Ohio to consider closing bars, restaurants if trends continue

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says the state will be forced to close restaurants, bars and fitness centers if the current coronavirus trends continue.

The governor, who addressed the state Wednesday evening, said they will examine the issue in one week.

“I am very well aware of the burden this will place on employees and the owners. But, these are places where it is difficult or impossible to maintain mask-wearing, which we know now is the chief way of slowing this virus,” DeWine said.

DeWine emphasized earlier talking points, including wearing masks and avoiding gatherings. He also announced an updated mask mandate, requiring businesses to post about face coverings at all entrances.

The Ohio Department of Health said there have been 267,356 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, and 5,623 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. It is presumed that 191,950 have recovered. In the last 24 hours, 5,874 cases, 76 fatalities, 253 hospitalizations and 36 intensive care unit admissions were reported to the state health department.

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