What the data shows about coronavirus spread in bars will determine Ohio’s path forward on new regulations

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – How many coronavirus cases can be directly linked to bars will likely determine how Ohio moves forward on any new regulations.

Gov. Mike DeWine said at Tuesday’s press conference that the Ohio Department of Health is doing a “deep dive” on the data.

An announcement on that data and a decision about whether bars and restaurants will face more regulations is expected Thursday afternoon.

Tuesday, he said he applauded the mayor of Columbus for making a decision to close bars and restaurants at 10 p.m., which was supposed to begin that night.

“I think it was the right decision,” he said.

After DeWine’s press conference, a judge blocked the move following legal action by a group of bars and restaurants.

The judge granted a 14-day restraining order to give time for more arguments.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says the city needs to do more to slow the spread of coronavirus, and that masks and social distancing become laxed after people consume a lot of alcohol.

If Gov. DeWine decides that specific cities or counties need new regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, an order from the governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Health would likely take precedence.

“Frankly, what we’re looking at is to determine how many cases came out of bars that we can trace back the bars,” Dewine said Tuesday.

DeWine has also been asked about whether new regulations would specifically focus on counties in the red.

Counties are marked red due to a high level of exposure and spread.

If that were how the decision was made, that would currently include nearly two dozen counties including:

  • Cuyahoga
  • Erie
  • Medina
  • Richland
  • Lucas
  • Henry
  • Defiance
  • Allen
  • Hardin
  • Marion
  • Union
  • Delaware
  • Licking
  • Franklin
  • Pickaway
  • Fairfield
  • Montgomery
  • Clark
  • Athens
  • Hamilton
  • Claremont
  • Scioto
  • Lawrence

Gov. DeWine’s press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m.

FOX8.com will carry it live.

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