I-TEAM learns some local bars ignored Governor’s order to close as coronavirus spreads

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MENTOR, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-TEAM, Tuesday, found a local bar open for business days after Ohio’s Governor ordered that all bars close to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The I-TEAM went into the Shamrock Inn in Mentor and a man behind the bar told us he had nothing to say.

When we pressed him about the Governor’s order, he responded, “Trying to make a living.”

And later, he said he would stay open until somebody forces him to close.

Sunday, Governor Mike DeWine ordered all bars and restaurants to close, saying they could stay open for take-out and delivery of food.

The state hopes to eliminate close contact of groups of people in as many ways as possible as the coronavirus continues to spread.

When we stopped in at the Shamrock Inn, we only saw a couple of customers and a few drinks on the bar.

But the state rules affect businesses big and small. And we wondered what if lots of small businesses decided to ignore the orders?

As soon as we left the bar, the I-TEAM contacted the Governor’s Office and the Lake County Health Department.

What happens in a case like this?

We found it could affect the bar’s liquor license and even lead to criminal charges. But the Health Department says, first, it sends police to a business not following the rules to simply ask the manager to do the right thing.

The Lake County Health Department says it has had one other complaint about a bar staying open, and after getting a visit, that bar then closed.

Back at the Shamrock Inn, the man we spoke with left no doubt he had had enough of our questions. As we left and he closed the door, he wondered if he’d have to “get physical."

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