News & Press
Ohio Department of Health Director’s Stay at Home Order
Re: Director's Order that All Persons Stay at Home Unless Engaged in Essential Work or Activity I, Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), pursuant to the authority granted to me in R.C. 3701.13 to "make special orders...for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases" Order the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the State of Ohio:
1. Stay at home or place of residence. With exceptions as outlined below, all individuals currently living within the State of Ohio are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence except as allowed in this Order. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members, consistent with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in this Order. All persons may leave their homes or place of residence only for Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to participate in Essential Businesses and Operations, all as defined below. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Order, but are strongly urged to obtain shelter, and governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable (and to use in their operation COVID-19 risk mitigation practices recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH)). This order does not apply to incarcerated individuals, they are to follow the guidance of the facility in which they are confined. Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternative location. For purposes of this Order, homes or residences include hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities.
2. Non-essential business and operations must cease. All businesses and operations in the State, except Essential Businesses and Operations as defined below, are required to cease all activities within the State except Minimum Basic Operations, as defined below. For clarity, businesses, including home-based businesses, may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home). All Essential Businesses and Operations are encouraged to remain open. Essential Businesses and Operations shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Order, including by maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the public at all times, including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.
3. Prohibited activities. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Order. Any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order. This is in accordance with President Trump's coronavirus guidelines issued March 16, 2020. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household or residence. All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including, but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, museums, arcades, fairs, children's play centers, playgrounds, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, movie and other theaters, concert and music halls, and country clubs or social clubs shall be closed.
4. Prohibited and permitted travel. Only Essential Travel and Essential Activities as defined herein, are permitted. People riding on public transit must comply with Social Distancing Requirements to the greatest extent feasible. This Order allows travel into or out of the State to maintain Essential Businesses and Operations and Minimum Basic Operations.
5. Leaving the home for Essential Activities is permitted. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following Essential Activities:
- For health and safety. To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members or persons who are unable or should not leave their home (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, or visiting a health care professional.
- For necessary supplies and services. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members or persons who are unable or should not leave their home, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies they need to work from home, automobile supplies (including dealers, parts, supplies, repair and maintenance), and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
- For outdoor activity. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements, as defined below, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, running, or biking. Individuals may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas. However, public access playgrounds may increase spread of COVID- 19, and therefore shall be closed.
- For certain types of work. To perform work providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations (which, as defined below, includes Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure) or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations.
- To take care of others. To care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and to transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Order. This includes attending weddings and funerals.
6. Elderly people and those who are vulnerable as a result of illness should take additional precautions. People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including elderly people and those who are sick, are urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible except as necessary to seek medical care. Nothing in this Order prevents the Department Health or local health departments from issuing and enforcing isolation and quarantine orders.
7. Healthcare and Public Health Operations. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services through Healthcare and Public Health Operations. Healthcare and Public Health Operations includes, but is not limited to: hospitals; clinics; dental offices; pharmacies; public health entities, including those that compile, model, analyze and communicate public health information; pharmaceutical, pharmacy, medical device and equipment, and biotechnology companies (including operations, research and development, manufacture, and supply chain); organizations collecting blood, platelets, plasma, and other necessary materials; licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed medical marijuana cultivation centers; obstetricians and gynecologists; eye care centers, including those that sell glasses and contact lenses; home healthcare services providers; mental health and substance use providers; other healthcare facilities and suppliers and providers of any related and/or ancillary healthcare services; and entities that transport and dispose of medical materials and remains. Specifically included in Healthcare and Public Health Operations are manufacturers, technicians, logistics, and warehouse operators and distributors of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products. Healthcare and Public Health Operations also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. Healthcare and Public Health Operations shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. Healthcare and Public Health Operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities.
8. Human Services Operations. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any Human Services Operations, including any provider funded by the Ohio Department of Aging, Department of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Health, Department of Job and Family Services, Department of Medicaid, Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, Department of Veterans Services, and Department of Youth Services that is providing services to the public and including state-operated, institutional, or community-based settings providing human services to the public. Human Services Operations includes, but is not limited to: long-term care facilities; day care centers, day care homes, group day care homes; residential settings and shelters for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness; transitional facilities; home-based settings to provide services to individuals with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities, seniors, adults, and children; field offices that provide and help to determine eligibility for basic needs including food, cash assistance, medical coverage, child care, vocational services, rehabilitation services; developmental centers; adoption agencies; businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals, individuals with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities, or otherwise needy individuals. Human Services Operations shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of human services, broadly defined.
