By James Underwood, ’23.

After a week of speculation, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced at a press conference Tuesday evening that he would be ordering a statewide curfew in an effort to curb Ohio’s ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases. The curfew, which went into effect Thursday, forbids Ohioans from leaving home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Restaurants and stores will need to close their doors between those times. Pharmacies and groceries may remain open, “because they have things that some people need late at night,” DeWine said.

Likewise, outings for work, medical and emergency situations are exceptions.

“[The order] is not intended to stop anyone from going to a hospital, obviously, or seeing a doctor or getting help,” DeWine said.

With the curfew, Ohio joins a number of states across the country that have adopted similar measures, including New York and New Mexico.

DeWine’s office doesn’t think that the order will be enforced strongly, writing in a tweet that “We’re not looking for police to be out there pulling people over if they see them driving at night.” Nonetheless, non-compliance is, “like any other [health] order,” a second-degree misdemeanor, DeWine said, with a punishment of “not more than a 750 dollar fine [and] 90 days in jail.”

The curfew lasts for three weeks, until Dec. 10.