State of Ohio Issues “Stay at Home” Order

(March 23, 2020) Yesterday, under the direction of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, MD, issued an order requiring all Ohioans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order takes effect at 11:59 pm today until 11:59 pm on April 6 unless the order is rescinded or modified. This order prohibits holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential businesses. It does not prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store or receiving medical care.

“We haven’t faced an enemy like we are facing today in 102 years - we are at war. In the time of war, we must make sacrifices, and I thank all of our Ohio citizens for what they are doing and what they aren’t doing. You are making a huge difference, and this difference will save lives,” DeWine said. “Right now, we are in a crucial time in this battle. What we do now will slow this invader so that our healthcare system will have time to treat those who have contracted COVID-19 and also have time to treat those who have other medical problems. Time is of the essence.”

At the press conference announcing the state order, DeWine also said the Ohio Board of Pharmacy passed an emergency rule that day related to prescribing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for purposes of COVID-19. 

Unless otherwise approved by the Board’s executive director, no prescription for chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine may be dispensed by a pharmacist or sold at retail by a licensed terminal distributor of dangerous drugs unless:

  1. The prescription bears a written diagnosis code from the prescriber;
    If written for a COVID-19 diagnosis, the diagnosis has been confirmed by a positive test result, which is documented on the prescription and both of the following apply:The prescription is limited to no more than a fourteen-day supply, and
  2. No refills may be permitted unless a new prescription is furnished.

Prescriptions for either presumptive positive patients or prophylactic use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine related to COVID-19 is strictly prohibited unless otherwise approved by the Board’s Executive Director in consultation with the Board President, at which time a resolution shall issue.

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