Dr. Amy Acton

Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of Health, Ohio Department of Health

During their daily press conference concerning COVID-19 on Monday, March 23, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, again emphasized the importance of following the state’s safety orders.

Among other subjects, officials talked about the “Stay at Home” order which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday night (see related story in this edition of the News Watchman), and the closure of all non-essential businesses and services in the state.

“The truth is — and people at home please hear this — the most important thing we can all do right now is stay at home unless you are absolutely essential to those lifelines of food, water, the transportation that supports that, our healthcare services, our front-line workers,” Dr. Acton said. “That is our tool chest right now in the real world that we are living in ... But the truth of the response now is absolutely what we’re doing, and we have little time to spare.”

Husted said that businesses that are essential and remain open “have to operate in a safe and healthy manner and follow those guidelines so that they are creating a safe atmosphere for people to come to work.”

On Saturday, March 21, DeWine said, “Community spread is at this point widespread.”

He also said on Saturday that this is a very critical time.

“What we do now, what we do not do now will really determine, ultimately, how many Ohioans die,” the governor said. “This is an absolutely critical time. We determine and we have in our own hands how far, how fast this will spread.”

“Just as last Saturday night and Sunday morning, I started getting texts from people all over the state about bars being open and people congregating and coming together, about 10 or 11 o’clock today, I started getting calls and texts from people around the state telling me that Saturday morning, at least where they were, sort of looked like a regular Saturday morning. We can’t have anymore regular Saturday mornings for awhile, just like we can’t have any regular Saturday nights,” he said on Saturday.

“Each night when I go to bed I ask myself, ‘Did I do everything I could? What else can I do?’ And did I do everything I could that day to defeat this enemy (of COVID-19), to slow it down?

“And so I would ask all of you, every night when you go to bed, to ask yourself, ‘Have I done everything within my power to protect us, everything to slow it down, everything to stop it from going from one person to another?’

“This is a silent invader; it’s a silent invader because many times people do not know that they have it.”

DeWine indicated that we should assume that everyone has coronavirus and to act accordingly.

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, including tips for prevention of the disease and slowing its spread, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Email at mlucas@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @NewsWatchman.

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