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How does Ohio's COVID-19 curfew work? What are the exceptions? Your questions answered

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has issued a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. that goes into effect Thursday, Nov. 19 for 21 days.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — “The goal is to have fewer contacts.”

Those were the words from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine when announcing his decision Tuesday to enact a new statewide curfew to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"This is not a business curfew," he explained Wednesday morning during a visit to Cleveland. "This is a curfew. We want people home at 10 o’clock."

But how does the curfew actually work? We answer your questions below...

WHEN DOES IT GO INTO EFFECT?

Thursday, Nov. 19 for the next 21 days.

WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTED HOURS WITHIN THE CURFEW?

10 p.m. until 5 a.m.

WHO DOES THE CURFEW IMPACT?

It's aimed at keeping Ohioans home during the restricted hours in an effort to limit contacts. Although targeted at individuals, retail locations and some businesses would be expected to close during the curfew.

Restaurants and bars must also stop serving in-person customers at 10 p.m. during the curfew period. Takeout, however, can remain open beyond 10 p.m.

WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS?

The curfew does NOT include the following:

  • People going to or from work.
  • Those who have an emergency.
  • Those who need medical care.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Going to the pharmacy.
  • Picking up carryout or a drive-thru meal. Delivery is also permitted.
  • Yes, you can still take your dog outside or go for a walk.

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WHY WAS THE CURFEW ORDERED?

"The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another," he said in a press release. "We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control."

Gov. DeWine’s office said the decision to impose the 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause.

It comes as Ohio continues experiencing a surge in COVID-19 infections.

WHY 10 P.M.?

"We picked 10 o’clock because we thought that would not hurt business a lot, although you’ll hear from people who own restaurants and bars that it’s certainly a big change," Gov. DeWine said in Cleveland on Wednesday morning. "We felt 10 o’clock would not be devastating to restaurants, bars and other places."

WHAT'S THE PUNISHMENT FOR VIOLATORS?

3News' Lynna Lai reports that violations are considered a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail with a $750 fine.

But will it be enforced?

“We’re not asking police to go pull anybody over," Gov. DeWine said Wednesday. "If you’re in your car, no one should be bothered being in their car. The other example would be if you’re at a gas station at 10:30 at night and there’s four or five people hanging around, I would think the police would stop and say, ‘Hey, go home. Get out of here. Go home.’ We know the police have a lot to do. I believe that most Ohioans are going to follow this and will go home, be home. We know there’s going to be emergencies. People have babies, things happen. Those people should be able to do what they need to do.”

TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS

Do you think the curfew will effectively work at slowing the spread of COVID-19? Tell us your thoughts by leaving a comment in the post below:

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