COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After being abruptly shut down nearly two months ago to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Ohio restaurants are set to offer indoor dining again Thursday. Campgrounds are also reopening.
Horse racing begins again Friday, but without spectators.
Restaurants that allow diners inside must provide proper social distancing and other safety measures. The Ohio Restaurant Association says seven in 10 restaurants plan to reopen Thursday or soon after.
Restaurants could offer outdoor dining beginning May 15, which led to some scenes of overcrowded patios in cities around Ohio and a warning from Gov. Mike DeWine that police officers and health investigators will be making safety checks as part of beefed up enforcement teams.
Bar owners could wind up in court or lose their liquor licenses if they don’t take steps to control their customers, DeWine warned.
Gyms and fitness centers reopen May 26 following a March 22 order shutting them down as nonessential businesses. On Wednesday, a Lake County judge called that order by Health Director Dr. Amy Acton “arbitrary, unreasonable and oppressive.”
The ruling applies only to gyms in that northeastern Ohio county.
The number of confirmed and probable deaths associated with the coronavirus in Ohio has reached 1,789, state health officials said.
The Ohio Department of Health said that 61 new deaths were reported in the past day and that overall there have been a total of 5,100 hospitalizations.
Health officials said there were nearly 29,500 cases considered either confirmed or probable.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.