OHIO, USA — The order banning alcohol sales after 10 p.m. at Ohio restaurants and bars will remain in effect as Coronavirus cases continue to rise, said Gov. Mike DeWine during his Thursday press briefing.
"This is something I don't think we can do at this point. If we get the virus down then we can do that," explained Gov. DeWine. His response comes on the heels of Ohio senators introducing a bill to repeal the alcohol and consumption curfew imposed on July 31, in an effort to boost an industry devastated by the pandemic.
A recent survey by the Ohio Restaurant Association found more than half of Ohio restaurants anticipate being forced to close if current restrictions continue. More than 80% don't anticipate breaking even this year.
“These are our friends, our neighbors and leaders in our communities and Senate Bill 374 will help them keep their jobs and their doors open," Senate President Larry Obhof, who is championing the above mentioned bill.
But DeWine says, the health and safety of Ohioans are his top priorities.
"This has had an impact on them and we are looking for ways to help them financially," said DeWine.
According to DeWine, he is working with legislature on a fiscal way to provide support to the service industry. He also mentioned that he would address the topic in greater detail next week.
"[I] thought we would be able to lift this, but the numbers are horrible and going the wrong way."
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported the state's largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. 2,178 new cases and 5 death were reported in the last 24 hours.
You can watch Gov. DeWine's most recent press briefing in the player below: