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DeWine asks Ohio Liquor Control Commission to enact 10 p.m. last call to curb the spread of COVID-19

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COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine has requested the Ohio Liquor Control Commission to pass an emergency law stopping the sales of alcohol at establishments in the state at 10 p.m.

“We have to slow the spread of the virus, and we have to slow the spread across the state of Ohio,” DeWine said during his Thursday news conference.  

DeWine did note that establishments have been selling alcoholic drinks in a carryout capacity can continue that practice and it will be expanded to three drinks. 

DeWine’s request would allow patrons to order drinks prior to 10 p.m., and continue to drink at the establishment until 11 p.m. The rule would include all places selling alcohol.

His request comes after Columbus City Council passed a similar ordinance earlier this week that was then overturned by a judge.  

On Tuesday, a Franklin County judge granted a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of an ordinance forcing Columbus bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. 

Judge Mark Serrott granted the restraining order requested by several bars, including Pins Mechanical Co., 16-Bit Bar + Arcade, Mikey’s Late Night Slice, Odfellows, and more. 

The case was scheduled to come up for a full hearing in 14 days. 

Columbus City Council passed the ordinance Monday night at the request of Mayor Andrew Ginther and Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the city. 

Roberts said Monday there has been a 220% increase in cases since portions of Columbus began reopening June 1, 2020, with many of those cases coming from people between the ages of 20 and 39, and most of those cases coming from people between the ages of 20 and 29. 

If the Ohio Liquor Control Commission approves the rule during an emergency meeting Friday morning, DeWine says he will sign the order to go into effect Friday night.

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