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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

If health orders are lifted, restaurants may still enforce safety measures

The Ohio Restaurant Association is urging restaurants to follow CDC guidelines.

As a restaurant owner for more than 40 years in Columbus, Kamal Boulos has never seen a challenge like the pandemic.

“This has been clearly something that is unprecedented," he said.

But on a personal level, he's never seen his only child face a challenge so great herself.

“My heart breaks for her," Boulos said. “We've got a daughter that's been exclusively dealing with COVID patients since March."

He went on to explain that often, she is the only person with a patient as they die. She will hold their hand as they die alone. Boulos is afraid that that experience has affected his daughter in a way she hasn’t even been able to come to grips with yet.

Boulous also has a brother who works at a hospital in Syracuse, N.Y. So for him, preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a personal matter.

Boulos said going forward if the state does lift its health orders, and the city does too, he will air on the side of caution and still require masks and other safety measures.

“We might get pushback from our guests, we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.

"It's a difficult place to be [for a restaurant owner]," said Homa Moheimani of the Ohio Restaurant Association.

The Ohio Restaurant Association is urging restaurants to follow CDC guidelines.

“We still encourage restaurants to follow the Ohio Restaurant Promise which is a promise that health officials from across the state, the CDC, and local legislative officials and restaurant owners have come to agree these are some really great ways to make sure that they're establishments are safe. Not only for the guests but for employees as well,” Moheimani said.

"The numbers are clearly trending in the right direction," said Boulos. "I also think that we could potentially put ourselves you know in a situation where it could spike again."

Even if the positivity rate drops enough for the governor to lift restrictions, Boulos is one restaurant owner who will continue to play it safe, because his daughter depends on it.

"She's putting her life on the line every day, you know."