COLUMBUS —Ohio Governor Mike DeWine opened Monday’s conference by reminding Ohioans of three things while we begin the process of reopening our economy. DeWine stated that the first was that Ohioans had done an excellent job following stay at home orders to reduce the spread of the virus, while the second fact was that of the presence of COVID-19 in our communities.
“The Coronavirus is still here. It’s just as dangerous as it’s ever been. It’s still living amongst us,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated the third fact was that the essential tools in breaking down this virus are ones we already had. “Distance, washing hands, sanitizing of surfaces, and something to cover your face,”
Said DeWine. “These are the things we are going to continue to have to do and use in our society as we open back up,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that data relating to COVID-19 based on averages of five day periods are headed in the right direction, and reiterated the necessity for ramped up testing and tracing to prepare for opening in May.
I’m regards to tracing, DeWine stated there are currently volunteers to carry out this work but as time progresses individuals will need to be hired. DeWine said funds are being gathered for health departments to hire these individuals, who will undergo training with a goal of 1,750 workers in process by June 1.
“I don’t think I have to tell any Ohioan the importance of moving forward. My heart aches for the businessmen and women who have not been able to work, who are looking at their saving going’s down every day, the people who work in those businesses, those who are unemployed. One can not overstate the tragedy of this. We’ve got to get moving,” said DeWine.
DeWine stated that he realized Ohioans had many questions regarding what was to be opening and when, but stated he believed it was most important to begin with explaining how it will be done. DeWine stated May 1 will be a healthcare opening, and issued an order stated all health procedures that can be done without an overnight stay in a hospital will be able to resume, with several high risk exceptions having been allowed throughout the shutdown. DeWine stated dentists and veterinarians would also be able to open on May 1.
DeWine stated on May 4th manufacturing, distribution and construction will resume. DeWine said these new guidelines for reopening will apply to all businesses that fall into their category, including those that have been open during the shutdown.
DeWine stated that protocols for businesses as they reopen will include “no mask, no work, no service, no exception” rules. This will mandate every employee have a mask, or face covering, and ensure clients and customers also wear masks. Remaining procedures include basic social distancing, hand washing, and risk evaluation for employees returning for work.
DeWine stated detailed rules for the reopening of different industries are available on the state’s website.
DeWine added that stay at home orders will still be in place, with some modification. Ohioans will be able to go to retail and other locations once they are open, but the no gathering order of people in groups more than 10 will remain.
“We’re trying to ease into it. We’re trying to get Ohio back working,” said DeWine.
The Ohio Department of Health on Monday showed 15, 699 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 626 probable cases. The data showed 3,233 hospitalizations and 978 ICU admissions from the Coronavirus with 753 total deaths.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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