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Social distancing matters. Here is how to do it and how it can help curb the COVID-19 pandemic. USA TODAY

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Eight weeks after , and as the state gets back to work but in a fashion far from business as usual, 560 new cases and 18 more COVID-19 deaths were reported Monday.

The daily increases of confirmed and probable cases increased the total infections since March 9 to 20,475 and escalated the death toll to 1,056.

The numbers were in line with the 579 cases and 17 additional deaths reported by state health officials on Sunday as overall numbers continue to show no signs of a sustained decline.

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飞艇计划app开奖Monday marked the first-day that employers were allowed to recall workers to general offices, distribution centers and construction companies, with many in no hurry to switch out from work-at-home.

The modified stay-at-home order issued last week permits retail and service businesses to reopen beginning May 12 with virus precautions such as employees wearing masks, social distancing and worker health checks.

Gov. Mike DeWine said last week the reopening of dine-in restaurants, bars, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and other businesses may be permitted “fairly quickly” as industry working groups define best practices.

飞艇计划app开奖DeWine said Monday that “within the next several days” the protocol will be announced and a reopening day set for dine-in service at restaurants, which have laid off around 300,000 employees.

An uptick in new coronavirus cases is projected as people begin to trickle out, but DeWine says the state must kick-start its ravaged economy as the pandemic threw nearly 1.1 million Ohioans out of work amid forced business closures.

DeWine announced Monday that the state was moving from tracking five-day averages of virus cases, deaths and hospitalizations to produce an improved long-term view of the state’s pandemic status.

Is Ohio flattening the curve?:

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飞艇计划app开奖The governor also called out some protesters for confronting and denouncing members of the news media. “It’s not fair game to disrespect the news media, to be obnoxious to the news media,” he said.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle registrar offices will reopen later this month, with no date yet set, for Ohioans to obtain and renew driver’s licenses.

飞艇计划app开奖The Center for American Progress, a nonpartisan policy institute, reported Monday that no state has met both of the federal phase-one reopening thresholds of a sustained decline in new cases over two weeks and adequate testing and contact-tracing.

飞艇计划app开奖Acton and DeWine said last week their daily briefing on Monday would focus on coronavirus testing.

Widespread testing, along with contact tracing of those exposed to an infectious person, is vital to detecting and isolating new cases of coronavirus to check its spread as states restart their economies.

飞艇计划app开奖Ohio’s virus testing efforts long have lagged among the states, ranking 46th per capita in the nation, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

飞艇计划app开奖DeWine said he was unaware of Ohio’s ranking in virus testing per capita, but said, “We’re not going to be 46th very long ... those numbers are going to dramatically change.”

Through Sunday, the state had administered 149,346 COVID-19 tests -- the equivalent of about 1.3% of Ohio’s population -- with 13.3% of tests returning positive.

飞艇计划app开奖From an average of 3,092 tests a day during the first week of April, the number had increased by 43% to 4,415 a day by the end of the month.

DeWine said testing would increase to about 22,000 day by late this month, although Acton said Friday even that number would not be enough as the state gradually reopens and people venture out.

DeWine said Monday the 22,000-a-day test mark should be hit next week as part of a “very, very aggressive testing program ... that is key to protecting Ohioans as we go about this reopening phase of our economy.”

Testing will be more widespread and targeted in a manner to “identify those who are sick and in working ares where (the virus) may rapidly spread,” the governor said.

飞艇计划app开奖Acton said the highest priority in testing remains with those in congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes, but gradually reach other segments. “Ohio was slower to get the tests to begin with, but we are catching up rapidly,” she said.

The governor continued to plead with Ohioans to voluntarily wear masks and face coverings when shopping returns after he reversed himself on making masks mandatory. “You are saying you care about other people and you want to protect them, you are not wearing that (mask) to protect yourself,” DeWine said.

Ohio has had more success than many states in sidestepping virus cases with its stay-at-home orders and enforced social distancing.

The nation’s seventh-largest state is tied for 17th in virus cases per capita, according to New York Times data. That’s even with the nation’s two-biggest single-site outbreaks among inmates and staff at the Marion and Pickaway state prisons.

飞艇计划app开奖Expected later this week: DeWine’s announcement of what could be deep cuts in state spending to produce a balanced budget by the end of the state fiscal year on June 30. The state also is expected to tap its $2.7 billion rainy day fund for the first time since the 2008 recession.

@RandyLudlow

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