Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday a statewide curfew that will be starting Thursday and lasting 21 days.
The curfew will be between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Carryout from restaurants will still be allowed after 10 p.m., but no in-store retail will be opened. The curfew is not intended to stop people from getting groceries or a takeout meal, DeWine said.
The curfew does not include people going to and from work, having an emergency and those who need medical care.
“Our goal is to protect the workers in the retail establishments,” DeWine said.
Police departments will be enforcing the curfew, but DeWine said he doesn’t expect an officer to pull a driver over on the highway if it is past 10 p.m., but if they see a group of people, officers should talk with them.
Violating the order is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, which could result in a maximum fine of $750 or 90 days in jail.
DeWine said after the 21-day period is over, the state will reevaluate how to move forward.
Last week, DeWine hinted the state might close restaurants, bars and gyms, but he said Tuesday after hearing from employees, they will try the curfew instead.
“A shutdown is rather dramatic,” DeWine said. “Some (businesses) survived the first shutdown but couldn’t survive the second shutdown.”
There have been 312,443 reported coronavirus cases in Ohio. Athens County has reported 1,665 cases.
This directive comes about a week after DeWine announced the statewide mask mandate is put back in place.