Ohio issues “stay at home” order; New restrictions placed on day cares for children


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D. MPH, today announced that Ohio will be under a “Stay at Home” order.

The order will go into effect beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless the order is rescinded or modified.

DeWine said the stay-at-home order will start to be enforced Tuesday by local health departments and local law enforcement.

“This is a health order, it’s not a health suggestion, and so we would expect people to comply with it,” DeWine said at a news conference at his office.

He said the order includes things he’s already been asking residents to do, such as stay at home except for essential needs.

It also includes a list of businesses that are classified as essential and allowed to stay open, he said. The order is reasonable, he said, and keeping people at home and preventing transmission of the virus can help buy time so that the state’s hospitals do not become overwhelmed, he said.

“If everybody cooperates, we’re going to save a lot of lives,” he said.

The spreading virus has infected more than 350 people in 40 counties, up more than 100 cases in the past day, with more than 80 in hospitals, DeWine’s office said Sunday. Three people have died, his office reported.

Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, said there is “an incredible shortage of testing,” so the available coronavirus tests are being conserved for the highest-risk patients.

CHILD CARE/DAY CARE

Beginning on Thursday, March 26, 2020, all operating child care centers in Ohio must do so under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license and follow these guidelines:

There should be no more than six children in a class.

Ratios must be kept at one teacher to no more than six children.

Children whose parents are employed by the same entity should be kept together whenever possible.

The same teachers and children in each room should be maintained whenever possible.

There should be limited use of shared space or mixing of groups.

If shared space is used, a rigorous cleaning schedule must be in place.

Parent interaction should be limited at drop off and pick up.

The program will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.

NEW WEBSITE FOR BUSINESSES

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.

CHLOROQUINE AND HYDROXYCHLORQUINE

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, and

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 by the Board’s Executive Director in consultation with the Board President, at which time a resolution shall issue.

COVID-19 OHIO DATA:

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

Confirmed Deaths: Cuyahoga (1), Erie (1), Lucas (1).

Confirmed cases: Ashland (1), Ashtabula (2), Belmont (2), Butler (17), Carroll (1), Clark (1), Clermont (5), Clinton (1), Columbiana (2), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (125), Darke (1), Defiance (2), Delaware (6), Erie (1), Franklin (34), Gallia (1), Geauga (2), Greene (1), Hamilton (19), Hancock (1), Huron (1), Lake (6), Licking (1), Lorain (19), Lucas (5), Mahoning (18), Marion (1), Medina (10), Miami (13), Montgomery (5), Portage (1), Richland (1), Stark (10), Summit (23), Trumbull (3), Tuscarawas (2), Union (1), Warren (3), Wood (1)

Video of today’s full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel’s website.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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