As of Dec. 3, officials in Ohio have updated the list of states and territories from which travelers are advised to self-quarantine upon arrival in the state, as part of the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials have also updated their Health Advisory system, moving three additional counties - Lake, Lorain, and Montgomery - to Level 4. Other statewide restrictions remain unchanged, including a nightly 2200-0500 curfew.
The travel advisory urges residents to avoid nonessential travel to certain other states. Per the most recent update, travelers entering from the following states or territories are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival:
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Utah
Health officials recommend that all persons arriving from US states reporting positive COVID-19 testing rates of 15 percent or higher self-quarantine for two weeks. Ohio's travel advisory list is updated weekly.
A statewide nightly curfew between 2200-0500 remains in place through at least the morning of Dec. 10. The directive requires individuals to remain at home during curfew hours; however, it includes exceptions for those who are working, responding to an emergency, attending to medical needs, or are involved in essential activities, such as purchasing basic goods. Other statewide restrictions in place include: a ban on social gatherings of more than 10 people; at wedding receptions or events at banquet facilities, congregating in common areas and dancing are prohibited; all attendees must be seated at tables with a maximum of 10 persons from a single household, and facemasks must be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking.
All individuals over the age of 10, except those with medical conditions, must wear facemasks while in indoor public locations, in outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible, and while using public transportation, taxis, or app-based, ride-hailing services. The sale of alcohol after 2200 nightly remains prohibited. Bars and restaurants may operate at full capacity, but social distancing must be enforced, and protective facemasks must be worn by employees and patrons when not eating. Catering and banquet facilities may host no more than 300 people at a time. Museums, zoos, movie theaters, and other indoor entertainment facilities are allowed to open. Office-based businesses, retail stores, personal care businesses, and gyms and fitness centers may also operate.
Ohio also continues to employ its Health Advisory System to monitor COVID-19 activity and instruct additional restrictions in the most affected counties. Under the system, officials divide the counties into four color-coded public emergency levels, with Level 1 (yellow) representing the lowest level of risk of COVID-19 infection and Level 4 (purple) the highest. Several indicators, including the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospital bed availability, are used to assign counties to the appropriate level.
At Level 4 (purple), officials urge residents to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel; as of Dec. 3, Lake, Lorain, and Montgomery counties have joined Franklin county at this level. At Level 3 (red), residents should limit face-to-face interactions and unnecessary travel and avoid gatherings of any size. As of Dec. 3, there are 75 counties at Level 3, including several of the most populated ones in the state: Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Summit, Lucas, Stark, and Butler. At Level 2 (orange), residents should avoid anyone considered high-risk, decrease in-person interactions, and maintain social distancing. There are nine counties at Level 2, including Gallia, Harrison, Hocking, Morgan, and Wyandot. No county remains at Level 1 (yellow), under which residents should maintain social distancing and avoid travel to high-risk areas.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice, depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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