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What is the plan to reopen Ohio? Gov. Mike DeWine to announce details today

Gov. DeWine's plan to restart Ohio's economy begins Friday, May 1.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — UPDATE: DeWine's plan for Ohio can be seen HERE.

Original story below...

May 1 arrives this coming Friday, and Ohioans have been left wondering what the state’s reopening process will actually look like.

Those questions will be answered today (Monday, April 27) as Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to reveal details during his afternoon press conference.

Despite some critics saying May 1 is too early, Gov. DeWine has said the process will be slow in an effort to keep Ohioans safe.

What can we expect? Here’s what we know so far from Gov. DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton regarding the plan to move forward in Ohio amid life with the coronavirus:

HOSPITALS

“The goal is to get as many people back to work safely as we can. We’ll talk in a few days about what we’re doing with hospitals. We’re trying to open hospitals up. Hospitals are a safe place to be. They are a place that we had to restrict some of the activity because we worried about not having enough of the personal protection equipment. I’m looking now at recommendations from the Hospital Association, so movement forward on hospitals, letting them do more. They’re an essential part, not only of people’s healthcare, but an essential part of the community.”

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RETAIL

Gov. DeWine: "We’re going to look for those businesses that can open and put in place the safety that is needed. Safety might include some reconfiguration. We have some examples of manufacturers who have been open as an essential business. We have other people who make things that have not been open, we’re going to look to see if we can open some of them. People will be wearing masks. People will be wearing gloves. When we start moving toward retail, we’re going to move retail out again in a situation so people can be safe, the employees can be safe and the customers who come into retail will be able to safe. It’s not going to be done overnight. We’re going to try to get as many people out working as we can as we move forward. We’ll have some announcements in regard to that."

NOTE: You can watch his full comments in the video below:

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SALONS & BARBERSHOPS

Gov. DeWine: “The real question does come down to can that be done safely? It’s very close-contact by its nature, so that’s something we’re exploring. We’re exploring with the board that regulates those two professions. We hope to have more, but it is something I fully understand and I understand it’s people’s desire to do it. The nature of it is it’s close work. You cannot stay six feet away and do that, so figuring out how that can be done in a safe way is something that has to be worked on.”

Dr. Acton: “Our understanding of all this is still evolving hour by hour. Each of these industries, this is where we begin to innovate. Every one of these industries is getting a hold of CDC guidance as it’s made available. … Now that we are all starting to understand this virus better, I think we’re going to see all these industries ways to make it as safe as possible.”

GATHERINGS, SPORTING EVENTS, CONCERTS, AMUSEMENT PARKS

Gov. DeWine: "If you look at some of the things at some of the things that we all love to do, the big gatherings, coming together for sporting events, coming together for concerts, those are not going to be the first things that open up. Those present the most challenges for social distancing. We’re going to do things where we can get the most number of employees back and people working back with the least risk. That’s where we’re going to start. … We all love amusement parks, we all love going to baseball games and doing other things, but the reality has simply not changed. The reality is that we have kept the curve down so our hospitals are not overrun, but we still have the virus out there. … The other reality is that anybody can be a carrier. Anybody who gets it can be a carrier, even if they don’t really manifest it themselves. Again, what Dr. Acton has said is we need to assume everybody is a carrier.”

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REOPENING OUTLOOK

Dr. Acton: “We have got to think about this timeline in a very gradual way. It’s very hard to see more than a week or two ahead of you, let alone a month or two or three ahead. What we’re really talking about is sort of loosening the norm we’re in now. I think that’s a better way to think of it. As more things can become essential, and as we lean into that each of the necessary policy discussions around that will surface. They’re all interrelated. It’s very hard to talk about business without childcare, or as a parent what are you going to do with your kids? … What are the least risky things to open up? What are the more risky? How do we do that? We have to look at how can reinvent ourselves? How can we make this less risky and open it up?”

