Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that the temporary curfew he imposed in Ohio the day before would be extended past Saturday, and he gave little indication when or if the curfew would be lifted at all.
Word of the extension came at the end of DeWine’s press briefing as a response to the first question asked by media.
“You have a curfew at 10 p.m. that runs out on the 23rd [Saturday] that’s coming up in a few days. Does it stay or does it go and why?” an ABC News reporter asked.
“Well, unfortunately, it’s going to have to stay,” the governor began.
We’ve seen where the numbers are. We’ve got a downtick for a few days, but we’re still at very, very high levels.
So we’re at a very high level. So we’re going to have to continue that on.
We’re going try to manage this. We would love to get rid of it.
The next step will probably be to take it to 11 o’clock – but we’re just not there.
You’ve heard from Dr. Vanderhoff two days ago. He talked about this variant – this new strain – and that is a concern that will become more dominant in Ohio, and become more contagious.
So we’re still in a very, very difficult time where we’re trying to find a balance where people make a living, where people do what they want to do while at the same time, not let this get out of control.
So it’s a management question: how we’re trying to manage it. And I know people are anxious – I understand that people who own bars, people who own restaurants, people who want to go there – I get it. I fully understand what they are thinking. They’ve expressed it to me and I get it.
But we’re not there yet, and as governor, I have to try to keep this virus down while at the same time we’re getting the vaccines out just as quickly as we can.
So the way out of this, in the end, will be the vaccine. The faster we can get the vaccine in – and that’s our goal.
But we’re going to watch these other numbers. If these other numbers go down in an appreciable way, then we’ll be able to pull off that.
A statement was published by the governor’s office after the briefing covering the main topics of the preceding press conference. In it, a small portion addressed the nightly lockdown, but confirmed few details:
Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Additional details will be forthcoming.
The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery is permitted, but serving food and drink within an establishment must cease at 10:00 p.m.
Read the full curfew order issued Wednesday here.
Watch Thursday’s the full press conference (the questions-and-answer regarding the curfew begins at 27:20min):