COLUMBUS, Ohio – A bill drafted in the Ohio House of Representatives that would remove penalties enforced on businesses for COVID violations may have a rallying point after two separate videos were sent to The Ohio Star – in them tipsters allege Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Stephanie McCloud and her husband are both spotted on separate occasions inside a Columbus area establishment where there appear to be violations of statewide COVID regulations.
According to information obtained from the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU)– the officials who go undercover in bars and restaurants – the establishment where both McClouds are seen had not received a citation for violating COVID orders between March 2020 and March 2021.
Republican Governor Mike DeWine offered Ohioans a “new deal” late Thursday, saying, “When Ohio gets down to 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders in the state will come off.”
The announcement came in a specially called press briefing that started at 5:30 p.m., during which DeWine encouraged Ohioans to take the COVID vaccine and to stay the course with nonpharmacological interventions: masks, distancing, state orders that limit crowds and limits on long personal contact.
During a COVID briefing last week Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) announced the statewide curfew could be lifted as early as this week if COVID hospitalizations stayed below 2,500 for seven consecutive days.
Over the last week, inpatient beds filled with COVID confirmed and probable patients numbered as follows:
February 2: 2,486
February 3: 2,380
February 4: 2,251
February 5: 2,172
February 6: 2,026
February 7: 1,969
February 8: 2,012
Saturday night the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) cited six establishments around the state for violating Ohio Department of Health (ODH) orders relating to safe dining and staying home after 10:00 p.m.
Citation cases will now go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission – potential penalties include fine, temporary closure, liquor permit suspension and/or revocation.
Between Health Director Dr. Amy Acton sneaking in an extension of her dining orders until July 1 and Governor Mike DeWine assembling a restaurant police force, one may wonder if Ohio is really reopening.
Late last Thursday, following the final press conference of the week, Acton issued the “Director’s Dine Safe Ohio Order,” which is available here. The order allowed outside restaurant dining as of last Friday.
On Friday’s Gill Report – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 1510 WLAC weekdays at 7:30 am – Star News National Political Editor Steve Gill talked about the recent liquor license revocation at a small lounge called Sharky’s in Harrison Township Ohio. He was perplexed about the Ohio Investigative Unit’s focus…