DeWine sets sight on reopening Ohio with common-sense approach


By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



Clinton County stands at 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (13 women and nine men) and four probable cases for a total of 26, according to county officials Friday. Seven of the 22 are hospitalized, while 11 of the 22 have recovered.

The State of Ohio reports — as of Friday’s update — 9,107 total COVID-19 cases (including probable cases), with 740 ICU admissions, 2,424 hospitalizations and 418 deaths. The ages of total cases range from under age 1 to 106.

The total of confirmed cases is now about evenly split between females and males.

At his daily briefing and via Twitter on Friday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, “We’re trying to get Ohio back to work. And at the same time, we’re trying to protect Ohioans. Because of what you’ve done, we’re now in a much better position to do this. We’re going to have to slowly do this.”

He said the major goals for reopening businesses are protecting employees and protecting customers.

“Businesses won’t be able to attract workers or customers if they feel they aren’t safe there,” he said. “A lot of this will be common sense and taking what we’ve learned so far and putting it into effect.

“There is no substitute for distancing. More distancing is always better. I’d expect to see people wearing masks. This is going to become common in public places. You’ll see barriers where barriers are appropriate. You’ll see surfaces cleaned frequently.”

He added, “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. In retail, you’ll see the limit of the number of people who can be in a store.

“These are some of the things we’d expect to see.”

DeWine cautioned, “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. We want to make sure every individual has as much info about their own condition and what risks there are.

“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.

“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.”

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By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com