Ohio Governor Defends Reopening State, Says Will Work to Inspire ‘Confidence’

May 11, 2020 Updated: May 11, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) on Sunday defended measures he has taken to reopen Ohio’s economy following closures due to the CCP virus pandemic, saying it won’t be possible to do so unless people “have confidence.”

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” De Wine said that although there are risks to reopening the state’s economy, “it’s really a risk no matter what we do.”

“The economy’s not going to open no matter what we do, whatever we order, unless people have confidence,” the Republican governor said. “And we’re trying to give them confidence.”

He urged people to continue to wear face masks, wash their hands, and practise social distancing as officials emphasized the situation is “still very, very dangerous.”

“These are basic things that we have to do. We can’t let up,” the Republican governor said.

By Saturday, Ohio state reported at least 22,500 cases and 1,214 confirmed deaths associated with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Last week, DeWine extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 29. It had been set to expire on May 1, and requires all Ohio residents to stay home, while public or private gatherings outside of a single household are prohibited.

However, the governor said many businesses would be able to reopen as part of measures to reopen the state’s economy.

From May 12, retail and consumer services will be permitted to reopen, while hair salons, barbers, nail salons, day spas, and tanning facilities can reopen from May 15. Restaurants on May 15 will be allowed to host outdoor dining, with parties no larger than 10 people. Indoor dining will be permitted from May 21.

Construction companies, distributors, manufacturers, and offices were allowed to open last week.

Ohio will require all companies to have employees practice social distancing and where that is not possible, barriers will need to be installed. Employees must perform daily health assessments, and companies will stagger or limit arrivals of employees as well as implement shift changes, DeWine said last week.

Schools are still to remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

The governor said Ohio had been “hit very hard” by the CCP virus pandemic, with more than a million people filing for unemployment.

“We have to move forward,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“And we know it’s a risk as we start the economy back open,” he said. “But it’s a risk if you don’t too … with, you know, not being able to come back economically.”

“My message to my fellow Ohioans has always been, we can do two things at once, but we can only do them if we’re very, very careful about it,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.