COVID-19 Update: Additional Reopen Dates Announced
May 21, 2020
Today, Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton held an update on the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ohio. As of today, in Ohio, there are 30,167 cases, 1,836 deaths and 5,295 hospitalizations. Of those hospitalized, 1,397 required intensive care.
Husted kicked off today's news conference by announcing the May 26 re-open dates for bowling alleys, miniature golf and batting cages so long as the businesses follow proper protocols.
Beginning June 1, Husted said wedding venues and banquet halls Ohio can resume business so long as they practice 6-feet spacing distances between tables, do not permit congregating and limit crowd sizes to no more than 300 people.
Additionally, DeWine unveiled two new tools at coronavirus.ohio.gov. The first one is a map showing county level data by ethnicity and racial background. The second map highlights the “Ohio Opportunity Index” so Ohioans can track where resources are needed.
These were created based on initial findings from DeWine's Minority Health Strike Force. The team was formed in April in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African Americans who make up 14 percent of Ohio's population, but represent 26 percent of positive COVID-19 cases, 31 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 17 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Ohio.
"I am deeply concerned about this data. I am the governor of all of Ohio; when I see something disproportionately affecting some of our citizens, I have a responsibility to do something," said DeWine. "To augment on the work that we are currently doing on health equity and to address the immediate threats posed by COVID-19 to our minority communities we intend to move forward with the strike force's recommendations, and we have several additional efforts that are ready to get underway."
Recommendations were created using feedback from the Strike Force's Health Care, Resources, Data and Education subcommittees.
“It should not matter where you live or what race you are,” said DeWine. “We have an obligation to help them.”
The governor also stated that there is a new position within ODH — the deputy director of social determinants of health and opportunity; this role will focus on community conditions impacting health, wellness and economic vitality. In order to support health departments in their efforts to fight COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on minorities, there will be a significant increase the number of public health workers who can help notify Ohioans of possible exposure to the virus.