COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton held their daily news briefing Friday afternoon to update Ohioans on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ohio Department of Health said there were 18,743 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, and 1,002 deaths, as of Friday afternoon. Cases range in age from infant to 106 years old.
During the briefing, DeWine announced that a new order has gone into effect: the Stay Safe Ohio order.
“Our new order goes into effect today. Not much new there that we haven’t already talked about here. But I do want to indicate the name: Stay Safe Ohio. It’s not a stay at home order. We have reached a new stage. But – it doesn’t mean the virus has gone away. Social distancing and face coverings are still very, very important. May 29th is the expiration date for the new order, but don’t read too much into that date. We will be issuing new orders throughout the month. No one should be too fixated on the date,” DeWine said.
The Governor also explained that officials are working to reopen Ohio and restart the economy.
“We are bringing people together who understand how to proactively reopen other sectors safely – things like restaurants and barbershops. We need to keep customers and employees safe. Plus, the public needs to feel comfortable that all safety measures have been taken,” explained DeWine.
DeWine says the state has put together groups of experts from the following industries: restaurants, hair and salons, libraries, tourism, outdoor recreation, sports, gym and fitness centers, theater and arts, childcare, and adult daycare.
He adds that more groups will be created.
State leaders also remind Ohioans that they must continue to practice social distancing and wear face coverings. While things are beginning to reopen, the coronavirus is still poses a great threat to our communities.
“I know this is hard. I get it. But we have to stick together,” said DeWine. “We have a path. Let’s keep going. Let’s keep each other safe. Let’s get our businesses open. I appreciate what everyone has done. You’ve made sacrifices and continue to make them.”
Meanwhile, Phase 1 of DeWine’s plan to restart Ohio went into effect Friday, with hospitals and healthcare practitioners now being able to perform procedures that do not require overnight stay in a hospital. Veterinarians and dentists may also resume practice.
On Monday, offices, industry, and construction businesses can reopen. Businesses who can should try to have employees work from home.
On May 12, retail can resume. However, retailers can currently schedule appointments for customers. They can also offer curbside services if their business lends itself to that type of activity.