Gov. DeWine lifts 'Stay Safe Ohio' order, issues new advisory with 'strong recommendations'

Posted at 3:16 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 07:46:40-04

COLUMBUS — Gov. Mike DeWine has lifted the "Stay Safe Ohio" order and issued an Urgent Health Advisory called "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans," saying that the state government is moving from orders to strong recommendations in "a new phase in our battle against COVID-19."

The "Stay Safe Ohio" order was issued on May 1 and replaced the state's original stay-at-home order, which was issued on March 22. While it eased restrictions on the original stay-at-home order to allow for the visiting of reopened businesses, it still required residents to stay at home, except as allowed in the order. It was set to expire at the end of the month.

The "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans" order replaces the "Stay Safe Ohio" order, and while it is itself an order from the governor, it contains "strong recommendations" for Ohioans. DeWine said a lot has evolved since the original Stay At Home Order was issued.

"We are now moving from orders to strong recommendations," DeWine tweeted. "This is a new phase in our battle against #COVID19, and it is incumbent upon each of us to protect each other."

"Our new urgent Health Advisory is titled 'Ohioans protecting Ohioans.' It incorporates six feet of social distancing, a limit of 10 people for mass gatherings, frequent hand washing other sanitation efforts, etc. It incorporates all the business orders of social distancing and sanitation, including employees wearing mask, as well as efforts to protect employees and other efforts to protect the public, all those are incorporated in this new order," DeWine said.

The highlights of the new "Ohioans Protecting Ohioans" order include:

  • Social distancing to avoid overwhelming hospitals
  • Limiting mass gatherings to 10 people or less
  • Increased hand washing
  • A strong recommendation that high-risk Ohioans stay at home as much as possible and avoid places where they are likely to encounter a lot of people
  • A strong recommendation, but not an order, that Ohioans stay at their place of residence when possible
  • Travel restrictions from previous orders are lifted, but residents are encouraged to limit travel outside of Ohio
  • Keeping number to number cases one to one, meaning that a person with the virus in only infecting one other person
  • It incorporates all the previous orders for businesses

"This new phase that we’re in now is about learning to live with the virus with us ... for a while. And we must do all we can to contain it and keep him killing or fellow citizens," DeWine said.

While the new advisory contains "strong recommendations" for residents, orders that are in place and not carved out by the new advisory will apparently remain in place, DeWine said Tuesday when asked by reporters at the coronavirus briefing. A reporter asked if he could, for example, hold a 500-person Memorial Day Party, and DeWine said that the order does not change the mass gathering restrictions. The mandatory measures for reopening businesses, including retail establishments, restaurants and bars, are still in place.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted further explained: "All of our fellow Ohioans to do the right thing by each other. Ultimately, it will be up to each one of us. To do that, and we have tried to make informed health, safety and economic policies and recommendations as we go through this and we will continue to do that, as this is we are going to face the threat of this virus, for some time. But in the end, no order. And no law will be successful as a well informed public who simply cares and respects each other. And as we stand here today. That’s our collective mission for all of us in Ohio, as we move forward."

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