Doctors, dentists and veterinarians may begin reopening May 1st, but restaurants and hair salons remain on hold.
Alison Holm reports:
Citing a five-day decline in the rate of new cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations and deaths, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Monday announced how the state's phased re-opening of businesses will unfold. The first to resume will be elective surgery that was postponed as the state braced for a possible wave of coronavirus cases. DeWine says health care procedures that do not require an overnight stay may resume Friday, May 1st, and dentists and veterinarians can reopen as well.
On Monday, May 4th, manufacturing, distribution, construction and general offices may re-open - provided they can follow the guidelines.
“’No masks, no work, no service, no exceptions’. So every employee will have to have a facial covering. Require face coverings for employees and clients and customers at all times;
Two: conduct daily health assessments by employers/employees. Self-evaluation to determine if that person is fit for duty;
Three: good hygiene at all times, hand-washing and social distancing;
Four: clean and sanitize workplaces throughout work day and at the close of business; and
[Five]: limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines, at a minimum no more than 50% of the fire code. Use appointments, appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.”
DeWine says businesses that cannot follow the protocols should remain closed until the situation changes, or face a shut down from the local health department, who will be responsible for fielding complaints about non-compliant businesses. He says some businesses have found new ways to operate over the past six weeks – and he hopes they will continue safe strategies.
"Companies have found out that many of the members of their office can work from home and be just as efficient. We are asking companies as they go back into their office space to continue to do that as much as humanly possible.”
DeWine says some retail and service businesses can reopen May 12th based on their ability to protect employees and customers, and dependent on a continued decline in the number of new cases of infection. He says reopening the economy will be a cautious process.
“This is the beginning. But to be able to do it and to continue to move forward without someone that no one wants to see occur...we don’t to open things up and then have to fall back. We don’t want to see a huge spike in hospitalizations; we don’t want to see a huge spike in cases. there’s a lot of things we can do to lessen then impact.”
Dewine says restaurants and salons will remain closed for the time being, as the state ramps up testing for cornavirus, and contact tracing for confirmed cases. Other than special emergency pandemic centers, daycare will remain closed for the time being. DeWine says he understands that not making daycare available as businesses reopen places a burden on many families, but he says the state needs to proceed carefully in congregate settings like daycare.