COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced reopening dates and protocols for several types of businesses during his coronavirus news conference on Thursday.
“This is high risk. This is a high risk operation. But it would be high risk if we didn’t do anything,” DeWine said. “Make those calculated risks, make those good judgments. Because what you do will really impact our ability to keep as many as our fellow Ohioans safe.”
Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and day spas can reopen on May 15. Clients may be asked to wait in their car for their appointments. Employees will be wearing masks and clients are asked to also don masks. In some cases, businesses can decide to make face coverings required.
Restaurants and bars can reopen to outdoor dining on May 15 and indoor dining May 21. Bars are included in those dates. Guidelines for restaurants focus on floor plans to maintain proper social distancing with barriers. Customers may be asked to wait in their car for a table. Most employees will wear masks, unless it risks their safety, like those who work the grill.
DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton began limiting large gatherings of people in early March in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. The efforts to flatten the curve helped conserve personal protective equipment and give hospitals more time to prepare for an increase of patients.
On March 15, DeWine ordered the closure of bars and restaurants, except for carryout. Three days later, the governor closed barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tattoo parlors. Gyms came next.
As plans were announced to gradually open the state’s economy, DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted created advisory boards, consisting of business owners, to determine best practices for keeping workers and customers safe.
On May 4, manufacturers, distributors, construction and general office environments were allowed to reopen. Then on May 12, consumer, retail and services can open for business again.