Ohio will begin the process of reopening for business on May 1. Governor Mike DeWine said it would be a gradual process. DeWine said, “I’m an optimist. We can do this!”
He emphasized that it would be a slow process that will happen in multiple phases. We break it down into 5 easy slides for you to easily find out about his plans for businesses, schools, and whether you’ll be required to wear a mask.
The End Of The Beginning
DeWine began his daily briefing by saying, “I will start by telling you where we are today.”
He read a quote from Winston Churchill from 1942.
“Now, ‘This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps the end of the beginning.’ That’s where I think we are today.”
He said he’d spoken today with his business advisory council. They submitted a plan for moving out of lockdown.
“While COVID is out there, no plan will guarantee that people will not get it. But during the stay-at-home time, the companies that were allowed to continue have learned a lot. In a sense this has been a trial period where we can see some of the things that work.”
Lt. Governor Jon Husted will head up the reopening efforts. The Governor said Husted may be missing from future daily updates as he works to restart Ohio’s economy.
“We’re looking to being this process on May 1. We will start with companies that can demonstrate that they can do these things. This will be phased in. The world will be different. You’re gonna see people with masks. You’re gonna see sanitizer. This is a new reality. This is gonna last until we are done with COVID. You’re going to be seeing masks everywhere.
He said that his priority was to make sure Ohioans felt confident about the reopening.
DeWine said there were five essential facts that contributed to the decision.
- First Fact: Ohioans have done a great job. Fighting Back. Staying Home. Doing the distancing. I’ve never been prouder to be an Ohioan.
- Second Fact: You have, it would appear, flattened the curve. We gotta get more data. The hospital admissions, at least for a week, we’ve been relatively flat.
- Third Fact – We all must live in a state and a country where COVID-19 is still here and we’re going to have to live with that until we have immunization. I’m an optimist. We have amazing scientists that are working on this.
- Fourth Fact – This period of time, living with the COVID-19 is not going to last forever.
- Fifth Fact– We must get Ohio’s economy moving again. We must get people back to work. I know that people who are unemployed want to work. Small businessmen and women want to do the same thing. Ohioans are chomping at the bit, ready to get back to work. We know that when the economy goes down. We know that there are bad consequences. People lose their jobs. There are medical consequences. Overdoses go up. People relapse. We see more homelessness.
The Governor added, “It’s essential that we do this the right way. We must get it right because the stakes are very high. What we do not want to do is to start back and then have a disaster. A huge spike in the number of people who test positive. We are fighting a two-front war. One is a medical crisis. One is an economic crisis.”
DeWine warned that high-risk people must continue to be careful. He also addressed young people. “You can be just as much a carrier as anybody else. Without intending to do anyone harm, you could visit an older person. Be very responsible. Worry about others.”
- Cases Presumed- 8,414
Cases Confirmed – 8,239
- Hospitalizations – 2, 331
- Deaths Presumed – 389
Deaths Confirmed – 373
- ICU Admissions – 707
- Tested – 74,000
- Positive – 272
- Tested 1,157
- Pending 744
- Negative 140
1 inmate in isolation at SOCF
132 Positive at Pickaway Correctional Institution
Dr Amy Acton said, “This has been a very trying time for all Ohioans. This is wearing on all of us. But I do want to give you a sense. While we have a long road ahead, I’m very optimistic about how we will travel this road together. The path ahead. There’s not one exact path. What our team is putting together is a series of phases that we’ll bring about slowly.”
Acton said that Ohioans must keep up great hygiene and wear masks. “Do not underestimate donning your mask and donning your cape. We really, really have to imbed in ourselves doing this well in the days to come.”
Governor DeWine said the reopening would be gradual and fact-driven. He said nothing was cast in stone and would depend of what happens as Ohio reopens.
He listed the variables as:
- Are we still flattening the curve?
- Hospital admissions
- How much PPE is available?
- Testing capacity
What are the avriables? Where are we at flattening the curve? As we open up. Second. We will keep an eye on the hospital admissions. We’re going to look at the PPE availablility. How are we doing on that.
DeWine declined to say whether he would issue a mandatory mask order.
“Let me start today with a very, very strong suggestion to people who are out in public. It’s the courteous thing to do. It’s the safe thing to do. This is going to be part of what we do until we’re done with the virus in a year or so.”
The Governor said he would make an announcement about schools sometime next week. DeWine said that he first wanted to talk to school superintendents around the state.