The Path Forward: Gov. DeWine lays out plan to safely start reopening state

Posted at 3:10 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 18:43:00-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Protection of employees and customers are necessary for reopening some businesses in Ohio beginning May 1, Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday while outlining what the coming weeks and months will look like under the state’s recovery plan.

Social distancing will continue to be common in public places, with barriers where they are appropriate, DeWine said. Surfaces will be cleaned frequently.

“You'll see people wearing gloves. Staggered arrival times. Staggered lunches. Employees who can work from home will work from home. You'll see temperature checks of employees who can't work from home,” DeWine said.

There will be limits on the number of people allowed in a store, DeWine said.

“I think we are in a situation where protecting people, protecting customers and protecting workers is also good business,” DeWine said.

He said that companies won’t be able to attract employees or customers if they don’t think it’s safe to work or shop there.

"Additionally, we want to make sure that when this occurs that it’s clear to business what their role is, it’s clear to employees, what both their business, the business owner, and they are expected to do," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said. "We want that also for their customers. We want everybody to be able to understand it and feel confident in it."

Husted said that businesses have a great sense of fear about how they will survive this pandemic economically, but they want to make sure all voices are heard and everyone feels comfortable when the restart begins.

"That’s the goal, where we’ll end up being - we do want to find that balance between lives and livelihoods. That’s our mission," Husted said. "The governor has called us, called a great team together to work on this, and we look forward to the opportunity to deliver this to the people of Ohio in the coming days."

Husted said more details and specifics about the reopening plan will be coming in the next week.

"After May 1, things will change some, but the essential reality is that this virus will remain out there, so our lives must be guided by that," DeWine said. "We want to make sure every individual has as much info about their own condition and what risks there are."

DeWine said that testing for coronavirus in Ohio will change over time.

We will see testing evolve over a period of time to help people know if they had COVID-19,” DeWine said. “As we move forward into this world, some things won't change, such as that we must assume every one of us is carrying the virus.”

DeWine laid out the three guidance principals for “The Path Forward to Restart”:

- Public health measures and compliance
- Businesses operating safely with safeguards
- Protecting the most vulnerable

On Twitter, DeWine thanked President Trump and the White House for support and said he is developing an Ohio-specific plan in conjunction with fellow Midwest governors.

“We will, however, remain focused on an Ohio-specific plan: a recovery plan that works for us, that works for Ohioans, and that meets the unique needs of our state and our citizens,” DeWine said.