Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announces statewide stay-at-home order — read it here

Updated: Mar. 23, 2020 at 6:35 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Sunday a statewide “stay at home” order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state and nationally.

The order will stay in effect for two weeks, until April 6. It means you have to stay home except for essential activities.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton signed the order Sunday, DeWine said at his daily news conference in Columbus.

Daycares also will be closed this week, starting Thursday. They must have a pandemic child care license to operate and no more than six children can be in a class, he said.

Ohio Department of Health | Stay-At-Home Order FAQ

“We have not faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years," DeWine said. “You have to go back to the 1918 influenza epidemic. We are certainly at war. I don’t know any other way to describe it other than to say we are at war.

"In the time of war, we must make sacrifices, and I thank all of our Ohio citizens for what they are doing and what they aren’t doing. You are making a huge difference, and this difference will save lives.

"Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle. What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence.”

The "stay at home” order is similar to what many of us already have been doing, DeWine said.

Social distancing. Staying home. No large groups.

You can still go to the grocery store, walk in parks, pick up food and your prescriptions.

You can leave home to take care of others: “You can take care of your neighbor, your family, your friend," he said.

Businesses must abide by the order as well, he stressed.

The order is not designed to be punitive, DeWine said, but “it isn’t a suggestion.”

There are exceptions to staying home, common sense ones: leaving for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity (walking your dog, going to a park - although playgrounds are closed).

Sunday’s announcement came just minutes after the state’s latest coronavirus statistics were released.

They show confirmed cases in Ohio jumped by just over 100 in single day, from 247 on Saturday to 351 on Sunday.

Butler County has been leading Greater Cincinnati with confirmed cases and has 17.

On Sunday, Hamilton County surpassed Butler County with 19 cases.

Five are reported in Clermont County, and three are in Warren County.

The number of deaths remained unchanged with three.

A total of 83 people are hospitalized.

Acton continued to caution “that data is not telling the full story of what is happening. Even the data you’ll see in the future is minimal because we are conserving all our available testing for the most high-risk and hospitalized front line workers.”

“There is still an incredible shortage of testing supplies in Ohio. We have to save the testing for frontline first responders and those at the highest risk.”

Businesses and workers can now access all of these resources related to COVID-19 in one place at ohio.gov/BusinessHelp.

The portal includes information on unemployment benefits, the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the Liquor Buyback Program, modified rules for trucking to help ship critical supplies into the state, the delay of BWC Premiums, etc.

DeWine also announced Sunday the Ohio State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy passed a rule related to prescribing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for purposes of COVID-19.

Unless otherwise approved by the Board’s executive director, no prescription for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed by a pharmacist or sold at retail by a licensed terminal distributor of dangerous drugs unless

  • The prescription bears a written diagnosis code from the prescriber
  • If written for a COVID-19 diagnosis, the diagnosis has been confirmed by a positive test result, which is documented on the prescription and both of the following apply
  • The prescription is limited to no more than a fourteen-day supply
  • No refills may be permitted unless a new prescription is furnished

Prescriptions for either presumptive positive patients or prophylactic use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine related to COVID-19 is strictly prohibited unless otherwise approved.


There are 351 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and three deaths. A total of 83 people are hospitalized.

Butler: 17

CLermont: 5

Franklin: 34

Hamilton: 19

Warren: 3

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

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