COLUMBUS, Ohio — During an emergency meeting Friday, the Ohio Liquor Control Board approved a statewide emergency rule that will stop alcohol sales at 10 p.m. each night at bars across the state in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The board enacted the rule with three votes.
The rule prevents the sale of alcohol at all liquor-permitted establishments at 10 p.m. with all alcohol consumed by 11 p.m. It takes effect on Friday night. On Thursday, when Gov. DeWine proposed the rule, he believed if enacted, it would thin the crowds at the bars and mitigate the spread of the virus.
The new rule comes one week after DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health mandated masks in indoor public spaces statewide, and after he said during a COVID-19 briefing that bars are increasingly becoming a hub of transmission for the virus.
DeWine cited an outbreak of 53 cases tracing back to an event at a Henry County winery.
Put-in-Bay has been held up as another example of how bars may play a role of spreading the novel coronavirus: a mass test of the island detected cases in 66 employees on the island, and six bars have been cited by the state for COVID-19-related violations since June 1.