FILE - OH trucker, semi, tractor trailer, Akron

A truck approaches Akron, Ohio.

(The Center Square) – Following a similar directive Friday for senior centers and adult care services, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine this weekend ordered that vocational habilitation services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities must avoid doing so in settings with 10 or more people.

The moves are designed to limit human contact in the hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus in Ohio.

"This order is necessary because individuals with developmental disabilities traditionally receive these services in large groups, and right now, this just isn't safe," DeWine said in a news release. "We've been working with service providers to ensure that these individuals will still receive the services they need despite these temporary closures."

The order goes into effect at 9 p.m. Tuesday; the previous order for senior centers and adult care services goes into effect Monday.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Transportation has adjusted its guidelines for trucks to be considered overweight if they’re carrying loads of heavy goods.

The “special blanket permit” temporarily does away with the need for prior approval for vehicles up to 90,000 pounds gross weight if they’re carrying food, nonalcoholic beverages, medical supplies, cleaning products and other household goods.

Eligible drivers merely need to download and print out a permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation website.

The Ohio’s Bureau of Workers' Compensation is also aiming to help with the coronavirus outbreak by allowing employers to delay insurance premium installment payments due until June. The bureau said the issue would be “reconsidered” on June 1.

"BWC will not cancel coverage or assess penalties for amounts not paid because of the coronavirus pandemic," Lt. Gov. John Husted said in a news release. "Installment payments due for the three-month period are totaled at approximately $200 million, and that money will now stay in the economy."

Official numbers from Ohio’s Department of Health, last updated Friday, showed 247 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the state and three deaths. Officials have repeatedly warned that the number of actual cases is likely much higher because of testing limitations.

Regional Editor

Dave Lemery is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He was the editor of Suburban Life Media when its flagship newspaper was named best weekly in Illinois, and he has worked at papers in South Carolina, Indiana, Idaho and New York.