Governor Mike DeWine, Dr. Amy Acton and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted were forced to speak a little louder at their daily press briefing on Thursday as protesters gathered outside of the Ohio Statehouse.
In particular, the protesters were taking issue with the state's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), which has included a stay at home order through at least May 1. The order has had a negative effect on the state's economy and led to several businesses being forced to close temporarily or in some cases, permanently.
Asked about the protesters, DeWine said that he has always supported the first amendment and understands that people are frustrated. Acton, who is Director of Ohio's Department of Health, also acknowledged the protesters and assured viewers that the state is working on its plan to get back to everyday life after the pandemic.
"We are working just as vigorously on the recovery from this," Acton said. "We have been determined to protect Ohioans from the very beginning. The steps we've taken and you are continuing to take are saving lives. We have to be re-determined on responsibly recovering."
DeWine said on Thursday that Ohio is currently working on a "fairly sophisticated plan" for a gradual return to everyday life. Details of the plan -- as well as a timeframe -- have yet to be shared.
As of Thursday, Ohio has had 5,512 confirmed coronavirus cases, 1,612 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 497 ICU admissions and 213 deaths.