Ohio's COVID-19 curfew takes effect Thursday. Read the order here.
COLUMBUS – A health order establishing an overnight curfew in Ohio was signed Thursday by new Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud.
The "stay at home tonight" order does not close businesses but requires Ohioans to be home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Dec. 10 with several exemptions. Exemptions include seeking medical treatment, picking up takeout, going to work and grocery shopping.
The goal: Cut down on social gatherings and reduce the number of contacts people have with each other.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread in Ohio, we need a stronger response to minimize the impact on Ohio’s healthcare and hospital capacity and ensure healthcare is available to those that need it,” Gov, Mike DeWine said in a statement Thursday. “With this order we are discouraging get-togethers and gatherings to minimize the spread of the virus while minimizing the economic impact of a complete shutdown.”
DeWine announced the order during his Tuesday coronavirus briefing but it wasn't released until Thursday evening.
Violating the order is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. But DeWine doesn't expect it will be strictly enforced.
Religious observances and activities protected by the First Amendment are exempt.
The order lists several "essential" activities allowed during curfew hours under six categories:
- For health and safety, such as receiving medical care and obtaining medical supplies or prescriptions
- For necessary supplies and services such as groceries, carry-out food and cleaning supplies
- For necessary social services such as child care, services for people with disabilities and vocational programs
- For work, including volunteer work
- To take care of others, for a family member, friend or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends or pets
- To access government services including fire, paramedics, law enforcement and other emergency services.
Read the order below.