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DeWine Says New Phase Of Slowly Reopening Businesses Begins May 1

Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director and Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine says the state is fighting a war on two fronts, one against against the coronavirus and the other against a struggling economy. He says with that in mind, the state will go into a new phase of the COVID-19 response on May 1 with a plan to slowly reopen businesses.

DeWine says the plan will gradually reopen businesses with certain protocols in place.

DeWine says he's working with business and medical experts to do this in a way that avoids what he calls a "disaster" which would be to see a resurgence of COVID-19.

"What we do not want to do is to start back, to start getting back have businesses open up getting small businesses up and then have a disaster, a huge spike in the number, who test positive and are in the hospitals," says DeWine.

DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director, say they will rely on science and medical research as they move forward with this plan.

"What our team has been putting together is a series of phases that we'll walk through together as we slowly and responsibly open up and try to bring about more of our life as we know it," says Acton.

In a press release following DeWine's daily briefing Thursday, the administration said it was joining a "regional coalition" to work closely with the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky, "to reopen the region’s economy in a coordinated way."

The release says the regional coaltion will review four factors to reopening the economy:

  • Number of cases in the state and the number of hospital admissions
  • Amount of hospital capacity
  • Ability to test and trace cases of COVID-19
  • Best practices for social distancing in businesses

No word yet on if he plans to reopen K-12 schools to in-person education for the rest of the school year. DeWine says he wants to have more conversations with school superintendents but believes he'll have an answer next week.

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