Governor Mike DeWine issued a mandatory Stay at Home Order for Ohio residents this afternoon in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The stay at home order will go in effect Monday, March 23 at 11:59 p.m. Businesses that will remain open are grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, police and fire departments, public transportation, healthcare facilities, sanitation services and public benefit hotlines.

This order will be in effect until April 6 unless it is modified the Ohio Department of Health. 

"The intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible," the Ohio Department of Health wrote. 

The Stay at Home Order restricts people from leaving their homes unless they are deemed an essential employee, are leaving to buy groceries or receiving medical attention. All businesses that are nonessential will close under this order.

In the Stay at Home Order, leaving your house for essential activity is permitted. This includes receiving medical attention or obtaining medical supplies, to buy necessary supplies such as groceries, household items and supplies needed to work from home, participating in outdoor activities while following social distancing guidelines, essential work and taking care of others. 

The Ohio National Guard will not enforce these guidelines, but law enforcement officials will have those participating in large gatherings practice social distancing or instruct them to go home, the Ohio Department of Health wrote in its frequently asked questions. 

The Ohio Department of Health wrote people should stay at home, and not visit friends and family, unless they need to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable people. 

Public transportation and ridesharing services will remain open, the Ohio Department of Health wrote. These methods of traveling should only be used by those who are essential employees. 

Grocery stores and drive-thru locations will also remain open in addition to delivery and take out options. 

Those who wish to workout are able to go for a walk or run, but gyms and fitness centers were closed last week. 

If you are showing symptoms of the coronavirus, the Ohio Department of Health recommends you to call your doctor or a healthcare hotline. It also said to not go to an emergency room unless it is necessary to do so. 

Contact Amanda Levine at alevine3@kent.edu.

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