Ohio Coronavirus Lockdown: New Details as Stay-at-Home Order Extended to May 1

Ohio's first stay-at-home order went into effect at midnight on March 23 and was supposed to be lifted at midnight yesterday, on April 6. But as Ohio has over 4,400 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and there have been at least 142 deaths, the state has extended its stay-at-home order with additional rules in place.

The new stay-at-home order went into effect at midnight on Monday night and will remain in place until at least May 1.

Governor Mike DeWine said: "We understand that this is tough—it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn't a matter of life and death. We have to keep this monster down. It's not dead—it's very much alive."

Governor Mike DeWine
Governor Mike DeWine has extended Ohio's stay-at-home order until May 1. Justin Merriman/Getty

The initial Ohio stay-at-home order rules will generally remain in place, but there are new exceptions and additional closures:

  • Essential businesses must determine and enforce a maximum number of customers that are allowed in a store at one time, and the stores must ensure that customers waiting to enter the stores maintain social distancing.
  • Retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced customer capacity.
  • Travelers arriving in Ohio should quarantine for 14 days, except for people who live and work in trans-border areas, health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers, and designated essential workers. People experiencing symptoms should not visit Ohio except to receive medical care.
  • Wedding receptions must be limited to 10 or fewer people.
  • Campgrounds must close, except for when a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground is a resident's permanent residence and they cannot secure alternative housing.
  • Public swimming pools and pools as private clubs or housing complexes have to close, but this order does not apply to private residential pools.
  • Children's day camps have to close, and organized youth and adult sports are prohibited, except for fishing, which is permitted if participants maintain social distancing.

In another executive order signed by Governor DeWine, issued on April 4, Ohio residents are encouraged to wear cloth masks in public. Wearing masks is not mandatory, only encouraged, and should be used to complement social distancing, not instead of.

Governor DeWine said in a statement: "In many cultures around the world, wearing a mask is just part of the culture—it is a socially accepted act of kindness. Wearing a mask should not scare people. It is a good thing. It is a considerate thing. It is a courageous thing."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC.
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.