Mike DeWine

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.  (Richland Source file photo)

COLUMBUS -- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday that Ohio's "stay at home" order has been extended through May 1.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, MD,  signed the updated order Thursday afternoon as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.

"We understand that this is tough - it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn't a mater of life and death," DeWine said. "We have to keep this monster down. It's not dead - it's very much alive."

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Richland County has eight positive tests for COVID-19, four of whom have been hospitalized, public health educator Reed Richmond said Thursday afternoon.

Ohio now had has 2,902 confirmed cases in 75 counties. There have been 81 deaths. There are 802 individuals hospitalized in Ohio with 260 in intensive care units.

Around north central Ohio, there are six positive cases in Crawford County, five in Knox, three in Ashland, four in Huron and one in Morrow.

Richland County had its first positive case on March 19, Richmond said.

Updates to DeWine's new order include:

-- creation of a dispute-resolution process for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business.

-- requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time. These businesses must ensure people waiting to enter the stores maintain safe social distancing.

-- direction that travelers arriving to Ohio should self-quarantine for 14 days. Exceptions include persons who live and work in trans-border areas, heath care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. Visitors are instructed not to travel to Ohio if they are displaying symptoms, excepting in certain circumstances for medical care.

-- The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.

-- A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen's permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.

-- The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This does not apply to private residential pools.

-- The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open, but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.

-- The closure of day camps for children.

-- The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports.

-- The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.