Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is ordering all bars and restaurants in the state to close, the latest approach to stopping the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the Buckeye State.
“We will be issuing an order closing all bars and restaurants in #Ohio beginning at 9:00 tonight,” DeWine said in a Sunday afternoon tweet.
DeWine has already closed schools and banned gatherings of 100 people or more in the state. In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered bars and restaurants to close starting at the end of business on Monday through Monday, March 30.
As of Saturday, there were currently 26 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 12 women and 14 men between 31 and 86 years old — in the state, officials said. A total of seven people are hospitalized.
“The increase in those testing positive for COVID-19 should not alarm anyone,” DeWine said in a news release. “We predicted that this would happen. This should not cause panic, we are enacting an early, targeted, and layered plan aimed at reducing the number of people affected.”
Among those testing positive for COVID-19 in Ohio is a firefighter/EMT in Columbus, the city announced.
“We are well prepared for emergencies, including the outbreak of COVID-19,” Columbus Fire Chief Kevin O’Connor said in a news release. “Because our firefighters work in teams and they train together, eat together and sleep in the same areas, they are at risk for possible exposure. We must be diligent in protecting our greatest assets — our firefighter/EMTs – so that they can continue to protect and serve the people of Columbus.”
On Friday evening, the state received personal protective equipment (PPE), including gowns, goggles and gloves, from the National Strategic Reserve.
Despite the receipt of additional provisions, DeWine asked health care providers to conserve their supplies. The governor also requested that dentists and veterinarians postpone elective surgeries, which officials say will limit the use of the state’s PPE supply and can help free up treatment beds.