- “You have done an amazing job staying at home, staying apart. Things that we asked you to do. Candidly, we are where we are today where we can start coming back, getting the economy moving, because of what you have done. You got the job done!”
- “The coronavirus is still here and is just as dangerous as it has been. It’s still living amongst us.” He talked about the devil roaming the world and how this coronavirus is searching for bodies, like the devil or a monster. “Many things we’ve done have dramatically slowed the process.”
- “The tools we have had to slow it down, to break it from going from one person to another — the most important ones are still the same: distance, distance, distance. Washing hands. Normal surface sanitation. Wear a face covering. These are things we’ll have to keep doing as we open the economy.”
Where Ohio is and what we’ve accomplished. It directly relates to getting us moving forward in May:
- COVID-19 statistics: 16,325 positive cases in Ohio as of April 27, 2020 at 2:15 p.m.
- Testing: Ohio has come up with a method to make more COVID-19 testing swabs every single day.
- April 29 swabs/projections through May 5: Gov. DeWine predicts 7,200 tests a day or 43,000 a week will be available.
Tracing and testing go together. Tracing is something that health departments have done for years. “The challenge is trying to do that in this larger scale. Created contact tracing taskforce. Each tier includes getting money for health departments, training and hiring new workers for tracing. In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the time frame while they may have been infectious.
How Ohio will move forward:
1. On May 1, we will have a healthcare opening, meaning all health procedures that can be done, which do not require an overnight stay in the hospital, can be done. “The hospitals are not full, we have space. One area that is not quite where we want it is personal protection. But it’s coming.” It’s obviously a personal choice for such procedures and for employees to work/not work in the field.
2. Dentists and veterinarians, beginning May 1, should be able to be “full steam ahead.”
3. On May 4: manufacturing, distribution and construction will be opened up. “We’ve learned a lot from businesses that have stayed open.
Manufacturing: distancing a must. If not physically apart, must have a screen.
General office environments will be able to be reopen beginning May 4. But, Gov. DeWine is asking companies to allow people to work from home “as much as humanly possible. This will allow us to move forward quicker.”
4. On May 12: Consumer, retail and services will be allowed to reopen with guidelines and strict sanitization in place. All employees will wear a facial covering. All customers are encouraged to also wear a facial covering, though it’s not a mandate, it’s a strong suggestion.
5. Stay-at-home orders still in effect, but modified. We can visit the places that are allowed to be open. We must keep our distance and whenever possible, wear a facial covering.
6. Gatherings are to be 10 people or less so “we can see how this works and monitor the numbers and see how our tracing and testing is going. We believe we can live up to our goals. This is the beginning. But to be able to move forward without seeing something we don’t want to occur, like going back. We just have to continue to do the things to lessen the spread of the virus,” Gov. DeWine said.
DeWine then turned his attention to the most vulnerable. “As we look at that, those 65 years and older are in a much more difficult situation. Anyone with chronic lung disease, severe obesity, chronic kidney disease or liver disease, and more – those individuals would remind you to be exceedingly careful as you are at much greater risk of getting it and what can happen.”
He then addressed some of the summer questions his office has been receiving. “We’re not quite there yet” to determine what our summer will look like in terms of holding. canceling events. “We are set with May to be a very good month, with testing and tracing and you all doing what you’ve been doing.”
Lt. Governor Jon Husted said, “This is the next phase to live with coronavirus safely….so the next thing can come sooner.”
The reasons for the openings were for “controllable risk.” For example, daycares and schools are difficult to control and the plan for the openings announced today are controllable, according to Gov. DeWine.
“I wish we could open everything today and, if not that, I wish we could have a road map… it’s kind of like a continuum with least risk and controlled environment, you can make it safer.” A company that can enforce the 6 feet, facial covering, sanitization – that’s one environment. When you move to retail, that’s less controlled, more contact. Great desire to do hair, and I fully get that. We’re gonna get there. But again, you’re talking very, very, very close contact. When you talk about gyms, again, a lot of people together and it becomes a group of people. We’ve started with things we can control. The last thing that will come into play is mass gatherings, the things we all want to do. There may be, at some point, a way to attend a baseball or football game where people are spread out, but we aren’t there yet. We aren’t ruling anything out yet,” explained DeWine.
“We’ll be criticized from both sides. Some will say we shouldn’t have opened at all, and some will say we didn’t open enough. I understand it all. To the best of my ability, I think we’ve found the sweet spot that’s more likely to cause good. It’s a risk and I fully understand the risk,” DeWine said.