During his press briefing on Thursday, May 14, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the reopening dates for additional sectors of the state economy and recreation:
- May 21: Campgrounds and camping
- May 22: Horse racing
- May 26: The BMV (for certain services), gyms and fitness centers, no-contact and low-contact sports and pools (this does not include amusement parks)
- May 31: Childcare and day camps
The reinstatement of childcare services have been top of mind for many Ohioans as industries reopen and parents head back to work. Concern over how childcare would be handled if services didn't reopen was mounting, so this comes as welcome news.
Gov. DeWine was originally slated to announced updates to childcare Monday but tweeted, "Childcare: We will not be making an announcement today. We're still working on it. It's very important that we get this right. We don't want to announce a date until we have the protocols in place. We're focusing on the safety of the kids, their families, and the employees."
In selecting the reopening date of May 31, Gov. DeWine said that they have used the best medial knowledge and other expertise they can find to make important decisions regarding how childcare will look in the time of COVID-19.
"Our goal is very simple and that is to do everything we can to protect the children in childcare, the workers and all the families," he said. "We want to have the safest childcare system in the nation — one that nurtures the health and continued growth and development of our young people and one that protects the health and safety of our childcare workers and teachers."
Moving forward, childcare is going to look different for children, parents, and teachers as long as #COVID19 is around. But we must get this right, or we run the risk of exposing more individuals. #InThisTogetherOhio— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 14, 2020
You can read the full sector-specific guidelines regarding childcare reopening, including any changes to drop-off policies, staff-to-child ratios, daily symptom checks, how childcare services will handle handwashing and feeding, physical changes to rooms (like room dividers) and more, at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
The public was also interested to learn when camping and pools would reopen because of the approaching Memorial Day holiday.
Details for camping and campground reopening protocols can be found here. Some campgrounds have stayed open, but they will be reopening completely across the state starting May 26.
The pool reopening date applies to public pools and club pools — those that are regulated by public health departments. This does not apply to amusement parks or water parks.
From @CDCgov: There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation/maintenance (disinfection w/ chlorine/bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in water— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) May 14, 2020
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted also relayed information about the reopening of gyms and fitness centers and non-contact sports — golf, softball, baseball, paddle sports. He said their sector-specific opening guidance will be available online later today on the Responsible RestartOhio page.