CLEVELAND — Plenty of Ohioans are dreaming of summer: baseball, camping, swimming and an end of restrictions aimed to prevent the coronavirus crisis.
But Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton isn’t optimistic about a “back-to-normal” summer free of social distancing restrictions.
“I wish I could give you hope about your summer,” Acton said Wednesday during the daily statehouse briefing. “But the truth is if we’re really looking at this peaking in the May time area, because we are flattening that curve … it’s also going to be a slow, flat top and then it’s going to slowly go back down again.”
Acton said the state is putting together a task force to look at how the state will exit the crisis and end restrictions.
She said ending the restrictions requires five key components, including adequate testing; a low, stable number of cases; enough protective gear, healthcare workers stay safe; and plenty of capacity at hospitals.
Gov. Mike DeWine’s original stay-at-home order is set to expire Monday, April 6. He said Wednesday he will issue another order Thursday. On Monday, he extended school closures until May 1.
What the coronavirus will mean for summer traditions like vacations, amusement parks, swimming pools and summer camps is still unknown.
There is no switch to flip to return to normal, Acton said. (Earlier she referred to these stay-at-home spring days as “Groundhog Day.”) Ohio will end restrictions gradually.
“In some ways life will be different for quite some time to come, in some ways that are permanent and also some ways that are good.”