COLUMBUS, OH — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and state officials ordered all bars and restaurants statewide to close on Sunday. Transportation and delivery will be allowed to continue, but catering services will be prohibited.

The closures will go into effect after 9 p.m. Sunday, DeWine said. “This is a pivotal moment,” DeWine said. “The longer we delay, the more people will die.”

The governor will also make several changes to state unemployment policies. Employees who do not have guaranteed paid time off from their jobs will be able to receive state funding if they are quarantined by a medical professional or their job. This decision will also apply to businesses that have temporarily closed as a result of COVID-19.

The state also waives the one-week deadline to receive the first week of unemployment benefits. The costs of the new benefits will be pooled. More information on the new unemployment policies can be found on the Department of Employment and Family Services website.

Bar and restaurant owners can return unopened liquor products to the agency where they purchased them, Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced Sunday. This policy will extend to event organizers who may have purchased high-strength alcohol for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6.

Husted said state officials are working with the federal government to provide low-interest loans to small business owners and nonprofits in Ohio. Funds can be used to cover any expenses incurred by COVID-19.

“This is our first step in trying to accommodate business disruptions,” Husted said. He added that the Legislature will need to bolster Ohio unemployment funding in the coming weeks to support affected Ohios.

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There are now 36 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in Ohio, officials announced Sunday. Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said it was becoming increasingly difficult to track the number of confirmed cases in the state as testing intensified.

DeWine said officials need to keep people from congregating to prevent Ohio hospitals from being overwhelmed. He said child care centers will be closed in the future, but they are not closed at this time.

The governor said the danger of the virus spreading is not just for those infected with COVID-19, but also for people who need treatment for other medical conditions but cannot be admitted to the facilities. hospitals due to the spread of the virus.

Acton said COVID-19 could peak between late April and mid-May.

“These are tough decisions. We inconvenience people and change people’s lives – but we have to save lives. All we do is save lives,” DeWine tweeted.

Among the newly confirmed cases, one of those tested had symptoms on February 7. Acton said that person did not know they had COVID-19 and could have contributed to the unintentional spread in the community.

Another newly confirmed case is an Ohio firefighter who was asymptomatic for nearly a week. Acton said their entire fire station could be quarantined for two weeks.

“It’s going to disproportionately hit the most vulnerable among us,” Acton said. She encouraged nonprofits to work to protect the homeless, the sick and others and promised the state would put supports in place.

Acton said every Ohioan should now assume they might be carrying the virus and act accordingly.

“It’s the real thing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” Acton said.

Safety tips

Ohioans are urged to practice social distancing — limiting their exposure to other people — until this outbreak slows. Health officials have said Ohioans should follow many of the same health and safety tips they practice during flu season to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after using it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.

The Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Call Center is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427- 5634). Workers will answer all questions about the virus and the state’s response.

Here’s Patch’s other recent coverage of COVID-19 in Ohio:

COVID-19 Do you feel anxious? Try these tips – Health officials know that the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, is worrying many Ohioans. To that end, the Ohio Department of Health offers tips to help reduce anxiety.

CVS Waives Drug Delivery Fees: Ohio Locations – CVS Health announced this week that effective immediately, the pharmacy chain will “waive fees for home delivery of prescription drugs,” including from locations in Ohio.