Coronavirus: Catering, banquet centers can reopen June 1; All skills training for high school sports May 26

Coronavirus Pandemic: What you need to know today, Thursday

Ohio Lt. Governor John Husted announced reopening dates and some of the guidelines for a few more businesses and industries, including banquet center, catering businesses, bowling alleys, and high school sports training and conditioning.

  • June 1: Banquet centers and catering businesses, both which serve events like wedding receptions, will be allowed to reopen with similar guidelines as restaurants. The total number in the crowd size is limited to 300 people

>>Coronavirus: Wedding receptions: Catering, banquet halls permitted to reopen June 1 under these guidelines

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  • May 26: Skills training and conditioning for all high school sports, including contact sports like football and lacrosse, will be allowed to resume. However, competitions, tournaments, and scrimmages are still not allowed.
  • May 26: Bowling alleys, miniature golf, and batting cages are permitted to reopen with restrictions and guidelines. Specifics were set to be released Friday, according to Husted.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new addition to the state’s coronavirus website to identify more vulnerable populations. The Minority Health Strike Force, formed in April, is set to release their preliminary report in the coming days.

The strike force was developed to find recommendations for communities of color that are more likely to have underlying health conditions, less access to healthcare, and discrimination when accessing healthcare service, DeWine said.

DeWine announced expanded testing in minority communities through a partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers, a non-profit association that represents the state’s federally qualified health centers. Through a partnership with Ohio CHC and the Nationwide Foundation, thousands of community wellness kits will be distributed in communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Wellness kits will include facial coverings, hand sanitizer, ans soap.


Organizers cancelled the 2020 Ohio State Fair in Columbus due to public health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic and the financial feasibility of hosting the event with social distancing protocols in place.

Today is also the first day restaurants are allowed to reopen indoor dining, with restrictions.

National, state, and local unemployment numbers were released Thursday morning, with over 2.4 million Americans seeking new jobless aid, bringing the total number of jobless claims to 39 million since the outbreak started, according to the Associated Press.

In Ohio, the Department of Jobs and Family Services reported over 46,000 new claims last week, a decrease of around 10 percent from the previous week.

Gov. Mike DeWine said he would address today what his advisory committee on minority health issues has found as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Things you need to know today, Thursday:

  • An enforcement team, operating at part of the Ohio Department of Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit, will conduct safety compliance checks in bars and restaurants. Establishments found in violation of the Stay-Safe-Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses, the governor said. The OIU team will also work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners who do not follow the order, which includes the requirement that patrons remain seated while eating/drinking and that parties stay 6 feet apart.
  • Thursday, campgrounds can reopen so long as there are proper safety protocols in place
  • Friday, horse racing -- without spectators -- resumes Friday. Casinos and racinos are not included in this
  • May 26, community pools, gyms and fitness centers (low-contact or non-contact sports), BMVs get the green light to resume operations
  • May 31, summer day camps and daycare facilities reopen
  • Here’s what the Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory means.

Other things you should know today:

LATEST STATE DATA: As of Thursday afternoon, there are 30,167 cases in the state, 1,836 deaths, and 5,295 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.

Of the state’s positive cases, 19.5% are from Ohio’s prisons. At those prisons, there has been an increase in testing.

There have been 277,602 people tested for coronavirus in Ohio. In the state, 4,504 cases are health care workers, which is 16 percent of the cases.

It is important to note the number of confirmed cases is not a true reflection of actual cases in the state because of the limited amount of testing available. The hope is that the number of cases will be more accurate because of the expansion of the testing standards.

The Stay-Safe-Ohio order will be superseded as new developments occur during the month, so DeWine has warned people not to fixate on May 29, when the order is to expire. Dr. Amy Acton officially lifted the order Wednesday.