Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has closed all the state’s bars and “dine-in” restaurants until further notice. The closure happened on Sunday, March 15, at 9 p.m.
Restaurants and bars will still be allowed to serve food through the following methods: carry out, drive-thru or delivery. It is unknown how long the “dine-in” aspect will be affected at this time.
“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers,” stated DeWine. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering. It is our goal for everyone to get through this.”
To assist Ohio workers directly impacted by the COVID-19 health emergency, DeWine said he will issue an executive order that makes several changes to Ohio’s unemployment law and state agency policy.
Ohio currently has a one week waiting period before an individual can receive unemployment, but DeWine noted that waiting week will be waived “to expedite the payments to impacted Ohioans.”
Locally, fast food locations and dine-in establishments have signage up explained that they have either carryout or drive-thru options. Many small food-related businesses are adjusting to carryout options as well.
At least two local Facebook groups have been created to show support for local businesses. Menus and phone numbers are being shared as well.
“What we’ve done this week is drastic action, but we’re taking these steps to save lives,” explained DeWine. “With no intervention, we could expect 40 to 70 percent of our population would contract this virus.”
“This is a matter of life and death,” DeWine said. “We have to do this to save lives. We will get through this, I don’t know how long it will take, but we want as many Ohioans to make it through as possible.”