The Ohio Department of Health on Monday ordered that all polling locations close on Tuesday amid coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.
Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, enacted this order to “avoid the imminent threat” of COVID-19 as the virus poses a “significant risk of substantial harm to a large number of people in the general population, including the elderly and people with weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions.”
Acton stated that because multiple areas of the US are experiencing “community spread,” isolation of known areas of infection is no longer enough to control the spread. “It is clear from history and experience that [a] large number of people gather at polling locations which increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19.”
The CDC reports that people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic however some spread might be possible before people show symptoms.
The order will take effect immediately and remain in full force and effect until the State of Emergency declared by the Governor no longer exists, or the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this order.
The Ohio Supreme Court early on Tuesday denied a challenge to force the election to go forward. In a separate case, an Ohio judge had ruled against the state’s attempt to block the election earlier Monday.
For more on COVID-19, see our special coverage.