Ohio Issues New, Consolidated COVID-19 Health Order!

Patch.com, By Chris Mosby, Posted April 9th 2021

The new “simplified” health order is meant to streamline the state’s COVID-19 directives!,

The Ohio Department of Health issued a new, consolidated health order for Ohioans on Monday.

The health order is a “return to basics,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. The order encapsulates previous orders and asks Ohioans to wear a mask outside of their home, to wash their hands thoroughly, to maintain social distancing in public, to avoid gathering in large groups, and to hold events outdoors rather than indoors.

The order will also remove the restriction on mass gatherings, DeWine said. In its place, will be guidance for how to safely hold events. There will still be a 25 percent limit on spectators at indoor facilities.

“We can do about anything we want to do, but it’s about how we do it,” DeWine said. He added that the new order is intended to re-emphasize basic health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud said the new order is meant to clarify and simplify the state’s COVID-19 directives. For example, no more than 10 people should go together to an event, McCloud said.

“Your group of 10 people should be separated by 6 feet from other groups of people,” she said. “Picture a halo around you or the group you’re with. That halo provides a buffer from other groups.”

McCloud added that details of the order will be released later on Monday, while additional guidance on graduations and proms will be distributed by Tuesday.

DeWine said all of the orders include “commonsense” directives.

Driven By Variants

The new health order was motivated partly by an increase in COVID-19 variant cases in Ohio.

“We’re seeing a rising variant. We’re very concerned about what’s going on in Michigan. We’re concerned about the northwest portion of Ohio,” DeWine said Monday.

Michigan has identified 1,468 cases of B.1.1.7 variant infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. That’s one of the largest variant outbreaks in the U.S.

Comparatively, Ohio has identified 305 cases of B.1.1.7 variant infections.

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the chief medical officer for ODH, said Ohio is in the final phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized that Ohioans must follow the simple orders laid out in the new health order to prevent COVID-19 variants from spreading throughout the state.

“The message with these revised orders is clear: Simple steps can save lives and put this pandemic behind us,” Vanderhoff said. “And if you’re older than 16, get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe and they are very effective against the variants.”