Ohio Governor DeWine issues three-week statewide curfew


ohio statehouse

On November 17, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that the administration is issuing a statewide curfew that takes effect on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Under the curfew, individuals are to be at home from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. The curfew lasts for 21 days. The Governor previously signaled he was considering closing in-person dining at bars and restaurants as daily case counts crept up over 8,000 per day.

Ohio statewide curfew details

Beginning Thursday, November 19, 2020, Ohioans are subject to a statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for 21 days. The curfew does not apply to individuals who are:

  • At work;
  • Commuting to/from work;
  • Obtaining food, including grocery shopping or drive through/pickup/delivery services; and
  • Obtaining or seeking medical/mental health supplies or treatment.

Governor DeWine, in response to questions from the press, acknowledged that considerable person-to-person contacts can still occur during daytime hours and challenged Ohioans to do more to help combat the spread of the virus. For example, he asked Ohioans to consolidate shopping trips and consider doing virtual gatherings as opposed to seeing friends and family in person. The Governor described the curfew as the least disruptive method to curb the spread of the virus, as opposed to a complete shutdown of economic activity.

Some local communities followed the Governor’s lead and began enacting additional measures.

Columbus/Franklin County public health advisory

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, joined by Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin, Franklin County Commissioners John O’Grady, Kevin Boyce, and Marilyn Brown, Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts and Franklin County Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola, announced the city and county were issuing a public health advisory.

Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday November 20, 2020, residents of Columbus and Franklin County are advised to stay at home unless travelling to obtain essential supplies or food or if travelling to work or school. The advisory also discourages public gatherings. Dr. Roberts added the advisory strongly urges the suspension of all extracurricular activities in schools immediately.

The advisory also discourages gatherings, including large Thanksgiving dinners.

Businesses are urged to shift transactions and functions online and also permit as many employees as possible to work from home. Residents are encouraged to utilize curbside and delivery options at stores and restaurants, where possible.

When asked about enforcement, Mayor Ginther explained that because the city and county are issuing an advisory there is no enforcement, but implored residents to take personal responsibility to protect their neighbors and loved ones. Dr. Roberts did not rule out taking further actions in the future that would be enforceable.

Commissioner O’Grady said he expected other metropolitan communities and counties will follow suit in the coming days with similar advisories or orders.

The advisory remains in place for 28 days. 

Not long after Columbus’ and Franklin County’s announcement, other municipalities and counties followed suit.

Cleveland and Cuyahoga County announced a public health advisory that urges people only to leave their homes for the following reasons:

  • School
  • Work
  • Going to the grocery store
  • Picking up food
  • Obtaining medical care

The advisory took effect immediately and lasts until December 17, 2020.

Montgomery County and Dayton issued a public health advisory. The resolution says that people should only leave home for essential activities. Montgomery County’s advisory is in effect until December 17, 2020. Dayton also announced that in accordance with the advisory, all city buildings will be closed to the public beginning Monday, November 23, 2020.

Lucas County issued a 28-day stay-at-home advisory, recommending residents only leave home for essential activities, avoid unnecessary travel and large holiday celebrations, and continue to wear facial coverings and social distance. The advisory is effective immediately and lasts through December 17, 2020. A copy of the advisory is not yet available.

Medina County issued a stay-at-home heath advisory on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, again urging residents to forego holiday celebrations and adhere to current orders. The advisory will lift on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

Summit County also issued a stay-at-home health advisory, listing the same criteria as above, in effect until Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

City of Akron social gathering ban ordinance

The City of Akron enacted on Tuesday, November 16, 2020, an ordinance that imposes a stricter public gathering limit than the Governor DeWine administration’s order that limits social gatherings to no more than 10 persons.

Under Akron’s newly enacted ordinance, no residential property owner/family can host more than six guests (defined as anyone who does not permanently live in the home). The ordinance took immediate effect and lasts for 30 days (December 16, 2020) unless extended. Violators face a possible penalty of a $250 fine.

The ordinance also requires the use of masks while inside with a few exceptions such as the person is eating, cannot wear a mask for a medical reason, is under the age of 10, or cannot wear a mask for a practical reason.

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