Stay-at-home advisory for Franklin County extended

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Health officials pointed to high numbers of COVID-19 cases and community spread as the reason for the extension.

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — Health officials in Columbus and Franklin County have extended the advisory asking people to stay at home until Jan. 2, 2021.

The stay-at-home advisory was extended on Thursday after initially being put in place for 28 days on Nov. 20.

People are asked to only leave home if they have to go to work, school or for essential needs, such as going to the pharmacy, receiving medical care, picking up food or getting groceries.

Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health pointed to high numbers of COVID-19 cases and community spread as the reason for the extension.

CPH Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts said,  “Case numbers and hospitalizations continue to be at very high levels in our community. Hope is on the horizon with the COVID vaccine, but it will take time and the next few weeks are critical to reducing community spread and saving lives.” 

The advisory coincides with the statewide 10 p.m. curfew, which also goes until Jan. 2.

Health officials said while this is simply an advisory and not enforceable, they stand ready to take further action, if needed.

“If we don’t see the improvement that we need to see in our cases, in our community, we then can take another step,” Dr Roberts said in November. “I feel strongly that, at least from the public health perspective, we are willing, if need be, to take further actions that would be enforceable.”

Mayor Ginther also made clear that there will be consequences for not abiding by the advisory, even if they don’t come in the form of fines.

“If people don’t follow these recommendations, more people will be infected, more people will be hospitalized, more people will die,” he said. “There are serious consequences associated with not following this advisory.”

“The Stay at Home Advisory supplements all current orders of Governor DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, Franklin County, the City of Columbus, and the municipalities of Franklin County,” CPH said in a news release.

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