Ohio Closing All Bars, Restaurants Over Coronavirus

March 15, 2020 Updated: March 15, 2020

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state is closing down all restaurants and bars across the state to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers. I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering. It is our goal for everyone to get through this. Every day we delay, more people will die,” DeWine wrote in a statement in announcing the measures.

He said that establishments can still provide deliveries and takeout, just not seated dining.

“If we do not act and get some distance between people, our healthcare system in Ohio will not hold up. The loss won’t only be those impacted by COVID19, but the danger is also to everyone else who needs hospital care for other issues,” the governor wrote.

DeWine already announced last week that the state is shutting down schools for weeks, but later stressed that the closures could remain for much longer than anticipated, possibly lasting until the end of the 2020 school year.

“Going by what medical experts are telling us, [the epidemic] may not peak until the latter part of April or May,” DeWine told CNN on Sunday, adding that officials “absolutely” are prepared for such a measure. “We’ve informed superintendents while we’ve closed schools for three weeks, odds are we will go on a lot longer,” he said.

People wait in line to go through the customs at airport
People wait in line to go through the customs at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas, on March 14, 2020. (Austin Boschen via AP)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzer, following DeWine’s order, also said that all bars and restaurants will be closed statewide to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, late last year.

“I know how difficult this will be on small businesses around the state, this is another hard step,” Pritzker said. “But we must do everything we can to safeguard the health and safety of the citizens of the state of Illinois and that requires urgent action.”

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows more than 3,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, and at least 60 deaths were reported as of Sunday. The World Health Organization several days ago also declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.