UPDATE 7:25 PM 5/20: Late Wednesday, Gov. DeWine announced Dr. Acton has signed new health orders, modifying and rescinding parts of the Stay Safe Ohio order and issuing the Ohioans Protecting Ohioans urgent health advisory.
COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday announced a new order in the form of an “urgent health advisory” aimed at protecting Ohioans from the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus while reopening the majority of Ohio’s economy.
The Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Order is an update to the Stay Safe Ohio order issued earlier this month.
“What this comes down to now is that each of us has a responsibility to each other to slow the spread,” DeWine said. “No other time in our lives will our individual actions play a greater role in saving the lives of so many of our fellow citizens.”
The new order moves from orders to strong recommendations, the governor said, stressing it is the responsibility of all Ohioans to keep each other safe, particularly the most vulnerable of Ohio’s citizens.
The new order makes the following recommendations:
- People should observe social distancing of six feet, limit gathering to no more than 10 people, frequent handwashing, and sanitization.
- Businesses incorporate six feet of distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitization, and employees wearing masks.
- Strongly recommends those at most risk for the virus – people over 65 or those with underlying health conditions – stay home as much as possible and avoid places where they are likely to encounter a large number of people.
- Recommends that all Ohioans regardless of susceptibility to the virus stay home as much as possible with the intent of lowering the spread of the disease.
- The limited travel restrictions for Ohio that were in place are now lifted. While the restrictions are lifted, unnecessary travel is still discouraged.
“The coronavirus is not gone,” DeWine said. “It is real. And it is deadly. This new phase that we are now in is about learning to live with this virus. It is with us — it will remain with us — and we must do all we can to contain it and keep it from killing our fellow citizens.”
DeWine later clarified that while Ohioans Protecting Ohioans is an order, most of it is an advisory.
“We’re serious about it,” he said. “It’s important. People need to listen to it.”
“When we started the initial order, we had no orders on and regarding how business conducted business,” he added. “Today, we do. Today, we do with barbershops. Today, we do with hair salons. We do with restaurants, we do with other retail. So all those over two months, those have been developed and are in place so people feel safer and they can be out.”
DeWine called most of what is in the Ohioans Protecting Ohioan “very serious advice,” saying people should use the best information they have and to work to protect others.
“If there is a message today, it is we all have a moral obligation to protect others and this is a time in our history when we have the opportunity to really, really do that and what we do, it’s not all about us. It’s not all about, you know, me exercising my individual freedom,” he said. “You can do it, but it seems to me, from what’s right and what’s wrong is we have an obligation, each of us, to protect other people when we have that opportunity to do it and during this virus, we really have the opportunity to do that.”
As soon as the full advisory is made available from ODH and the governor’s office, we will add it to this story.