COLUMBUS, Ohio – During his COVID briefing, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine announced the statewide curfew – which had been amended to begin at 11:00 p.m. from its original 10 o’clock start – expired Thursday and that he would not extend the order.
Thanks to a sustained decrease in #COVID19 hospitalizations, Ohio’s curfew has been lifted. If hospitalizations begin rising again, @OhioDeptofHealth may reinstate it. It's crucial that we all continue safety protocols to #SlowTheSpread and prevent hospitalizations from going up. pic.twitter.com/CJEwCjc9Bn
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) February 11, 2021
The rescission came as part of a deal the governor offered Ohioans a few weeks back wherein if the statewide number of COVID hospital patients fell below 2,500 for seven straight days, the mandate to be indoors early would be undone.
Tuesday marked the seventh day below 2,500, but DeWine did not remove the restriction during that day’s briefing.
Press Secretary Dan Tierney told The Ohio Star in an interview for a previous story that the statewide last call order requiring establishments to stop serving drinks by 10:00 p.m. (and patrons to finish drinking by 11), which the DeWine inked in July, expired at the end of November.
The curfew cancelation means that bars can both return to traditional closing times with much later alcohol service cutoffs of 1:00 a.m. or 2:30 a.m.
The curfew was rolled out in November as a 21-day solution based on the need to flatten the spike in case numbers and hospitalizations due to an increased seasonal COVID spread statewide.
The curfew was a compromise, one Ohio State Senator told The Star. DeWine wanted to shut down bars, restaurants, and gyms – but immediate pushback from Ohioans directed at the governor’s office and their state congressional representatives may have caused an about-face.
During the question-and-answer portion of the Thursday presser, DeWine was asked whether he was mulling over the idea of reinstituting the last call order, and if he intends to reinstitute the curfew if things get worse.
A last call order will not be redrawn, the governor stated. He added that even though COVID hospitalizations – the indicator the curfew order was tied to – is a lagging indicator, the trendline he’s looking at shows the virus is being tamped down.
However, DeWine did leave open the possibility the state could again order Ohioans home early.
The entire press briefing can be viewed below.
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