COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There are now 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Ohio, and the government is taking additional measures to keep Ohioans safe.
Governor Mike DeWine announced he is recommending postponing in-person voting in Ohio until June 2.
“We cannot conduct in-person voting for 13 hours tomorrow, and conform to these guidelines,” he said.
DeWine said absentee voting will be available and will continue until June 2.
He says he does not have the power to delay an election short of an invasion, but a lawsuit will be filed in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas seeking that result. Secretary of State LaRose says he has instructed his attorneys not to fight that lawsuit.
Governor DeWine announced Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton will issue an order closing fitness centers and gyms, bowling alleys, public rec centers, movie theaters, indoor water parks and indoor trampoline parks as of close of business Monday.
The order prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people will be reduced to 50.
The Ohio Department of Health confirmed 50 cases in 12 counties Monday, up from 37 cases on Sunday. That includes 14 hospitalizations.
Cases have been identified in the following counties:
- Belmont – 2
- Butler – 6
- Cuyahoga – 24
- Franklin – 3
- Geauga – 1
- Lorain – 3
- Lucas – 1
- Medina – 2
- Stark – 3
- Summit – 2
- Trumbull – 2
- Tuscarawas – 1
The latest release of information does not include the number of people being tested.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose is expected to discuss additional precautions to enhance the safety of Ohio voters when polls open on Tuesday. LaRose issued a directive to county boards of election to allow curbside voting.
Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton says the drastic actions the state is taking right now will save lives.
“When our hospital systems are overwhelmed, that means if your are having a birth that you are planning, if you are in a car accident and need your hospital, if your have a stroke or an MI, even if you never get coronavirus, people in this country can die from something other than coronavirus,” said Acton.
Bars and restaurants across the state were ordered to close their dining rooms effective 9 p.m. Sunday. Carryout and delivery is still available at many restaurants.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the state will extend access to unemployment benefits to workers in quarantine and employees of businesses that temporarily shut down due to coronavirus.
School closures begin across the state after classes on Monday, and in some cases earlier.
The USDA approved two waiver requests from the state to keep school breakfast and lunch programs going while schools are closed. Schools will be able to provide ‘grab and go’ meals to ensure no child goes hungry while school is out.
Columbus City Schools announced it would provide meals to all children under 18 at several schools throughout the city. Other districts are expected to announce similar plans.