DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local public health will be enforcing restaurant and bar closures with the help of local law enforcement, according to Dan Tierney, the press secretary for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
During a press conference on Sunday, DeWine announced he would order restaurants and bars to close at 9 p.m. on Sunday and remain closed indefinitely as the state takes measures to limit the effects of COVID-19.
“Generally, the process for a state health order is for the local public health department to coordinate with law enforcement to carry out the state order,” Tierney said
Tierney said once the Governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Health closed restaurants and bars to diners at 9 p.m. on Sunday, that order would be enforced by local agencies.
“When the state smoking ban went into place local health departments were in charge of enforcing it,” Tierney told WDTN.com. “We don’t have state police like Indiana does. Our government isn’t set up to run that way. Our government is locally run and locally responsive.”
“People with concerns about the order can contact their local health agencies.”
Tierney said given the COVID-19 outbreak, the state is working more closely with local agencies and hospitals than normal, given the danger of the virus.
Dan Suffoletto, Public Information Supervisor for Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health, said the agency would be monitoring restaurants and bars to make sure they are complying with the governor’s order.
“We hope that the public, and the restaurant and bar operators, will understand this is in the best interest of the public and customers,” Suffoletto said.
Lt. Gov. John Husted said during Sunday’s press conference that employees affected by the closures would be immediately eligible for unemployment benefits. He said the state was working to help small businesses with loans through the Small Business Administration.
Read the governor’s order here: