Ohio extends COVID-19 curfew until Jan. 2

WATCH LIVE: Gov. DeWine expected to discuss details of curfew extension

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the Ohio Department of Health has extended the COVID-19 10 p.m. until Jan. 2, 2021.

Ohioans are advised not to leave their homes during the curfew’s proscribed hours, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., unless they are working or engaged in an essential activity.

“We believe the curfew, along with mask-wearing, have had an impact, and the next 21 days are extremely critical. We must all do everything we can to slow down the virus,” DeWine said.

There will be exceptions for four sporting events that will finish after 10 p.m.:

  • Columbus Crew’s MLS final on Dec. 12
  • Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens at 8:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14
  • The University of Cincinnati Bearcats’ AAC championship game on Dec. 19
  • Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 21

“To be frank, the biggest risk from these games is not the spectators who will be at the games and who will be following the safety protocols, but from other fans who may have the urge to gather with friends to watch these games inside without following mask and distancing protocols,” DeWine said.

He also issued a new Stay Safe Ohio protocol:

  • Stay at home
  • Wear your mask
  • Keep interactions short
  • Wash your hands
  • Work from home
  • Celebrate safe and small
  • Don’t eat or drink with anyone outside your household
  • Avoid travel
  • Keep weddings and funerals safe
  • Enjoy safe holiday activities

“These are the steps that we’re asking everyone to take to help Ohio get through this critical time as best we can,” the governor said.

He said these next several weeks will be the roughest yet with the biggest holiday season on the calendar.

“What each of us does in the next 21 days will set us on the path - good or bad - for the next year,” DeWine said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 531,850 cases and 7,298 deaths.

That’s an increase of 11,738 cases reported in 24 hours.

“Limited spread” has happened inside of schools, according to the Ohio Department of Education. There has been an increase of community spread though due to “informal gatherings outside of school,” the state education department reports.

“This week, you can see that a lot of districts, especially in northeast Ohio, are fully remote. Once we get community spread under control, schools will feel safe going back to in-person learning,” the governor said.

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