‘Assume everyone has COVID-19,’ DeWine tweets Monday as restaurants worry about future

Coronavirus

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) posted an update showing that 51 percent of restaurants are closed in Ohio and many believe they will never reopen

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine posted a tweet Monday warning Ohioans to assume that everyone has COVID-19 and that it’s not going away until there is a vaccine.

Governor DeWine announced last week that Ohio will begin the slow process of reopening May 1, but gave few details on exactly what that would look like but said that large gatherings of people would be the last to come back.

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) posted an update showing that 51 percent of restaurants are closed in Ohio and many believe they will never reopen.

Also, ORA is reporting that for those locations who are serving carryout, drive-through and delivery, sales have declined 20 to 90 percent.

Some restaurants quickly pivoted their business models to more online ordering and contact-free transactions. This appears to be producing better results for some, but requires a new operating model and investment at a time when owners are struggling with cash flow. 

Ohio Restaurant Association

On top of declining sales, the association says when restaurants do re-open, they are anticipating lower sales volumes by as much as 50 percent, compared to before the pandemic.

Bars, clubs and breweries that rely on large crowds are expected to be some of the last businesses to reopen.

We are now 5+ weeks into the crisis caused by COVID-19 and a state order to close dining inside restaurants. The devastation to our industry can NOT be overstated.

The Ohio Restaurant Association

President Trump announced last week a 3-phase approach to reopening the nation’s economy. DeWine said that some loosening of restrictions would begin May 1 and will layout those plans this week, beginning with a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday.

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