OHIO, USA — Gov. Mike DeWine issued a Director's Order to close all bars and restaurants in Ohio to in-house customers on Sunday evening starting at 9 p.m., stressing the importance of staying ahead of the coronavirus in his decision.
Carry-out and delivery food is still encouraged. Alcohol can still be purchased at the store or drive-through.
It's unknown how long the order will be in effect.
DeWine said he is aware of the number of people who this will affect, including business owners and employees who work at bars and restaurants and will work to alleviate the economic pain that the order might cause.
Lt. Governor John Husted also said Gov. DeWine will be signing an executive order allowing restaurant workers to access unemployment compensation for the duration of the order.
Husted also said there would be changes to the way unemployment will be is administered which can be seen here.
It was announced they would be broadening policy to clarify that individuals that are quarantined by a health professional or by their employer are considered to be unemployed and will not be subject to requirements to actively seek work during the period of emergency.
Currently, Ohio has a one-week waiting period before someone can receive unemployment. The order will be waiving the waiting period so eligible workers can receive benefits for the first week.
Additionally, to avoid penalizing individual employers by increasing future taxes, the costs of the additional benefits will be mutualized.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will also waive employer penalties for late reporting and payments for the next quarter to assist employers impacted by lack of staff availability.
"We have to act like this is a war," said Dr. Amy Acton, the director of the Ohio Department of Health.
Acton said it was important to take action now, even when the number of confirmed cases is relatively low.
She said it is "a civic duty" for people to keep first responders safe by doing your part to keep the spread of coronavirus low as anyone could be carrying the virus even if they aren't showing symptoms.
"This is not a drill. This is a once in a life pandemic and everything that each and everyone of us does, matters," said Dr. Acton.
For the latest updates from the state and for tips on how to protect yourself from coronavirus you can visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Facts not fear: Putting COVID-19 into context
WTOL 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit wtol.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 419-248-1100.
Protect yourself from coronavirus
- Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined can.
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.