COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton held a 2pm update on the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the state. 

As of Thursday, there are 30,167 cases reported across the state, leading to 1,836 deaths and 5,295 hospitalizations. Of those hospitalized. 1,397 required intensive care.

The Department of Health adds the data as soon as they are informed of a case or death. The information is backdated to the actual date the person started exhibiting symptoms or the date the person died.

Lt. Governor Husted began the Thursday’s news conference by announcing bowling alleys, miniature golf, and batting cages in the state can reopen May 26, as long as they follow proper protocols.  

Husted also announced that skills training for all sports, including football and basketball, can begin May 26.  

Husted also announced that beginning June 1, wedding venues and banquet halls in Ohio can resume business with the following restrictions:

  • 6 feet between tables
  • no congregating
  • crowd sizes limited to 300 people

The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on the disparities in health among the race, and Gov. Mike DeWine announced several steps the state is taking to help address those disparities.

DeWine unveiled two new tools at The first is a map to see county level data by race and ethnic background. A second map shows the “Ohio Opportunity Index” so they can track where resources are needed.

“It should not matter where you live or what race you are,” said DeWine. “We have an obligation to help them.” 

DeWine said Thursday a new position within the Ohio Department of Health — the Deputy Director of Social Determinants of Health and Opportunity — will focus on community conditions that affect health, well-being, and economic vitality.

DeWine also said that in order to support both health departments in their efforts to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus and the disproportionate impact on minorities in Ohio, there will be a significan increase the number of public health workers who can help notify Ohioans of possible exposure to the virus. 

On Wednesday,  DeWine announced three orders were signed by Acton, including one that partially rescinds the April 30 Stay Safe Ohio Order,  and another that issues a series of health advisories.

Tuesday, DeWine announced a new order, called ‘Urgent Health Advisory: Ohioans protecting Ohioans.’ He says it is time for the state’s health orders to reflect where we are today.

DeWine says what was previously stay-home orders are now ‘strong recommendations.’

The new advisory incorporates social distancing, limit of 10 people for mass gatherings, frequent hand washing and includes orders for businesses.

The advisory considers those who are most vulnerable. It recommends these Ohioans stay home as much as possible.

DeWine called on Ohioans’ sense of responsibility and concern for others. The new order strongly recommends Ohioans stay home, but does not require it.

Travel restrictions are also being lifted. It is still not recommended to travel for nonessential reasons, but it is not restricted.

Last week, the DeWine administration laid out the following scheduled through the end of May for reopening remaining businesses across the state:

  • Campgrounds can reopen on May 21
  • Horse racing can resume May 22, spectators will be prohibited
  • BMVs will open across the state on May 26; Ohioans are encouraged to use the online resources if at all possible
  • Gyms, fitness centers and pools can reopen on May 26
  • Day camps will be allowed to reopen right along with daycares, on May 31
  • Guidance for the above reopenings will be posted to later today

These reopening dates are in addition to the first phase of reopening Ohio’s economy:

  • May 15 – outdoor dining
  • May 15 – personal services (salons, spas, massage therapy, tattoo and piercing services)
  • May 21 – indoor dining

Water parks and amusement parks do not have a reopening date at this time.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources: