Ohio’s restart continues: DeWine announces more opening dates at Thursday presser

GALION — Galion, and the rest of Ohio, continued to open back up for business, having been ordered to close weeks ago due to restrictions having to do with COVID-19.

These opening dates and plans were unveiled during Thursday’s news conference by Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Ohio health director Dr. Amy Acton.

Ohio day care centers and gyms, along with activities ranging from low-impact sports leagues to horse racing to swimming in public pools, will resume this month, the state’s top leaders said Thursday.

State campgrounds will open May 21 and motor vehicle bureaus on May 26, although Lt. Gov. Jon Husted urged residents to do as much vehicle renewal online as possible.

But water parks and swimming at amusement parks are still off limits, as is gambling at racinos and casinos, which remain closed, Husted said. Horse racing will begin May 22 without spectators.

DeWine was under pressure to open day care centers as much of the economy has begun reopening, with Ohioans having returned to offices, factories, construction jobs and retail stores.

They may open May 31. Caretakers will wear masks, and daily temperature-taking will be routine. Preschool and school-aged children limits will be nine per classroom, with six per classroom for infants and toddlers. Field trips will be halted, but there will be playground and outdoor activities. There will be multiple times of washing hands, including on the way in and out of the childcare centers. “We want to have the safest childcare system in the nation,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said.

The reduced class size does not mean that some families won’t have spots for their children, the governor said.

“It’s certainly not our goal to have any family left out,” said DeWine, a Republican.

Ohio will use $60 million in federal pandemic relief aid to boost cleaning in day care centers and help reduce classroom size, DeWine said. Day camps will also open May 31, a boon to many families with school-age children trying to plan their summers.

It’s more important than ever for people to wash their hands regularly, wear masks and maintain distance from others, DeWine said.

These openings dates were announced:

• Gyms and fitness centers can reopen May 26. Additional guidance will be available online late Thursday.

• Non-contact or limited-contact sports (golf, softball, tennis, etc.,) can reopen May 26. Information on lacrosse, hockey, soccer, and basketball information will be coming soon. General guidance on other sports will also be available.

• Swimming pools regulated by local health departments can reopen on May 26. The CDC says there’s no evidence the virus spreads in water. Water parks and amusement parks aren’t included in that opening date.

Restaurants in Galion, and across Ohio can resumed outside dining Friday and in-restaurant dining may begin May 21

To open, restaurant floor plans must permit parties of 10 people or less, separated from other groups by either 6 feet or a physical barrier, such as a high booth back or installed plexiglass. You may be asked to wait in your car for picking up food or before you can enter to wait for a seat. Buffets will be served to you instead of going through a line. Owners can decide if customers will wear masks, and many employees outside of cooking areas may be wearing masks. Gloves and servers won’t necessarily wear gloves.

Bars must follow the same guidelines.

Also barbershops, hair salons, day spas and nail salons started opening Friday.

For appointments, you may need to wait in your car until your appointment begins. Waiting areas will require people to sit 6 feet apart, with no amenities. Professionals will be wearing masks, and some locations may require guests to wear masks.

Child daycare centers will reopen — with restrictions —


By Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer