COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– The end of Ohio’s curfew could be in sight if COVID-19-related hospital admissions continue to decrease.
On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said if hospitalizations went below 3,500 for seven days, the curfew would move from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. That change goes into effect on Thursday and will be revaluated in two weeks.
After seven consecutive days of hospitalizations below 3,000, the state will move the curfew to midnight.
“If this trend continues, we may be able to go to midnight. And if it really continues to get fewer and fewer people, when we get down to seven days at 2,500, below 2,500, then we would be able to go with no curfew,” DeWine said during his news conference on Thursday.
On Thursday, there were 2,829 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state. Also that day, 256 new hospitalizations were reported to the Ohio Department of Health. The 21-day average is at 252.
DeWine said said hospitalizations are on a downward trend, but it is a lagging indicator of the prevalence of the virus.
Eliminating the curfew would be great news for restaurant and bar employees. Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the Ohio Restaurant Association is excited about the curfew changes.
The statewide curfew, which goes until 5 a.m. daily, began on Nov. 19 and was originally set to run for 21 days. It does not apply to those coming or going to work, those who have an emergency or those in need of medical care. It’s also not intended to prevent anyone from getting groceries or going to the pharmacy, the state said.
“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” DeWine said on Nov. 17. “The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”