9. Essential Infrastructure. For purposes of this, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to offer, provision, operate, maintain and repair Essential Infrastructure. Essential Infrastructure includes, but is not limited to: food production, distribution, fulfillment centers, storage facilities, marinas, and sale; construction (including, but not limited to, construction required in response to this public health emergency, hospital construction, construction of long-term care facilities, public works construction, school construction, essential business construction, and housing construction); building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical (including power generation, distribution, and production of raw materials); distribution centers; oil and biofuel refining; roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation; ports; cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services). Essential Infrastructure shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to essential infrastructure, broadly defined.
10. Essential Governmental Functions. For purposes of this Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, legislators, judges, court personnel, jurors and grand jurors, law enforcement and corrections personnel, hazardous materials responders, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, military, and other governmental employees working for or to support Essential Businesses and Operations are categorically exempt from this Order. Essential Government Functions means all services provided by the State or any municipality, township, county, political subdivision, board, commission or agency of government and needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing Essential Government Functions. Each government body shall determine its Essential Governmental Functions and identify employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions. This Order does not apply to the United States government. Nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing Essential Governmental Functions.
11. Businesses covered by this Order. For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function it performs, or its corporate or entity structure.
12. Essential Businesses and Operations. For the purposes of this Order, Essential Businesses and Operations means Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure, and the following:
- CISA List. On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), issued a Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response. The definition of Essential Businesses and Operations in this Order includes all the workers identified in that Memorandum.
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine. Grocery stores, pharmacies, certified farmers' markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, prepared food, alcoholic and non- alcoholic beverages, any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products), and specifically includes their supply chain and administrative support operations. This includes stores that sell groceries, medicine, including medication not requiring a medical prescription, and also that sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and Essential Businesses and Operations;
- Food, beverage, and licensed marijuana production and agriculture. Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing, and cultivation, including farming, livestock, fishing, baking, and other production agriculture, including cultivation, marketing, production, and distribution of animals and goods for consumption; licensed medical marijuana use, medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed medical marijuana cultivation centers; and businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals, including animal shelters, rescues, shelters, kennels, and adoption facilities;
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services. Businesses and religious and secular nonprofit organizations, including food banks, when providing food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities;
- Religious entities. Religious facilities, entities and groups and religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals.
- Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
- First Amendment protected speech.
- Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation. Gas stations and auto supply, auto- repair, farm equipment, construction equipment, boat repair, and related facilities and bicycle shops and related facilities;
- Financial and insurance institutions. Bank, currency exchanges, consumer lenders, including but not limited, to pawnbrokers, consumer installment lenders and sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, payday lenders, affiliates of financial institutions, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, and institutions selling financial products. Also insurance companies, underwriters, agents, brokers, and related insurance claims and agency services;
- Hardware and supply stores. Hardware stores and businesses that sell electrical, plumbing, and heating material;
- Critical trades. Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses and Operations;
- Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services. Post offices and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, goods, vehicles or services to end users or through commercial channels;
- Educational institutions. Educational institutions-including public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and universities-for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible. This Order is consistent with and does not amend or supersede prior Orders regarding the closure of schools;
- Laundry services. Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services, and laundry service providers;
- Restaurants for consumption off-premises. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for consumption off-premises, through such means as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, curbside pick-up, and carry-out. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site due to the virus's propensity to physically impact surfaces and personal property. This Order is consistent with and does not amend or supersede prior Orders regarding the closure of restaurants;
- Supplies to work from home. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply products needed for people to work from home;
- Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate, including computers, audio and video electronics, household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; hardware, paint, flat glass; electrical, plumbing and heating material; sanitary equipment; personal hygiene products; food, food additives, ingredients and components; medical and orthopedic equipment; optics and photography equipment; diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergent; and firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security;
- Transportation. Airlines, taxis, transportation network providers (such as Uber and Lyft), vehicle rental services, paratransit, marinas, docks, boat storage, and other private, public, and commercial transportation and logistics providers necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
- Home-based care and services. Home-based care for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness, including caregivers such as nannies who may travel to the child's home to provide care, and other in-home services including meal delivery;
- Residential facilities and shelters. Residential facilities and shelters for adults, seniors, children, pets, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness;
- Professional services. Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, real estate services (including appraisal and title services);
- Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries. Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communications, as well as products used by other Essential Businesses and Operations.
