DeWine
DeWine
COLUMBUS — Governor Mike DeWine unveiled a new health advisory called “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans.”

”We are now moving from orders to strong recommendations. This is a new phase in our battle against COVID-19, and it is incumbent upon each of us to protect each other,” DeWine said.

“Ohioans Protection Ohioans” includes:

1. The new advisory incorporates six feet of social distancing; a limit of 10 people for mass gatherings; frequent hand-washing; and other sanitizing efforts.

2. It incorporates all of the business orders about social distancing and sanitation, including employees wearing masks, as well as efforts to protect employees and efforts to protect the public.

3. It considers our most vulnerable Ohioans as those who can suffer the worst impacts from the virus. The order strongly recommends that high-risk Ohioans stay at home as much as possible. They should avoid places where they are likely to encounter a lot of people.

4. Our Urgent Health Advisory recommends (but does not require) all other Ohioans to stay at their place of residence when possible with the intent of lowering the rate of spread of COVID-19.

5. While our orders have included limited travel restrictions, these will now be lifted. However, while unnecessary travel within or outside of the state of Ohio is still permitted, it is not encouraged.

“The coronavirus is not gone. It is real. And it is deadly. This new phase that we are now in is about learning to live with this virus. It is with us — it will remain with us — and we must do all we can to contain it and keep it from killing our fellow citizens,” DeWine said. “What this comes down to now is that each of us has a responsibility to each other to slow the spread. No other time in our lives will our individual actions play a greater role in saving the lives of so many of our fellow citizens.”

COVID19 is becoming one of the leading causes of death in Ohio. Preliminary research indicates that as of May 19, more than 90,000 people in the United States, including 1,657 Ohioans, have died with COVID-19.

“These numbers continue to increase daily,” DeWine warned.

DeWine also announced the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation will begin distributing at least 2 million non-medical-grade face coverings to Ohio employers who are covered by BWC. These employers will get a package containing at least 50 face coverings. These packages will be shipped in batches beginning Wednesday.

On Monday, DeWine announced that bars and restaurants not in compliance with guidelines set forth by the Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton can face losing their liquor licenses and/or criminal actions.

“I’ve always tried to be blunt about everything we are finding. I’ve been candid in saying that in this reopening phase, there is a significant risk. But, there are significant risks if we do not open up,” DeWine said. “The truth is that our economic recovery in Ohio is tied directly to how successful we are in preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are talking about the slowing of the spread. This can only be done by distance. More distance, less spread of the disease.”

DeWine said his office and others received reports over the weekend of businesses not being in compliance.

“When we look at how restaurants and bars operate, distance is key. We got reports over the weekend that most were doing an amazing job. But, it’s clear that we have some outliers - businesses that were not doing what they should do,” Governor Mike DeWine said Monday. “We are marshaling all the resources at our disposal to assemble a large contingent of law enforcement and health officials from across state agencies and from our local communities as part of the Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU).”

DeWine said the OIU will surge in to conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants.

“They will issue administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses. Further, we will work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against these bad actors. . It’s up to all of us to open our economy but to do this in a safe way,” DeWine added.

Tuesday’s Ohio data:

There are 28,952 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 1,720 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 5,117 people have been hospitalized, including 1,357 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.