Ohio Department of Health

During their Thursday press conference on COVID-19, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, announced more opening dates in the Responsible RestartOhio plan.

Beginning Sunday, May 31, childcare providers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these providers can meet required safety protocols.

“To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Early Childhood Advisory Council created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for childcare centers to follow,” according to information from the governor’s office. “The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Sector-fact-sheet-8-Child-Care.pdf

Information about “What Parents Should Know About Sending Children Back to Child Care” can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/What-Parents-Should-Know.pdf

“Our goal is to have the safest child care system in the nation — one that nurtures the health and continued growth and development of our children and one that protects the health and safety of our child care workers and teachers,” said Governor DeWine. “Moving forward, child care is going to look different for children, parents, and teachers. But we must get this right, or we run the risk of exposing more people to COVID-19.”

“Governor DeWine also announced that Ohio will fund a research project to study best practices for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in child care settings,” DeWine’s office stated. “Information gathered from the study will continue to inform child care regulations moving forward.”

The reopening date of May 31 also applies to day camps that can meet required safety protocols. A detailed list of guidelines and best practices for day camps can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Day-Camps.pdf

Beginning Thursday, May 21, campgrounds in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

“To ensure that campgrounds operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group created a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for campgrounds to follow,” according to the governor’s office. “The full list of mandatory and recommended best practices for both campgrounds and campers is available at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Sector-fact-sheet-7-Campgrounds.pdf

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) locations in Ohio will be permitted to reopen for certain services if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

Services that can be accomplished online should still be done online, according to DeWine’s office. More details on online BMV services can be found at oplates.com

“To ensure that each deputy registrar location operates in the safest manner possible, the BMV is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for deputy registrars to follow,” according to the governor’s office. “A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/Sector-Specific-Operating-Requirements/

As for BMVs, Husted stated that extensions on licenses and registrations will still be in effect.

“You will not need to go in and immediately renew these things, and, frankly we don’t want you to unless you have to. Don’t come in unless it’s necessary; use the online service if you can,” he added.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, gyms and fitness centers in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

“To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Gyms Advisory Group is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for gyms and fitness centers to follow,” DeWine’s offices stated. “A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices can be found at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/Gyms-Dance-Instruction.pdf

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, sports leagues for non-contact and limited-contact sports in Ohio will be permitted to operate if these leagues can meet required safety protocols.

“To ensure that non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Large Venue Advisory Group is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for sports leagues to follow,” DeWine’s office stated. “A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/Sector-Specific-Operating-Requirements/

Safety protocols for high-contact sports are in development, according to the governor’s office.

Also beginning on May 26, public pools and club pools that are regulated by local health departments in Ohio will be permitted to reopen if these facilities can meet required safety protocols.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas,” according to DeWine’s office. “Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.

“To ensure that these pools operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s Outdoor Recreation Advisory Group is creating a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for these facilities to follow. A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/Sector-Specific-Operating-Requirements/

This does not apply to water parks or amusement parks, and safety protocols for these venues are in development, according to the governor’s office.

Beginning Friday, May 22, horse racing in Ohio will be permitted if these operations can meet required safety protocols. Spectators will not be permitted.

“To ensure that these establishments operate in the safest manner possible, Governor DeWine’s administration worked with the Ohio State Racing Commission to create a detailed list of guidelines and best practices for agricultural horse racing operations to follow,” according to the governor’s office. “A full list of mandatory and recommended best practices will be available soon at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/responsible-restart-ohio/Sector-Specific-Operating-Requirements/

This does not apply to casinos and racinos, according to DeWine’s office, and safety protocols for these venues are in development.

Husted indicated on Friday that the state is allowing businesses and other entities to open with required safety protocols on the dates announced but that it does not mean they will open.

“You need to consult your local health departments or governments and know that they may have different takes on adding or extending regulations as it relates to this and a timeframe for opening or not opening at all, but they cannot shorten this timeframe or they cannot lessen the standards,” he said.

Husted indicated that the safety protocols are designed “to allow us to do the things we love while also keeping our loved ones safe.”

He reminded individuals to continue to protect themselves, practicing social distancing and good hygiene, and for everyone to follow the guidelines that have been put in place.

“I do believe that Ohio successfully led in and Ohio can successfully lead out, knowing that this will never quite be over until there is a vaccine developed,” Husted said during the March 7 press conference.

“As more of life opens up … we just have to be more vigilant about protecting each other, both personally vigilant and collectively vigilant, so that we don’t see an increase of the spread of the virus, which certainly is a threat as we begin to open things up.”

He said on March 7 that safety protocols will be strictly enforced.

“It’s a responsibility that we have to each other. We have to pull together, move forward, and really selflessly, selflessly protect each other.”

Also announced this past week was a service that is being offered to older adults.

“To help ensure that older Ohioans stay connected while staying at home, Ohio Department of Aging Director Ursel McElroy announced a new service that will provide a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older,” according to the governor’s office.

“The Staying Connected program will call older adults who sign up for the service during a predetermined window of time. When participants answer the phone, they will be asked to respond via touch-tone to confirm that they are OK or to access live support.

“If no one answers after three attempts, a call is then made to an alternate contact (if provided) or to non-emergency services. The service can be canceled at any time.”

“Especially during this very challenging time, we encourage older Ohioans to sign up for the Ohio Department of Aging’s Staying Connected phone program. This program will help reduce isolation and support the health and well-being of older adults in our state,” said Robert Cornwell, Executive Director, Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.

Eligible Ohioans can sign up at aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-266-4346.

“Staying Connected is not an emergency response service, and participants should always use 911 or their emergency response system if they are injured or in need of emergency assistance,” according to the governor’s office.

As of Friday, March 15, the Ohio Department of Health was reporting that there have been 26,954 reported cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 25,349 of those being confirmed cases and 1,605 of them probable cases according to the CDC’s expanded case definition.

There have been 1,581 reported deaths from COVID19 as of Friday, with 1,431 of them confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 150 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC’s expanded death definition.

As of Friday, May 15, the Pike County General Health District reported that Pike County has a total of five cases of COVID-19, including three confirmed cases and two probable cases. Two of the cases are listed as active, and three of the cases are listed as recovered.

Among the three confirmed cases, one is listed as active, and two are listed as recovered. For the two probable cases, one is listed as active, and one is listed as recovered.

The five reported Pike County cases include three females and two males with ages ranging from 30 to 45 years of age. As of Friday afternoon, Pike County had two COVID-19 tests pending.

More detailed information on the Responsible RestartOhio plan can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio

For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, including tips for prevention of the disease and slowing its spread, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Email at mlucas@newswatchman.com; follow on Twitter @NewsWatchman.

Load comments