Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that he plans to begin reopening Ohio on May 1, and while he has released few of the particulars, he did say the reopening will take time and will be a gradual process.
To put the federal reopening guidelines in place will require a downward trajectory of COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms reported within the next 14 days, as well as a downward trajectory of documented cases and positive tests. Hospitals must be able to treat all patients without crisis care and have a robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.
A major point made by Gov. DeWine, who is following President Donald Trump’s proposed Core State Preparedness Responsibilities guidelines revealed on Thursday, is that Ohioans will have to learn to live with the threat of coronavirus until a vaccine is developed.
Federal guidelines will include having the ability to do testing and contract tracing. A lack of testing around the U.S. and Ohio has been a sore point. Much of the U.S. has yet to have quickly set up safe and efficient screening sites for symptomatic individuals and to trace contacts of COVID-19 results.
Reopening the country, according to Core State Preparedness Responsibilities, will be an ability to quickly and independently supply sufficient Personal Protective Equipment and critical medical equipment should the states have to handle a dramatic surge in need, or a dramatic surge in ICU capacity.
The plan is to protect the health and safety of workers in critical industries; protect the health and safety of workers in high-risk facilities, such as senior care; protect workers and users of mass transit; advise citizens regarding social distancing and face coverings; and to monitor and mitigate rebounds or outbreaks by restarting a phase or returning to earlier guidelines, depending on the severity of the outbreak.