- Critical labor union functions. Labor Union essential activities including the administration of health and welfare funds and personnel checking on the well-being and safety of members providing services in Essential Businesses and Operations - provided that these checks should be done by telephone or remotely where possible.
- Hotels and motels. Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services.
- Funeral services. Funeral, mmiuary, cremation, burial, cemetery, and related services.
13. Minimum Basic Operations. For the purposes of this Order, Minimum Basic Operations include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:
- The minimum necessmy activities to maintain the value of the business's inventory, preserve the condition of the business's physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
- The minimum necessmy activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
14. Essential Travel. For the purposes of this Order, Essential Travel includes travel for any of the following purposes. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section.
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, or Minimum Basic Operations.
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
- Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the State. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the State remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.
15. Social Distancing Requirements. For purposes of this Order, Social Distancing Requirements includes maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.
- Required measures. Essential Businesses and Operations and businesses engaged in Minimum Basic Operations must take proactive measures to ensure compliance with Social Distancing Requirements, including where possible:
- Designate six-foot distances. Designating with signage, tape, or by other means six- foot spacing for employees and customers in line to maintain appropriate distance;
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products. Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers;
- Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. Implementing separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers; and
- Online and remote access. Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.
16. Intent of this Order. The intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible. When people need to leave their places of residence, whether to perform Essential Activities, or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times and as much as reasonably possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements. All provisions of this Order should be interpreted to effectuate this intent.
17. Enforcement. This Order may be enforced by State and local law enforcement to the extent set forth in Ohio law. To the extent any public official enforcing this Order has questions regarding what services are prohibited under this Order, the Director of Health hereby delegates to local health depmiments the authority to answer questions in writing and consistent with this Order.
18. COVID-19 Information and Checklist for Businesses/Employers. Business and employers are to take the following actions:
- Allow as many employees as possible to work from home by implementing policies in areas such as teleworking and video conferencing.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever (without the use of medication) for at least 72 hours (three full days) AND symptoms have improved for at least 72 hours AND at least seven days have passed since symptoms first began. Do not require a healthcare provider's note to validate the illness or return to work of employees sick with acute respiratory illness; healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children, or other family members. Consider encouraging employees to do a self-assessment each day to check if they have any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
- Separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately. Restrict their access to the business until they have recovered.
- Reinforce key messages stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene to all employees, and place posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen. Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
- Frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles, and doorknobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.
- Be prepared to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations).
19. No limitation on authority. Nothing in this Order shall, in any way, alter or modify any existing legal authority allowing the State or any local health department from ordering (1) any quarantine or isolation that may require an individual to remain inside a particular residential property or medical facility for a limited period of time, including the duration of this public health emergency, or (2) any closure of a specific location for a limited period of time, including the duration of this public health emergency.
20. Savings clause. If any provision of this Order or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, this invalidity does not affect any other provision or application of this Order, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To achieve this purpose, the provisions of this Order are declared to be severable.
21. Previous Orders superseded. This Order supersedes, only to the extent that it conflicts, and amends any previous Order which conflicts with the provisions of this Order.
22. Duration. This Order shall be effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020 and remain in full force and effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this Order at a sooner time and date.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death, is caused by the SARS-Co V- 2 virus, which is a new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person to person. The virus is spread between individuals who are in close contact with each other (within about six feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that individuals can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.
- On January 23, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Journal Entry making COVID- 19 a Class A reportable disease in Ohio.
- On January 28, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health hosted the first statewide call with local health departments and healthcare providers regarding COVID-19. On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a public health emergency of international concern.
