Stay At Home Opponents Rally At Statehouse, DeWine Asking Ohioans To 'Hang In There'
A few dozen protesters marched around the Ohio Statehouse calling on Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen businesses in the state while DeWine counters that the latest studies show social distancing is working and "saving lives."
Opponents of the Stay At Home Order are calling on state officials to allow businesses to open, to let kids go back to school, and to allow people to start congregating in groups again.
Ohio's coronavirus peak is now projected to be around 1,600 cases a day which is far lower than an earlier projection of 10,000 cases a few weeks ago. Critics say this data shows Ohio can lift its Stay At Home order.
But DeWine and medical experts around the state and country say the peak of the virus is lowering because of the state's Stay At Home order and shows that the state must continue its mitigation efforts.
"All the evidence that we have indicates that if we don't hang in there, if we don't continue to do what we're doing it's going to cost a lot of lives and it's going to delay our ability to economically recover," says DeWine.
He says he understands people's frustrations and that he wants to reopen businesses as soon as possible.
"My assurance to them today is that we're not going to keep this on one day longer than we have to. Once we can start moving this out we're going to do that. We're going to do it in an intelligent way that will enable us to get out of it. But also we're going to do everything we can so that we don't have a re-spike. So we don't have it coming back," DeWine says.
Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director, says going through a pandemic is like climbing a mountain. She says it's a difficult journey and something that must be done with the help of a guide.
"We will escort you equally as carefully and we hope to be one of the most aggressive and assertive states on that recovery, getting down that mountain and getting back to our lives but we must do it responsibly," says Acton. "I want you to know that every move we're making is based in the best science and we will not leave your side as we get you carefully through this arduous journey ahead."
DeWine and Acton say social distancing and the closure of non-essential businesses is saving lives and bringing the peak of the virus substantially lower than earlier projections.
They point out Ohio is projected to have a much lower coronavirus peak compared to hot spots like Louisiana, Georgia, and Florida which took longer to enforce stay at home measures.