COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine issued a curfew starting this Thursday in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio.

Starting Nov. 19, as part of the curfew, retail businesses will be required to close at 10 p.m. each night for three weeks. Businesses will be able to reopen at 5 a.m. the following day.

“We’re going to try it for 21 days, see how we’re doing, for 21 days, three weeks,” DeWine said. “At 10 p.m., retail establishments need to be closed and people should be home.”

DeWine said the curfew, as well as other steps by the state like the retail mask mandate and a limit to the number of people allowed to gather, will help cut down on the skyrocketing number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations.

DeWine said the curfew is not just a “business curfew,” comparing it to the stay-at-home order issued in the spring of 2020.

“We believe this is going to help,” DeWine said. “It’s going to help reduce some of the contact taking place.”

Later during DeWine’s Tuesday coronavirus update, he said there were some exemptions to the curfew, saying people traveling for work, people seeking medical treatment, people getting groceries or a carryout meal, and people out for emergency purposes.

“We want people not to be out, but there are certainly always exceptions,” DeWine said. “Our idea is to carve this time out and know that if we all do it, with some exceptions, that that in and of itself will reduce some of these contacts that are going on.”

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted also spoke out in support of the curfew, saying the temporary measure was the least disruptive option available.

“We don’t need a shutdown, but we do need to slow down for a few weeks to get this virus back into a manageable situation,” he said.

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