Child care facilities can reopen under strict new rules on May 31, a move that's considered essential for many workers to return to their jobs. And many other businesses got the go-ahead to reopen as well.
The state reported 24,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus Thursday, a 27% increase over Wednesday. There were 1,388 confirmed deaths reported, 41 more than the day before but a 7% decrease.
Gov. Mike DeWine said that child care will look different when facilities reopen. The state has set a maximum of nine children per room, and a maximum of six in infant and toddler rooms. Temperatures will be taken daily and the state says workers should wear masks. Handwashing will be stressed and done repeatedly. And parents may not be able to walk their kids back to their rooms in these facilities.
Those smaller class sizes will mean less money for child care operators, and more cleaning might put a financial stress on those facilities too. DeWine said $60 million from the federal CARES Act will be used to help them.
And DeWine also said the state will be conducting a research project to gather more information about how COVID-19 can impact child care centers, and how the virus spreads through them. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said a researcher leading a national study on how the virus spreads in child care centers will help Ohio with its study.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted also announced some other openings, saying that these are dates by which these businesses can open, but they can't shorten the time frame and open sooner or lessen the standards they have to meet.
- Day camps – May 31
- Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices – May 26
- Campgrounds - May 21
- Gyms/fitness centers – May 26
- Non-contact sports leagues such as golf and baseball/softball – May 26
- Pools regulated by local health departments, not water parks or amusement parks – May 26
- Horse racing - May 22 (spectators will be prohibited, no casinos or racinos)
And Husted said local governments might have further guidance on these reopenings.