• 45°

DeWine announces 21-day statewide curfew

Will be in effect from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a 21-day statewide curfew on Tuesday as part of an effort to combat an increased spread of COVID-19 in the state.

The governor said the curfew, which takes effect Thursday, would be from 10 p.m.-5 a.m.

“What we’re asking every Ohioan to do is to limit your activity,” DeWine said. “Limit your contacts with other Ohioans.”

The governor said exceptions to the curfew include those who need to be at work, those who have an emergency or those who need medical care.

“We’re going to try it for 21 days, see how we’re doing,” DeWine said. “Retail establishments need to be closed and people should be home. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries, a carry-out/drive-thru meal or delivery. A lot of this is common sense.”

Last week’s COVID-19 alert map form the Ohio Department of Health showed the highest number of counties to reach Red level Three since the system was implemented in the summer. The state has also been setting daily records for newly-reported cases.

The governor issued a revised version of his mask mandate last week, along with plans for enforcement at businesses. DeWine had cautioned that, if things did not improve, the closure of businesses such as bars, restaurants and gyms may have to take place again.

“We are in this together,” DeWine said. “Each one of us will make a difference. If we can cut down contacts by 20-25 percent, this will make a difference. Paired with mask-wearing, this will go a long way from stopping our hospitals from being overrun.”

DeWine said on Tuesday that every county in the state has a high incidence levl of the virus and that, if you look at the numbers in the top 10 counties, they are “astronomical.”

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Ohioans need to focus on personal responsibility, accountability and shared responsibility.

“We don’t need to shut down, but we do need to slow down,” Husted said. “This is a complex problem – How do we reduce the spread of the virus and not overwhelm our hospitals, keep businesses open, save jobs, educate kids and more?”

Husted pointed out that it took five months for the state to record its first 100,000 COVID-19 diagnoses, but now, it has added 100,000-plus cases in just the past three weeks.

DeWine also asked state residents to stay connected, despite the curfew.

“In addition to the curfew itself, I’m asking each Ohioan, every day, to do at least one thing that reduces your contact with others, or one thing that enhances your personal contact with someone, your emotional contact with them, but not physical contact,” he said.