Gov. DeWine: “Once you start opening things up, the contact increases. The key here is to do it in a way that minimizes -- as much as humanly possible -- the risk. There are bad thing that occur from a health point of view, and from other ways, when things are totally shut down. I don’t think anyone thinks that we could stay shut down for a year or 18 months. The devastation to the state, families particularly, would be just absolutely unbelievable. So it is a balance that we are seeking. The goal is to open the state slowly, but get as many people back to work with the least health damage. Understanding that when we put people back to work there are positive things that happen in regard to health as well as in regard to all other things in life. This is a balance. This is a high-wire act. This is not easy. That’s why we’re trying to do it very carefully. We put together a business group and we charged them with working with business and figuring out the safest way to open business, and what business should we start with where we can get the most people back with the least amount of exposure. But it’s also why we cannot look at May 1 as a date when everything’s back to normal. Things cannot be back to normal unless we just want to throw caution to the wind and proceed carelessly, recklessly. That cannot occur until this is over with and we have a vaccine. We’re balancing two things: Our need to move forward and get people back to work, but also to do it in a very rational way. There are always trade offs. … Our goal, and what we’re going to strive for every day, is to be very careful in how we do it, be very logical in how we do it. Make our comeback strong, but also make our comeback safe.”

THE NEED TO KEEP WORKING FROM HOME

Dr. Acton: “I think we’ll see a lot more home working. Anyone who can telecommute reasonably and keep their business going should keep doing that. Anyone who can maximally do things the way we’re doing it now, but still advance their work, should do it.”

SO WHAT IS THE PLAN?

Although no clear outline has been provided by Gov. DeWine just yet, earlier this week he said his strategy to restart Ohio is "very consistent" with the three-phase plan released by President Trump last week. This multi-step plan relies on slowly rebooting states based on several factors, including the downward trajectory of documented cases and robust testing. You can see an outline of the Trump administration's plan below...

PHASE 1

INDIVIDUALS:

  • ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
  • All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • Avoid SOCIALIZING in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (e.g., receptions, trade shows)
  • MINIMIZE NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.

EMPLOYERS:

  • Continue to ENCOURAGE TELEWORK, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
  • If possible, RETURN TO WORK IN PHASES.
  • Close COMMON AREAS where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols.
  • Minimize NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL and adhere to CDC guidelines regarding isolation following travel.
  • Strongly consider SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS for personnel who are members of a VULNERABLE POPULATION.

SPECIFIC TYPES OF EMPLOYERS:

  • SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES (e.g., daycare, camp) that are currently closed should remain closed.
  • VISITS TO SENIOR LIVING FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.
  • LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols.
  • ELECTIVE SURGERIES can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines.
  • GYMS can open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • BARS should remain closed.

PHASE 2

INDIVIDUALS:

  • ALL VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
  • All individuals, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), should maximize physical distance from others. Social settings of more than 50 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL can resume.

EMPLOYERS:

  • Continue to ENCOURAGE TELEWORK, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.
  • Close COMMON AREAS where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce moderate social distancing protocols.
  • Strongly consider SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS for personnel who are members of a VULNERABLE POPULATION.

SPECIFIC TYPES OF EMPLOYERS:

  • SCHOOLS AND ORGANIZED YOUTH ACTIVITIES (e.g., daycare, camp) can reopen.
  • VISITS TO SENIOR CARE FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS should be prohibited. Those who do interact with residents and patients must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene.
  • LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols.
  • ELECTIVE SURGERIES can resume, as clinically appropriate, on an outpatient and in-patient basis at facilities that adhere to CMS guidelines.
  • GYMS can remain open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • BARS may operate with diminished standing-room occupancy, where applicable and appropriate.

PHASE 3

INDIVIDUALS:

  • VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing, minimizing exposure to social settings where distancing may not be practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.
  • LOW-RISK POPULATIONS should consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments.

EMPLOYERS:

  • Resume UNRESTRICTED STAFFING of worksites.

SPECIFIC TYPES OF EMPLOYERS:

  • VISITS TO SENIOR CARE FACILITIES AND HOSPITALS can resume. Those who interact with residents and patients must be diligent regarding hygiene.
  • LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under limited physical distancing protocols.
  • GYMS can remain open if they adhere to standard sanitation protocols.
  • BARS may operate with increased standing room occupancy, where applicable.

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