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Members of Ohio House, Senate suggest guidelines for Gov. Mike DeWine to follow as he reopens state

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 14:00:53-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With Gov. Mike DeWine expected to release his plan to gradually reopen the state following weeks under the stay at home order, members of the Ohio House of Representatives Democratic Caucus and GOP members of the General Assembly of Ohio have outlined recommendations they want to see addressed under the reopening.

The Ohio House of Representatives Democratic Caucus listed the following 10 “areas of focus” that they hope DeWine follows as he opens the state back up:

  1. Testing
  2. Tracing
  3. Hygiene
  4. Childcare
  5. Vulnerable populations
  6. Worker protections
  7. Consumer Confidence
  8. Support for business
  9. General Election
  10. Public Awareness

Ohio’s House Democrats call their recommendations a “responsible restart” for Ohio. They said the recommendations are based on testimony during the OHIO 2020 Economic Recovery Task Force proceedings as well as advice they received from experts.

Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) issued the following statement:

As we begin this incremental process of “re-opening” our state, we must proceed with caution. As Governor DeWine said, ‘We save our economy by first saving lives and we do it in that order.’ While Ohioans have successfully flattened the curve by staying home, there is a very real risk for a second spike if we are not cautious moving forward. There is proof that countries who have not put in place adequate procedures have found themselves in a second surge where illness and deaths spiked.

House Democrats are committed to getting Ohioans back to work, but maintain that relaxing of social distancing measures without proper precautions will lead to more death. As a result, we believe the state should follow the federal Center for Disease Control Guidelines for Reopening America. We must follow the advice of medical experts which suggest to maintain social distancing until there are 14 consecutive days of decreasing incidences of infection before starting the process to “re-open”. We must ensure that everyone feels safe re-engaging in society by ensuring that there’s a clear plan and everyone knows what to expect from the business they patronize and the places where they are employed.

Based on the testimony heard during the task force proceedings, coupled with the feedback we are receiving from our own constituents and local experts, we have identified 10 main areas that Ohioans need to hear clear plans if we are to ‘re-open.’ We welcome the opportunity to work with our legislative colleagues on the other side of the aisle as well as the governor to create a framework for a responsible restart for Ohio.”

Twenty-eight GOP members of the General Assembly of the State of Ohio also issued their own recommendations for DeWine to follow as he reopens the state. Their recommendations call for the reopening of all businesses on or before May 1, stating their belief that all businesses are essential.

The guidelines focus on Ohioans following best practices to prevent the spread of the virus and holding themselves accountable rather than being mandated by the state.

To read the full recommendation, click here.

DeWine is expected to outline his plan to reopen the state during his press conference Monday at 2 p.m.

RELATED: 85% of Ohioans approve of Gov. Mike DeWine's handling of pandemic, poll says

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