COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud signed an order to institute a 10 p.m. curfew to help with the spread of COVID-19.
The curfew, starting Thursday, runs from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. It will remain in effect for 21 days.
Gov. DeWine said that retail establishments need to be closed and people should be home while the curfew is in effect.
"I'm also asking each Ohioan every day to do at least one thing that reduces your contact with others," DeWine said while making the announcement on Tuesday. "Each one of us will make a difference. If we can cut down contacts by 20-25 percent, this will make a difference. Paired with mask-wearing, this will go a long way from stopping our hospitals from being overrun."
According to the order, people should stay inside between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are getting food, medical care, or going to work. The order does not apply to religious observances.
DeWine said his administration considered but rejected a total shutdown of bars and restaurants, a possibility that had been strongly criticized by the hospitality industry.
“We think we can accomplish, frankly, a lot more by having this curfew than by closing one or two business sectors,” the governor said. A total shutdown would probably cause some businesses to close for good, mean all schools would close, and add to the mental stress Ohioans are already experiencing during the prolonged pandemic, DeWine said.
The state restaurant association expressed support for the move Tuesday.
“We think it’s the right step at the right time,” said John Barker, president and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association.
Ohio hospital and intensive care admissions for COVID-19 are at record highs, with more than 3,600 people hospitalized as of Tuesday. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 3,097 new cases per day on Nov. 2 to 7,199 new cases per day on Nov. 16, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.
The full order can be read here.
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You can watch Gov. DeWine's announcement about the curfew below: