Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) has announced Ohio will implement a statewide curfew requiring everyone to be in their homes after 10:00 p.m. to tackle what DeWine calls a "deteriorating" situation with COVID-19.
The statewide curfew will be from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. starting Thursday evening. The curfew, which includes several exceptions, calls for retail businesses to close at that time and for people to go home and not gather.
DeWine says the state needs to do something to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
"We know that if we reduce the number of people we come in contact every day with, that we reduce the chances of getting the virus and we reduce the chances of spreading the virus if we unknowingly have it," says DeWine. "The whole idea is if you can slow these contacts down. That's going to be go a long way to slow this virus down, this virus lives only when it goes from one person to the other."
Exceptions to the curfew include restaurants that can stay open for pickup and delivery services. Pharmacies and groceries can remain open for people. And those working the evening shift can still go to work.
The layout for the curfew seems to align with several elements in Ohio's stay-at-home order implemented in March, including the penalty for noncompliance which would be a second degree misdemeanor.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, newly-appointed chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health, backed DeWine's assertion that the curfew would help along with a renewed call for wearing masks and observing social distance.
"It is incontrovertible that masking is effective in reducing the transmission of this virus. It is incontrovertible that staying apart from one another reduces the spread of this," says Vanderhoff.
The curfew will last 21 days and the state will review the situation after that.