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DeWine Says Employees and Customers Will Drive Business Re-opening

Apr 17, 2020

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says plans to begin reopening businesses in Ohio continue to evolve.  He gave a few more details at Friday's press conference on plans to slowly begin phase one May 1st.

DeWine says key to businesses reopening will be their ability to observe the criteria established for "essential" businesses that have remained open during the past month -- ensuring safe distance between employees or customers, providing sanitizers, masks and barriers where appropriate, and a regular and rigorous schedule of sterilizing work spaces. 

"When we start looking at which companies start we're going to look - at least early on - at ones that we can take the practices that have already been learned in the last few weeks and apply those to those companies.  And we have no reason to think that they will not be safe for their employees."  

Dewine says the state will not determine which businesses can reopen - or which reopened businesses are not following the guidelines.  That will fall to local health departments, employees, and customers.  

"Customers, by staying away; and employees by picking up the phone and calling the health department.  It's no different than what is really going on today, we're seeing that today."

Ohio health Director Dr. Amy Acton says re-opening businesses should depend on wider medical efforts like more extensive testing, contact tracing, and seeing sustained decreases in the number of cases.  

"It would be a very false narrative in this country and a very dangerous narrative, to just throw the doors wide open and give people a sense that you can just go backwards to "normal".  That's unfortunately not a part of our reality." 

DeWine says his board of business advisors is continuing to meet and there will be more details worked out about reopening businesses before the May 1rst first phase roll out.