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Ohio governor and health director announce a 'stay at home' order for at least 2 weeks: 'This is a war on a silent enemy'

Business Insider logo Business Insider 3/22/2020 Connor Perrett
Mike DeWine wearing a suit and tie © AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Sunday announced the state's Health Department issued a "stay at home" order, telling residents to remain in their homes to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
  • DeWine follows the lead of states like California, which have ordered their residents "shelter in place."
  • DeWine said he preferred the term "stay at home," though he said in practice it meant the same as "shelter in place."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine at a press conference on Sunday announced the state would enter a period of "stay at home" as ordered by state Heath Department Director Amy Acton.

"We are now at a new stage, a continuation of what really has been going on," DeWine told reporters Sunday. Dr. Acton, who has done such a phenomenal job just signed an Ohio health director's order - a stay at home order for all Ohioans."

DeWine said the "stay at home" order effectively mirrors "shelter in place" orders instated by states like California. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered non-essential residents to stay home beginning 8 p.m. Sunday as part of a plan he called "PAUSE." Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a similar "stay at home" order for residents of his state that begin Saturday.

"There's nothing in that order that we haven't been asking you to do for the last week or so," DeWine said.

The order will go in effect on Monday, March 23, at 11:59 p.m. and remain in effect until at least April 6, the governor added, which puts the state residents a lockdown for at least two weeks. It allows for grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, police and fire stations, and hospitals to remain open. It does not impact public transportation, public-benefit hotlines, or public sanitation services.

"This is a war on a silent enemy," Acton said. "I don't want you to be afraid. I am not afraid. I am determined, but I need you to do everything. I want you to think about the fact this is our one shot in this country. All of us are going to have to sacrifice, and I know someday we will be looking back and wondering what was it we did in this moment. There will be so many heroes.

"Everyone is being heroic right now, and I can tell you that every action you take is mattering, but this is that moment. It is our one shot," she added.

DeWine and the state of Ohio have been called a national example over his state's aggressive action to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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