COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, along with Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton held their daily update on the spread of COVID-19 in the state at 2pm, Friday.
As of Friday, a total of 18,743 cases have been reported in the state, leading to 3,634 hospitalizations and 1,002 deaths. Of the hospitalizations, 1,056 were ICU admissions.
Late Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health released information on a new order by ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton, entitled ‘Stay Safe Ohio’ that extends the stay-at-home protocol until May 29.
“The name is important — Stay Safe Ohio. Not a stay-at-home order,” DeWine said during Friday’s press conference. “We’ve reached a new stage and I think that’s good news for everybody.”
Gov. DeWine added Ohioans should not read anything into the date given of May 29 and the order itself will be superseded as the state issues new reopening orders through the month.
Gov. DeWine made sure to say the new order doesn’t mean the virus has gone away.
He also stressed that people need to continue to practice social distancing and safe practices. DeWine urged people not to gather in groups larger than 10, because the virus is still out there.
DeWine also announced Friday groups will be formed in the coming days to investigate when other businesses can reopen, including gyms, childcare, and libraries.
DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted announced curbside pickup and appointment shopping will be allowed for retail stores between now and May 12 when the stores are allowed to let customers inside their businesses.
On Wednesday, DeWine and Husted addressed confusion regarding the wearing of masks in the workplace.
Husted said there have been many questions about what is required for face coverings. Husted said the business group was unanimous in saying face coverings should be required for customers. They have since heard that would be impractical.
Husted said customers in a business should wear a face coverings. They are not required, however.
Timeline for phase one of reopening Ohio:
- May 1 – Health care procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay in Ohio can move forward.
- May 4 – Manufacturing, distribution and construction will be opened up.
- May 4 – General offices will be able to reopen. Companies are asked to have employees work from home if possible.
- May 12 – Retail businesses, with employees and customers wearing masks.
- Businesses like salons, gyms and restaurants will have to wait to see how the first reopenings go.
Despite the May 1 date of a gradual economic reopening, K-12 school buildings in Ohio will stay closed for the remainder of the academic year, and graduations are to be held as virtual commencement ceremonies.