Gov. DeWine issues stern warning about ‘reckless behavior’ when asked about potential shelter-in-place order

FILE - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine  (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
FILE - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(John Minchillo | AP)
Updated: Mar. 20, 2020 at 3:24 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Gov. Mike DeWine acknowledged that the decision to force statewide closures has been difficult, but his choices were based on the safety of Ohioans.

When asked about how other states have handled the pandemic, including California’s sweeping order to shelter in place, the Governor said he will not hesitate to make a decision if it’s in the best interest of the health of patients.

“The safety of the public has to come first,” DeWine said during Friday’s briefing. “There’s a way we can do this, but we have to do it.”

By closing schools, restaurants, gyms, barbershops, and other establishments, DeWine said, essentially, there is already an indirect recommendation to shelter in place, but he would consider a mandate and close the rest of the non-essential businesses if certain “reckless behavior” doesn’t stop.

The Ohio Department of Health confirmed the state’s death related to COVID-19 during Friday’s briefing.

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Additionally, 169 cases have been reported throughout Ohio, as of Friday afternoon.

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