Ohio started a reopening process Friday that continues for the next two weeks, getting people back to work in several sectors. Yet, there are still many questions regarding businesses and activities that are still closed or limited. Just as they did for the statewide closures that started in mid-March, local public health officials are providing much of the explanation for what is still closed and the guidelines to be followed to allow more openings in the future.
“Despite what some people think, we want businesses to open,” said Health Commissioner Julie Miller of Knox Public Health, “and we want them to understand the guidelines to keep everyone safe.” Added Miller, “We (public health) did not decide which businesses to close, but for the most part, we understood the health and safety reasons of why they were closed.”
Moving forward, Miller said she is working with legal counsel, local business leaders, elected officials and school administrators to clarify issues and help groups make plans to adjust to continued closures. Among the discussions are the cancellation of parades and festivals which continue to be prohibited by state order. “In meeting with city and village officials, we have decided to cancel all parades until the end of May, including all Memorial Day parades,” said Miller. “These events bring too many people together in an uncontrollable environment.” The ban on parades will not, however, affect the drive-by parades which people have held to celebrate birthdays and other personal accomplishments.