COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) -- This is the first weekend in months that bars and restaurants can stay open without having to close for the statewide curfew.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the curfew could expire after the state recorded seven consecutive days with fewer than 2,500 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. The last day on which that figure exceeds 2,500 was February 1.
“It’s very important, and doctors will say it’s very important for us to keep doing what we’ve been doing," said DeWine. "Let’s get the vaccine into our arms as quick as we can, but at the same time, we’ve got to continue to wear a mask, we’ve got to continue to keep the distancing."
Bars and restaurants are still required to follow the orders issued by the Ohio Department of Health and although the curfew has expired, agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit will continue to monitor for compliance.
"There's a high level of compliance amongst these locations, so the locations where we actually issue the citations are those that have those egregious violations of the department of health orders and are very few in number statewide," said Eric Wolf, an enforcement commander with the OIU.
Wolf also said some violations may result in agents issuing a warning, rather than a citation.
According to DeWine, the curfew may be reinstated if the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations rise.