CLEVELAND — It should have come as no surprise.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s been sounding the alarm for two weeks, earning himself a reputation for taking aggressive action to combat the spread of Covid-19.
“There’s nothing in this order that we haven’t been already talking about or that I have not been asking you to do for the last week or so,” he said Sunday afternoon during his daily briefing on coronavirus.
He announced in the briefing that the Ohio Department of Health was ordering all non-essential businesses to close and group activity to stop.
"Every piece of evidence I can lay hands on says we are at a crucial time and what we do now will make all the difference in the world," he said.
The new order kicks in late Monday, just before midnight and remains in effect through April 6. While it's mandatory that people stay home, it's not a lockdown.
Ohioans can still buy food and medicine and go outside to exercise or walk their pets.
Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio’s health director, said the state has no choice in the face mounting evidence that Ohio is in the grips of the pandemic.
"I've said over and over to you that everyone matters and everyday matters," she said. "But today is the day that matters are the day we have to batten down those hatches."
So, what business stay open? Those deemed critical to our health and well-being.
Grocery stores, gas stations, retailers with pharmacies, transportation companies – and anything that helps keep them going, such as mechanics and auto parts suppliers.
Essential government functions and utility companies will also be open and require manpower.
Of course, doctors' offices and eye-care centers remain open along with hospitals and certain other health providers. (And home healthcare workers also remain on the job.)
Making the cuts are post offices and laundry mats, airports, car rentals and public transit. (People using public transportation and private ride share services should only be doing so for work deemed essential or for errands exempted by the health order.)
Hardware stores that sell plumbing and electrical supplies will also remain open. Pets stores and other retailers that sell pet supplies can stay open, too.
You can read the health order below, which offers much more detail on how the state defines essential businesses:
As for enforcement, local health and police departments have discretion, according to the order. They are not expected to stop people on their your way to work, though they will keep an eye out for gatherings of 10 or more people, which are prohibited under the order.