Governor Mike DeWine capped a week of orders limiting people’s travel and virus exposure with a “Stay At Home” order begins Monday at midnight and extends through April 6th. He says there are some “common sense” exemptions.
“Leaving home for essential activities is permitted. For health and safety. For necessary supplies and services. For outdoor activity. Take a walk, walk your dog, go to a park – although playgrounds, which are particularly susceptible to spread of the disease, are closed. Certain types of work, work that is deemed essential. And the final one: to take care of others. Don’t want anyone to misunderstand: you can still take care of your neighbor, your mother, your dad, your child.”
Essential businesses are defined as those that ensure health, safety, food, transportation and sanitation. Such as, hospitals, fire stations, police stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, and public transportation. DeWine continued to stress that businesses that remain open must continue to protect workers and the public.
“Designate six foot distances; workers should not be closer than six floot. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products must be readily available for employees and customers. Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. Implementing separate operating hours for the elderly and vulnerable customers, and posting online whether facilities is open.”
DeWine has urged parents all week to make alternate plans for childcare, and Sunday he issued an order requiring all remaining daycare centers must have a Temporary Pandemic Childcare License, beginning Thursday night. The license requires no more than six children in a room, and only limited use of shared space, with a rigorous cleaning schedule. And in order to limit exposure, centers should group the children of parents who work together in the same space.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says the state is maximizing what personal protective gear is available, and she hopes to have more news soon from businesses that are working on new processes and techniques. While there has been promising news about malaria-related drugs, Acton cautions those are essential for people with auto-immune disease, and so the Pharmacology Board is restricting all prescriptions to a 14-day supply. Acton says the basic precautions of washing, distancing, and cleaning are still crucial.
“Listen to Italy. Listen to them beg us to not make the mistakes. You’re hearing it from the folks who are right ahead of us on the curve. We have not a day to spare; it is time for us to do this. We have the opportunity to change our history, if we choose to.”