COLUMBUS — For those who may have thought Ohio was getting closer to normal during the COVID-19 crisis, think again.
Dr. Amy Acton, the state’s health director, issued a 14-page, modified stay-at-home order Thursday night that gradually allows parts of the state’s economy to reopen — while ordering people to continue to stay at home and avoid group gatherings.
It goes through Friday, May 29. The original order would have expired Friday, May 1 at 11:59 p.m.
General offices, distribution centers and construction companies are allowed to open on Monday, followed by specified retail stores and service businesses on May 12.
One provision not disclosed until the order came out: Previously closed retail stores and service businesses can reopen beginning Saturday only for curbside pickup and delivery of orders and appointment-only service restricted to 10 customers at a time.
Restaurants and bars remain closed except for pickup and delivery orders.
Acton’s order was “to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the State of Ohio.” As per her previous order, Acton cites Ohio Revised Code 3701.13 as the authority for her action.
That statute, first approved by state lawmakers in 2004, gives the department of health “supervision of all matters relating to the preservation of the life and health of the people and have ultimate authority in matters of quarantine and isolation, which it may declare and enforce, when neither exists, and modify, relax, or abolish, when either has been established.”