COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued the "Stay Safe Ohio" order Thursday night to replace the state's expiring "Stay at Home" order, though the new order retains most of the provisions of the previous order, with exceptions for business sectors set to reopen in Ohio this month.
The stay-at-home order, issued by Dr. Amy Acton and Gov. Mike DeWine on March 22 and then extended first to May 1 on April 2, ordered all Ohio residents to remain in their homes, allowing for only essential travel and activities.
DeWine confirmed during the daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday that the order would be extended with exceptions.
“When retail opens up, well that certainly will be a major exception for that,” DeWine said. Under the state’s reopening plan, retail stores and services will be allowed to start operating again on May 12, with certain mandates and recommended best practices.
On Friday, DeWine's language about the order changed, calling it a new order.
"But I do want to indicate that the name matches — the name is important: 'Stay Safe Ohio,'" DeWine said during his daily coronavirus briefing Friday. "Not a stay at home order. And so we’ve reached a new stage. I think that’s good news for everybody. Doesn’t mean the virus has gone away, doesn’t mean we don’t have to exercise good judgment, doesn’t mean the basic principles that we’ve been talking about don’t still apply. They very very much still apply. Distance is probably most important."
The new order is currently set to expire on May 29, but DeWine said we shouldn't necessarily read into that.
"You just have to put a date on it — didn’t want to put it on an unending date," DeWine said Friday. "We wanted to have a date certain. But as I said, things will change so no one should be too fixated on whatever the date is."
The new order retains the key provisions of the previous orders:
-Stay at home or place of residence – Ohioans are ordered to stay at their home except as allowed in the order.
-Prohibited activities including all public and private gatherings of over 10 people outside a single household, except as permitted in the order.
-Individuals who travel into Ohio are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, unless they are traveling for crucial infrastructure, healthcare workforce or delivery services.
-Elderly and vulnerable people should take additional precautions.
The order adds exceptions for businesses and services that will be allowed under the state’s Responsible RestartOhio plan:
-Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
-Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
-Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
The following businesses and operations remain closed under the amended order: schools, restaurants and bars, personal appearance and beauty businesses, adult day support and vocational habilitation services, older adult day care services and senior centers, child car centers, entertainment, recreation, and gymnasiums.