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DeWine orders Ohio bars, dine-in restaurants closed

Pick-up and delivery still permitted

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all bars and dine-in restaurants in Ohio to close as of 9 p.m. Sunday.

The governor said pick up and delivery options would still be permitted by businesses, but he hoped to eliminate mass gatherings out of concerns regarding the coronavirus.

“We will be issuing an order closing all bars and restaurants in #Ohio beginning at 9:00 tonight,” DeWine posted on his Twitter feed Sunday afternoon.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted addressed the move.

“We know how difficult this will be on business owners and employees,” he said. “Please continue to use carryout and delivery as options — we don’t want to overwhelm grocery stores. Please continue to use your local restaurants.

DeWine said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Ohio has risen to 36 as of Sunday.

“This is the real thing,” DeWine quoted Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, as saying. “This is not a drill. This is a once in a lifetime pandemic, and everything we all do matters.”

DeWine elaborated on the numbers by quoting Acton.

“It is getting increasingly hard to give you numbers that are accurate because it is pouring in so quickly – but as of 2pm we had 36 positive cases,” she said. “One of these individuals started showing symptoms in early February — so they would have been carrying it before.”

The governor also said he would be issuing an executive order to help employers deal with unemployment matters related to the situation.

DeWine appeared on the Sunday news show to discuss the coronavirus. He said that while Ohio schools have been ordered closed for three weeks, this may be extended.

The governor said it is possible the closure could run through the end of the academic year.