(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor DeWine announced today that the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thursday, November 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days.
The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m.
Additional details on the 21-day curfew order are forthcoming.
"We're not shutting down, we're slowing down," said Governor DeWine. "The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control."
The decision to impose a 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause.
"This is a balanced approach that will slow down people coming together and impact the spread of the virus to the point that it can be controlled, and at the same time, not cause a catastrophic effect in the economy," said Lt. Governor Husted. "You have to care about both the economy and health - you can't just care about one in isolation. Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption."
Governor DeWine also encouraged Ohioans to do one thing each day that will decrease the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, social distancing, and limiting the number of daily contacts.
Governor DeWine today provided details on Ohio's vaccine prepositioning plan.
The Ohio Department of Health has identified 10 sites across the state that will receive the pre-positioned vaccine after a COVID-19 vaccine is given emergency-use authorization. Once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issues its recommendation on how to use the vaccine, these sites will begin administering the vaccine immediately to those who choose to receive it and are identified as able to receive it in the first stage.
Ohio will first vaccinate those who are most at risk, including those who work in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and other congregate-care facilities, high-risk health care workers, and first responders.
The ten pre-positioned sites were selected based on geography, population, and access to ultra-cold storage capacity. Other sites will begin receiving shipments of vaccine following final approval, potentially just days after the pre-positioned sites begin administering the vaccine.
Governor DeWine once again encouraged citizens to remain vigilant in practicing safety measures until a vaccine is available.
HOME AND HEALTHY FOR THE HOLIDAYS
As students at Ohio’s colleges and universities are preparing to head home for the holidays, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and Ohio Hospital Association are launching a new campaign to encourage students to keep themselves and family members safe while they're at home.
The "Home and Healthy for the Holidays" campaign will provide tips for students to follow before, during, and after holiday travel. The campaign will also share information for students on what they should do if they have no access to testing or if they receive a positive or negative test result.
College students are encouraged to share how they plan to be safe during the holidays by posting to social media using the hashtags #HomeandHealthyfortheHolidays and #BackOnCampus21.
NEW HOLIDAY GUIDE
Governor DeWine announced the release of a new holiday celebration guide from the Ohio Department of Health to help families celebrate safely during the 2020-2021 holiday season.
The guide provides alternatives to large in-person celebrations for a variety of holidays, including Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Orthodox New Year, and others.
"This year’s holidays will look different as we make adjustments to keep our loved ones and ourselves healthy, so we can celebrate together in the future," said Governor DeWine. "Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, please keep the celebration small, and wear as mask and stay socially distanced if you absolutely must celebrate with individuals outside of your household."
The holiday gathering guide is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
CURRENT CASE DATA
In total, there are 312,443 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,772 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 22,846 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,250 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Video of today's full update, including versions with foreign language translation, can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's YouTube page.
For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.