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No Date Set For Reopening Ohio Day Cares; DeWine Announces Liquor Rebate Program

Gov. Mike DeWine pushed back announcing a reopening date for Ohio day cares Monday.  [The Ohio Channel]
Gov. Mike DeWine pushed back announcing a reopening date for day cares Monday.

Gov. Mike DeWine didn't announce a reopening date for Ohio’s day cares Monday. 

He hinted Thursday that an announcement could be coming sometime this week, but on Monday, the governor said the plan needs more work

"Child care is a necessity for working families," DeWine said. "As I have said, there is risk associated with action, and there is risk associated with inaction."

There won’t be an announcement until the state has the "most science-based and safety-based plan that we can put together," DeWine said, adding that he hopes a date will be set soon.

Ohio retailers, however, will reopen Tuesday. Hair salons, barber shops and outdoor seating for restaurants will open Friday. Indoor seating at restaurants will be available May 21. Every business has to follow strict, industry-specific guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as standing six feet apart and requiring masks for employees. 

To help restaurants during the pandemic, DeWine last month allowed each takeout order to include up to two alcoholic drinks, as long as they were delivered in sealed containers. A liquor rebate program that will provide each restaurant with up to $500 to help restock alcohol supplies once they reopen was also announced Monday.

It is expected that by Friday, 92 percent of Ohio's economy will be reopened, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said, but it is imperative businesses for follow guidelines as they reopen. 

"The standards for protocols for businesses that are operating continue to get stronger," Husted said. "It demonstrates both safety and respect." 

No reopening plan has been finalized for gyms and fitness centers.

As of Monday afternoon, Ohio had 24,777 total cases of COVID-19 and 1,357 total deaths. According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) 21-day trends, cases and deaths jumped between Sunday and Monday, but have overall been trending downward in the last three weeks. 


Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ohio

ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton said the state plans to randomly test 1,200 Ohio residents at home as early as this week. The voluntary antibody testing will detect the immune system's response to the virus, not the virus itself. 

"One of the things about testing is that it is a snapshot in time," Acton said. A negative test doesn't mean the person couldn't be carrying it, she warned, saying it's possible the test didn't pick up the early signs in the body's chemistry. 

"The way we will save lives in Ohio as we all move about more is to stop the spread of the disease," Acton said.

Residents randomly chosen for testing will receive a postcard with information about when healthcare workers will visit the home to conduct the test. Those who are selected can opt out by calling ODH or by sending an email to the address on the card. 

Despite the increase in testing, Acton said it's important to continue wearing masks and disinfecting surfaces regularly because the disease is still spreading throughout the state, and cases are likely to increase as the state continues to reopen. 

"It really relies on all of us doing our part," Acton said.