TIMELINE: Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana reopening plans

Posted at 11:38 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 13:58:30-04

The close interconnectedness of border communities in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana poses unique challenges to local and state governments trying to coordinate the best response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Seven midwestern governors, including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, agreed in mid-April to form an informal coalition that would coordinate the phases in which their states' economies will reopen. That doesn't mean all of their timelines will overlap perfectly.

For instance, Holcomb said restaurants like Willie’s Sports Café in Lawrenceburg can resume dine-in service as soon as May 11. Restaurants 15 miles away in Harrison, Ohio, will have to wait until May 21. South of the Ohio River in Kentucky, restaurants can reopen on May 22 but only at 33% capacity.

Here's what we know about Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana governors' respective plans for reopening their states' economies:


May 1: Healthcare facilities that provide non-emergency treatment or care reopen, although some are choosing to be especially cautious.

May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction industries reopen, along with general office jobs previously deemed "non-essential."

May 12: Consumer, retail and services companies reopen. Food courts must remain closed.

May 15: Hairdressers, barber shops, tanning salons and other beauty industry businesses reopen. Workers must wear masks, clients must enter the building alone and businesses must enforce social distancing in waiting areas. Restaurants with outdoor seating begin serving customers there.

Tattoo and piercing shops, massages and acupuncture services will also be allowed to reopen with restrictions.

May 21: Restaurants and bars reopen with social distancing requirements in place. Tables must be at least six feet apart or separated by a physical barrier, and no parties of over 10 people should be served. Campgrounds, some of which had been partially open throughout the pandemic, reopen completely.

May 22: Horse racing resumes without spectators.

May 26: Gyms and fitness centers, bowling alleys, public pools and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles reopen. Non-contact sports such as tennis and racquetball can resume play, and individual skills training for other sports can begin again with precautions.

May 31: Childcare facilities and day camps are allowed to reopen while observing strict hygiene requirements, including temperature-taking on entry, frequent hand-washing and sanitizing toys between each use.

June 1: Banquet halls and catering services can reopen to crowds of as many as 300 people. These venues must observe the same safety restrictions as restaurants.

June 10: Aquariums, art galleries, country clubs, ice skating and roller skating rinks, indoor family entertainment centers, indoor sports facilities, laser tag, movie theaters, museums, outdoor playgrounds, public recreation centers, social clubs, trampoline parks and zoos can reopen.


April 27: Non-emergency outpatient health care services, including diagnostic radiology labs, physical therapists and anaesthesiologists, reopen, provided they have enough personal protective equipment to keep workers and patients safe.

May 6: Outpatient and ambulatory surgeries, including procedures considered "invasive," resume. All patients must receive COVID-19 testing before their procedure, and all facilities must maintain enough PPE to last 14 days. Acute care hospitals should still keep 30% of their beds open at any given time.

May 11: A wide range of businesses will reopen while observing industry-specific guidelines and Beshear's "Healthy at Work" rules for reopening, which include enforced social distancing and onsite screening for COVID-19 symptoms. The businesses allowed to resume in-person operations May 11 are: Manufacturing, construction, car and boat dealerships, professional services such as accountants (at 50% pre-pandemic capacity), horse racing (without spectators), and pet grooming and boarding facilities.

May 13: Health care providers may once again perform non-emergency inpatient surgeries and other procedures, but only at 50% of pre-shutdown volume. They remain beholden to the safety, cleanliness and capacity guidelines established in previous phases.

May 18: Government offices and agencies reopen.

May 20: Retail stores, funeral homes and houses of worship reopen.

May 22: Restaurants can reopen at 33% capacity, plus outdoor seating. Bars that offer food service can also reopen alongside restaurants. Social gatherings with 10 or fewer participants are allowed. The state's travel ban also expires on this day.

May 25: The state allows barbers, hair salons, cosmetologists, nail salons, acupuncturists, massage therapists, tanning salons and tattoo parlors to reopen.

May 27: Health care providers that perform inpatient surgeries and other procedures are no longer required to limit themselves to 50% of pre-shutdown volume. Instead, each facility must determine the number of patients it can safely treat. PPE and testing guidelines remain in place.

June 1: Movie theaters, bowling alleys, golf courses and fitness centers can reopen. State parks, including lodges and cabins, reopen today. Aquatic centers with lap pools can reopen, but community pools must remain closed. Fishing tournaments can resume.

June 8: In-home childcare can resume today. Museums, outdoor attractions, libraries, aquariums and distilleries can reopen. Horse shows can resume.

June 11: Camping can resume with social distancing.

June 15: Childcare centers can reopen, and low-touch, outdoor youth sports can resume.

June 29: Bars, wedding venues, public swimming and bathing centers can reopen on this day, provided they follow these guidelines. Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted, and youth sports can resume.


May 4 - May 24: State eases restrictions on social distancing, including allowing gatherings of up to 25 people, provided they follow social distancing guidelines.

May 8: Restrictions lifted on churches and other places of worship.

May 11: Bars and restaurants resume indoor service. Most retail businesses will be also able to operate at 50% capacity. Stores inside malls will be able to operate at 50% capacity, but the mall common areas — such as food courts — will operate at 25%.

May 22 - June 13: Gyms, fitness centers, playgrounds, tennis courts and theaters are able to operate at 50% capacity. Retailers and other businesses can move from 50% capacity to 75% capacity. The restriction on social gatherings will be eased from 25 people to 100 people.