Coronavirus: DeWine plans for school to return in fall; surgeries, procedures may resume

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the state’s goal is for K-12 schools to start in the fall, during Tuesday’s press conference.

He noted that the date for starting school is solely in the power of the local school boards.

DeWine also announced that healthcare providers are now able to resume all surgeries and procedures that had previously been delayed.

Lt. Gov. Husted introduced new programs known as the Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program, the Ohio Micro-Enterprise Grant Program, and The Appalachian Growth Capital Loan Program.

The Ohio PPE Retooling and Reshoring Grant Program was created to help small and medium-sized manufacturers to retool existing facilities to make PPE or reshore PPE production in Ohio.

“We’re setting aside $20 million for this program, and eligible manufacturers could be awarded grants up to $500,000 per facility,” Husted said.

The Ohio Micro-Enterprise Grant Program is design to help small minority and women-owned businesses through the current crisis and set them up to thrive in the future.

“Each qualifying business would receive $10,000 until funding runs out, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The program could fund up to 500 companies," Husted said.

The Appalachian growth Capital Loan Program will provide $10 million to help small businesses in Ohio’s 32 county Appalachian region.

The program will offer loans to small businesses for up to $500,000 at 2 percent interest.

DeWine also addressed the days of unrest in response to the death of George Floyd, the man who died while in Minneapolis police custody last week. Floyd’s death has prompted protests across the region, state, and nation with some escalating to violent acts.

“Protesters need to be heard,” he said.

“We are going to continue to make sure that our law enforcement officers have the proper training on implicit bias."

Regarding law enforcement, DeWine suggests we must do the following:

  • Improve law enforcement access to quality training
  • Enhance transparency between police and the public
  • Recruit more minorities to serve as officers
  • Add more oversight to Ohio’s law enforcement agencies to ensure accountability.

Another issue that needs to be addressed, is ensuring that officers who are told to leave the force for unacceptable behavior do not show up in a different police department, he said.

>>RELATED: DeWine unveils new tools to combat case disparity in minority communities

DeWine last addressed the state and reporters Friday, after protesters first caused damage in many parts of Columbus including the statehouse.

DeWine said last week that guidance for the reopening of zoos, amusement parks, and museums could come sometime this week.

Still coming up next week are visitations at some nursing homes. DeWine said last week that outdoor visitations will be allowed to resume June 8 for assisted living and intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities.

LATEST STATE DATA: As of Tuesday afternoon, there have been at least 36,350 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 2,258 deaths, and 6,176 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.

[ Local cases, deaths reported to Ohio Department of Health ]

There have been 398,066 people tested for coronavirus in Ohio. In the state, 5,343 cases are health care workers, which is 15 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.

Other things to know today:

The Montgomery County Animal Resource Center reopened Monday.

The federal courthouses in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus reopened Monday