Ohio's economy will slowly start opening in phases on May 1 as laid out by Gov. Mike DeWine today.
“My heart aches for the businessmen and women who have not been able to work, who are looking at savings going down every day, the people who work in those businesses, people who are unemployed — one cannot overstate the tragedy of this. So we’ve got to get moving," he said. "We’ve got to get people back to work. We’ve got to open things up. At the same time, we’ve got to protect Ohioans.”
DeWine said to protect Ohioans as we get back to work, it was mandatory that the state do larger amounts of testing and contact tracing, and that the public continue to practice social distancing.
All employees working at business that can reopen, as well as all customers in retail settings, will be required to wear masks.
That will also likely be the case with restaurants and hair salons/barbershops, but those businesses will have to wait, as will daycare centers and gyms . Ohio will evaluate this first rollout and await results before announcing anything on those fronts.
The governor said the state expects to dramatically ramp up both its daily testing capacity in May — from an estimated 7,228 tests per day at the end of April to 22,000 per day at the end of May — and its ability to do contact tracing. Ohio expects to increase its staff of tracers from 685 to 1,750 by June.
The goals for responsibly reopening Ohio remain the same: to keep employees, customers and their families safe as they get back to work while the virus is still out there.
Here is DeWine's current announced timeline for what is opening in Ohio and when:
Health care will be the first thing to reopen in Ohio. DeWine said all health procedures/surgeries that can be done that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital will be able to move forward. Dentists and veterinarians can also open back up. And, as always, all surgeries are still allowed if there is a threat to the patient’s life; threat of permanent dysfunction of an extremity or organ system; risk of metastasis or progression of staging; or risk of rapidly worsening to severe symptoms.
Any and all manufacturing, distribution and construction operations can reopen, whether they were open before or not. This graphic includes details with mandatory and recommended guidelines.
Consumer, retail and services shops will be allowed to reopen on May 12 with the following mandatory and suggested practices.
While people can go to work or to stores, gatherings of more than 10 people will still be banned.
"I know there are other things all of us want to do. People want to get their hair cut. People want to go back to restaurants. All those things we're anxious to do as well, but we've got to see how we do with these numbers; we've got to watch it for a few weeks...We're not quite there yet," he said.
And the official list of businesses that will not be allowed to reopen yet.