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DeWine’s office: Businesses ignoring safety guidelines amid reopening are being ‘irresponsible’

Governor Mike DeWine’s office issued a statement aimed at businesses that have recently reopened, saying ones that disregarded safety guidelines were being “irresponsible.”
FILE - In this March 5, 2019 file photo, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks during the Ohio State of the State address at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Governor Mike DeWine’s office issued a statement aimed at businesses that have recently reopened, saying ones that disregarded safety guidelines were being “irresponsible.”

The statement came Saturday, one day after bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen for outside dining.

As he and state leaders announced plans to reopen the economy earlier this month, DeWine often reiterated that Ohioans can do two things at once: get the economy going again and stay safe.

“Ohio was able to responsibly reopen businesses quickly due to the fact that Ohioans have widely followed the expert guidance to socially distance, practice proper sanitization and hygiene, and avoid unnecessary contact with others,” DeWine’s press secretary said in the statement sent this weekend.

The statement went on to say they know many establishments are doing their part to follow the best practices to keep customers safe and keeping them socially distanced.

“However, anecdotes are also being distributed across the state about establishments that opened and allegedly ignored these safety guidelines,” the statement continued.

“Those who operate their businesses while disregarding safety guidelines, designed to protect the health of their customers and all Ohioans, are being irresponsible and need to understand that these guidelines will be enforced.”

One business that received complaints amid reopening was Standard Hall in the Short North.

Police and health officials on Friday evening said they received multiple complaints regarding reported crowds at the bar’s patio not practicing social distancing.

The bar on early Saturday morning issued a statement on its social media, saying in part, "after a positive interaction with local police, fire, and health representatives - Standard Hall is implementing suggestions and guidance to ensure the continued safety of our guests and staff."

"Moving forward we will be asking customers to stay seated at their tables and be cognizant of the distance between themselves and other groups."

Elsewhere in the state, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley put out a warning Saturday to bars not complying with protocols, saying enforcement would be enhanced that night and "bars can be shut down if necessary to protect the public health."


Read the full statement from DeWine's office:

"Ohio was able to responsibly reopen businesses quickly due to the fact that Ohioans have widely followed the expert guidance to socially distance, practice proper sanitization and hygiene, and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Ohio is a success story for following these protocols.

As restaurants and bars opened yesterday for patio service, we know many establishments across Ohio are doing their part to follow best practices to keep patrons safe and socially distanced. However, anecdotes are also being distributed across the state about establishments that opened and allegedly ignored these safety guidelines.

Those who operate their businesses while disregarding safety guidelines, designed to protect the health of their customers and all Ohioans, are being irresponsible and need to understand that these guidelines will be enforced."