COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton held a briefing on coronavirus in Ohio Thursday at 2 p.m. on the eve of when many businesses in Ohio are scheduled to reopen.
As of Thursday, 26,357 cases have been reported in the state of Ohio (+636), leading to 4,718 hospitalizations (+100) and 1,534 deaths (+51). 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.
Gov. DeWine announced Thursday that daycares in Ohio will be allowed to reopen May 31 with reduced numbers of children, with a maximum of 6 per classroom. Temperature taking will be routine, and intensified cleaning and handwashing practices will be in place.
“We are taking a cautious approach,” DeWine said. “The reopening of childcare…we’re really doing for the first time. There is no playbook for conducting it, really, during a pandemic such as we have today. So we will be continuing to monitor as we go forward.”
DeWine said they may make changes as we move forward.
DeWine and Husted announced the following reopening Ohio timeline through the end of May:
- 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 coronavirus.ohio.gov 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.
For the first time in weeks, malls and retail stores opened to the public Tuesday in Ohio. Customers can expect to see some restrictions and new policies, and it won’t be shopping as normal quite yet.
The group did not hold a press briefing Wednesday, but on Tuesday, Governor DeWine announced the Ohio’s pandemic EBT plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This means families of 850,000 students who rely on free or reduced-price meal programs will receive around $300 to purchase food.
DeWine estimates the benefits amount to more than $250 million that will go to grocery stores and other eligible retailers.
Also on Tuesday, Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced tattoo, piercing and massage businesses will be able to open May 15.