Coronavirus: Gov. Mike DeWine to sign stay-at-home order, childcare centers ordered to reduce class sizes

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has taken aggressive action, sometimes days before other governors, on advice from Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is signing a stay-at-home order for all Ohioans. The order will go into effect Monday, March 23rd, at midnight and will be in effect until April 6.

Gov. Mike DeWine said the order is not too different from what people have been doing already. He emphasized that necessary errands and leaving the house is still permitted, but people should stay home if at all possible.

“This it nothing new, this is nothing we haven’t been talking about,” he said. “This is an order. It’s not a suggestion, it’s an order.”

Acton encouraged people to follow the order to protect front-line workers.

“You’re heroic when you stay at home when you watch your neighbor’s child, this is our one shot,” she said. “I already envision a future that is full of hope. I feel more hope than I have ever felt.

“This is not a joke, this is not a drill. Choices you are making right now could save lives,” she said. “This is the time that you will see quiet descend on our country, as it should.”

>> Coronavirus: Complete coverage

Businesses that remain open will be under social distancing orders. DeWine said local health officials and law enforcement can enforce the order if necessary.

DeWine said that starting next Thursday, childcare centers must operate under a pandemic childcare license, which means they can have a maximum of six children per room. DeWine said that while shared spaces are still allowed with deep cleaning procedures, childcare centers are dissuaded from using common areas. This will be enforced until April 30.

>> Coronavirus stay-at-home order: What businesses are considered essential?

As of Sunday afternoon, the ODH confirmed 351 cases of coronavirus in 40 counties, including Butler, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties. Three deaths were confirmed in Cuyahoga, Erie and Lucas counties in northern Ohio.

Logan County officials confirmed its first case, but the state did not include it as of Sunday.

To view the order, click here.

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