Gov. DeWine imposes curfew
- Published: November 18, 2020
At a press conference on Tuesday, Nov. 17, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state was imposing a curfew to help curb the “dramatic” spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. It begins on Thursday, Nov. 19, and will continue for three weeks.
“We basically want people not to be out,” DeWine said.
Exceptions to abiding by the curfew include going to work, purchasing groceries or carryout or traveling for medical treatment, DeWine said. Nonessential retail businesses will be closed.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted called the curfew a “slowdown, not a shutdown.” Highlighting how fast COVID-19 was spreading in the state, Husted shared that while it took Ohio five months to reach 100,000 cumulative cases, the state added 100,000 cases in just the last three weeks.
“Doing nothing is not an option,” Husted said of the state’s response to the virus.
DeWine started his COVID-19 briefing by sharing the “good news” that vaccine trials have been promising. The bad news, though, is that “the situation in Ohio is deteriorating,” he said.
“We are seeing more and more cases, more and more people in the hospital,” DeWine said. “We’ve got to turn this thing around.”
According to DeWine, cases have tripled since mid-October. Currently every county in the state is at least two times the “high incidence” level set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The top 20 counties are seeing “astronomical” spread, he added.
Greene County ranked 20th in per capita COVID-19 occurrence, and 1 out of every 143 people in the county tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks, according to state figures.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is especially worrisome, DeWine said.
On Oct. 13, there were 1,000 Ohioans hospitalized with the virus. That number increased to 2,000 by Nov. 5, hit 3,000 on Nov. 12, and on Nov. 17 had risen to 3,648.
“This is a dramatic, dramatic change,” DeWine said of hospitalization figures.
ICU admissions to treat COVID-19 patients have risen as well. One month ago, 280 Ohioans were in intensive care units. This week, 900 are.
Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer at the Ohio Department of Health, spoke about the growing crisis in Ohio hospitals. He said that in the spring the focus was conserving personal protective equipment and building excess hospital capacity. Now Ohio’s hospitals are faced with a staffing crisis, as healthcare workers are quarantined or taking time off to care for family members.
“Our caregivers are in a precarious situation,” Vanderhoff said. “Some of them have been treating COVID-19 patients since March, and they are exhausted.”
In response to a question from the news media, DeWine said he was no longer considering closing restaurants, bars and gyms later this week. Instead, he will revisit additional steps when the three-week curfew ends.
By reducing the number of contacts people have with those outside their households and by wearing masks, Ohioans can reduce spread without suffering the ramifications of shutting down some or all businesses and schools.
“If we can all do these things, we will avoid shutdowns,” DeWine said.
Specifically, DeWine said that shutdowns can have “all kinds of unintended consequences,” citing the negative impacts such as job losses, mental health issues, drug overdoses and the stresses on schoolchildren.
DeWine added that when it comes to additional measures, “no one can predict the future,” but that he hoped that Ohioans would take the measures necessary to slow the spread.
“We’re counting on the people of Ohio,” he said. “We’ve got 21 days.”
In the latest COVID-19 figures—
• On Tuesday, Nov. 17, six Yellow Springs residents were self-isolating with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, according to the Yellow Springs Police Department.
• Last week, the Ohio Department of Health released a new datasheet, updated daily, listing COVID-19 cases by zip code. For 45387, which has a population of 5,456, there have been 75 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. The area added 15 cases in the last two weeks and 35 cases over the last month, an average of about one new case per day.
• On Thursday, Nov. 12, Greene County was once again designated “red” as part of the Ohio Public Health Alert System, connoting “very high exposure and spread in the county.” Last week, 69 out of 88 counties were designated red, 19 were orange and 1 was yellow.
• Greene County added 807 new cases over the last week, up from 594 the week prior. The moving seven-day average for new cases in the county is up to 115, triple the average for the month of October. Over the week, 19 county residents were hospitalized and five died.
• The most new cases Greene County has recorded on a single day, 154, was on Nov. 13. That was the same day Ohio set its single-day record, at 8,071.
• More than 100,000 Ohioans are currently ill with COVID-19, according to the Ohio Department of Health. From early August, when the data began to be reported, until early October, the number of actively sick people hovered in the range of 20,000 to 22,000.
• The number of people hospitalized from COVID-19 in Ohio has increased fourfold since late September, according to the moving seven-day average for new daily hospitalizations. New daily deaths remain below their moving seven-day average peak of 49 on May 24, but at 31, are climbing.