Re-opening Ohio; local officials weigh in

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HARRISON COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF)- Governor Mike DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio plan continues in phases to insure people understand that social distancing is key so that contact tracing can be maintained. Local county officials are hopeful on re-opening, but realize the actions of the people are what will determine the transition.

Industry advisory groups are working with the state on opening restaurants, salons, and barber shops, either at full or limited capacity. Garen Rhome, the​ Harrison County Health Department Administrator, told 7News “the first responsibility is on the business owner or the managers in charge to really understand the guidelines and try to open up and operate within those guidelines and we want to be there to continue to help the businesses here in Harrison County understand those and interpret those and work with them to make sure that when it’s their time to open back up we can do so safely and responsibly.”

Some offices are opening up, allowed at 50% occupancy per the “Stay Safe Ohio Order.” In Harrison County, many remain closed and are working on installing safeguards. The OSU Extension Office is closed until July.​

Harrison County Commissioner, Paul Coffland​, said “every business in my mind is essential, whether you agree or disagree with how each state is handling the re-opening, as long as you can provide the social distancing, you can have the proper PPE, and you can maintain a level in your facility, I think you should be open so as the Governor and the Ohio Department of Health move forward and allow certain businesses you’ll see them open up across our county as well.”

The Administrator says county population density does not affect opening status, all guidelines are blanket orders at this time.

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