What you need to know about Franklin County's stay-at-home advisory

The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus and Franklin County residents were urged to stay home on Wednesday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on the state. 

Officials said the health advisory will go into effect, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, and will last 28 days.

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"I'm not going to mince words: We have entered a dangerous time in our fight against COVID-19. This surge is much scarier than we saw in the spring or again in the summer," Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

Here are some questions you need answers to as Columbus and Franklin County ask residents to stay at home for the time being.

What did Columbus and Franklin County officials say about COVID-19 today?

City and county officials pleaded with residents to stay at home for the next 28 days. They asked city and county residents to only leave their houses for work, school or other essential needs. They also asked people to stay in their homes after 10 p.m.

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Health officials also urged people to not have guests in their home and to not have Thanksgiving gathering.

What other precautions, like wearing masks, are discussed?

Officials echoed Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's pleas to wear masks whenever you leave your house, and to be diligent about hand washing.

Is the health advisory enforceable?

Officials do not plan to enforce this advisory with fines or police enforcement at this time. However, Columbus Public Health Commissioner Mysheika Roberts said officials will review the situation after 28 days, and will consider enforcement if the situation doesn't improve.

Why did Columbus and Franklin County feel this was necessary?

Franklin County has consistently had more cases than other Ohio counties. And the situation is getting worse.

On Oct. 1, the 7-day average for COVID-19 cases in Franklin County was 143. On Nov. 15, it was 742. 

The positivity rate has escalated from 3.7% last month to 12.5% last week.

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Should I still support local businesses during the stay-at-home advisory?

County officials asked residents to continue to support businesses, but to try to do that with carryout orders, curbside delivery or online purchases.

How does the stay-at-home advisory relate to the statewide Ohio curfew?

Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said the advisory is complimentary to the statewide curfew announced by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday. DeWine announced a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that starts Thursday and lasts for 21 days

DeWine said most retail businesses are expected to be closed by 10 p.m. under the curfew, with the exception of necessities such as grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants for carry-out and deliveries.