COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that he has instituted a temporary curfew in hopes of curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
DeWine said beginning Thursday, the 21-day curfew will be in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. He said the curfew does not apply to those who need to be at work, anyone who has an emergency, or those in need of medical care.
“The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries, a carryout/drive-through meal, or delivery. A lot of this is common sense,” DeWine said during his Tuesday press conference. “We believe this will help reduce COVID-19 spread. I’m also asking each Ohioan every day to do at least one thing that reduces your contact with others. Each one of us will make a difference. If we can cut down contacts by 20% to 25%, this will make a difference. Paired with mask-wearing, this will go a long way from stopping our hospitals from being overrun.”
Rep. Riordan McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, Rep. Bill Reineke, R-Tiffin, Rep. Mark Romanchuk, R-Ontario, and Rep. Tracy Richardson, R-Marysville, were among a group of 39 Ohio General Assembly members who have penned a letter to DeWine expressing their “deep concern” about additional state mandates in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are writing to you as members of the Ohio General Assembly on behalf of the thousands of small businesses throughout our state,” the letter states. “Since your televised address on Wednesday, countless constituents have reached out to us to express their deep concern that additional mandates will severely jeopardize the ability of their small businesses to survive. Ohio’s businesses have been pushed to the brink this year and many have already closed.
“They suffered from lost revenues during the shutdown in the spring and have shown great innovation to safely reopen. In our view, asking Ohio’s small businesses to shoulder even more mandates — or worse, closures — will have serious an long-lasting repercussions.”
The lawmakers said business owners they’ve spoken to expressed deep concerns about the revised mask order DeWine issued last week.
“In particular, the business owners with whom we have spoken overwhelmingly believe that it is unreasonable to hold them responsible for whether customers wear masks,” the letter states. “Retailers, whose businesses are built on customer service and a loyal clientele, should not be made to be ‘the mask police.’ Employees enforcing the mask mandate with customers have already led to ugly documented incidents around Ohio.”
According to a message posted Monday on the Galion City Health Department’s Facebook page, the agency has received word of incidents related to the revised mask order.
“We are already hearing about businesses that have had customers threaten their employees when told they need to wear a mask,” the health department post reads.