DeWine announces statewide curfew going into effect tonight to reduce COVID-19 spread

DeWine announces statewide curfew going into effect tonight to reduce COVID-19 spread
Stock photo of a clock. (mrs / Moment / Getty Images)

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new statewide curfew that will go into effect tonight during his afternoon briefing on coronavirus in the state.

The following announcements were made:

  • A statewide curfew is being issued on Thursday at 10 p.m. that will go into effect for three weeks. It will mean retail businesses have to close at 10 p.m. and remain closed until 5 a.m, DeWine said. Grocery stores and pharmacies will be permitted to be open. A more detailed order will be released in the coming days.
  • A violation of the curfew order would be a misdemeanor if someone is charged, DeWine said.
  • DeWine said doing a full shut down would have had double the impact than it did in the Spring, adding that there would have been all types of other issues including mental health and overdoses. “What I had to do was balance that,” DeWine said in not going that route with today’s announcement. “This is our attempt to not do those things.”
  • DeWine said he understands that there are more people out during the day than during the night, but said the curfew should help with slowing the spread and is the least impactful for business and other sectors of the state’s economy.
  • The curfew does not apply to those needing to go to work or need to be out for emergencies. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries, a carryout/drive-thru meal, or delivery, DeWine said.
  • Lt Gov. Jon Husted said business-sector shut downs were unpopular with those he had discussions with. He said “we don’t need a shut down, but we do need to slow down.”
  • Husted said the curfew was believed to be the least impactful, but could make a difference, based on conversations he had with business leaders.
  • John Barker with the Ohio Restaurant Association said they are in support of the Governor’s decision to enact a curfew. " We believe that curfew is the best way to slow things down right now," Barker said. He added that the vast majority of restaurants are being safe when they are open.
  • The Governor said its important for Ohioans to reduce the number of people they come in contact with on a daily basis and consolidate trips. “Each one of us will make a difference. If we can cut down contacts by 20 to 25 percent, this will make a difference,” DeWine said. “Paired with mask-wearing, this will go a long way from stopping our hospitals from being overrun.”
  • DeWine signaled the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine news in the last few days has been good news, but said Ohio needs to build a bridge to when those vaccines become available.
  • On Oct. 13, there were 1,000 people in hospitals with COVID-19 and on Nov 5 that number had gone up to 2,000. Five days ago, on Nov. 12 there were 3,000 people hospitalized with the virus and today there are 3,648 people in the hospitals, DeWine said.
  • DeWine said inspectors visited state businesses yesterday and noted that mask wearing has improved in the state.
  • DeWine said currently the state plans to go forward with winter sports with similar guidance to fall sports. Husted said he has a call with the Ohio High School Athletic Association this afternoon to discuss ongoing plans.
  • Mental health support is still available through the state’s Careline, which operates 24/7. The phone number is 1-800-720-9616.

Other items to know today in the coronavirus pandemic:

Latest data reported by Ohio Department of Heath:

As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 305,364 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 5,742 deaths, and 22,478 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 205,198 people are presumed to have recovered from the virus in the state.

The state’s 7-day average for test positivity is 12.8 percent, which is the highest its been since April 26.

Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.

There have been 5,348,464 people tested for the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

A total of 25,643 health care workers have tested positive which is about 8 percent of the cases.