COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP): All bars and restaurants in Ohio will be closed as of 9 p.m. Sunday until further notice, said Gov. Mike DeWine, who is taking a tough stance on trying to stem the coronavirus saying “if we don’t take these actions now, it’ll be too late.”
DeWine said what he called “very drastic action” was prompted by concerns from around the state about crowded bars. He said takeout and delivery would still be allowed.
DeWine said he understood the impact on small businesses and steps would be taken to mitigate the suffering.
“What we’ve done this week is drastic action, but we’re taking these steps to save lives,” DeWine tweeted.
The governor said earlier in the day that it was possible that Ohio schools may be closed for the rest of the academic year.
The city of Columbus announced Sunday that a firefighter/emergency medical technician had tested positive for COVID-19. The firefighter has been isolated at home and 31 firefighters who had contact with the individual are being evaluated.
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium joined the list of organizations announcing temporary closures.
“How long this order will be in effect, we don’t frankly know,” DeWine told reporters Sunday afternoon. “It will be in effect as long as it needs to.”