COLUMBUS, Ohio — Governor Mike DeWine held his daily press conference at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Monday to give an update on the response to COVID-19 coronavirus.
The Ohio Department of Health announced the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen to 442 statewide, covering 46 counties. Coronavirus has taken the lives of six people, while another 104 are hospitalized.
Most notable from DeWine's Monday press conference was his announcement that he has issued a hiring freeze in state government. Exceptions for the freeze include exceptions for positions that provide a direct response to the coronavirus, safety and security, as well as direct care or institutional services. Additionally, the freeze on state employee travel remains in effect, with exceptions for those staff providing direct response to the coronavirus.
DeWine also announced that he has ordered all state agencies to cut unnecessary spending up to 20 percent for the remainder of this fiscal year and next fiscal year.
On Sunday, DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued a stay-at-home order for all Ohioians. It will take effect on Monday at 11:59 p.m. and remain in effect through April 6.
The stay-at-home order still allows for citizens to leave for the following reasons:
- health and safety
- necessary supplies
- outdoor activity
"The truth is: The most important thing we can all do right now is stay at home unless you are absolutely essential to those lifelines of food, water, transportation, our frontline workers. This is the real world we are living in," Dr. Acton said during Monday's press conference.
Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams spoke with NBC's "TODAY" show Monday morning and reiterated the need for the public to stay home and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“I want America to understand this week, it's going to get bad,” he said.
Adams said despite warnings, people are still flocking to beaches and national attractions. The crowds were mostly young people, according to Adams. He warned that young people could still contract the disease and require hospitalization.
"Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. So, test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home,” he said.
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