Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Ohio, US, extend stay-at-home order through at least May 1 to stem the spread of COVID-19. Other restrictions in place.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Akron, Ohio
  • Toledo, Ohio
  • Lima, Ohio
  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • Canton, Ohio

This alert began 02 Apr 2020 21:48 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Ohio (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 1
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has extended an executive order requiring residents to stay at home except to perform essential tasks and for nonessential businesses to close as part of the state's effort to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order was originally slated to expire at 2359 April 6 but will now remain in force until at least May 1. According to the directive, individuals may be outside their homes to engage in a number of basic activities, such as providing or obtaining essential goods and services, performing tasks essential to health and safety - including outdoor personal fitness activities, to perform certain types of work, or to care for others. Activities such as walking or bike-riding are allowed under the condition that individuals maintain a distance of 2 meters (6 feet) between each other. The original order additionally required all nonessential businesses to close. Generally, stores that sell food, medicine, fuel, and hardware are considered to be essential business, as are banks. Restaurants may only remain open on a delivery or carry-out basis; seated dining in restaurants is banned.

In addition to extending existing measures, the newly amended order contains a number of additional provisions, such as requiring retail businesses to establish and post limits on the number of persons who may be on their premises at any given time. Moreover, the document requests that persons entering Ohio, with the exception of commuters from border areas, self-quarantine for 14 days. Schools will remain closed until at least May 1.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities will almost certainly deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order in short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Ohio authorities are similar to actions adopted by other local governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization COVID-19: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Ohio Goverment - COVID-19 Updates: coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home