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Ohio’s health orders are going away, but will Cincinnati businesses keep their own?

Some businesses say they were shocked by the governor’s announcement.
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 9:41 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The reactions were unanimously positive on Wednesday among restaurant owners at The Banks to Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement about the end of Ohio’s health orders.

The end of statewide health orders, however, doesn’t mean Ohioans will never need to wear a mask again. Some social distancing could continue. Capacity limits might not be wholly a thing of the past after all.

DeWine on Wednesday evening said the Ohio Department of Health will rescind all health orders related to the pandemic on June 2. Restrictions will remain on nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.

“It was hard to believe actually,” Nick Ramsey, manager at Holy Grail at The Banks, said. “It’s a moment we’ve all been waiting for.”

Ramsey says business should pick up due to the move.

“Employees are going to make a lot more money,” he said. “The Holy Grail is going to do a whole lot better.”

But lifting the health orders will not prevent a business from imposing its own requirements or keeping requirements already in place. There’s the rub for Ramsey and others who face an uncertain future.

DeWine said he expects many stores or businesses may require social distancing and masking going forward, at least for a while.

Ramsey says the team at Holy Grail hasn’t discussed the issue yet. His colleague at The Stretch, Brandon Rettig, is similarly unsure.

“My initial thought was just relief,” Rettig said of Wednesday’s news. “Just grateful that we’re seeing the light at the end of all this.”

On the potential continuation of health orders at his business, Rettig added: “With me just figuring this out today, I’m not too entirely sure what the company’s idea on that is.”

DeWine said the three-week runway exists to give time for Ohioans to get vaccinated before the health orders go away.

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