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Keep safety 1st as Ohio reopens its businesses

Like neighbors in many other states, Ohioans are in the process of “reopening” the state. How well that goes will be up to individuals and families in the Buckeye State.

After several weeks during which Gov. Mike DeWine ordered many businesses to close and restricted the sizes of gatherings such as those for church services, limits are being phased out.

Manufacturers, retailers, outdoor restaurants and even salons and other businesses were permitted to reopen last week. Inside diners can be accepted by restaurants Thursday.

The success of these actions, of whether easing the restrictions will result in a resurgence of COVID-19, still remains to be seen.

DeWine had hoped to make the phase-out of COVID-19 limits safer by requiring that retail store customers wear masks. Public outcry prompted him to rescind that order.

Store clerks are wearing masks, however. Some retailers are asking that customers to do so. While we believe it us up to the private businesses, we do encourage customers to observe safety precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks. COVID-19 is not beaten. It could come back stronger and more deadly than ever.

That statistical curve you have read about has not yet flattened fully in Ohio, though the increase in virus cases is slowing.

Still, as some businesses were being allowed to reopen last week, additional coronavirus patients have been identified. During the same period, many more Ohioans succumbed to the disease, bringing the total death count to over 1,625 as of Sunday.

Keeping anything approaching a lockdown in place was unsustainable. Ohio needs to get back to work. But that simply must be accomplished carefully, as if Buckeye State residents were walking through a minefield.

In truth, they are.

editorial@tribtoday.com

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