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DeWine Correct In New Mandate

It has not escaped Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s notice that delay can be deadly in dealing with COVID-19. States and nations where decisive action to fight the disease was not taken expeditiously have suffered terribly.

On Sunday, DeWine issued an order that Buckeye State residents not leave their homes. It goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. today.

There are numerous exceptions to the order. Those whose work is considered essential are permitted to leave home. People who need to obtain necessary supplies and services can do so. Some outdoor activities — but not all — are allowed.

Common sense, in other words, rules the edict. It is aimed at keeping Ohioans who may not know they are carrying the virus from spreading it — and at preventing others from contracting the disease.

Violating the governor’s order is a crime — a second-degree misdemeanor. Law enforcement personnel can be used to deal with offenders.

Let us hope that does not become necessary — but if it becomes clear some Ohioans are putting others at risk by outright refusal to comply, there should be no hesitation in making arrests and levying fines.

Ohioans have been lucky thus far. By Sunday, there were just 351 active cases of COVID-19 in the state. Only three people had died. Considering the state’s population, that is not bad.

Here in our area, just two cases had been identified by Sunday. They were a couple from Belmont County. No cases had surfaced in Jefferson, Harrison or Monroe counties. It would be nice to keep it that way, and DeWine’s order will help.

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