Ohio governor announces state economy to begin process of opening May 1

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced Thursday that the state economy will begin the process of reopening on May 1.

The governor said during his press briefing that the state government is planning its reopening on the date his stay-at-home order expires. DeWine told his residents to prepare for things “to be different” as masks and social distancing become the normal in workplaces.

“I am an optimist and am confident that Ohioans will also live up to the challenge of doing things differently as we open back up beginning on May 1st,” he tweeted.

ADVERTISEMENT

DeWine said the state’s residents are going to have to live with the threat of coronavirus until a vaccine is available, so starting the economy is the right move to lessen the opportunity for other health issues like drug abuse, Cleveland.com reported

“We have a plan to start opening Ohio back up. It's going to be gradual- one thing after another,” DeWine tweeted. “We want to do this in a thoughtful way that engenders confidence and ensures customers and employees are safe.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The governor said he believes the state has entered the end of the first phase of the coronavirus, adding the state will watch the curve, the amount of available personal protective equipment and the testing capacity.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton said at the press conference the public can still use “great hygiene” and wear a mask to flatten the curve. 

The state has confirmed 8,239 positive cases with 2,331 hospitalizations and 373 deaths, according to the state health department. More than 855,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits in the state, according to the Department of Labor. 

DeWine issued a stay-at-home order March 22, which only permits residents to leave home for essential activities involving health and safety and to get supplies. It closed nonessential businesses as well.

An alliance of Midwest governors, including DeWine, announced in a joint statement they are working on a plan to reopen their states’ economies.