Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced the Phase One reopening of more businesses following the six week Stay At Home order, created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Stay At Home order continues with modifications starting May 1st.
DeWine stressed the need to continue social distance recommendations like washing hands, wearing masks and sanitizing surfaces. For gatherings, the order of no more than 10 people will remain.
The governor also says Ohio needs two additional things:
1.) Ramp up testing dramatically and contact tracing. He reiterated an announcement last week to ramp up testing from about 3,700 tests a day to 22,000 tests a day.
2.) Tracing and testing go together. Tracing is something that's been done for years. Trying to break, separate people who have COVID-19, or have been exposed so they don't expose others.
Tier 1: Now, there are 900 volunteers.
Tier 2: State getting money to give to health departments to hire more people because COVID19 will be here for a while.
Tier 3: A group that will be able to surge in if there are hot spots.
All non-emergency healthcare procedures that do not require an overnight stay, can resume May 1st. Dentists and veterinarians can also begin full steam ahead on May 1st.
Beginning May 4th: Manufacturing, Distribution, and Construction will open back up. But, the state is going to require those who are opening - and those who already have been open - to follow strict guidelines on how to reopen. Conduct daily employee assessments, employees must wear a mask- no exceptions. If employee tests positive, their name reported to local health department.
Business offices may reopen, but management is encouraged to have employees work from home-if possible.
Beginning May 12th: Retail businesses may reopen with employees. Order updated on 4/28/20 that now says customers are recommended to wearing masks, but not required.
Dine-in restaurants, bars, entertainment, recreation, barbershops and salons, older adult daycare/senior centers and gyms are not included in the first phase of reopening.
The governor added; "We're not mandating that you wear masks when you walk out of your house to see your neighbor, but we recommend it."
Concerning outdoor recreation, the Ohio Department of Health initially left it up to each county as to whether golf courses could be open. Ross County ordered courses closed to begin with, but allowed them to reopen two weeks ago.
Monday, the state shared Ohio had 16,325 total coronavirus cases with 753 deaths and 3,232 hospitalizations.
Locally, a Pickaway Correctional Institution nurse has died over the weekend from COVID-19. She becomes the second prison employee to die to the virus, after developing complications.
The Ross County Health District reported 35 confirmed recorded cases and one probable case in the county in their Monday update. Eleven of the county’s positive cases have since made official recoveries. So far 348 tests have been conducted in the county with twenty-one still pending. There have been eight Ross County hospitalizations. The death toll from virus related complications here in Ross County remains at one.