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Crowd at Columbus bar prompts warning from DeWine about ‘irresponsible’ social distancing

A large crowd packed the patio of a Columbus restaurant on Friday evening. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine warns the state will enforce its guidelines against “irresponsible” offenders.

© Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch  In spite of COVID-19 crowd limitations, a crowd gathers to drink at Standard Hall, a bar in Columbus' Short North Art District on Friday, May 15, 2020 about 11 pm. The bar's owners, Corso Ventures, told WBNS television, "Standard Hall has exactly 45 tables on the patio, spaced 6 feet apart. Based on the guidelines set forth by the state, we are not allowing parties of more than 10 at each table."

By Randy Ludlow and Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer

After a large crowd packed the patio of a Columbus restaurant on Friday evening, the office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine warns the state will enforce its coronavirus precaution guidelines against “irresponsible” offenders.

The gathering at Standard Hall, 1100 N. High St., prompted Columbus Public Health to issue a warning to the establishment, where most did not appear to be wearing masks or practicing six-foot social distancing.

The governor’s office did not mention Standard Hall in issuing a statement Saturday afternoon. But, it noted, “anecdotes are being distributed across the state about establishments that opened and allegedly ignored safety guidelines.”

DeWine press secretary Dan Tierney said: “Those who operate their businesses while disregarding safety guidelines, designed to protect the health of their customers and all Ohioans, are being irresponsible and need to understand that these guidelines will be enforced.”

Tierney noted that most Ohio bars and restaurants permitted to offer outside dining and drinks beginning Friday did “their part to follow best practices to keep patrons safe and socially distanced.”

© Doral Chenoweth/Columbus Dispatch  In spite of COVID-19 crowd limitations, a crowd gathers to drink at Standard Hall, a bar in Columbus' Short North Art District on Friday, May 15, 2020 about 11 pm. The bar's owners, Corso Ventures, told WBNS television, "Standard Hall has exactly 45 tables on the patio, spaced 6 feet apart. Based on the guidelines set forth by the state, we are not allowing parties of more than 10 at each table."

“Ohio was able to responsibly reopen businesses quickly due to the fact that Ohioans have widely followed the expert guidance to socially distance, practice proper sanitization and hygiene, and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Ohio is a success story for following these protocols,” Tierney said.

Columbus Public Health spokeswoman Kelli Newman said city health officials did compliance “drive-bys” of restaurants and bars offering outside service Friday evening.

“We did receive complaints about Standard Hall and we went out there last night to investigate” and issued its operators a warning to restrain crowd sizes, she said.

Comment was being sought from Standard Hall. Its website stated outdoor tables were spaced six feet apart and no more than 10 people were allowed at each table.

Newman did not specify what the warning entailed. State and city officials can move to revoke food service permits and liquor licenses for violations.

The crowd at Standard Hall sparked cries of alarm on social media – and appreciation from those who believe the coronavirus threat is overblown.

Restaurants and bars are allowed to open for socially distanced dine-in service on Thursday.

Read more at Cincinnati Enquirer

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dearJulius.com News | Breaking News, US News, World News: Crowd at Columbus bar prompts warning from DeWine about ‘irresponsible’ social distancing
Crowd at Columbus bar prompts warning from DeWine about ‘irresponsible’ social distancing
A large crowd packed the patio of a Columbus restaurant on Friday evening. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine warns the state will enforce its guidelines against “irresponsible” offenders.
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