DeWine will not tell a grocery store or pharmacy that they have to close at 10 p.m. He said the risk isn't as high when at the store because people are wearing masks.

"Our idea is to kind of carve this time out, and you know that if we all do it with some exceptions, that in and of itself will reduce some of these contacts that are going on," he said.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said while talking to health care professionals, legislators, school leaders and businesses, the 21-day curfew was considered the least disruptive option to the economy while also having a meaningful and positive impact on the healthcare system in Ohio.

"We don’t need to shut down. But we do need to slow down for a few weeks to get this virus back into a manageable situation," Husted said.

Reaction to the curfew from northeast Ohio business owners was mixed.

Sam McNulty, Co-owner of Nano Brew Cleveland, told News 5 the curfew will further narrow sales at already distressed bars and restaurants.

“The experts are telling us that restaurants and bars aren’t where the spread is happening,” McNulty said.

“The low-hanging fruit is putting restrictions on restaurants and bars but when you think about the logic behind it, there’s an unintended consequence."

“The curfew promotes more after-parties and the governor himself says that’s where the spread is happening."

“The many staff that will continue to be unemployed, there’s going to be more hitting the unemployment ranks, there’s no doubt.”

Joan Hamm, Executive Director with Children First of Cleveland daycare, believes the Governor's curfew response to the current COVID-19 spike is fair and balanced.

“Like everybody else, I was a little afraid as to what was going to come out of it," Hamm said.

“I think it’s an excellent compromise, I think it’s borderline brilliant.”

“I think it addresses some of the areas where we’ve had issues, but at the same time doesn’t necessarily penalize those of us who are trying really, really hard to make this work in a global pandemic.”

Planet Fitness CEO Bryan Rief, who operates 50 locations and six in Ohio, said the curfew is a good compromise and he's prepared to rollback 24-hour operations at his Ohio locations.

“The uncertainty has probably has had the biggest impact on us,” Rief said.

“I’m just thankful that the Governor recognized the importance of keeping gyms and fitness centers open.”

“It’s a sigh of relief, the lockdowns have really terrible consequences, not just in the gym industry."

DeWine said Ohioans need to continue to wear masks while also reducing contact with fewer people.

"Each one of us will make a difference. If we can cut down contacts by 20-25%, this will make a difference. Paired with mask-wearing, this will go a long way from stopping our hospitals from being overrun," DeWine said.

DeWine also asked Ohioans to do one additional thing that reduces contact with others each day.

When asked why the curfew length was capped at 21 days, DeWine said there was nothing magical about the number.

He said 21 days is an "eternity" with the virus and hopes cases will decrease by the end of the three weeks. DeWine said it's long enough that health experts can interpret a trend or pattern when looking at the direction of the virus.

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