Ohio’s overnight curfew to prevent the spread of COVID-19 expired Thursday, and wasn’t extended because the state’s coronavirus-related hospitalizations have dropped to lower levels.
Gov. Mike DeWine had said that if hospitalizations remained fewer than 2,500 per day for seven days, the curfew would be lifted. Last Thursday, Feb. 11, there were 1,862 people hospitalized in Ohio facilities.
Ohio’s overnight curfew began Nov. 19. It originally lasted from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The idea behind it was to stop transmission when some of the riskiest behaviors occur, as people are impaired by alcohol and aren’t as vigilant about social distancing and masks.
The curfew had broad exemptions for people who work, had to take care of family members or had to obtain essential products or services.
On Jan. 28, the curfew shortened from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., thanks to hospitalizations dropping below 3,500.
Ohio’s level of hospitalizations have rapidly dropped in recent weeks. On Jan. 11, it was 4,056 and on Dec. 11, it was 5,099.
DeWine said hospitalizations dropped probably because residents of nursing homes have been vaccinated. Older people are at higher risk of getting sicker from COVID-19 than younger people. He encouraged the public to continue to wear masks and socially distance. The virus is mutating fast, he said.