DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to provide an update on COVID-19 response in the area.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 433 cases of COVID-19 were reported to the state out of Montgomery County, leading to 129 hospitalizations and 10 deaths.
Cooper says Public Health strongly expects to see an increase in cases as the state economy reopens, and work continues on a long-term plan for handling this increase.
While it’s not a requirement, Public Health feels that citizens should wear a mask or face covering while out in public.
“It’s the right thing to do,” Cooper said. “We all need to make sacrifices and take appropriate actions to protect each other.”
Shops may be reopening, but Cooper says this is not the time to be mingling in stores for several hours throughout the day. Further, the public is advised to support those businesses “where it is very obvious” that workers are taking state guidelines seriously as opposed to those who don’t seem to be implementing any social distancing efforts.
Mayor Whaley says the City of Dayton will not be issuing new or additional outdoor seating permits to coincide with the reopening of restaurants in the state, citing concerns over the area’s testing capabilities.
“I know I’ve seen other cities that have done this, that have closed streets, that are offering this,” she said. “I think it’s really great but I don’t know what their situation was with testing. I just know what our community’s situation is with testing.”
She is encouraging residents to continue to opt for takeout as opposed to dining out, saying “just because something is allowed doesn’t mean you should do it.”
“You will not see my husband, Sam, and I out in restaurants when they reopen and I cannot encourage any kind of gathering, frankly, in good conscience when I know where we are with testing in this community,” she said.
The Mayor feels the risk of a customer who may test positive after dining at a restaurant puts too much stress on the business owners and workers involved.
The City will also not approve permits that allow restaurants to use their parking areas for extra seating space.
“They can open on May 15 in the patio space that they have available today,” Whaley said.
City officials will revisit this policy in early June in conjunction with Public Health.
“I know the people of Dayton can hang on a little while longer because they are amazing and continue to look out for one another from afar, and continue to support small businesses that are providing takeout,” said Whaley.
She says she was moved by restaurant owners who reached out to her because they were wrestling so much over their decision to reopen.
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