The Athens Police Department is no longer allowing any slack on enforcing Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health’s stay at home order, issuing charges Tuesday against an Amherst man.
According to the police report, Andrew Wagner Ohliger was charged with violating the order. Ohliger is an Ohio University student.
“On this particular party, we received a complaint,” APD Chief Tom Pyle said through email. “When we arrived, officers observed eight people socializing in the back yard, five of those people were not residents. We identified the person who claimed to be a resident and cited him.”
The party was located at 112 E. State Street and the charges were issued around 4:45 p.m. APD’s report described the gathering as a nuisance party.
“After this past weekend I issued a directive to our staff to pro-actively patrol for these parties that were in violation and asked our staff to consider citing offenders rather than warn them,” Pyle explained. “We have issued several warnings in the past week for parties that were in violation of the order.”
The stay at home order, issued by the Ohio Department of Health, orders all Ohioans to stay home at all times, save for a few notable exceptions. The order begins Monday at 11:59 p.m. and will continue until April 6, at which time the situation will be reassessed.
“We are at a new stage,” DeWine said. The order was issued in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state. As of Sunday at 2 p.m., there are 351 confirmed cases, spanning 40 counties and three deaths.
The stay at home order was issued when measures such as closing restaurant dining rooms, barber shops, tattoo parlors, senior centers and gyms. Only essential businesses have been allowed to remain open. Essential activities include: travel for necessary supplies or services, outdoor activities (provided they meet social distancing protocols), work that is deemed “essential” by Homeland Security, and to care for others.
What is deemed essential is listed on the order, which can be found on the Ohio Department of Health’s website, https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/