Eight weeks after coronavirus first was confirmed in the state – and as Ohio gets back to work in a fashion far from business as usual – Gov. Mike DeWine talked Monday of expanding testing to protect Ohioans.

DeWine also said Monday that within the next several days the protocol will be announced and a reopening day set for dine-in service at restaurants, which have laid off around 300,000 employees.

Monday marked the first-day that employers were allowed to recall workers to general offices, distribution centers and construction companies, with many in no hurry to switch out from work-at-home.

The modified stay-at-home order issued last week permits retail and service businesses to reopen beginning May 12 with virus precautions such as employees wearing masks, social distancing and worker health checks.

DeWine said last week the reopening of dine-in restaurants, bars, hair salons, barber shops, gyms and other businesses may be permitted “fairly quickly” as industry working groups define best practices.

With officials acknowledging virus cases will increase during the phased-in opening as more people venture out, upgrades to testing are seen as vital to restraining the growth of new infections.

Ohio is building from a lowly spot, with its virus testing efforts long lagging among the states — ranking 46th per capita in the nation, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

DeWine said he was unaware of Ohio’s ranking in virus testing, but said, “We’re not going to be 46th very long … those numbers are going to dramatically change.”

Widespread testing, along with contact tracing of those exposed to an infectious person, is billed as key in detecting and isolating new cases of coronavirus to check its spread as states restart their economies.

Through Monday, the state had administered 154,290 COVID-19 tests — the equivalent of about 1.3% of Ohio’s population — with 13.3% of tests returning positive.

From an average of 3,092 tests a day during the first week of April, the number of tests in Ohio had increased by 43% to 4,415 a day by the end of the month, according to state figures.

DeWine announced what he hailed as a testing “breakthrough” on April 24, saying Ohio-produced supplies of two key items – testing swabs and the reagent used to analyze samples – would accelerate testing.

The governor projected testing would increase to about 7,200 cases a day beginning last Wednesday, but the state has fallen a fourth short of the goal, averaging about 5,500 daily tests in the five days through Sunday.

DeWine said testing would increase to about 22,000 a day by late this month, although State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton has said that number would not be enough as people return to work and shopping.

DeWine said Monday that there would be 18,000 tests a day reached by next week; that is more than three times the number of daily tests currently being conducted.

He promised a “very, very aggressive testing program … that is key to protecting Ohioans as we go about this reopening phase of our economy.” Testing will be more widespread and targeted in a manner to “identify those who are sick and in working areas where (the virus) may rapidly spread,” the governor said.

Acton said the highest testing priority will remain with those in congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes, but gradually reach other segments.

Contact tracing to identify and isolate people in contact with known virus patients is planned with local health departments, but at last report, only about 680 of 1,800 needed workers have been hired. DeWine and Acton could provide no update on the number on Monday.

Meanwhile, health officials reported 560 new cases and 18 more COVID-19 deaths statewide on Monday.

The statewide total of coronavirus cases grew to 20,474, an increase of 2.8% from Sunday. The cases include 18 new deaths for a total of 1,056 fatalities, as well as 3,809 cumulative hospitalizations.

Here are the latest local case numbers (provided by the state unless otherwise noted):

Summit: Data released Monday afternoon by Summit County Public Health show 726 cases, including 56 deaths and 257 cumulative hospitalizations. Among the deaths, 36 cases were individuals who resided in long-term care. The case count includes 157 (three new) sickened health-care workers, who account for 21.6% of all Summit County cases. Long-term care residents make up 31.5% of the county’s cases.

Stark: No new deaths reported. A total of 405 cases (seven new), 100 cumulative hospitalizations and 53 deaths.

Portage: One new death reported. A total of 251 cases (four new), 67 cumulative hospitalizations, 42 deaths.

Wayne: One new death reported. A total of 161 cases (eight new), 23 cumulative hospitalizations and 33 deaths.

Medina: No new deaths reported. A total of 175 cases (three new), 46 cumulative hospitalizations and 16 deaths.

Ashland: Nine cases, one hospitalization, no deaths.

Holmes: Six cases, two hospitalizations, one death.

Tuscarawas: 126 cases (eight new), 13 hospitalizations, no deaths.

DeWine began his daily coronavirus briefing with a moment of silence for the 50th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, and said he ordered flags flown at half-staff across Ohio on Monday in remembrance.

Deaths per capita

Ohio cases

Cases by county

Cases per capita by county