CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine took time out of his regularly-scheduled COVID-19 briefing to address rumors of “FEMA camps” that would allegedly house individuals under a mandatory quarantine.
“This comes in the category of crazy, ridiculous internet rumors,” the governor said.
The rumor stems from an Ohio Department of Health order that has incorrectly been interpreted and intercommunicated by some, including an Ohio House legislator, incorrectly claiming that certain individuals could be involuntarily sent to FEMA-funded non-congregate shelters to quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am aware there are internet rumors that incorrectly claim these orders allow children to be separated from parents without permission,” Gov. DeWine stated. “This is not in our order and there is no truth to the rumor. Families will not be separated, and kids will not be away from their loved ones.”
One scenario the governor said could benefit the federally-funded voluntary housings, which have been set up in several sites across Ohio, could involve a first responder or health care professional seeking a setting where they could temporarily stay rather than going home and risking the spread of COVID-19 to family members.
“The bottom line, neither FEMA nor ODH are going to set up 'FEMA camps’ for anyone to quarantine against their will,” Gov. DeWine added. “What we are doing is making available a safe place for people to stay when they have loved ones they are trying to protect and they have no other place to go.”