Ohio Governor considers new restrictions on bars

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 6:48 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was back at the podium Thursday, as Ohio saw its highest new COVID-19 case count ever.

Hoping to further slow the spread of the virus, DeWine is asking the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to stop alcohol sales after 10 p.m. The commission has an emergency meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday when they will discuss DeWine’s proposals. Should they follow the governor’s lead, an order could be in effect as early as Friday. 

In an effort to help the businesses who would undoubtedly lose money over the new rules, DeWine says three drinks could be sold with carry out orders instead of just two. 

“Look, we do not want to shut down Ohio’s bars and restaurants. That would be devastating to them. But, we do have to take some action and see what kind of results we get from these actions,” said DeWine. 

On top of this announcement, DeWine has asked the State of Ohio Pharmacy Board to reconsider their ban on hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, and they have done so. DeWine would not give any sort of opinion on the drug as a treatment, but says the Pharmacy Board should have talked to more people before an outright ban. He then quoted Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. Stephen Hahn, who said the decision to use hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 should be left up to a patient and their doctor. 

DeWine also discussed the effectiveness of wearing a mask, saying urban counties, where mask mandates have been enacted longer than everywhere else, have seen a reduction in the rate at which the virus spreads. However, rural counties, where people aren’t wearing masks as frequently, are starting to see an increase in the rate of spread. 

Toward the end of his press conference, DeWine answered questions about the upcoming election. Some reporters noted that President Trump has recently presented the idea of delaying the November election. After a moment to gather his words, DeWine opposed the idea of a delayed election. 

“The election should take place. We have great experience in absentee voting. We have open absentee voting, you don’t have to give a reason, you want an absentee ballot, we’ve got it for a four week period of time. You’ve got the opportunity during that four week period of time people can go to the board of elections on certain days and cast their ballot. Then you’ve got the 13 hours of election day to cast your ballot. There’s absolutely no reason to think this election could not happen on that date,” said DeWine. 

DeWine says any change to the election would have to come from Congress, not the president. 

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