Ohio Governor Mike DeWine defined first steps towards reopening the state’s economy Monday, diverging from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who said she wouldn’t be held to artificial timelines while fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ohio would start by permitting non-essential surgical procedures this week and then shift to open the manufacturing and retail industries. That differs from Michigan, where Whitmer has still not provided details on restarting the state’s essential manufacturing industry.
The various plans could complicate matters for auto manufacturers and others with interdependent activities across the Midwest.
Ohio and Michigan are part of an alliance of states, along with Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Kentucky, that agreed to coordinate their economic reopening.
They’re also vital states for November’s basic election that President Donald Trump, a Republican, won in 2016.
Republican politicians and people affiliated with Trump’s re-election campaign have organized or commenced protests in electoral battleground states where some people are eager to get back to work amid sweeping remain-at-home directives.
Ohio’s reopening will start Friday as it permits non-essential surgeries that do not require an overnight hospital stay, DeWine stated. Dentists and veterinarians also will be allowed to open.
Three days later, the manufacturing, distribution, and construction industries will reopen. General offices can also reopen then, although DeWine inspired firms to keep workers telecommuting if possible. On May 12, consumer retail and services will reopen, he stated.