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Ohio Issues "Stay At Home Tonight" Health Order For Statewide Curfew

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)

A statewide curfew is set to take effect in Ohio tonight at 10:00 p.m. Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) says the curfew comes as hospitals are on the verge of reaching capacity on space and equipment.

DeWine says following thecurfewand slowing the spread of COVID-19 by not gathering in groups will be mostly about personal responsibility.

"Laws reflect norms, they reflect trying to change behavior, more than they do to try to be punitive. This curfew is not meant as a punitive thing but it's trying to set what the right standard should be," said DeWine.

The DeWine administration says the health order is only directed to individuals, not businesses. However, businesses that offer services to customers, would likely change their hours.

Individuals are exempted from the curfew if they're picking up food at a restaurant, making a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, or going to work.

On Thursday, health officials who joined DeWine during a briefing were asked if hospitals are close to rationing equipment to treat COVID-19.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health said, "We are on the door step of that."

The total inpatient and ICU capacity for hospitals in Ohio is at 75%.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.