Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered all bars and dine-in restaurants to close for gatherings at 9 p.m. Sunday amid the spread of COVID-19.
In a news conference Sunday afternoon, DeWine ordered the closure to help stop the spread of the virus. Restaurants will still be allowed to serve takeout food and to-go orders, but no one will be allowed to have a sit-down meal inside the restaurant.
“What we can’t have is people congregating and seated,” DeWine said. “Every day we delay, more people will die. If we do not act and get some distance between people, our health care system in Ohio will not hold up,” DeWine said.
“It is getting increasingly hard to give you numbers that are accurate because it is pouring in so quickly – but as of 2 p.m., we had 36 positive cases. One of these individuals started showing symptoms in early February — so they would have been carrying it before,” Ohio Department of Health, Director Amy Acton said.
DeWine recently made comments about ordering a possible closure of restaurants on an episode of NBC’s Meet the Press.
“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering,” DeWine said.
After the conference, DeWine took to Twitter to clarify information from the conference.
“What we’ve done this week is drastic action, but we’re taking these steps to save lives. With no intervention, we could expect 40%-70% of our population would contract this virus. We’ve made dramatic interventions to make a difference and stop our health care system from imploding.” DeWine tweeted.
DeWine also stated he is working with the state to help businesses who will be negatively impacted by the forced closures.
“We are working with the federal government to allow small businesses and nonprofits to apply for low-interest loans to pay for certain expenses incurred by COVID-19,” DeWine said. “To assist Ohio workers directly impacted by the COVID-19 health emergency, I will issue an executive order that makes several changes to Ohio’s unemployment law and state agency policy.”
Reach Adam Black (740) 353-3101 Ext 1927
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