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Coronavirus In Ohio: DeWine Says Early Bar Closure Under Review

flight of beer in glasses

Bars throughout Ohio have been begging Gov. Mike DeWine to loosen the public health order that requires them to cut off sales at 10 p.m. DeWine on Tuesday signaled those rules might be relaxed soon.

DeWine says he’s hearing complaints from bar owners that the 10 p.m. last call is too early and is hurting their bottom lines, especially now when sporting events run later in the evening.

“I get it. I understand that. I have close friends who run bars. And I know this is tough for them," DeWine says.

The ban was implemented in July to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by limiting late-night socializing. A number of Columbus bars and restaurants sued to block the order from taking effect, but the curfew was upheld by a Franklin County judge.

DeWine says he’s also receiving mixed responses from mayors about the early last call. He says changing the order to allow later sales must be a balance of the health of Ohioans against the health of business. 

The governor says people won’t go to bars in the future at all if they are afraid their health will be compromised due to COVID-19.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.