Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is asking the state Liquor Control Commission to temporarily cut off the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants at 10 p.m. and close establishments at 11 p.m.
The commission meets Friday morning at 9 a.m. and if approved, the measure would be effective as of Friday night.
“We do not want to shut down Ohio bars and restaurants,” DeWine said. “That would be devastating to them, but we do have to take some action and see what kind of results we get.”
At his Thursday afternoon coronavirus briefing, DeWine also said he is reinstating the 10-person limit on gatherings, in a separate state order.
The 1,733 new coronavirus cases reported by the Ohio Department of Health Thursday is a new high for the pandemic.
“Shocking number. Of the 10 highest daily new cases reported, nine have been in the last three weeks,” the governor said.
Despite the high number of reported cases Thursday, DeWine said there is some good news to be seen in the state’s color-coded public health advisory map.
“The urban counties that have had the mask orders the longest are seeing a significant decrease in where that line was going. They’re still at a high rate, but that rate increase has certainly been dramatically slowed down," he said. “We have 13 red counties this week, which is 10 fewer counties that are red than last week. So that is very good news.”
DeWine also said the Ohio Pharmacy Board made the right decision in reversing its ban on the sale or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19. DeWine released a statement Thursday morning urging the board to reverse their ban. DeWine said the issue deserves a fair hearing with testimony from experts and the public.
“I believe that their process in arriving at this original decision was fundamentally flawed. While, to my knowledge, they followed the law, it really did not provide enough opportunity for people to comment,” he said.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.