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Restaurants, gyms and salons to remain closed in Ohio's first reopening phase

While some businesses will be allowed to reopen in the coming days, restaurants, gyms, barbershops and daycare centers will continue to remain closed.

On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced how the state will begin the process of reopening its economy after its current stay at home order expires on May 1.

But while construction, dentists, veterinarians, retail and office buildings will be allowed to reopen at various points between now and May 12, DeWine also revealed that restaurants, gyms, daycare centers, barbershops and salons will be among the businesses that will temporarily remain closed as Ohio continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19).

"We know there is a great desire to get restaurants fully open and to get hair salons and daycares open," DeWine said. "But we must first start down the pathway of opening things up where we thought there was less risk and a more controllable risk."

The owner of Functions of Life Fitness and Performance in Broadview Heights is disappointed by the decision.  

"I'm not feeling well about this at all," explains Mike Soster.  "It is disappointing because  I know how this affects people that I talk to on a daily basis."

Following federal guidelines for phase one a phase one reopening, Soster planned to open on May 1st and implement social distancing and sanitizing.  He's concerned for not only his business but his clients and training staff as well. 

"There's a lot of stress on our shoulders right now but we have our health we can say that we're going to get through it," says Soster.

As for when the businesses that remain closed will be allowed to reopen, DeWine said that will depend on how the state's coronavirus numbers fare as businesses are allowed to reopen during the state's first phase. Among the businesses allowed to reopen between now and May 12 are:

  • A healthcare opening allowing all medical procedures that don't require an overnight hospital stay, beginning on May 1. Nonessential medical procedures have been prohibited in Ohio since March 17.
  • Dentists and veterinarians will also be allowed to reopen on May 1.
  • Manufacturing, distribution and construction will be allowed to resume on Monday, May 4. All employees and clients will be required to follow safety practices, including wearing masks, conducting daily health assessments and a limited capacity of 50 percent of the businesses' fire code.
  • General office buildings will be allowed to reopen on May 4. Companies are asked to have employees still work from home as much as possible.
  • Consumer retail and services will be allowed to reopen on May 12. All employees and customers will be required to wear facial coverings.

While the state's current stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 1, DeWine also announced that it will officially remain in place. Additionally, gatherings of more than 10 people remain prohibited.

As of Monday, Ohio has had 16,325 positive coronavirus cases, including 3,232 hospitalizations, 978 ICU admissions and 753 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of Ohio's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, DeWine has put a number of measures in place to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order since March 23.

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