Ben Asks a Question: How can Ohioans plan to get back to normal?

DeWine: COVID-19 'is not going away' soon
Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 19:41:41-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As President Donald Trump tells the nation it’s his decision -- not governors’ -- on when to end stay-at-home orders, WCPO has received more and more questions from viewers about how the state of Ohio will protect itself as the country attempts to return to normal.

Today for Ben Asks a Question, I asked Gov. Mike DeWine to comment on a question sent in by viewer Rosemary Marlin. Marlin asked via email: “As we come out the other side of our statewide shelter-in-place, curve-flattening measure, how will we guard against / ensure that the virus is not brought back into Ohio communities by way of social and business interactions with those from outside our state?”

Ben Asks a Question is a feature we started as a way to help give you a voice during Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefings. Since then, Ben has gotten hundreds of questions a day. If you'd like to ask a question, find us on Facebook and feel free to message us there, or send us an email at

His answer: even after the stay-at-home order ends in May, Ohioans will still have to be cautious.

“This monster is still going to be with us, at least until we get a vaccine,” said DeWine. “People are going to have to be very, very careful. If you’re 80 years old and you have asthma, you’re probably not going to go see the Reds play until we get a vaccine … You’ve got to weigh benefit versus risk.”

DeWine noted that everyone is in a different situation, so Ohioans will have to judge for themselves which activities are safe.

“Everybody’s going to have to make their own calculations. I think what we have to do is to make sure we’re doing certain things: people wearing a mask when they go out … If you have a job, that company doing everything they can to do not only the social distancing, but to do all the things that are necessary to make that person’s job safer,” said DeWine. “But it’s not going away, that’s the sad news … It’s not going away until we get a vaccine. So we’re 12 to 18 months away from this going away. We’re going to have to live with it … we’re all going to have to make rational decisions and rational choices … Because when we open things up, people are still going to be exceedingly careful.”

As of Tuesday, Ohio’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 1st.