As restaurants reopen, Ohioans petition DeWine to give workers COVID vaccine


CLEVELAND (WJW) — Sam McNulty is just days away from opening his establishments in Ohio City. That means hundreds of workers will return to work after being furloughed since November.

“We are opening Market Garden Brewery, Bier Markt, Bar Cento and Nano Brew, all on March 10th,” said McNulty.

“We would never want to step in line in front of anyone with underlying health issues or those at-risk.  However, I do think that in certain industries where people were deemed essential and around a lot of people day to day, it makes sense to vaccinate them next,” said McNulty.

John Barker with The Ohio Restaurant Association has asked the state to make restaurant workers a priority for the vaccine.

“We’ve talked to the Governor and the Lt. Governor.  The CDC has restaurant and food workers under essential workers.  Depending on how the state is set up, essential workers fall under either 1B or 1C,” said Barker.

Barker says getting rid of the curfew helped but workers are struggling.

“This is an industry that has been hit the absolute hardest. From restaurants, hotels and the hospitality and entertainment segments,” said Barker.

That is why Evan Holt of Cincinnati, a candidate for city council, started a petition asking Governor Dewine to include restaurant workers in the next group to be vaccinated.

“We do not want to exceed people who are at-risk or have health issues, teachers and what not.  We just want to be considered essential workers too,” said Holt.

DeWine has said the state is sticking with the age requirement for distribution.

“We stand in solidarity with grocery store employees, beauty industry, anyone who deals with the public front facing is putting their lives at risk to stay open and stay afloat,” said Holt.

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