COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton are scheduled to give an update on the status of the Coronavirus and the state’s response at 2 p.m.
As of Monday, there are 20,474 cases reported in Ohio, leading to 3,809 hospitalizations and 1,056 deaths. Of those hospitalized, 1,090 required intensive care.
Governor DeWine said within the next several days, they will announce a date for the reopening of restaurants, along with protocols that will need to be put in place.
DeWine said as we head into the next phase of reopening, they are focusing on the ‘how’ and relying on those who do the work every day.
DeWine addressed demonstrations outside the Statehouse. He said he does not normally comment on demonstrators. He has been in office for a long time and has demonstrators come out against him many times. He said it’s something he’s used to and something he respects.
While DeWine said he is fair game, “It’s not fair game to disrespect the news media, to be obnioxious to the news media.”
He also addressed demonstrations outside the home of Dr. Amy Acton, saying that he is the elected official, and the buck stops with him.
DeWine also announced that over the next month, Ohio will greatly expand testing capacity, thanks to a partnership with Thermo Fisher and Roe Dental Lab.
Lt. Governor Jon Husted said Bureau of Motor Vehicles Deputy Registrar locations will not reopen until later this month. There is no fixed date. Husted said they are looking into ways to reopen all facilities while maintaining social distancing.
Monday, more businesses were allowed to get back to work under phase one of Ohio’s reopening plan.
Manufacturing, distribution, and construction projects that were closed under Ohio’s previous stay-at-home order as well as general offices were permitted to reopen Monday.
Husted said people who file 1099 tax forms can apply for unemployment under the federal CARES Act, which did set up unemployment for those individuals. However, Husted said those people may be waiting to get their benefits.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have a system for that, so we have to build a brand new one,” he said. “Now we’er at the point you can apply, people have been doing that for a little over a week.”
Benefits for those people should be processed and sent out by mid-May, the lieutenant governor said.
Timeline for phase one of reopening Ohio:
- May 1 – Health care procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay in Ohio can move forward.
- May 4 – Manufacturing, distribution and construction will be opened up.
- May 4 – General offices will be able to reopen. Companies are asked to have employees work from home if possible.
- May 12 – Retail businesses, with employees and customers wearing masks.
- Businesses like salons, gyms and restaurants will have to wait to see how the first reopenings go.