As COVID-19 cases continue to spike, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday he would institute a 21-day curfew effective Thursday.
The curfew, which will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency or those who need medical care. It is also not meant to prevent someone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy.
Carry-out, delivery and drive-thru meals will also be permitted, though in-person service must cease by 10 p.m.
“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” DeWine said in a news release. “The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way the virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”
Additional details are forthcoming.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, DeWine has received pushback from restaurant and bar owners who say their businesses are not behind the spread and were “balking” at news of the curfew.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted called the curfew a “balanced approach” that will help curb the spread of the virus while not having a “catastrophic effect on the economy.
“You have to care about both the economy and health — you can’t just care about one in isolation,” Husted said in the release. “Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption.”
The news comes the same week a new mask mandate goes into effect, requiring people to wear a mask in retail locations and making those businesses accountable for everyone wearing a mask.
This week also had new mass gathering guidelines, imposing restrictions such as requiring guests to be seated, forbidding dancing and playing of games and preventing self-serve buffets and bars.
As of Tuesday, Williams County had 853 confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19, with 100 of those cases happening since Friday afternoon. Six deaths have been confirmed and 56 people have been hospitalized.
As of Nov. 13, the latest data available from the Williams County Health Department, 377 people were presumed to have recovered from the virus.
The latest statewide data, released on Tuesday, showed 7,079 cases reported in the last 24 hours, higher than the 21-day average of 5,224. Deaths in the last 24 hours were up to 30, exceeding the 21-day average of 25 while 368 were reported hospitalized, up from the average of 210. Intensive care units saw 27 new admissions between Monday and Tuesday, up from the average of 23.
The state has seen a total of 312,443 cases, 22,846 hospitalizations and 5,772 deaths.
Meanwhile, 208,945 people were presumed to have recovered from the disease.
According to the Dispatch, Friday set the record for most single-day infections of 8,071. By Monday, the cases had fallen to 7,268, the fourth-highest day of the pandemic.
The Dispatch reported positivity rate hit 13.8% on Sunday, and the seven-day average increased to 12.8%.
Two pharmaceutical companies — Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. — have announced vaccines having a greater-than 90% efficacy in the last week and DeWine provided details Tuesday on the state’s prepositioning plan.
The Ohio Department of Health identified 10 sites across the state that will receive the vaccine once one is given emergency-use authorization. Those sites will distribute the vaccine once guidance is given.
For Region One, which contains Williams County, the location would be Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo.
Those most at risk — such as workers in long-term care facilities, nursing homes or other congregate-care facilities, high-risk health care workers and first responders — will be the first to get the vaccine.
The holiday season begins next week, and DeWine issued guidance for the times ahead.
First, he announced a “Home and Healthy for the Holidays” campaign, which will provide tips for students before, during and after traveling for the holidays.
College students are encouraged to show how they plan to be safe over the holidays with the social media hashtags #HomeandHealthyfortheHolidays and #BackOnCampus21.
DeWine also announced the release of a holiday celebration guide, which gives alternatives to big gatherings for holidays.
“This year’s holidays will look different as we make adjustments to keep our loved ones and ourselves healthy, so we can celebrate together in the future,” DeWine said. “Regardless of what holidays you celebrate, please keep the celebration small, and wear a mask and stay socially distanced if you absolutely must celebrate with individuals outside of your household.”