Ohio stay-at-home order 11:59PM Monday, March 23, 2020 to April 6, 2020, Stay At Home Order Frequently Asked Questions

On Sunday, March 22th, under the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH issued a director’s order to require all Ohioans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 beginning at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020. This order prohibits holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. Residents can return home from out of state and can leave the state. 

For more information on what this order means for you, please see below.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the order take effect?

The order will take effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23rd

Where does the Stay at Home order apply?

The director’s order includes the entire state. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible. 

Is this mandatory or just guidance?

This order is mandatory. To help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Ohio and protect our friends, neighbors, and vulnerable populations, please stay home.

Will the Ohio National Guard be enforcing this order?

No. The Ohio National Guard will not be enforcing this order.

I work in an essential service. How will the police know I’m allowed to be outside my house?

Law enforcement officials will not stop residents who are on their way to or from work or who are out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries, or just taking a walk. People gathering in any size group may be asked to physically distance themselves or go home. Ohioans should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Ohioan to do their part. We are in this together.

Will grocery stores be open?

Yes, essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to:

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
  • Garbage/sanitation
  • Public transportation
  • Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines

How can I get medical care if I need it?

If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, a nurse hotline, any telehealth hotline set up specifically for COVID-19 (check with your insurance company) or an urgent care center. If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician. Do not go to an emergency room unless necessary. Nonessential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely. Contact your healthcare provider to see what tele-health services they provide.

What if I still have to go to work?

Unless your work is an essential function (i.e. healthcare provider, grocery store clerk, first responder), you should stay home. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing. If you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician.

What if I think my business should be closed but I’m still being asked to operate?

Essential businesses will remain open during the Stay at Home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Ohioans. Those businesses include, but are not limited to, pharmacies, certain government offices, and restaurants providing take-out meals. If you work for an essential business, you should continue to practice social distancing and should stay at home outside of work hours. If you believe your business is nonessential but are still being asked to show up to work, you may discuss with your employer.

Can I order food/groceries?

Yes, grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options.

Will public transportation and ridesharing be available?

Public transportation and ridesharing should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk, or drive yourself.

Will roads in Ohio be closed?

No, the roads will not be closed in Ohio. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.

Can I take a flight out of state?

Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential purposes.

What if my home is not a safe environment?

If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so we can help. You may call the Ohio Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-934-9840 or contact your local law enforcement.

Can I visit friends and family?

For your safety, as well as the safety of those in your community, you should remain at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19. However you may travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons. If possible, it is recommended that you drop off supplies, food, and medication to those relatives in need of assistance, but minimize interaction.

What about my pet?

You may walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Be sure to practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.

Does the Stay at Home order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?

Families will still be able to go outside, including to parks and outdoor spaces that remain open, and take a walk, run, or bike ride but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing transmission.

What is the difference between the Stay at Home order and social distancing?

Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions. The Stay at Home order requires people to remain in their homes unless they have an essential job or are doing an essential task like going to the grocery store or walking a pet.

Can I leave home to exercise?

Yes. Outdoor exercise like running or taking a walk is perfectly acceptable; however, exercise gyms, fitness centers and associated facilities are closed to reduce the spread of coronavirus. While exercising outside, you should still practice social distancing by running or walking at least six feet away from other people.

Can I pick up meals being provided by my child’s school?

Yes. Many districts and schools are continuing to support students by providing breakfast and lunch in non-congregate settings. To find a meal site near you, use the Ohio Department of Education’s interactive map or check your local district’s website or social media channels for meal distribution locations and times.

Can I go out to do laundry?

Yes. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses that will remain open.

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Governor DeWine announces stay-at-home order for Ohio from 11:59PM Monday, March 23, 2020 until April 6, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine​ has announced Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has signed a stay-at-home order for Ohio.

“There is nothing in the order that we haven’t already been talking about. There is nothing in this that I haven’t been asking you to do for the last few weeks,” DeWine said.

DeWine said the order does permit exceptions to staying home including leaving for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity.

