COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine made a number of announcements this week including a new health order further limiting mass gatherings and a mandatory curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. that began this past Thursday.
Mass Gathering Order
Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed a revised health order to limit mass gatherings in Ohio.
“Despite the health order that limited mass gatherings to 10 people that was signed in April remaining in effect, we have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” Gov. DeWine said. “We have seen great tragedy associated with such events. It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem. It’s the party afterward.”
In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles passing between people in close contact, wedding receptions, funeral repasts, and other events at banquet facilities are subject to the following restrictions:
- No socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing.
- Guests must be seated at all times. Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.
- If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.
- Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.
- No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.
This order does not apply to religious observances; First Amendment protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators, and any activity by media; and to governmental meetings which include meetings that are required to be open to the public.
This order went into effect on Nov. 17 at 12:01 a.m.
Gov. DeWine announced Tuesday that the Ohio Department of Health would be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thursday, Nov. 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days.
The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m.
Additional details on the 21-day curfew order are forthcoming.
“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” Gov. DeWine said. “The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”
The decision to impose a 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause.
“This is a balanced approach that will slow down people coming together and impact the spread of the virus to the point that it can be controlled, and at the same time, not cause a catastrophic effect in the economy,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “You have to care about both the economy and health – you can’t just care about one in isolation. Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption.”
Gov. DeWine also encouraged Ohioans to do one thing each day that will decrease the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, social distancing, and limiting the number of daily contacts.
Current COVID-19 Case Data
As of Thursday, Nov. 19, there are 326,615 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 reported in Ohio and 5,890 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 23,560 people have been hospitalized throughout the pandemic, including 4,318 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.