‘Waking up’: Casinos, amusement parks to reopen June 19
Casinos, amusement parks and racetracks will be allowed to open June 19, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during a briefing Friday as he responded to criticism of the state’s measured reopening plan.
In addition, the annual Memorial golf tournament in the Columbus suburb of Dublin was approved to take place in mid-July.
Outdoor theaters in the state also will be allowed to reopen, DeWine said, once they submit a plan as other businesses have done.
“Early on I said we are not shutting down, we’re waking up,” Dr. Amy Acton, the state health director, said at the briefing. ”As we’re reopening, we’re also waking up. We have to be more intentional than we’ve ever been.”
DeWine also touched on the criticism he has received for his cautious approach to reopening the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“To those who say we should open Ohio with no restrictions, my answer to that is to do that in the midst of this pandemic makes absolutely no sense,” DeWine said.
As of Friday, Ohio has recorded nearly 37,800 confirmed or probable coronavirus cases, with 2,355 confirmed or probable COVID-19 deaths, the health department said.
The state saw nearly 500 new cases of the virus as the death count rose by 16 since Thursday.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and the infirm, it can cause more severe illness and can lead to death.
The number of virus-related hospitalizations in the state hovered over 6,300.
DeWine has tasked Maj. Gen. John Harris of the Ohio National Guard to increase testing at the more than 960 nursing homes in the state.
In a three-phase strategy, the National Guard has created 12 teams that are working with guidance from the state health department to go into nursing homes and collect specimens that will then be transported to the labs across Ohio.
Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.