COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Governor DeWine signed an executive order Monday declaring a state of emergency in Ohio to protect Ohioans from the dangerous effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Three people in Ohio have tested positive for the disease.
The executive order directs the Department of Health to issue guidelines for private businesses regarding work and travel restrictions, if necessary.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton promised the state will take an aggressive approach to COVID-19 coronavirus in the state.
“So much more guidance will be coming. People do need to know it won’t be life as normal in this country for a while. We will be leaning in and asking businesses and everyone to cooperate as we give guidelines on what’s best for Ohioans,” she said.
The Ohio Department of Health already took precautions during the weekend’s Arnold Sports Festival, canceling the expo and limiting spectators to only a few ticketed events. Some have pushed for the NCAA to not allow spectators at its basketball tournament.
“The actions we take today and in the days to come here in Ohio will make our lives a little more uncomfortable. You’ll be hearing guidance on travel, on visiting your loved ones. We don’t want you visiting your loved ones in a nursing home if you’re sick,” Acton said.
She stressed it’s not just people in at-risk groups that need to be careful.
“If you live with someone who’s in one of these high-risk groups, you should treat yourself and the household as a vulnerable household. Don’t just think about the one person,” Acton said.
It is increasingly clear that the disease is being spread in the community, according to Acton.
“We’ve learned from history and we’ve studied pandemics, and I do call this a pandemic because in my mind, it definitely meets the criteria of that when we see this sort of community spread,” she said.