DeWine lifts curfew; some deaths unreported

Staff Report

COLUMBUS — The statewide curfew was lifted after COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ohio fell below 2,500 hospitalizations for the 10th straight day.

In his briefing Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced the curfew officially expired at noon. But he was quick to add that the curfew could be re-implemented if case numbers rise again.

DeWine posted this on Twitter:

“Thanks to a sustained decrease in #COVID19 hospitalizations, Ohio’s curfew has been lifted. If hospitalizations begin rising again, @OhioDeptofHealth may reinstate it. It’s crucial that we all continue safety protocols to #SlowTheSpread and prevent hospitalizations from going up.”

The curfew was first issued in November. It was shortened to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Jan. 28 after the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell below 3,500.

When in place, the curfew prohibited people from being outside their homes during the late evening and overnight hours with multiple exceptions including work, grocery shopping, medical appointments and other necessary trips.

Also, the discovery of as many as 4,000 unreported COVID-19 deaths in Ohio came as the state Health Department reconciled an internal death certificate database with a federal database, the state auditor’s office said Thursday.

Auditor Keith Faber has been auditing Health Department coronavirus death data since September. But the agency didn’t have access to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s infectious diseases database because of federal health privacy laws, said Matt Eiselstein, Faber’s communications director.

Staff Report