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DeWine announces nighttime curfew starting Thursday

Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 2:28 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2020 at 3:05 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday afternoon announced a statewide three-week curfew starting on Thursday.

The curfew, aimed at reducing public contact amid the coronavirus pandemic, will be in effect between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., DeWine said, adding that retail businesses will be expected to remain closed during those hours, with the exception of grocery stores, pharmacies. Carryout and delivery services will be permitted.

The curfew will not effect people who need to be at work, those who need to seek medical treatment or emergency care.

With all 88 Ohio counties now considered “high incidence” based on guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DeWine also suggested that people consider consolidating trips to the grocery store.

DeWine also asked people to take it upon themselves to do one thing daily to help reduce contact with other people and to perform at least one act a day that has a positive impact on someone. This could include something as simple as writing someone a letter and sending it to them through the mail.

The goal is to reduce personal contact 20 percent across the state in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, he said.

``We know if we reduce number of people we come in contact every day, we reduce the chance of getting the virus, and we reduce the chance of getting the virus if you unknowingly have it,'' the governor said.

The Republican governor had been signaling such a restriction was in the works. In a series of Monday tweets, he said the rapid spread of the virus recently has made people’s odds of contracting it much higher.

`We’re not talking about shutting down, we’re talking about slowing down,'' the governor tweeted Monday. Ohio is seeing tremendous spread of coronavirus cases because people are letting their guard down around friends and family, DeWine said.

DeWine warned last week he could order another shutdown of restaurants and bars. The hospitality industry has criticized the announcement, saying there’s no evidence they are a cause of spread and that such a move would be economically devastating.

John Barker, President of the Ohio Restaurant Association, called the curfew “the right step at the right time”. Ohio Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted called it a “balanced approach”, saying several options were discussed with business, health and education officials. “Doing nothing is not an option”, Husted said.

The curfew is to be in effect for 21 days, a trial basis for the time being.

Ohio hospital and intensive care admissions for COVID-19 are at record highs, with more than 3,600 people hospitalized as of Tuesday. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 3,097 new cases per day on Nov. 2 to 7,199 new cases per day on Nov. 16, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.

This is a developing story. We will have updates online and during WTAP News.

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