Ohio Governor Mike DeWine held a press briefing to address the state's response to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Thursday.
DeWine reported that three Northeast Ohio counties remain at Level 3 (red) in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. They are Cuyahoga, Medina, and Erie counties.
Here's what else the governor discussed:
At his press briefing on Thursday, DeWine addressed the status of bars, which have become a hot topic of conversation in the state.
DeWine announced that he is asking the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to consider enacting an emergency rule. This rule would prevent the sale of alcohol at all liquor-permitted establishments beginning at 10 p.m. each night. Consumption of alcohol must end by 11:00 p.m.
The Liquor Control Commission will hold their emergency meeting Friday at 9 a.m. If the emergency statewide administrative rule is approved, DeWine says he intends to sign an Executive Order that would make it effective Friday night.
Earlier this week, DeWine was asked about legislation in Columbus that would require bars in the city to close at 10 p.m. each night, DeWine said that he supported the policy. He also noted that he has recently been in contact with vice president Mike Pence and United States Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and that Dr. Birx has recently advised that areas with concerning coronavirus numbers and trends close down bars and restrict capacity at restaurants.
Dr. Birx advised earlier this week that bars in both Kentucky and Tennessee close bars due to coronavirus concerns. According to a report from the Center for Public Integrity, Birx has identified Cleveland along with Baltimore, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis as cities needing to get outbreaks under control.
DeWine says he will issue an order to offer clear recommendations as a reminder to Ohioans when gatherings can be done safely.
1. Gatherings at a household or family residence should be limited to close friends/family and are recommended to be 10 visitors or less.
2. Residents in a red/purple county should limit hosting or attending gatherings of any size.
3. Wear a mask at all times at gatherings and maintain physical distance.
4. Use take out, outdoor dining, or indoor dining only when strict social distancing can be maintained.
5. 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.
6. Protect anyone w/ serious medical conditions at home by social distancing, wearing a mask, and high levels of hygiene.
7.High-risk individuals should take extra precautions to limit the number of people they interact with.
8. Make the group of people you interact with most often as small as possible and make sure that they are taking appropriate #COVID19 precautions – even if you are just gathering with family, friends, or neighbors at your home.