COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Sunday afternoon that all bars and restaurants will have to stop inside service at 9 p.m. Sunday.
It is the latest step in a series of steps already taken in Ohio in the wake of the COVID-19 spreading throughout Ohio.
He said it was not an easy decision, but it is necessary.
“It’s a matter of life and death,” DeWine said.
Sit-down restaurants and cafes and taverns and bars will not be allowed to offer sit-down services until the ban is lifted.
The decision comes on the heels of information he received over the week that showed bars and restaurants remained busy, despite the need expressed in recent days for social distancing.
However, carryout services at restaurants that provide it will be allowed.
Still, patrons can not sit down and eat inside restaurants, taverns, cafes and bars.
It is unknown when this ban will be lifted.
This announcements come in the wake of COVID-19 spreading throughout the state and the nation.
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton had these comments during the news conference Sunday afternoon:
- “We should not be going to restaurants.”
- “If it is not essential you should not be doing it.”
- “Young people … you are essential to this.”
- “What each of us does matters.”
DeWine said these measures must be taken to save lives.
“This is very drastic action,” he said. “But we are taking these steps to help save lives. This is brutally tough. We have to do what we have to do to save lives.”
“Our goal is to get through this. And we will get through this.”
The governor said steps have already been taken to help those across the state who will not be able to work. Changes will be made to Ohio’s laws to allow workers to make it easier for workers to get unemployment compensation, even if in the past they may not have qualified for benefits in the past.
For more information go to https://unemployment.ohio.gov or call 877-644-6562.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted talked in detail about changes being made to help restaurant, bar owners, others small businesses and non-profits who will face financial problems caused by these shutdowns.
“These are just the first steps,” Husted said.
DeWine asked business leaders to also look into more ways that allow workers to work from home home, to stop congregation.
DeWine said the three-week closure of schools has not changed. But superintendents have been advised that those closures are likely to be extended during this pandemic.
“The more we can keep people in their homes, the more we can keep people from congregating, the better we will be,” DeWine said.
“If we do not what we are doing today, more people will die,” DeWine said.