DeWine lifts last of Ohio's stay-at-home order

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Tuesday removed the last remaining mandatory restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are now moving from orders to strong recommendations,” DeWine said during his daily briefing. “This is a new phase in our battle against the virus.”

DeWine said that restrictions, including a ban on mass gatherings and a mandatory two weeks of isolation for anyone entering the state, will be cut short and the state’s “Safe at Home” order will be replaced with an “Urgent Health Advisory.”

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The state had lifted its stay-at-home order and transitioned to the "Safe at Home" order on May 1, which also allowed nonessential businesses to begin to reopen. The self-quarantine rule was issued in early April, while the other main remaining restriction, a ban on gatherings of 10 people or more, was imposed in March. Officials are still recommending that gatherings be limited to 10 people.

DeWine had signaled when the state transitioned to the "Safe at Home" order that it might not last through the end of May, saying the end date of May 29 was merely a target.

A number of Democratic governors across the country have drawn pushback over their stay-at-home orders, though DeWine, a Republican, also faced intraparty friction during Ohio’s lockdown.

The GOP-controlled state House passed a bill that would limit Department of Heath Director Amy Acton’s authority, although DeWine has said he would veto any such legislation.

“What we do individually will be what saves Ohioans collectively. Taking the protective actions that we are recommending today will not only help you, but they will help you protect your loved ones, your neighbors, and people you don’t know,” DeWine said.