On March 15th, Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) had issued a Director’s Order that closed all Ohio bars and restaurants to in-house patrons. This extreme measure was taken in the best interests of the health and safety of Ohioans. Obviously, there will be serious and immediate financial consequences for owners and employees of these establishments. I believe that it was an extremely difficult decision to make, but it was the right one given our current situation and I support it. Additionally, I am statutorily obligated to follow the Director’s Order.
Restaurants with take-out and delivery options can still operate those services, even as their dining rooms are temporarily closed. No on-site consumption of beer, wine, or liquor is allowed under the order, with carry-out sales and delivery allowed only. Carry-out lines at restaurants or liquor stores must have six feet distance between patrons.
If you are an owner or employee of such an establishment, I cannot imagine the fear and uncertainty you must feel facing this extremely challenging economic time. Please believe me when I say that I fully understand what I am asking you to do in order to comply with the Department of Health’s Director’s Order. My intention is not to punish or alienate any of our local businesses, but we must all work together to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Effective immediately, I have directed my Officers to respond to and investigate any complaints of businesses violating the order. The Officer will issue a copy of the Director’s Order to the establishment’s owner or management and then submit an incident report directly to my office. From that point I will consult with our Law Department to decide on the appropriate action, which could include notification of the appropriate licensing agencies. Violation of the order can include stiff fines, loss of licensing, and potentially criminal charges resulting in a jail sentence. Most importantly, violating this order will contribute to the spread of Covid-19 and directly and negatively impact the health and safety of our community. I urge you to comply with the Director’s Order so that we can all overcome this terrible crisis as quickly and safely as possible.
Finally, to everyone who lives and works in our city, I implore you to recognize the enormous sacrifice being made by our local restaurants and bars. As a close knit community it is our civic responsibility to support these establishments now more than ever. Many of our restaurants and bars are still open for take-out and delivery. I urge your support these businesses with your orders and when possible, purchase gift cards from them. We need to do whatever we lawfully can do to make sure these businesses survive this difficult time. Let’s all be there for them now so they can be here for us later.
Chief Scott Meyer
Euclid Police Department