Ohio Isn’t Messing Around, Advises Public to Call Cops on Businesses Violating Pandemic Rules

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine during Monday’s press conference addressing primary voting in the state.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Sunday announced that he was implementing a statewide “stay at home” order that would last for two weeks beginning Monday morning, in order to help combat the growing number of COVID-19 cases across the state. During the press conference, DeWine said the order was not designed to be “punitive,” but also said it was not “a suggestion” – a notion he reinforced Tuesday when he told his constituents to notify the police of any businesses failing to abide by the order.

“If you believe a business is in violation of the rules, call your health department or local law enforcement,” DeWine tweeted Tuesday, also tagging Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R).

The order prohibits residents from leaving the home and Ohio businesses from operating for all but essential reasons – mirroring those implemented in other states such as New York and California.

The fact that DeWine isn’t hesitating to involve local law enforcement authorities to assist in enforcing the stay-at-home order should come as no surprise. In daily press conferences, DeWine has been adamant about his administration doing everything in its power to half the spread of the pandemic.

“We would not have issued this if it was not a matter of life and death,” DeWine said of the order Monday.

He went on to explain that he hoped officers and deputies would talk to whomever was found to be in violation of the order, reason with them, and let them off with a warning before taking any further action, but reiterated that repeat offenders will be dealt with accordingly.

“We don’t want a lot of arrests or citations,” he added, explaining that the order can be enforced by both local health departments and law enforcement.

“The law is an instructor and a deterrent,” DeWine said. “You hope the law doesn’t have to be applied very often.”

Ohio has been hit particularly hard by the virus in recent days. There are now 564 people in Ohio who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, and eight people who have died from it, the Ohio Department of Health announced Tuesday afternoon. That number was at 442 cases and six deaths as of Monday.

[image via YouTube screengrab]

Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.

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