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Ginther Moves To Limit Hours Of Operation For Bars, Restaurants Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Columbus Mayor Andy Ginther said Friday he is asking Columbus City Council to approve an ordinance on Monday limiting hours of operation for bars, nightclubs and restaurants as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. 

The ordinance will require closure at11 p.m. each evening, effective Tuesday. The mayor and local health commissioner say there is clear evidence of community spread,  especially indoors in places where groups are gathering. Ginther says cases are incresing among younger people, and  bars and nightclubs have been the source of outbreaks.  Ohio Governor Mike DeWine this week also cited gatherings and bar/restaurant activity for significant increases in cases statewide.  Earlier this week, the Center for Public Integrity reported that the White House wants Columbus and nearly a dozen other cities to take stronger steps to control coronavirus outbreaks. The legislation gives enforcement to Columbus Public Health, with a warning for the first violation. A 500 dollar will be levied for a second violation and a 1-thousand dollar fine for subsequent offenses.  The city could also force a business to close for repeated violations. 

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