COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has asked the Liquor Control Commission to hold an emergency meeting Friday morning to discuss a ban on alcohol sales at bars and restaurants after 10 p.m.
If it’s approved, DeWine said he would sign an executive order that would make it effective Friday at 10 p.m.
“The problem is, bars, by their nature, lend themselves to a revolving door of people in close contact, oftentimes indoors. Patrons either stay at one location, sometimes for hours or bar hop. Either way, they interact with many different people - especially the younger crowd,” he said.
DeWine says he is being mindful of the economic impact during these circumstances but says the state must slow the spread of COVID-19.
“Shutting down for a second time would be devastating to Ohio’s bars and restaurants. We are not going to do that today,” he said.
DeWine also announced the state will create a separate order so it’s easier for people to track down information about holding mass gatherings in a safe manner.
“We have seen cases in recent weeks where outbreaks have been connected to informal social gatherings like birthday parties, neighborhood gatherings, graduation parties, weddings, funerals, and gatherings at people’s homes,” the governor said. “The fact remains that this virus spreads when someone with the virus comes in contact with others who don’t yet have it. When we gather together with people outside our households, we increase the likelihood this virus can spread.”
The order will offer clear recommendations:
- Gatherings at a household or family residence should be limited to close friends/family and are recommended to be 10 visitors or less.
- Residents in a red/purple county should limit hosting or attending gatherings of any size.
- Wear a mask at all times at gatherings and maintain physical distance.
- Use take out, outdoor dining, or indoor dining only when strict social distancing can be maintained.
- Take extra precautions if you go to bars/clubs, where use of masks typically is inconsistent and drinking alcohol can lead to less social distancing.
- Protect anyone with serious medical conditions at home by social distancing, wearing a mask, and high levels of hygiene.
- High-risk individuals should take extra precautions to limit the number of people they interact with.
- Make the group of people you interact with most often as small as possible and make sure that they are taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions – even if you are just gathering with family, friends, or neighbors at your home.
The governor also released this week’s new Ohio Public Health Advisory system map which now shows Butler County at orange Level 2. Hamilton County remains at red Level 3.
Detailed information on all 88 counties is available on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System’s website.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are currently 89,626 cases and 3,442 deaths. 61,056 have presumably recovered.
There was an increase of 1,733 new cases in 24 hours.
“This is the highest daily count we’ve reported,” he said.
On Thursday, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy withdrew their proposed hydroxychloroquine rule to prohibit the selling or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19
Their withdrawal came shortly after DeWine asked the board to halt their new rule.
“The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has reversed their decision on hydroxychloroquine, and I believe that was the right thing to do. I believe their process in arriving at the decision to ban hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 patients was fundamentally flawed,” DeWine said. “I believe they should have had a full hearing on this that sought out additional medical advice. I’m asking the Ohio Board of Pharmacy and Ohio Medical Board to thoroughly look at this issue as the science and understanding of COVID-19 and how to treat it continues to evolve.”
The board said the decision was made “as a result of the feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Governor DeWine.”
“This will allow the board to reexamine the issue with the assistance of the State Medical Board of Ohio, clinical experts, and other stakeholders to determine appropriate next steps,” The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy said.
On Tuesday, DeWine announced child care providers in the state may return to normal, statutory ratios and class sizes beginning Aug. 9.
DeWine said the providers have a choice to get a subsidy and maintain their current lower ratios or they can go back to the normal statutory ratio.
“Even with increased classroom sizes, child care providers will still have to comply with stringent health and safety requirements including face coverings for all staff, symptom and temperature checks, hand washing, frequent cleaning, etc.,” DeWine said.
He said the state will continue to closely monitor reports of COVID-19 in child care, as well as compliance with rules and best practices, and respond as needed to keep children, families, and teachers safe.
The rules child care providers must follow include:
- Face coverings for all staff and children over 10, unless they have a health exception.
- Symptom and temperature checks when staff and children arrive.
- Washing hands throughout the day, including upon arrival and before departure.
- Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Regular deep cleanings.