Group of Northeast Ohio restaurants sues Dr. Amy Acton, Gov. DeWine

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LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A group of restaurants in Ohio has filed a lawsuit against Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Governor Mike DeWine.

They say the health and safety guidelines issued by the state are unreasonable and unconstitutional.

The businesses in the suit include Diamondback Bar, Harry Buffalo, Islander Bar and Grill, Grayton Road Tavern, Park Street Cantina, Townhall, Bar 30, and Frank and Tony’s.

The suit was filed Thursday in Lake County.

Here are the guidelines as a reminder:

  • Ensure a minimum of six feet between people. If not possible, businesses must utilize barriers if applicable and increase the frequency of surface cleaning, handwashing, sanitizing and monitor compliance.
  • Businesses must require all employees to wear facial coverings. Customers are encouraged to do so as well.
  • Post a list of COVID-19 symptoms in a conspicuous place.
  • Ask customers and guests not to enter if symptomatic.
  • Provide customers with access to handwashing methods while in the foodservice establishment, and if possible, place approved hand washing/sanitizing products in high-contact areas.
  • Foodservice establishments offering dine-in service must take affirmative steps with customers to achieve safe social distancing guidelines.
  • When appropriate, establish ordering areas and waiting areas with clearly marked safe distancing and separations per individual/social group for both restaurant and bar service.
  • Remove self-service, table, and common area items (e.g. table tents, vases, lemons, straws, stir sticks, condiments).
  • Salad bars and buffets are only permitted if served by staff with safe six feet social distancing between parties.
  • The open congregate areas in restaurants and bars that are not necessary for the preparation and service of food or beverages (billiards, card playing, pinball games, video games, arcade games, dancing, entertainment) shall remain closed.
  • Employees must perform daily coronavirus symptom assessments.
  • Businesses must require employees to stay at home if symptomatic and perform daily symptom assessment requirements before they can return to work.
  • Provide ServSafe, or other approved COVID-19 education as soon as possible.
  • Require regular handwashing by employees.
  • Comply with state-issued safety regulations.
  • Limit the number of employees allowed in break rooms at the same time and practice social distancing.
  • Daily cleaning for the entire establishment. Clean and sanitize tabletops, chairs, and menus between seatings. Clean all high touch areas every two hours, and more frequently as needed (e.g. door handles; light switches; phones, pens, touch screens).
  • In instances of confirmed cases of COVID-19, businesses should shut down the area for deep sanitation if possible.

The suit claims the guidelines unfairly single them out and are unconstitutional because they have caused loss of property, loss of freedom and loss of pursuit of happiness.

They’re asking for an injunction and declaratory judgment.

Click here for more details on the guidelines.

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