DeWine on reopening Ohio economy: 'We're just kind of phasing this in one step at a time'

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine joined "Your World with Neil Cavuto" Monday to discuss his plan to gradually reopen his state's economy.

"We're going to start on May 1 with opening [back] up ... our hospitals. Again, our hospitals have not been flooded with people. We've got room in our hospitals. So we're going to allow the [elective] surgeries that had not been taking place to to start back up again," DeWine said.  "And then a few days later, we'll start opening up the manufacturing that had not already been open, the 'nonessential' manufacturing. We're going to have that open up. And then on May 12, we're going to go to retail.

"Now, we're not doing restaurants yet," DeWine added. "We're not doing bars yet. We're not opening up gyms. We're not up to opening up hair salons or barbers. We're just kind of phasing this in one step at a time."

DeWine commended the residents of his state for following social distancing guidelines after he became one of the first governors in America to institute them in mid-March.

"Ohioans have been just great. They have flattened this curve, so to speak. And we're seeing our numbers go down, not dramatically, but they're going down as far as hospitalizations, which is something that we look at very, very closely and it's very important for us," the governor said.

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The governor said his plan to reopen Ohio follows the recommendation of a business group he assembled.

"We had small business people, big, bigger, mid-size, and they came back with some very, very great guidelines. And what they said is, 'Look, we want to open up, but we want to be careful. We want to be able to ensure the safety of the employees,'" DeWine said. "So one thing that group recommended that we endorsed and now is going to be in order is that if you work in manufacturing, you're going to wear a mask. And if you work in retail, you're gonna wear a mask. And the people who come in are going to have to wear some facial covering.

"Now that, you know, I know, that's a little controversial, but our business people said, 'Look, we want to get back. We want to get back soon. And by doing that distancing, by doing wearing the face covering, it's going to allow our businesses to get back in earlier.'

"And as I told the people of Ohio today, look, this is not forever," DeWine added. "You know, it's going to be a while, but we will get through this this virus."

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Cavuto pressed DeWine on how long he thinks the coronavirus pandemic will last.

"One thing about this virus is the more you learn, the less you know," DeWine said, adding that he is preparing for the worst case scenario and adjusting as information becomes available.