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Ohio to enact stay-at-home order as virus cases spread

Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration is enacting a stay-at-home order as the number of cases in the state spiked Sunday to more than 350.

DeWine said the stay-at-home order will start to be enforced Tuesday by local health departments and local law enforcement.

“This is a health order, it’s not a health suggestion, and so we would expect people to comply with it,” DeWine said at a news conference at his office.

He said the order includes things he’s already been asking residents to do, such as stay at home except for essential needs.

Read the full order here: Director’s Stay At Home Order

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/OHOOD/2020/03/22/file_attachments/1407840/Stay%20Home%20Order.pdf

It also includes a list of businesses that are classified as essential and allowed to stay open, he said. The order is reasonable, he said, and keeping people at home and preventing transmission of the virus can help buy time so that the state’s hospitals do not become overwhelmed, he said.

“If everybody cooperates, we’re going to save a lot of lives,” he said.

The spreading virus has infected more than 350 people in 40 counties, up more than 100 cases in the past day, with more than 80 in hospitals, DeWine’s office said Sunday. Three people have died, his office reported.

Amy Action, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, said there is “an incredible shortage of testing,” so the available coronavirus tests are being conserved for the highest-risk patients.

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