As COVID-19 hospitalizations drop, restaurants hope the statewide curfew gets dropped too

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Ohio Department of Health reported a total of 2,012 COVID-19 patients in the state’s hospitals Monday, marking the seventh consecutive day in which that figure has remained below 2,500.

Last week, Gov. Mike DeWine said if that figure were to remain below 2,500 for seven straight days, the statewide curfew may be removed.

A spokesperson for DeWine said he did not expect an update regarding the curfew on Monday. He also would not say if the governor would address this on Tuesday, which is the day he often provides an update on the virus.

Bars and restaurants are closely watching the status of the curfew. Charlie Jackson owns Natalie’s Grandview and Natalie’s Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music with his daughter.

When the curfew started in November, they decided to offer delivery and carry-out service only, for food. Their concerts were live-streamed.

“It just didn’t feel right to ask people to come to our shows and come to our restaurant with the health officials telling us we really need to stay home, basically,” Jackson said.

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations trending downward, Jackson and his team plan to allow limited audiences to return to their Grandview-area location for shows beginning Friday. Jackson said he is reassured by the possibility of the curfew being discontinued by then.

“We’ve had so many unexpected setbacks but I think right now, my instincts are telling me this is finally the path forward and that by the summer, fall, that we’re going to get back to feeling a lot more secure,” he said.

Jackson explained that a number of safety measures will be in place when audiences return. For example, tables will be six feet apart, masks will be required, there will not be a dance floor, parties will be capped at ten people, and there will be temperature checks at the door.

As of right now, the curfew is expected to last until 12:01 p.m., on Thursday.

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