“You can leave home to take care of others. You can take care of your neighbor, your family, your friend,” he said.

The second part of the order talks about essential workers and businesses using Homeland Security guidelines. These are the accepted businesses that are essential for us to continue to live.

“Each business that stays open must follow good protocol in regard to health,” DeWine said.

The order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and stay in effect until April 6.

You can read the full stay-at-home order issued by Dr. Amy Acton here.

What is considered an ‘essential’ business during the coronavirus outbreak?

  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • veterinary and animal health services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides
  • doctor and dentist offices
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment providers


  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages


  • food processing, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • safety and sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • paper products


  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores


  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats/dry cleaning
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters or animal care or management



  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting


  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support


  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes


  • defense and natural security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government


  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection
  • doormen


  • logistics
  • technology support
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.

Governor DeWine recommends no in-person voting for Ohio primary until June 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says a lawsuit will be filed to postpone the Ohio Primary Election to June 2 because of concerns over the coronavirus.

Absentee ballots will be permitted, but in-person voting would not take place until June 2.

The primary was originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 17.

“We cannot tell people to stay inside, but also tell them to go out and vote,” DeWine said. “I believe when we look back on this, we’ll be happy we did this. The votes that have already been cast will still be counted – and this recommendation would allow others to vote in the future.”

A judge will decide if the election will be postponed.

As of March 16, the state has 50 confirmed cases of the virus in 12 counties.

Nelsonville City Manager addresses the Cities actions to help mitigate the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

As City Manager, I would like to assure you that the City of Nelsonville continues to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness around the world.

Each of us needs to do what we can to keep ourselves and the Nelsonville community remain healthy. We need the leaders of all organizations in our City to make sound, informed decisions based on the mitigation strategy communicated by the experts at the CDC, Ohio Department of Health and the Athens City-County Health Department to protect the most at-risk population.

It is now prudent to take reasonable steps to avoid, postpone or cancel large non-essential events and socially distance ourselves in public. I ask that we all practice patience, understanding, and empathy at this time, for there is no one unaffected by these disruptions.

We need to realize that our healthcare system will be taxed. We should ask ourselves, “What can I do to reduce the stress on the system?” (Hint: good hygiene, social distancing, get a flu shot – not to protect you from COVID-19 but to reduce the likelihood you would need medical care). If you’re the leader of an organization in Nelsonville, I expect your organization will follow the directives of the Ohio Department of Health and the Athens City-County Health Department.

Out of an overabundance of caution, we have modified City operations to mitigate the spread of the virus. We will continue to conduct business as usual but the Nelsonville City building and complex will be closed to the public except by appointment or emergency, we are asking that our residents contact us via telephone, or e-mail, to keep any exposure to a minimum. Our Public Safety departments will continue to provide services.

All City Services will continue to operate and care for the citizens of Nelsonville but are taking extra precautions to keep you AND them safe. This includes:

  • Staff have been directed to regularly disinfect all common gathering spaces, doors, counters, meeting rooms and City vehicles.
    • Extra caution taken by emergency services when interacting with the public.
    • Limiting or cancelling large City-Sponsored events.
    • Requesting that all City Water/Sewer bills be paid by using our online bill paying service if possible, (www.cityofnelsonville.com). If not, bills can be paid by personal check, bank check or money order mailed to the City or by using our drop box located in the parking lot.

Additional measures will be taken as the situation develops. The City stands ready to continue to support the citizens of Nelsonville.

Stay up to date with us on Facebook;
City of Nelsonville, Ohio – @nelsonvillecity
Nelsonville Police Department – @nelsonvillepolice
Nelsonville Division Of Fire – @NelsonvilleFireDepartment

Nelsonville City Manager
Scott Frank

Gov. DeWine announces closure of Ohio bars, dine-in restaurants, 3/15/2020 at 9PM.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine will be issuing an order to close all bars and restaurants Sunday night at 9 p.m. to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

During a press conference, Gov. DeWine added that establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery but what we can’t have is people congregating and seating.

“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering,” DeWine said. “It is our goal for everyone to get through this.”