COLUMBUS — On Thursday, April 16, Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton discussed how the state will develop its plan to reopen the economy.
Beginning May 1, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the state economy. The plan will be fact-driven over a long period of time to minimize the health risk to business owners, employees, and their customers. In consultation with Dr. Acton, Lt. Governor Jon Husted will lead the governor’s board of economic advisors to identify best practices, similar to the current requirements on essential business operations to ensure Ohioans health and safety as businesses begin the process of reopening.
Governor DeWine also announced he will work closely with the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, and Kentucky to reopen the region’s economy in a coordinated way. The states will review four factors as they reopen their economies: the number of cases in the state and the number of hospital admissions, the amount of hospital capacity, the ability to test and trace cases of COVID-19, and best practices for social distancing in businesses.
On Friday, DeWine reiterated Ohio’s recovery phase will not start and end overnight. As Ohio begins to reopen, Governor DeWine stressed the need to balance: compliance with public health measures; implementation of safeguards in business; and protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans.
DeWine also reported comprehensive testing of inmates has begun at Marion Correctional Institution, Pickaway Correctional Institution, and Franklin Medical Center. Ohio is believed to be the first and only state in the country to conduct comprehensive testing in a state prison setting. With comprehensive testing at these facilities, the Ohio Department of Health expects higher reports of COVID-19 as the testing identifies positive individuals who otherwise are asymptomatic or would recover without a test. For example, the testing of one prison dorm in Marion found that out of 152 inmates, 39 percent tested positive for COVID-19 although they did not show any symptoms.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were 11,602 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 453 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 2,565 people have been hospitalized, including 765 admissions to intensive care units. In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov.
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.