Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Herald Staff Report

Attempting to slow the rising cases of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Mike DeWine issued a 21-day statewide curfew. Starting on Thursday people will be required to be at home by 10 p.m. through 5 a.m.  The curfew will affect retail businesses who now must close by 10 p.m. so their workers can get home in a timely manner to comply with the curfew.

DeWine did acknowledge that there are exceptions to the curfew noting people do have emergencies, people traveling to and from work or in need of medical assistance. During the press conference, DeWine did say grocery stores and pharmacies are not restricted by the curfew.

The curfew is issues on the heals of new orders implemented last week in an attempt to slow the COVID-19 spread as cases continue to rise in the state.

In Cincinnati, COVID-19 cases are reaching troubling new peaks, according to the Cincinnati Health Department. Visit for the latest updates. DeWine updated the mask mandate that he ordered in the summer. The new update includes: • Each business posting a face-covering requirement sign at all public entrances.

 • Stores are responsible for employees and customers adhering to guidelines.

• New Retail Compliance Unit that will inspect compliance.

The first violation of this order will bring about a written warning. A second violation will bring about the closure of the store for up to 24 hours. DeWine also said that public gatherings must be limited to 10 people or less. He said he would be ordering all open congregate areas at funeral and wedding venues to be closed. The order would require everyone to be seated and masked unless they are actively consuming food or drinks, and it will prohibit dancing and games.

If the current upward trend of COVID-19 cases continues, DeWine said, the state of Ohio will be forced to close restaurants, bars and fitness centers. DeWine said that schools overall have been doing an excellent job controlling the spread and ensuring kids are wearing masks, but said, “it is up to each and every one of us, what you do in the community,” that will determine whether more schools will be forced to transition to virtual learning. DeWine continued to implore Ohioans to “get back to the basics” of mask-wearing, washing hands frequently, social distancing and keeping your home wellventilated.

The state reported more than 5,800 new COVID-19 cases last week, which brought the statewide total to 267,356 cases. More than 5,600 people have died from coronavirus related deaths in Ohio.

Herald Media Partner WCPO Channel 9 contributed to this report.

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