- On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex M. Azar II, declared a public health emergency for the United States to aid the nation's healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
- On February 1, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a statewide Health Alert Network to provide local health departments and healthcare providers with updated guidance for COVID-19 and revised Person Under Investigation (PUI) criteria.
- On February 3, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health trained over 140 personnel to staff a call center for COVID-19, in the event it was needed.
- On February 5, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health began updating and notifying the media of the number of PUis in Ohio every Tuesday and Thursday.
- On February 6, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health updated all agency assistant directors and chiefs of staff on COVID-19 preparedness and status during the Governor's cabinet meeting.
- On February 7, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency met to conduct advance planning for COVID-19.
- On February 13, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health conducted a Pandemic Tabletop Exercise with State agencies to review responsive actions should there be a pandemic in Ohio.
- On February 14, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health held a conference call with health professionals across the state. The purpose of the call was to inform and engage the healthcare community in Ohio. Presentations were provided by the Department of Health, Hamilton County Public Health, and the Ohio State University.
- On February 27, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency briefed the directors of State agencies during the Governor's cabinet meeting regarding preparedness and the potential activation of the Emergency Operations Center.
- On February 28, 2020, the "Governor DeWine, Health Director Update COVID-19 Prevention and Preparedness Plan" was sent to a broad range of associations representing healthcare, dental, long-term care, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, business, public transit, faith-based organizations, non-profit organizations, and local governments.
- On March 2, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health activated a Joint Information Center to coordinate COVID-19 communications.
- On March 5, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health hosted the Governor's Summit on COVID-19 Preparedness, a meeting with the Governor, cabinet agency directors, local health department commissioners, and their staff. On March 6, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health opened a call center to answer questions from the public regarding COVID-19.
- On March 9, 2020, testing by the Department of Health confirmed that three (3) patients were positive for COVID-19 in the State of Ohio. This confirms the presence of a potentially dangerous condition which may affect the health, safety and welfare of citizens of Ohio.
- On March 9, 2020, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency activated the Emergency Operations Center.
- On March 9, 2020, the Governor Declared a State of Emergency in Executive Order 2020-0lD.
- On March 11, 2020, the head of the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. On March 11, 2020, testing by the Ohio Department of Health confirmed that one (1) more patient was positive for COVID-19 in the State of Ohio.
- On March 11, 2020, the Ohio Departments of Health and Veterans Services issued a Joint Directors' Order to limit access to Ohio nursing homes and similar facilities.
- On March 15, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order to limit access to Ohio's jails and detention facilities.
- On March 15, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order to limit the sale of food and beverages, liquor, beer and wine to carry-out and delivery only.
- On March 15, 2020, the CDC issued Interim Guidance for mass gatherings or large community events, stating that such events that consist of 50 or more people should be cancelled or postponed.
- On March 16, 2020 the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order closing polling locations for the March 17, 2020 primary election.
- On March 17, 2020 the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order for the management of non- essential surgeries and procedures throughout Ohio.
- On March 17, 2020 the Ohio Department of Health issued an Amended Director's Order to limit and/or prohibit mass gatherings and the closure of venues in the State of Ohio.
- On March 19, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Order closing hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations, and massage therapy locations.
Multiple areas of the United States are experiencing "community spread" of the virus that causes COVID- 19. Community spread, defined as the transmission of an illness for which the source is unknown, means that isolation of known areas of infection is no longer enough to control spread.
The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest) however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms although that is not the main way the virus spreads.
Mass gatherings (10 or more persons) increase the risk of community transmission of the virus COVID - 19.
Accordingly, to avoid an imminent threat with a high probability of widespread exposure to COVID-19 with a significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people in the general population, including the elderly and people with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions, I hereby ORDER effective at 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020, all persons are to stay at home or their place of residence unless they are engaged in Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses and Operations as set forth in this Order. This Order shall remain in full force and effect until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this Order at a sooner time and date. To the extent any public official enforcing this Order has questions regarding what services are prohibited under this Order, the Director of Health hereby delegates to local health departments the authority to answer questions in writing and consistent with this Order.
Amy Acton, MD, MPH
Director of Health
March 22, 2020