Ohio will take its first steps toward a return to what Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said will be a new normal on May 1, when the governor announced initial economic reopening steps will take place.
“We must get this right. If we do not do this right, the consequences are horrendous,” he said Thursday, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“It’s going to be gradual,” DeWine said, according to WEWS. “It’s not that we’re reopening the state in that sense but we want to do it in a way that engenders confidence in people in the state of Ohio that when a business is open that customers are safe, that employees are as safe as we can make them.”
DeWine said there will be a process for allowing businesses that are now shuttered to reopen.
We have a plan to start opening Ohio back up. It’s going to be gradual- one thing after another. We want to do this in a thoughtful way that engenders confidence and ensures customers and employees are safe.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) April 16, 2020
“The world that we’re going to see is a different world,” DeWine said. “Barriers, distancing, all the things we have talked so much about. The workplace is going to change.”
The recent weeks of Ohio’s emergency order have been a learning experience, he said.
“We have learned a lot from our companies who are considered essential and are still open during the stay-at-home order. Many safety precautions have been put into place to protect employees,” DeWine said, according to WBNS.
Businesses that are allowed to reopen will have to follow a list of guidelines that are likely to include such things as checks of personal protective equipment; limited numbers of visitors allowed, with those allowed in screened; clear hygiene guidelines and enforcement of social-distancing rules; and instructions to self-monitor for sickness.
DeWine said letting businesses open is one thing, restoring “the stuff we all really like,” such as county fairs, is another.
“The thought of kids wouldn’t be able to take their lambs to show is, I think that’s just horrible,” he said. “It’s something we all have to work through.”
The governor has yet to make an announcement about any reopening of schools, though he said he is likely to do so next week.
DeWine said fighting ills that come from unemployment is as vital to the state as fighting the coronavirus.
“I will fight just as hard to bring this economy back … as I have to fight to save lives of Ohioans,” DeWine said. “That is our commitment to you.”
“Our commitment to you remains very, very strong,” Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton added. “We’re fighting every day for your lives and your well-being and your livelihood as well. We know that health is so much more than whether you get sick or not.
“This has been a very, very trying time for all Ohioans.”
DeWine said emerging from the current restrictions will be challenging.
“I am an optimist and am confident that Ohioans will also live up to the challenge of doing things differently as we open back up beginning on May 1,” he said.
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