Ohio authorities extended the order that’s largely kept people at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but some businesses will be allowed to reopen in the coming days.
With Gov. Mike DeWine’s blessing, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton extended the order to May 29.
The action was taken late Thursday. The order had been set to expire on May 1.
The extension was to “prevent the spread of COVID into the State of Ohio,” Acton said in her altered order (pdf).
All Ohio residents are still ordered to stay home and all public or private gatherings outside of a single household are prohibited.
The first businesses benefiting from the modified mandate are medical providers, which are allowed to resume so-called nonessential surgeries and procedures on May 1.
Manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses, which were ordered to close on April 2, can reopen on May 4. General offices can also reopen after being closed for more than a month.
Retailers can reopen for curbside pickup, delivery, or appointment-only on May 1 and can fully reopen on May 12.
Business owners across the state still don’t know when they can reopen their establishments. There’s no set date for restaurants and bars to welcome customers back inside; personal care businesses such as barber shops, salons, and spas also don’t have a set date in the order.
Gyms, movie theaters, stadiums, amusement parks, museums, and other businesses relating to public amusement or indoor entertainment remain closed with no reopening date in sight. Swimming pools cannot reopen, nor can campgrounds or childcare facilities. Recreational sports tournaments, day camps, and sports leagues are not allowed to resume.
“We know there is a great desire to get restaurants fully open and to get hair salons and day cares open,” DeWine said in a statement last month. “But we must first start down the pathway of opening things up where we thought there was less risk and a more controllable risk.”
DeWine, a Republican in his first term, told reporters earlier Thursday that the order would be extended “with the exceptions,” referring to the businesses being allowed to reopen.
“We want to open up, but we must protect the public,” he added. “It’s why we have specific protocols, and it’s why we are layering the openings.”
Ohio as of April 30 had 17,285 confirmed cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus from China that causes the COVID-19 disease. The state does not release figures on the number of patients who have recovered.
The number of new cases has slowed in recent days to the low hundreds.
The state has also reported 3,533 total hospitalizations, 1035 total intensive care admissions, and 898 confirmed deaths linked to COVID-19.