DeWine Extends Stay-at-Home Order Until May 1

Updated: 3:49 p.m., April 2, 2020 – names of dispute resolution panelists.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — In a move that had been speculated would come this week, Gov. Mike DeWine today issued an extension of the state’s stay-at-home order to May 1.

The order kicks in after the current order expires April 6. It is similar to the order that was issued March 22, in that it orders all Ohioans to stay at home unless otherwise engaged in essential work or activity, all nonessential business operations are closed and public and private gatherings of 10 or more individuals are prohibited.

Changes to the order include the creation of a dispute resolution panel, which will hear cases where similar types of business are being treated differently in different counties or under different health districts. More information will be coming in how residents can issue a complaint and how decisions made by the panel will be enforced, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.

Panelists will include Sheryl Maxfield, director of the Ohio Department of Commerce, Lydia Mihalik, director of the Development Services Agency, and Sam Randazzo, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

A constant complaint DeWine and Husted hear is of overcrowding in stores. The new order requires retail businesses to establish a number of individuals who can be in that business at one time, DeWine said.

“We’re not telling them what number to set because each business is configured differently,” DeWine said. “But we want each business to set a number. Post the number. And if they fill up to that number, then they stop people from coming in.”

Other changes include people traveling to Ohio. While exceptions are made for individuals who work across the border and commute, anyone traveling into the state must quarantine for 14 days.

The governor reiterated that while funerals and wedding ceremonies are not prohibited, “We just leave it up to people’s good judgement. And from what I have seen, people are using good judgment.” Receptions, however, must abide the same rule regarding gatherings of 10 or more individuals.

“Just because it’s associated with a wedding, doesn’t mean it’s an exception,” DeWine said.

While campgrounds, swimming pools and day camps are closed and organized sports are prohibited, DeWine said state parks will remain open. That can change, however, if the Ohio Department of Natural Resources feels residents aren’t able to maintain the six-feet of separation.

The governor had hinted at the extension for some time, even addressing a direct question from the press about a potential extension during his daily update March 31. While DeWine advised he had not stated his intentions to extend, “I’ve given every signal” about the potential for the extension at some point this week.

“I’ve gone with the best science that we could follow,” DeWine said at the time. “And everything that you’ve heard me say, the Lt. Gov. say and everything that you’ve heard Dr. [Amy] Acton say would indicate that we cannot let this monster up. We have to keep battling it.”

President Donald Trump issued a similar national extension March 29.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.