YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Rep. Tim Ryan's message was clear while speaking to the public on Thursday about the coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio: stay home.
Ryan stressed the need for social distancing to stop the virus' spread, saying Ohioans, "all have a responsibility to flatten that curve. It's not about one county, one city. It's about what everyone can do to do their part."
Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown also spoke at the press conference. His message was the same as Ryan's.
"Stay home. Whether you're feeling well or not," Brown said, adding the advice wasn't an order, but a "plea".
One of the biggest things addressed was how the coronavirus is affecting restaurants and small businesses. Ryan said he supported Ohio Governor Mike DeWine's response to the coronavirus, including the decision to force closures.
The next phase of the outbreak, Ryan said, will be a "bigger economic phase," ultimately leading to a "huge economic fallout," but Ryan promised more communication about how to help small businesses, workers and public health was forthcoming.
While times for small businesses are tough, Ryan and the City of Youngstown made clear how important closures and social distancing are. When asked what would happen to Youngstown-area businesses that tried to stay open, city health officials said that officers have the authority to shut down businesses, or even take food licenses away.
"We're not here to scare you out of your wits, we're here to bring you into them," Ryan said. "You don't have to be scared, you have to be thinking."
You can watch the full press conference here.