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Columbus Mayor Says Process Of Reopening Businesses Can't Be Rushed

Mayor Andrew Ginther tours the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Mayor Andrew Ginther tours the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is working with public officials and Gov. Mike DeWine on a plan for economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

Ginther says the city must first survive the public health crisis, then the human services crisis that will follow.

“The last thing that we wanna have happen is have such great success in slowing the spread, not overwhelming our health systems, and not losing more of our neighbors to this deadly virus, to have a resurgence come back in the summer because we rushed back into it,” Ginther says.

Ginther says when the city gradually re-opens, it will at first need to continue social distancing and change how people gather to ensure public safety.

He adds that businesses can't afford to open and close several times, so he wants to get things right the first time.

“They can’t reopen more than once,” Ginther says. “They will not have the wherewithal, the financial resources, the backing, the materials, the goods, the services and the people power to potentially start over and over again.”

He gave the name of Columbus restaurateur Cameron Mitchell as an example.

“I think he has said publicly, two weeks before this virus here in this community and around the country, he had 4,500 employees,” Ginther says. “Two weeks later, he had six.”

Supporting businesses isn’t Ginther’s only concern. He says the need to ensure people have housing and food will remain.  

“There is huge need out there right now," he said. "Folks that are unemployed, that are having to educate their children at home with distance learning, continuing to balance, some folks don’t have jobs to go back to.”

Ohio’s stay at-home order is scheduled to expire May 1.

Do you have questions about Ohio's response to the coronavirus? Ask below as part of our Curious Cbus series.