Coronavirus in Ohio: Reopening dates given for restaurants, bars, barbershops and salons

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced salons and barbershops can reopen May 15. DeWine added restaurants and bars can reopen for outside dining on May 15 and inside dining on May 21.

DeWine made the announcement during Thursday’s press briefing.

“The risk is up. More contacts that we have, the more that we do, the more risk there is,” DeWine said. “That we can expect.”

Gov. DeWine added Ohio is now at a one to one ratio meaning on average, one person who is infected with coronavirus infects one other person.

“We can expect that the opening up of this economy is going to take those numbers higher,” DeWine said. “But what we have to do is do everything in our power not to let those go very high.”

Parties at restaurants and bars must have 10 people or less as well and each party will be separated by six feet or a physical barrier.

Ohio will not have a hard and fast percentage when it comes to how many people can be inside restaurants and bars. Instead, Ohio will observe social distancing guidelines meaning customers must sit at least six feet apart from one another or a physical barrier will be put in place if this distancing is not possible inside the building.

Physical barriers can include high booth backs, Plexiglas and other materials that can safely separate one party from another.

Restaurant workers will comply with the mask requirement, unless unsafe while doing a job. They also may ask customers to wear a mask. As far as gloves they will continue with their normal food service guidelines.

Open congregate areas such as dance floors and other activity spaces will remain closed. Restaurants and bars can repurpose those spaces with tables.

Buffet and salad bars will now be served to customers.

“Restaurants and bars are going to be asked to create a floor plan that complies with current social distancing guidelines,” said Treva Weaver, Chief Operating Officer of The Wasserstrom Group.

Weaver was the head of the committee put together by Gov. DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

“We’re asking the public to self-monitor and insure compliance before they come in,” she said about customers who may have COVID-19. “You as a customer, as a guest, you might be asked to wear a mask. That’s going to be at the discretion of the owners and we would ask that you would respect those decisions.”

“You might have to wait in your car until your appointment is ready,” said Debbie Penzone, owner of Charles Penzone, Inc. “Our professionals will be donning the mask and really asking that the clients and customers come with their face covering or their mask especially with our services being so personal.”

At the Hofbrahaus Columbus, management said several tables will be removed from both the indoor and outdoor seating areas, in order to comply with social distancing.

Denis Varitek, general manager at Hofbrahaus Columbus, said servers, hosts, hostesses and cleaning staff will wear masks, when the restaurant reopens. He also said the team had already ordered and received Plexiglas to be installed between booths.

“Safety is the number one priority,” he said. “We’ve always been top notch in that department.”

Retail stores will reopen May 12, meaning 89 percent of Ohio’s economy will be back up and running on that date, according to Gov. DeWine.

“This is a marathon,” DeWine said. “We’re not going to run through this quickly. That’s just not going to happen.”

DeWine went on to say testing and tracing is going to be an integral part of what Ohio does in the coming weeks.

Timeline for phase one of reopening Ohio:

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