Ohio’s stay-at-home extension starts: What does it mean?

Ohio’s stay-at-home order began its extension early this morning, April 7, 2020 until May 1, with few changes.

The order, which started at midnight after being issued on April 6 by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, is designed to further impede the spread of the coronavirus throughout the state.

The key points of the order include defining essential businesses that can continue to operate and to which people can continue going to work and taking steps to keep residents distanced from one another in clean environments.

State officials stress the latest order extension is "mandatory" like its previous version, except for exemptions noted at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

The wide-ranging provisions in both orders have impacted almost all Ohioans’ lives as the state joins others in the nation’s battle to control the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

“To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members, consistent with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in this Order,” the order reads.

Some of the major provisions, according to the state order now in effect through May 1, include:

• Non-essential business and operations must cease. All essential businesses and operations are encouraged to remain open. The order also says those still in operation need to enact social distancing measures..”

• All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by the order. Any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited unless exempted, but members of a household may gather.

• Only essential travel and activities are allowed. Those using public transit must use social distancing, and those traveling into the state will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. That will not apply to those who regularly work in one state and live in another.

• Ohio’s public and private K-12 schools – and all related school sports and other extracurricular activities - will remain closed through May 1. K-12 schools are conducting remote, online instruction as are all post-secondary schools – community colleges, colleges and universities - statewide.

• Essential stores and businesses – as defined by the order – “shall determine and enforce the maximum capacity of persons permitted in any store such that at all persons in a store at any one time may safely and comfortably maintain a six-foot distance from each other. Every store shall prominently display at every entrance the maximum capacity number.”

• Religious facilities, entities and groups and religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Wedding receptions are subject to the 10-person limitation detailed in the order. Weddings and funerals are not subject to the 10-person limitation.

• Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for consumption off-premises, through such means as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, curbside pick-up, and carry-out. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only.

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