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Governor DeWine’s Plan for Reopening Ohio

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks at a news conference at the statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to announce impacts on the Arnold Sports Festival of the coronavirus. DeWine and organizers of the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus announced Tuesday that only athletes will be allowed at most of the event scheduled to begin Thursday because of the threat posed by the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

Update on Cases

The Ohio Department of Health’s (ODH) latest report once again shows all the major numbers are below the five day average. Ohio now has 16,325 cases of COVID-19, 753 people have now died in the state from the virus.

3,232 Ohioans have been hospitalized while 978 have been admitted into the intensive care unit. Over 119,000 COVID-19 tests have been given in the Buckeye State. Ohio has a positive test rate of around 13.6%.

 

 

Testing Capacity Plan

Governor DeWine says the first step in reopening Ohio is by increasing the state’s testing. He mentioned on Friday that the successful efforts of the Test Strike Team have put a plan in place for the Buckeye State to acquire the necessary resources to do that.

With the reagent and swabs arriving soon, the Governor laid out a plan on how the state will increase the testing as time moves forward.

Healthcare Opening

Governor DeWine announced that on May 1, Ohio will have a healthcare opening. All healthcare procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital can move forward. Dentists and veterinarians can also begin full steam ahead on May 1.

Safe Business Practices

Once allowed to reopen, businesses in the state of Ohio will have to meet the five practices, along with others depending on the type of business. Here are Governor DeWine’s top five guidelines:

  1. Require Face Coverings: All employees, clients and customers must have face coverings at all times when at a place of business.
  2. Conduct Daily Health Assessments: Employers and employees must conduct daily self-evaluations to determine if all those at the business are “fit for duty.”
  3. Maintain Good Hygiene: All businesses must continue to enforce strict hand washing and social distancing standards.
  4. Clean and Sanitize: All workplaces must be continually cleaned throughout the work day, between shifts and at the open and close of the business day.
  5. Limit Capacity: Businesses must establish maximum capacity of 50% of fire code and use appointment setting which will prevent congestion.

What if There is an Infection in the Workplace?

Governor DeWine says if an individual at an Ohio business has an infection, the employer must take the following steps:

  • Immediately report the employee or customer infections to the local health district.
  • Work with the local health department to identify potential exposed individuals to help facilitate appropriate communication/ contact tracing.
  • Shutdown the workplace/ floor for deep sanitation if possible.

May 4: Manufacturing, Distribution and Construction Reopen

Manufacturing, Distribution, and Construction will open back up. DeWine says the state will require those who are opening and those who already have been open to follow strict guidelines on how to reopen.

These are the basic principals for manufacturing, distribution, and construction beginning on May 4.

 

 

 

DeWine says General offices will also reopen on May 4. Here are the guidelines they must follow.

May 12: Consumer, Retail and Services Reopen

Just over a week after the first set of businesses can reopen, DeWine says the next round of reopenings will take place on May 12 and will include consumer, retail and services. Here are the guidelines they must adhere to, once opened.

Stay at Home Order Still in Place

Governor DeWine says the Stay Home Ohio order will still be in place, for gatherings, the order of no more than 10 people will remain.

“We’ve gotten this far but we have a ways to go,” said DeWine. “These are the first steps. I know there are other things we all want to do, get a haircut, go to restaurants, but we have to see how we are doing with COVID-19 first.”

DeWine says what the state put together is a plan based on all the information Ohio has about how dangerous COVID-19. He added that his administration also understands that it’s dangerous to not have people working.

“There are consequences there too,” said DeWine. “We have to balance.”

The Governor says he does not have a timeline as to when other businesses will reopen.

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