Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday many of the remaining stay-at-home order restrictions will be lifted and replaced with “strong recommendations.” Credit: Courtesy of TNS

Fifty-seven days after Ohio’s first stay-at-home order went into effect, people can venture outside for nonessential purposes — though the state recommends citizens continue to follow the same social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced at a press conference Tuesday that the remaining restrictions from Ohio’s stay-at-home orders — which first went into effect March 23 — will be replaced by an urgent health advisory including “strong recommendations” for public social distancing and incorporates the guidelines businesses were and continue to be required to follow upon reopening.

“This is a new phase in our battle against the virus,” DeWine said.

One key facet of the previous orders left in place is the ban on gatherings with more than 10 people, DeWine said.

The order recommends that Ohioans at high risk of developing complications or dying from COVID-19 limit trips outside of their homes as much as possible to avoid encountering large groups and wear a mask when outside, DeWine said. People over the age of 65 or those with underlying conditions including lung, heart or liver diseases, compromised immune diseases or moderate to severe asthma are considered to be at a higher risk. 

People not considered high-risk are still able to develop complications such as stroke or blood clots and are also encouraged to follow these recommendations in order to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, DeWine said.

“Young, healthy Ohioans should take protective action and any Ohioan should take protective action because they could unknowingly pass the virus on to one of their fellow citizens,” DeWine said.

Though Ohioans will have the choice to resume some form of normal life, businesses must still follow operating guidelines put in place by the advisory groups that planned their industries’ reopen, DeWine said. These guidelines include separating tables by 6 feet or more at restaurants, capacity limitations for retail stores, mandatory masks for employees and strict sanitization standards.

“That’s how we’re going to grow our economy because we cannot separate keeping safe, keeping the virus spread down and growing the economy,” DeWine said.

The new advisory also lifts travel restrictions and allows travel in and out of the state. DeWine said that while unnecessary travel is now permitted, it is not encouraged.