CLEVELAND (WJW)– The city of Cleveland says it will continue to respond to businesses that don’t follow the coronavirus safety protocols issued by the Ohio Department of Health.
On Friday, restaurants and bars were allowed to reopen for outdoor service, as long as they operated under the guidelines created by a state-assembled group of business owners. Indoor service can resume on Thursday.
The Cleveland Division of Police responded to 28 calls about mass gatherings at residences and businesses over the weekend, the city said in a news release on Monday.
Officers and the Cleveland Department of Public Health visited the four establishments with the most complaints. Health officials spoke to the owners about the current requirements for food service operations and issued letters notifying them of the complaints:
- Harry Buffalo, East 4th Street: Operation was to remain closed and limit sales to carry-out only.
- Lago, West 10th Street: Did not ensure 6 feet between people or establish a maximum capacity. All employees were not wearing appropriate facial coverings.
- Mulberry’s, Mulberry Avenue: Sand volleyball was open and operational when recreational businesses are to remain closed.
- TownHall, West 25th Street: Did not ensure 6 feet between people, establish maximum capacity or perform daily employee symptom assessments. All employees were not wearing appropriate facial coverings.
The Ohio Department of Health was also notified.
“Violating the state’s guidelines for the reopening of businesses is something the city of Cleveland takes very seriously,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said. “We will continue to monitor this situation and will be developing a policy to address the actions of habitual offenders.”
Jackson said just because businesses are reopening doesn’t mean the coronavirus is gone.
The city said the division of police will respond to calls for violations of the health orders.
Also on Monday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he is expanding a contingent of law enforcement and health officials to coordinate with the Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit.
The governor said the group will perform safety compliance checks at crowded bars and restaurants. It will also issue administrative citations that could result in places losing their liquor licenses. DeWine said the state plans to work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions.