Wedding receptions of 300 can resume June 1

Wedding receptions of 300 can resume June 1

2:52 p.m. Some $1 million in grants are being made available to provide mental health and addiction services for “hard-to-reach individuals,” DeWine said.

2:45 p.m. To help address the novel coronavirus in poverty-stricken urban and rural areas, Gov. DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Health will create a “new high-level position” as deputy director of Social Determinants of Health and Opportunity.

2:34 p.m. Cincinnati Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman is introduced at the press conference as part of Gov. DeWine’s Minority Health Strike Force. “Testing, testing, testing in an equitable and fair way is a consistent message from the task force,” Smitherman said.

2:10 p.m. Wedding receptions and banquets will be allowed to resume on June 1. A maximum of 300 people will be allowed to attend per event. 

2:09 p.m. Bowling alleys, miniature golf courses and batting cages will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said. Skills training for high school athletics also can resume that day. Husted said non-contact training sessions for football and other sports can resume.  

COLUMBUS – Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to share recommendations Thursday from a panel he assembled to study the impact of the coronavirus on minorities in Ohio.

DeWine announced the Minority Health Strike Force on April 20. African Americans account for 25% of Ohio’s COVID-19 cases and 17% of deaths but make up just 13% of the state’s population.

On Monday, DeWine said those stats are “stunningly high” and he would share more of the task force’s work at his 2 p.m. Thursday briefing.

DeWine also said this week that more details of the state’s plan to test for the virus in nursing homes and other long-term care settings would be coming soon.

As of Wednesday, there have been 1,183 deaths in long-term care facilities – two-thirds of all deaths statewide. 

The state’s strategy has been to test when signs and symptoms are are detected. Several states, including New Jersey, New York and West Virginia, have implemented mass testing protocols to identify the virus’ presence before it spreads throughout a facility. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence advised governors to test all nursing home residents and staff members in the next two weeks.

DeWine said that was unlikely to happen in Ohio.

On Tuesday, DeWine said the state is ramping up testing but it needs to be deployed strategically. He said the Ohio National Guard was building teams to send to long-term care facilities. Fourteen teams of 10 members each will assist the Ohio Department of Health with testing, with teams consisting of medically qualified Ohio Air and Army guard personnel including medics and nurses, said Guard spokeswoman Stephanie Beougher.

“We’re going to push the testing as hard as we can in these nursing homes,” DeWine said Tuesday. “And I think in the next seven days we’re going to be able to report to you a lot more progress in that area.”

[ Most of the Enquirer’s coverage of the new coronavirus is being provided for free to our readers. Please consider supporting local journalism by subscribing to The Enquirer at ]

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Coronavirus toll in Ohio

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