``This was actually the last place we went before the governor
issued the [stay-at-home] order,” Simmons, 33, a state
worker, said from behind her protective mask. ``We thought, if
anyone, they'd probably be doing the patio thing and maybe
lunchtime wouldn't be too crowded. Turns out we're the only ones
``Welcome to the Old Bag of Nails 2.0,'' their masked server
The Simmonses were among Ohioans venturing back to dining
establishments Friday, as outdoor patio spaces were allowed to
reopen. It's the next step toward resuming normal business
operations under Gov. Mike DeWine's state reopening plan.
DeWine has said that 90% of the state's economy will be back
online this weekend with Ohioans having returned to offices,
factories, construction jobs and retail stores, and now outdoor
eating. In-person dining can resume on May 21.
The governor and Health Director Dr. Amy Acton made it
clear at a Thursday briefing that Ohioans must still take
numerous precautions from wearing masks to frequent hand-washing
to proper social distancing.
``This is a time when we've got to really continue to do that,``
DeWine said. ``Even as people move around more, they've got to
even be more cautious.''
Dr. Rene Anand,
59, of Westerville, whose company is working on COVID-19
research, and marketer colleague Kevin Rich, of
Columbus, heeded the governor's advice as they met for coffee
Friday on the patio of La Chatalaine, another Worthington
restaurant. Anand wore a fabric face mask, ball cap and
protective glasses and Rich wore a mask, cap and thick gloves.
``We are social people, human beings are, and it is necessary to
kind of come together and make those connections outside of Zoom
and Skype,'' Anand said. ``But we're taking all the precautions.
... It feels lovely.''
Restaurants had the option to provide takeout food during the
pandemic, but even so, four in 10 restaurants closed
since the stay-at-home orders began and 3% won't reopen,
the Ohio Restaurant Association said Thursday.
Nearly half of Ohio restaurants experienced economic losses of
more than 70%, and more than half of the state's 585,000 food
service employees were laid off or furloughed, the association
Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo shops, spas and
also were allowed to reopen Friday, with caveats aimed at
protecting health and safety.
Tommy Checkler, who owns the Old Village Barber in
Worthington, said his first customer, a 90-year-old regular,
arrived at 7 a.m. By noon, he and brother Tommy were cropping
the shaggy heads of two others—barbers and customers alike in
masks—and two other patrons were waiting on their designated
Xs on a bench along the wall.
Checkler said he didn't get any unemployment or PPT assistance
while barber shops were under forced shutdown.
``The only thing I've received is my stimulus check, which I
call a survival check,`` he said.
The number of confirmed and probable deaths associated
with the coronavirus in Ohio has reached 1,581, an
increase of 47 from a day earlier, state health officials said
Friday. The number of confirmed and probable cases neared
27,000, and hospitalizations neared 4,800, the Ohio Department
of Health said.
Bowling Green State University
said Friday it was dropping baseball, citing the financial
strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move would save $2
million, the school said.
``This is a very difficult, but necessary, decision,'' athletic
director Bob Moosbrugger said. ``As a baseball alumnus, my heart
breaks for the families affected by this decision.''
The school will honor scholarship agreements through graduation
and will assist student-athletes who want to transfer, he said.
Bowling Green's move came one day after Akron, another
member of the Mid-American Conference, dropped three
sports because of fiscal hardship caused by the virus outbreak.
Earlier this week, the MAC announced it is eliminating
postseason tournaments in eight sports, including baseball
and softball, to save money.