COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine has announced several key measures on Monday as part of the state's response to coronavirus.
The governor ordered the closure of all fitness centers, gyms bowling alleys, public recreation centers, movie theaters, indoor water parks, trampolines, moving forward. As part of the CDC's adjusted guidelines, no gatherings of more than 50 people will be permitted.
DeWine was also joined by Secretary of State Frank LaRose. The pair announced that they have extended absentee voting for the Ohio Primary Election. There will be no in-person voting until June 2. DeWine says his office will file to fight for that extension legally.
As of Monday afternoon, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio has increased to 50. The cases are in 12 counties and 14 people in the state have required hospitalization.
Here is how the confirmed cases break down by county:
- Belmont (2)
- Butler (6)
- Cuyahoga (24)
- Franklin (3)
- Geauga (1)
- Lorain (3)
- Lucas (1)
- Medina (2)
- Stark (3)
- Summit (2)
- Trumbull (2)
- Tuscarawas (1)
"We hope that Ohioans will follow our directives about mass gatherings. This is a once in a 100-year crisis, so we have to come together. We have to treat this like any huge national crisis," said DeWine.
DeWine made several key announcements on Sunday. Among them was the order for all of the state's bars and restaurants to close. Businesses will only be able to offer carry-out and delivery services. Patrons will be unable to be seated or congregate.
To lessen the impact of the order, DeWine is making several changes to the current unemployment policy.
"This is not a sprint," DeWine said, adding that latest estimates don't have the spread peaking until late April or early May. "We're going to be doing this for a while."
One change that could be coming soon is the potential closing of the state's daycare centers. “I’ve tried to signal that daycares will eventually be closed,” DeWine tweeted Sunday. “But, our healthcare systems need to be staffed. You’ll start to see healthcare facilities creating their own daycares.”
Gov. DeWine also issued a plea to all parents in Ohio.
“I’m pleading with parents: If you have children in daycare and can keep them home, please do it,” he tweeted. “To close daycares overnight won’t work, but it’s coming.”