Breaking News
More () »

Is Ohio ready to reopen? Democrats raise safety concerns in letter to Gov. Mike DeWine

'We oppose any plan that disproportionately prioritizes the economy over people’s lives.'

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As Gov. Mike DeWine plans to start the first phase of reopening Ohio's economy on May 1, Senate Democrats have sent him a letter with multiple requests before he takes any action.

“Our number one priority as a state must be to protect the health and safety of all Ohioans,” the senators wrote in the letter. “We oppose any plan that disproportionately prioritizes the economy over people’s lives.”

Here are the following conditions they requested in their letter before Gov. DeWine begins reopening Ohio:

  • Expanded testing capacity and enough data on the size, scope and spread of the virus in Ohio.
  • Adequate supply of PPE and sanitation equipment.
  • Required use of masks in public spaces.
  • Precise guidelines for businesses that are proportional to the size of the business. The guidelines should also be well publicized so that both employees and consumers are familiar with them.
  • Whistleblower protections for employees who report violations of these safety guidelines. Employees should be able to confidentially report such infractions without fear of retaliation.
  • Accommodations for employees who have childcare needs, especially as long as our schools, day cares and presumably summer camps are closed.
  • Continue to allow employees who can work from home to do so and in particular those who are at higher-risk or who take care of people who are at higher-risk.

RELATED: What is the plan to reopen Ohio? Here's what Gov. Mike DeWine is saying about barbershops, salons, retail, amusement parks and more

The letter, which you can read in full at the bottom of this story, stresses their "most fundamental concern" is the lack of access to testing.

“It’s important that we get this absolutely right,” said Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights). “If we reopen the economy without first increasing our testing capacity and without making sure that hospitals and businesses have enough PPE and cleaning supplies, we’ll be putting too many lives at risk. The economy is not going to recover if customers are afraid to go shopping and employees are afraid to go to work.”

Gov. DeWine, who hasn't revealed many details for his May 1 plan, said he will announce more information about the reopening process on Monday, April 27. He also said the strategy is for a slow restart of Ohio's economy that's "very consistent" with guidelines suggested by President Trump. You can read those guidelines HERE.

You can read Senate Democrats' letter in full below:


Before You Leave, Check This Out