Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a news conference Thursday discussing the Coronavirus.
DeWine was joined by Maureen O’Connor, Chief Justice of the State of Ohio. DeWine thanked citizens of Ohio for what they are doing, and the individual sacrifices that come with social distancing. DeWine called the measures being taken truly patriotic.
DeWine stated that the grocery supply chain in Ohio is doing well and assured the public that transportation of items was still going to keep stores stocked of goods. DeWine stated that internet cafes, which have been operating illegally during this crisis and have been accumulating large groups of people have also been shut down after many complaints were received from local officials.
“In all seriousness the concern is always the same, the number of people gathering in one space,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that a concern of local officials has been if they were able to conduct business remotely and stated this will be taken up with the generally assembly next week.
“I would suggest that all local governments get ready to do that. Obviously, they need to comply and make sure the press is notified and has access to watch and see what is going on. It is important that at this time of crisis the public conference remain strong, but we also know that gathering of people together is not something we like to see.” In reference to gas and electric utilities, DeWine stated a moratorium has been issued for disconnects until May 1.
DeWine responded to questions about spring breaks by stating again that it is highly advised to stay at home and avoid any unnecessary travel. DeWine shot down rumors of National Guard interference and stated at this time they are helping with foodbanks and other related functions and addressed rumors of Martial Law and mandatory quarantine stating they were not true.
Maureen O’ Connor, Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, stated that courts must be open to address emergency and time sensitive measures, and stated in an email which was sent out earlier this week she advised that judges across each county must cooperate amongst themselves to issue orders and establish procedures necessary to carry out court functions in this rapid in light of directives of DeWine and health officials.
O’Connor stated that judges need to collaborate with local leaders to develop plans to ensure essential access and that the courts may continue.
“Clerks of Court, health and law enforcement officials, Children Services, attorneys, treatment providers and others. These are all essential members of the operation,” stated O’Connor. O’Connor stated precautionary measures can be taken during this time by limiting, but not eliminating access to justice. “The courts can be closed to the public for nonessential purposes,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor stated that funds in the form of grants will be applied to obtain necessary video conferencing equipment for local courts who are unable to meet the demand on their own in the amount of $4 million.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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