Six weeks after nonessential businesses throughout Ohio were ordered to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sending the state’s economy to a screeching halt, Gov. Mike DeWine has announced the blueprint to begin allowing some businesses to resume operations.
After the plan was announced, Ohio Farm Bureau released a joint statement with other interested organizations to say, in part:
“Today’s announcement on the reopening strategies of Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted are responsible first steps to Ohio getting back to business. For many businesses in Ohio, the staged reopening of commerce beginning May 1 through May 12 is a relief. We appreciate the open dialogue with Ohio’s leaders as we arrived at this point and certainly look forward to continuing to work to bring our state’s economy back to full force as soon as possible.”
The plan will be rolled out in three phases, beginning May 1. At that time, some restrictions on the health care sector will be lifted, allowing all health procedures that may be done without an overnight hospital stay be performed. This order will also give the go ahead to dentists and veterinarians to resume their practices.
Starting May 4, manufacturing, distribution and construction sectors and general offices will be opened up. These companies will have to follow responsible protocols, including requiring facial coverings, providing daily health assessments for employees, practicing good hygiene and social distancing and cleaning and sanitizing their environment regularly. Businesses in these categories also will need to limit room capacity to 50% of fire code and must report any COVID-19 cases and shut down for adequate cleaning and sanitization before reopening.
The third phase will begin May 12, when consumer, retail and service sectors may open.
“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 for those businesses. One cannot overstate the tragedy of this,” said DeWine, as he laid out this new plan. “So we have to get people back to work and we have to open things up. At the same time we have got to protect Ohioans.”
As for further openings, the governor says those plans are in the works.
“We have already had conversations with those who run restaurants and those conversations will continue and we are going to get those online as fast as we can.”
The governor emphasized that the state’s stay at home order remains in place with these new modifications and the order limiting gatherings to 10 people continues as well.
Here are more details on the governor’s plan to reopen Ohio.
Here is the full statement.